Things to Do In Calgary and the Mountains This Weekend! (June 10-12)

by - Friday, June 10, 2016

The school year is coming to an end and camping season is in full swing. Whether you stay in town or go away this weekend, I hope you make the most of the long days and play outside! Here are my top suggestions for fun in and around Calgary this weekend.

Calgary & Area

  1. Celebrate everything.about.paddling. at MEC Paddlefest at Chestermere Lake. Demos, clinics, kids activities, gear swap and more. Free!
    • When: Sunday, June 12, 9 am - 5 pm
    • Where: 121 Chestermere Station Way, Chestermere
    • Canoes at Elkwater Lake, Cypress Hills Provincial Park
  2. Meet baby animals at the Calgary Corn Maze Baby Animal Festival! Admission includes free pony rides for kids 3 & up!
    • When: Saturday, June 11 & Sunday, June 12
    • Where: Calgary Corn Maze, 284022 Township Road 224, Rockyview 

  3. Check out free lunch hour entertainment at the Stephen Avenue Summer Stage! Please note that shows are weather dependent (Friday's show will likely be cancelled).
    • When: Friday, June 10 (Calysto Steel Band) & Saturday, June 11 (Go Ask Earl), 12 pm - 1 pm.
    • Where: 8 Ave SW & Centre Street  

  4. Go for an urban hike! In the NW, try Waterfall Valley, Douglas Fir Trail, or Nose Hill Park (routes to the Medicine Wheel, big rocks, and pond provided). The Douglas Fir NORTH trailhead is open and the trail is open to the lookout! In the south, explore Fish Creek Provincial Park or Weaselhead. Both are great nature escapes in the city.
    View from Douglas Fir Trail Lookout
  5. Find Flowers! Reader Rock Gardens (SW) and the Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs (NW) are in full bloom, so go now! The Calgary Zoo gardens are also a good choice right now. Senator Patrick Burns Gardens were not ready last week, but should be soon.
    • After touring Reader Rock Gardens, have brunch at Reader's Garden Cafe or bike the Elbow River Pathway. 
    • The Silver Springs Botanical Gardens are over a 3 km route (round trip), so allow time to explore all the gardens as well as the Chartres Labyrinth (flower maze). There are 3 geocaches to find along the route too! Learn how to geocache with your smart phone here.
      Botanical Gardens of Silver Springs
  6. Try these 10 Fun Family Bike Rides. These (mainly) city pathways with minimal elevation gain are perfect for new cyclists. Routes include recommendations for snack spots since treats are essential to any adventure! Combine routes for a longer outing!
    Bloom Art Installation and George C. King Bridge from St. Patrick's Island Park
  7. Chill. These beach itineraries are sure to help you beat the heat whether you stay in town or take a road trip.
    Barrier Lake, Kananaskis
  8. Attraction of the Week: Aspen Crossing Train Excursions. 90 km SE of Calgary, Aspen Crossing is a train lover's dream come true. Dine in an old dining car, ride a train and experience a robbery and shootout, or stay in a caboose cabin! Calgary Playground Review has all the details here! Check the train schedule here

  9. Aspen Crossing Train Excursion
    Image Credit: Calgary Playground Review
  10. Rent pedalboats at Bowness Park! Canoes and kayaks also available. For full details and pricing, see the U of C Outdoor Centre.

Banff & Kananaskis

  1. Check out these 10 Banff Day Trips to Do This SummerFamily-friendly trips including biking, hiking, horseback riding and more plus recommendations on where to eat. Please note that there have been bear sightings at Johnston Canyon and Cascade Ponds. Be bear aware! Hike in a group, make noise (especially near creeks, in thick brush, or when the wind is blowing towards you), and carry bear spray. For more bear safety tips, please see this post.
    Tunnel Bench Loop, Banff
  2. More mountain fun (Banff, Bragg Creek, Canmore, Lake Louise, Kananaskis) may be found here.  
    • Black Prince Cirque and West Wind Pass are great hikes to try now in Kananaskis.
    • This weekend is your last chance to bike Highway 40 without cars! Bike from the north side to Elpoca turnoff (10 km return, see video below), or from the Longview side to Cat Creek Falls (hike and bike for bigger kids or with Chariot/Trail-a-Bike).

    • In Banff, hike and play at Johnson Lake. There's a little beach there and the water is calm for paddling. Remember PFDs for everyone!
    • Mount Fairview in Lake Louise is almost snow-free now, so if you have bigger kids who can handle 10.6 km and 1000 m elevation gain, this is a beautiful choice! 
      Johnson Lake, Banff
  3. Catch a Performance in the Park in Banff! Featured artists (see calendar on Banff Centre site) include: Stars, Bahamas, Hey Rosetta!, Shad, and Jenn Grant.
    • When: Friday, June 10, 6:30 pm OR Saturday, June 11, 3 pm (gates open an hour before)
    • Where: Cascade Gardens at the Parks Canada Administration Building, Banff
    • Note: Gates open an hour early. Seating is first come, first served. Bring a picnic blanket to sit on. 

  4. Banff Farmer's Market is a fun place to find a tasty treat or do some shopping.
    • When: Fridays & Wednesdays, 10 am - 6 pm until October.
    • Where: Bear Street, Banff

  5. Mount Norquay's Sightseeing Lift opens June 10th! Enjoy a 10-minute chair lift ride above the clouds! 

  6. Participate in the Bow Valley SPCA Fun Run & Walk in Canmore. This fun run (2 km, 5 km or 10 km) raises money for the Bow Valley SPCA. Sign up online or at the event before 9 am (cash only on June 12).
    • When: June 12, 10 am
    • Where: Riverside Park, Canmore
Bill Milne Trail, Kananaskis

Kananaskis Advisories

Select advisories below are current as of June 9th, but always check before you go as the list is not complete! 
  • In Elbow Valley, Powderface Trail Road is in poor condition and may be closed after heavy rainfall or if the road is deemed unsafe for travel. Have alternate plans if the road is closed or be prepared to walk to the trailhead. 
  • Note that there is a bear in the area in Quaite Valley, Bow Valley Provincial Park, Village Rim, Kananaskis Valley, and several bear sightings per week in Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park. See 10 bear safety tips here.
  • All Canmore area trails are open except Douglas Fir Bench.
  • In Sibbald Flats, the Tom Snow Trail has one bridge out. All other trails good to go!
  • Spray Valley - Chester Lake is closed until June 29, Burstall Pass still has 50 cm of snow at elevation.
  • West Bragg Creek - please avoid muddy areas to prevent trail damage. One bridge out on Tom Snow Trail.
  • Kananaskis Valley Advisories
  • Peter Lougheed Advisories
  • Sheep and Highwood Advisories

Mark Your Calendar

The winter gate on Highway 40 opens on June 15th. Late June is the perfect time to hike Ptarmigan Cirque!

Ptarmigan Cirque, Highwood Pass Area

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