Heritage Park Historical Village, one of Canada's largest historical villages, is divided into a pioneer Northwest Mounted Police outpost and a Main Street from 1910. The latter has a working antique amusement park, with rides that are safe even for small children. Other attractions include a working full-scale locomotive thundering through the park, and on the nearby Glenmore Reservoir, a vintage double-decker sternwheeler ship that takes visitors on lake cruises. Shops and restaurants are plentiful in the park, including a turn-of-the-century bakery. All park staff work in costume and character. Entertaining events for the whole family are scheduled year-round, including September's Fall Fair. The opening timing may vary for different experiences at the park.
Statistics say that Prince's Island is one of the most used urban parks in North Canada. Come here on a sunny day and you will not doubt it. Originally, the island was used to catch felled trees floating down the Bow River from logging projects upstream. Now this bit of serenity in downtown serves as a favorite venue for joggers, football tossers, family picnics, flocks of Canadian Geese, buskers, Shakespearean actors and nearly every major festival that Calgary hosts. This is also a great place for a quiet paddle down the river.
Fish Creek Provincial Park is Canada's largest urban park, covering much of the south side of the city and dividing established and newer suburbs. The park features no organized recreational grounds, with daily usage intended for walking, cycling, and picnics, although tobogganing is popular in the winter. At the far east and south end are the man-made Lake Sikome beach and swimming area. The Fish Creek Environmental Learning Center, at the west end of the park, is intended primarily for school groups. At the east end, the Bow Valley Ranch Visitor Center, a small bakery cafe, and a more upscale sit-down restaurant, dubbed The Ranch, greet visitors.
Winding its way from the Rocky Mountains all the way to the Alberta foothills, Bow River is an expansive waterway. Along its route, the river passes through Calgary and the river banks are a popular outdoor recreation spot for the city dwellers. Many walking paths and scenic vistas can be found along the river. Outdoor sports enthusiasts can find kayak rentals, fly fishing options, cycling tracks and much more. Deer, great horned owls, and beavers have been spotted along Bow River.
Voted as one of the most fun outdoor sites in the country, Calgary Zoo features more than 1,100 animals from around the world and an ever-growing portfolio of innovative exhibitions. The fascinating programs put on by the zoo, allow guests to get up close and personal with its less ferocious animals through the Creature Features Program. Life-sized dinosaur models lurk in the badlands of the Prehistoric Park, and the more genteel setting of the Botanical Park includes a butterfly garden that is sure to delight visitors of all ages.
One of Canada's great museums and Western Canada's largest, this treasure trove houses artifacts of the west, dating back to the first white settlers of the 1800s and the history of the area's First Nations. Visitors can take delight in exhibits that delve into the history of the region and its people, celebrating their lifestyles and art, and also that record contemporary life in western Canada. Along with permanent displays, the Glenbow Museum presents a variety of temporary exhibitions. Visitors also explore an art gallery and archives on site.
The Chinese Artifacts Museum is located within the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre, an entity aimed at celebrating and promoting Chinese culture in Calgary. The museum houses recreations of the various kinds of antiques. Visitors can marvel at the various life size exhibits like a majestic chariot connected to horses along with soldiers made of terra-cota. Immerse yourself in the handicraft items on display like the beautiful wooden objects, the porcelain and ceramic items and the texture and design of the elegant royal robes. This museum will leave you awestruck with the rich history that the Chinese locals in Calgary have on offer.
At the heart of the charming neighborhood of Eau Claire, this downtown plaza offer a welcome break from the urban landscape of Calgary. The Eau Claire Plaza lies sprawled just off the Eau Claire Market, that is known as home to an eclectic collection of unique boutiques and restaurants. The plaza is a great place to simply relax and rest your feet while the children have a ball spalshing about in the wading pool. The Eau Claire Plaza also features a playground, an amphitheater and ample parking. With its central location and inviting charm, the Eau Claire Plaza is often used as a venue for festivals, fairs, concerts and other events.
The Wonderland Sculpture is a 12 meter tall (39 feet) art installation, which graces the plaza in front of the iconic Bow building. The sculpture is a bent-wire head of a woman named Wonderland, which causes quite a stir among those who pass by. The sculpture has a small entrance in its neck so that curious viewers can wander through and see what it looks like from the inside. It is a creation of -renowned sculptor Jaume Plensa and was commissioned by the Encana Corporation in a joint program with Cenovus Energy.
Dynamic, metropolitan Calgary lies on the banks of the Bow River and just east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. One of the largest cities in Canada, and the largest in Province of Alberta, Calgary offers the best of city attractions and easy access to outdoor recreation. An oil boom that began in the 1940s turned the city from an agricultural and ranching hub into a metropolis that hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1988. Remnants of the ranch culture remain, especially with the annual Calgary Stampede Festival, a world-class rodeo, and parade founded by wealthy agriculturalists in 1912. Other cultural attractions include the Glenbow Museum–the largest museum in western Canada–the Chinese Cultural Centre, and the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and Museum. The mild weather and proximity to the Rockies and resort towns such as Banff and lovely Lake Louise make Calgary a great launching point for excursions into the Canadian wilderness.