Winter is an amazing time to play outside in Calgary, but there are also fun indoor play spaces for the times you need a break from the cold. Here are 15 ideas for winter family fun in Calgary.
- Explore the Ice Falls and Caves of Fish Creek Provincial Park. The stunning 2-storey ice falls are a 5 minute walk from the parking lot!
Fish Creek Park Ice Falls
- Go Skating at Calgary's Best Outdoor Skating Rinks! Bowness Lagoon is our favorite place to skate in town (Lake Louise is our favorite mountain rink).
Sunset skate at Confederation Park
- Try Tubing at Winsport's Acura Tube Park - Whoosh down a 200 metre long course in less than 30 seconds! 10 fun runs to choose from!
Tubing at Winsport
- Go Sledding! Not sure where to go? See a list of City maintained toboggan hills here. Always wear a helmet and be aware of your surroundings! For more safe sledding tips, see Tobogganing for Idiots.
- Kick and glide at a local golf course! Confederation Park, Shaganappi, and Maple Ridge Golf Courses are groomed for cross country skiing in the winter and there is NO charge! While Shaganappi is the largest golf course with lots of flat terrain, and Maple Ridge is second biggest, Confederation is piloting snowmaking this winter (2017), so it should have the longest season. See Choosing Cross Country Skis for information on the various types of skis available and what to look for when outfitting your family with nordic skis.
Cross country skiing at Confederation Park Golf Course.
Adjacent Canmore Park is also groomed and trackset.
- Rediscover your favorite urban hikes in a new light. Snow adds a sparkling white blanket to the landscape and ice along the river makes funky ice sculptures. We really like exploring Nose Hill Park, Edworthy Park, Bowness Park, Waterfall Valley, and Fish Creek Park in winter. Nearby Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park and Big Hill Springs Provincial Park (has small ice falls!) are also fun year round. Bring ice cleats for traction, or snowshoes after a big dump of snow.
Snowshoeing at Nose Hill Park
- Explore the Zoo! Winter is a wonderful time to visit the Calgary Zoo. There are no crowds during the day, and there are plenty of places to warm up: Visit the giraffes, hippos, and meerkats in the African Savannah; see how big the baby Gorilla is at the TransAlta Rainforest; watch otters play at Cequel Lodge; check out penguin feeding time at Penguin Plunge; then take a family photo in the Conservatory! Special events include Zoolights (until January 8) and Sunday Brunch.
Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo
- Learn to Turn at Winsport's Canada Olympic Park (COP). We had COP season's passes for several years and got our money's worth going several times a week. By the age of 6, my oldest was skiing black runs at Nakiska (from frequent skiing and "mom and dad lessons")! With 4 carpets, 2 chair lifts and a terrain park, there is fun for all boarders and skiers! Lessons and rentals available.
Night skiing at COP
- Discover cool landmarks around Calgary including art installations, a little waterfall, and Medicine Wheel. For more information, see Landmarks to Look for in Calgary Parks.
"Bloom" Art Installation at St Patrick's Island Park
- Be a Ninja at InjaNation! With a trampoline park, obstacle courses, and climbing walls, no one will want to leave! See what we loved about this indoor adventure centre here.
Glass climbing wall at InjaNation
- Feed thousands of fish at Bow Habitat Station, then go snowshoeing in Pearce Estate Park! We have had two birthday parties here and love exploring the Discovery Centre, but feeding the fish is our favorite. Snowshoe rentals are available onsite. For more info, see Fishy Fun at Bow Habitat Station.
Fish Anatomy Exhibit at Bow Habitat Station
- Celebrate The Year of the Rooster! Head to Chinatown for the Chinese New Year Festival for lion and dragon dances, games, food, and more! January 28 - Dragon & Lions Dance 12 pm - 12:45 pm. See the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre for details (TBA).
- Enjoy beautiful illuminated art sculptures at GLOW Winter Downtown Light Festival. February 17-20, 2017.
- Join WinterFest at Fort Calgary for free family fun on February 20, 2017.
- Tempt your tummy at Calgary Maple Festival des Sucres. This French Canadian themed winter festival at Fort Calgary has entertainment and traditional foods including maple taffy! March 4 & 5, 2017.
What are your favorite winter activities in Calgary?