Known for its cowboys and stampedes, its cows and neverending winters, Calgary is one of the largest cities in Western Canada. The incredible Banff and Jasper National Parks are just a few hours drive away, home to some of the most incredible mountains, lakes and waterfalls I've ever seen. I've recently spent a lot time in the heart of the city of Calgary exploring all the fun activities on offer.
$24.95 per adult
The Calgary Zoo is huge! It's on the central train line, and I would highly recommend arriving this way to save on the crazy costs of parking! We spent hours wandering the many animal exhibits which included massive enclosures for the wide variety of animals that call the Calgary Zoo home. Personal favourites included getting up close and personal with the lions and watching the meerkats pop out of the ground.
$18.00 per adult including audio guide
Right in the heart of downtown is the Calgary Tower, a tall structure with an internal elevator that whizzes visitors up to the top of a 360 degree view of the whole city of Calgary sprawled below. The world's highest 360 observation deck thanks to Calgary's height above sea level, this tower offers views as far as the eye can see in every direction. A glass floor adds to the thrill! They also have a revolving restaurant up at the top that completes a full rotation every hour giving you a wonderful view of Calgary while you dine.
Hop on the train and get off in the middle of town to wander busy streets of restaurants, shopping and twinkling lights. I suggest going at dusk when the city is preparing for a fun night!
Sam treated me to the exquisite food at Blink Restaurant for my 21st birthday, a warm and inviting place with romantic lighting and - my favourite - exposed brick walls. We shared the trout and then I had the risotto paired wonderfully with an elder-flower cocktail.
Take a wander through Calgary's biggest park with a gorgeous view back toward downtown. The wind here makes kite-flying a popular activity!
Calgary Flames Hockey Game
Prices vary based on seats
Head out to the Scotiabank Saddledome, the site of the famous Calgary Stampede every July, to support the local NHL hockey team, the Calgary Flames. Wear red, cheer along with the crowds, indulge in salty arena foods and feel overly patriotic as you sing the anthem and watch the hockey players try to shoot pucks across the ice.
Raw Canvas Paint Night
$20-$45 per person including supplies
A perfect date night for those feeling particularly artsy is to be found at the Raw Canvas in Kensington. You can purchase food and drink while you are guided step-by-step through producing a masterpiece to hang on your wall for years to come (or to hide away and never look at again!).
$85 per adult for lift ticket
Calgary's closest ski resort, Nakiska is a fantastic place to get out on the slopes and enjoy a day skiing in the sunshine. Nakiska is surrounded by beautiful mountains and, while not a huge hill, is good fun!