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Play in May: 20 fun things to do this month

It's time to ring in Spring!

The season we have all ben waiting for is here and although there will be a few wet/slushy days ahead, sprouts will start to bloom, birds are taking flight and it's time to get out and enjoy the warmer weather. Here are a few ways to get moving now that the season has finally arrived (for real!).

  1. Birdwatch at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. This is Calgary’s number one destination for birdwatching with 270 species of birds. The sanctuary is an ecological safe haven, surrounded by a bustling city, that connects people to their wild neighbors and the wonders of nature. Watch for some of the incredible wildlife while exploring this protected natural environment. Learn more at ca.
  2. Explore Kensington. Kensington is one of Calgary’s top destinations for shopping and dining. It sits just north of downtown and has C-Train access via Sunnyside Station. It is home to trendy brunch spots, eye-catching public art, and specialty stores. Pop into Riley Park while you are there for a walk through the gorgeous community garden.
  3. Get fresh at a farmer’s markets. Local farmer’s markets are out in full force with most seasonal markets opening on May 1. Buy fresh produce, tasty treats, hand-crafted items, clothing, artisan bread and baked goods and much more.
  4. Try Orienteering. The sport involves moving through terrain while map reading to help you choose the best route. The object is to run, walk, ski or bike to a series of points shown on the map, choosing routes that will help you find all the required points and get back to the finish in the shortest amount of time. Sounds like a great spring outing for the family!
  5. Ride your bikes downtown. Go on a Calgary downtown playground-hopping tour. Bike along the paved Bow River Pathway through downtown and visit the three playgrounds at Prince’s Island Park, East Village and then bike on to St. Patrick’s Island. The playgrounds are clustered along the river within a three-kilometre distance of one another between the two islands. So grab your helmets and get ready to play the day away!
  6. Check out the polar bears. If you haven’t been to the zoo in a while, now is the time to go. Meet Baffin and Siku in their remarkable polar bear habitat enhanced with exceptional animal care and enrichment programs designed to encourage the expression of natural behaviors, provide cognitive challenges, and stimulate play. Watch them explore, swim and play together. Learn more at com.
  7. Shop and play at Granary Road. With an active learning park, farmer’s market, garden centre, animals, special events and more, there is something to keep your kiddos entertained every second of the day at Granary Road, located just south of Calgary in Foothills County. Learn more at gcom.
  8. Get artsy at Asylum for Art Brunch. Asylum for Art hosts weekend brunch and live music at the WaffleHaus Saloon. Admission is by donation, and you can reserve a spot. Learn more at ca.
  9. Jam at NMC. The National Music Centre (NMC) is calling all teens to Studio Bell. In partnership with CJAY 92, NMC is supporting the next generation of rock stars with a free after-school drop-in program for teens, as Jesse & JD present the NMC Jam Club. Learn more at ca/jam-club.
  10. Go to the beach. On Monday and Wednesday mornings take part in children’s play time at The Beach YYC. Bring your child to spend a few hours digging and playing in the sand. They supply all the beach toys including shovels, buckets and more. Learn more at ca.
  11. Visit Spruce Meadows. From May 9 to 12, Spruce Meadows will host the Rosebud Classic. This outdoor amateur local show jumping tournament provides a wonderful opportunity for riders to showcase their skills and compete in a friendly and supportive environment. Learn more at com.
  12. Spring into a good book. Calgary Reads Big Book Sale takes place at Calgary Curling Club from May 10 to 20. Discover more than 175,000 gently used books of every genre imaginable – and help more children experience the life-changing joy of reading. Learn more at ca.
  13. Celebrate mom. There are dozens of ways to show mom how much you care this Mother’s Day. Take her to brunch, a local market, make her a craft, go for a walk or bike ride together or treat her to a day of history, food and fun this Mother’s Day at Fort Calgary.
  14. Take in some murals. Murals bring walls alive and public art adds visual interest to a street corner, front yard, or office tower, making the walker feel more connected to Calgary and to the people who live here. Check out the murals downtown, in the East Village, on St Patrick’s Island, in Inglewood and in the Beltline.
  15. Play disc golf. The rules are generally the same as basic golf. Start at a tee off area, throw your disc down the fairway and aim for the basket on each hole. Learn about all the best Calgary courses at
  16. Go on an adventure in the Jurassic Forest. Set in an old-growth forest near Gibbons, AB you can learn about dinosaurs while viewing animatronic dinosaurs on the trails, uncover fossils on a dig, ride a triceratops and play in the adventure area. Learn more at com.
  17. Get gardening. It may seem a bit early to begin planting in Calgary in May but here are many ways that you and your family can get started on your garden indoors. Try to shop for seeds of flowers and herbs that are hearty and have proven successful in Calgary’s sometimes challenging growing climate and be patient. Don’t transplant your little seedlings until the threat of frost has passed (at least after June 1).
  18. Go camping. There is no doubt that the May long weekend is the kick off to camping season. Head out with your tent or trailer and spend a couple nights in one of the provincial park campgrounds to get away from it all. Don’t forget to book your spot in advance. For more information and to book, visit ca.
  19. Visit the RCMP Police Dog Training Centre. The RCMP’s police academy for dogs is located right off the QE2 Highway just outside Innisfail. The centre holds regular public demonstrations on Wednesdays from 2 to 2:45pm from Victoria Day to Labour Day. The demonstrations are free of charge and they’re interesting. Other area attractions include the Innisfail Historical Village and Discovery Wildlife Park. Learn more at
  20. Learn to climb as a family. Learning to rock climb is a little bit less scary when you're climbing a wall with happy faces that light up every step that you take. Book ahead at the Calgary Climbing Centre's Hanger location in the northeast, or the Rocky Mountain location in the northwest, and spend an hour in one of the family-friendly ClimbParks.



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