48 hours in Calgary with the kids

Whether you are visiting for a short vacation, or just passing through, Calgary has so much to offer everyone in the family. If you find yourself short on time, here are our top picks for places to see and things to do for all ages.

Calaway Park

Calaway Park is Western Canada’s largest outdoor family amusement park. With a total of 32 rides, food vendors / restaurants, and entertainment throughout the park, there is always something happening.

Shows are held throughout the day in Calaway Park. Photo Sheri Landry

Shows are held throughout the day in Calaway Park.

Height restrictions are clearly marked on each ride and there are a lot of ride options for every age group. Most ride lines are short and they move quickly with the exception of a couple more popular rides that are well worth the wait.

One of the newest rides is Timber Falls, a ride that combines a roller coaster with water, and you will get wet. This was a fun ride to experience, but if you aren’t sure if your younger kids will enjoy it, I recommend going on yourself first to try it out as it is a little more intimidating than it looks.

Timber Falls is Calaway Park's newest attraction. Photo Sheri Landry

Timber Falls is Calaway Park’s newest attraction.

Another area offers fishing off a dock where kids can experience the patience and fight that goes into catching ‘the big one’. Once a fish is caught, it will be wrapped up for you to take home so I recommend doing this activity near the end of your day at Calaway Park.

The Calaway Park staff go out of their way to provide a wonderful family experience and this was the highlight of our daughters’ trip. The fact that there is also an RV park right next door makes this a summer destination must for visitors to Calgary.

Getting ready to go on a ride with the kids at Calaway Park. Photo Sheri Landry.

Getting ready to go on a ride with the kids at Calaway Park. Always time for a group selfie!

Tip: From mid-November until January 1, year passes go on sale for about the price of a day ticket. If you are pretty sure you will be there for a couple of days, this is a great offer and makes for a fun experience Christmas gift.

Calgary Zoo

A quick turn off the city street and you are transported into the Calgary Zoo where the rest of the city fades into the background.

Canadian Wilds at the Calgary Zoo. Photo Sheri Landry

The zoo is well laid out with distinct sections such as the Canadian Wilds, Destination Africa, Eurasia and (for a limited time) Prehistoric Park where you can travel back in time and experience life with dinosaurs. This section of the park is a lot of fun for any dinosaur-lover and features animatronic exhibits that will excite and educate all members of your family.

Prehistoric Park is at the Calgary Zoo for a limited time. Photo Sheri Landry

Prehistoric Park is at the Calgary Zoo for a limited time.

Just inside the gate is the Penguin Plunge which brings you up close with four different species of penguins and is not to be missed. Kids will be amazed at how close they can get and we experienced a penguin popping up within a foot of our group to say hello. Of course it is always when you don’t have your camera ready.

A favourite stop of mine is the butterfly area withing the Conservatory & Gardens. If you love looking at, or photographing butterflies, you will not be disappointed.

Numerous butterflies can be found in the Conservatory / Garden area so have your camera ready. Photo Sheri Landry

Numerous butterflies can be found in the Conservatory / Garden area so have your camera ready.

Kids will want to spend hours at the Kinsmen Zooventure Playground. Found in Destination Africa, this playground features a separate play area for the little ones and offers educational, and energy-burning play. It is a great pit stop for kids to break up all of the walking.

Kids and adults can find many hands on activities throughout the Zoo to keep them busy. Photo Sheri Landry

Kids and adults can find many hands on activities throughout the Zoo to keep them busy.

Tip: Each area is spread out nicely, but if you have little ones who tire easily you may want to bring a stroller.

The Calgary Zoo was the highlight for the grownups, but the kids still enjoyed themselves and we did not see everything we wanted to in just one visit. There is always a reason to go back.

And that is how we left Calgary. With a bucket list of new items we want to experience on our next visit.

Sheri Landry
Sheri publishes, and writes at This Bird’s Day where she shares all of the thoughts in her head without the voices. Sticking mainly with content for Canadians, Sheri shares family stories, product information and anything that fits into her (and her family’s) daily activities.
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