In the foothills of the mountains to the west of the city, rise the strange-looking towers of Calgary Olympic Park. In 1988, this was the primary site for the XV Olympic Winter Games. Today, the hill is still open to skiing and snowboarding, and there are opportunities to bob sled, zip-line, toboggan, and mountain bike. Guided Ski Jump Tower Tours give a panoramic view of the Calgary skyline from the top of the ski-jump slope. Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is located in the park as well.
Where to Stay in Calgary:
Mid-Range Hotels: Right downtown, just a short walk from Prince’s Island Park in the Bow River and offering large suites at an affordable price is the upscale International Hotel. The award-winning, boutique Hotel Arts, an easy stroll from the Calgary Tower, has custom contemporary dcor in all the rooms. South of downtown, but very close to Fish Creek Provincial Park, is the Wingate by Wyndham Calgary. With an indoor pool and waterslide, this hotel is a good choice for families.
More than 1000 animals from around the world, many in enclosures simulating their natural habitats, make Calgary’s zoo one of the top rated in North America. The zoo’s well-regarded conservation team study, reintroduce and protect endangered animals in Canada. Besides the animals, the zoo has a Botanical Garden, with changing garden displays, a tropical rainforest, a good butterfly enclosure and the 6-hectare Prehistoric Park, featuring fossil displays and life-size dinosaur replicas in natural settings. Picnic areas, concessions and cafes dot the zoo. During winter, when neither you nor the animals will care to linger outdoors, the admission price is reduced. To get here, take the C-Train east to the Zoo stop.
Ignite Your Imagination at TELUS Spark
Explore the adventurous side of science and technology at TELUS Spark. Mash up science and art in the open studio, take in a live demo, or travel to the edge of the universe with an immersive visual experience at The Dome Theatre
Get a Bird’s Eye View at Calgary Tower
It is easy to see why the highest 360 observation deck in the world is no small claim to fame when you are standing 1228 metres above sea level. Get a view from the Canadian Rockies to the prairies or stand on the glass floor for a breathtaking view of the streets below at Calgary Tower
One of Western Canadas largest museums, the Glenbow features 20 galleries, with permanent exhibitions on Western and Indigenous cultures, military and war history around the world, Asian and African artifacts, and Alberta mineralogy. The museum also plays host to a rotating selection of visiting exhibitions from across the country, and the globe. Glenbow maintains a digital archive of online exhibitions, including some that mirror current in-house galleries, allowing patrons to visit exhibits from afar or at home. Admission: adult $16, senior and student $11, (youth (7-17) $10, children six and under are admitted free, as well as annual membership holders. www.glenbow.org
The former home of senator James Lougheed and his family is now a public heritage centre that features permanent and temporary art and historic exhibits, and is a designated National and Provincial Historic Site. Explore this 1891 Victorian sandstone mansion on your own or with an interpreter for a guided tour. Relax in the Beaulieu Gardens, pick up an antique souvenir in the Lougheed House Museum Shop, or go for tea and a light meal in The Restaurant at Lougheed House. Admission: adult $8.50, seniors and students $6.50, child (6-12) $5, children under six are admitted free. www.lougheedhouse.com
The Military Museum of Calgary
Uncover the triumphs, misfortunes and sacrifices of the Canadian Forces at the second largest military museum in Canada. Their eight museums and galleries include the Army, Naval, and Air Force Museums of Alberta. Walk through a World War I trench, enter the wheelhouse of a World War II ship model, and visit exhibits at The Founders Gallery. Admission: adult $15, seniors, students and youth $5, children 7 and under, along with military veterans, are admitted for free. www.themilitarymuseums.ca
Fish Creek Provincial Park
One of the largest urban parks in North America, and the largest in Canada, Fish Creek features the Bow Valley Ranch Visitor Centre, Environmental Learning Centre, and a seasonal interpretive program and Sikome Aquatic Facility the manmade beach and lake are the perfect spot to enjoy summer. Bird watch, fish, bike, and hike through trails in the riverine forest location. Afterwards, take a break to dine at the casual Annies Caf, the upscale Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant, or pack your own meal and take advantage of the parks many picnic tables and shelters, complete with a fire ring and charcoal grill. Whether its winter or summer, Fish Creeks beautiful scenic environment is enjoyable, and free to access, year-round. www.albertaparks.ca/fish-creek
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