On our recent trip to Calgary, we did something different. Our typical family holiday to Calgary involves a stay at my sister’s house and leisurely days spent shopping, barbecuing and an annual trip to the Calgary Zoo. However, because of the Calgary Flood (Come Hell or High Water!) the Calgary Zoo is closed so we had to figure out what else we could do. While I’m sad we missed out on the giraffes, I’m happy for this twist of events because it enabled us to discover other attractions in Calgary that we might not have visited if we stuck to our usual routine.
Would you believe that – having visited Calgary almost every summer for the past 10 years – I had no idea that Canada Olympic Park had attractions for families? I didn’t even know where it was! The big – new – attraction at Canada Olympic Park is the Skyline Luge Calgary which is perfect for everyone in the family. I shared our family fun at the link, please check it out and watch my video – Mario Kart driving indeed!
Beyond the Skyline Luge, there are many attractions that are waiting for both the adult thrill-seeker and child bungee ninja. We were offered complimentary passes to check out both the Zipline at the Park and Summer Bobsled Rides but I declined and instead focused on the children’s activities. It’s all about the kids. <– More realistically I was too chicken to try either even though I really wanted to! I’ve decided that I need another year to mature – yeah that’s it – and perhaps I will give both these adrenaline-inducing attractions a try next summer!
The kids activities area at Canada Olympic Park is not easy to find. Upon parking and entering in the main building (the one with the huge Olympic mosaic on the wall) you will need to purchase your passes. The area itself is a good walk from the building, so we opted to hop back in our car and drive to it. There isn’t any signage either, so make sure you ask for specifics at the desk on how to get there. It’s near the mini-golf area (which will aid you when asking an employee where to go!)
Once you find the area, three stations with a group of trees in the middle, your kids will likely dart in all directions for the attraction they want first. I was shocked that on a Saturday we were the only people there! I really thought we’d have to wait in line for the kid’s unlimited ride fun. The staff explained that while they’re busy during the week with kid’s camps, the weekends are pretty quiet (good to know, right?)
The Eurobungy is great for kids ages 4-16 (maximum weight 150lbs), especially if you have a trampoline at home and they’re already steady on their feet on one. Even for novice users, once they are strapped into the harness, they will display unexpected bravery! My 5-year-old was doing backwards flips within minutes on the Eurobungy and my 9-year-old was asking for a “boost” (a line pull from the staff) to propel him even higher in the air on certain jumps.
The Climbing Wall offers kids 4 different routes to climb, each with its own difficulty and strategy needed to conquer. Again, once they are harnessed in kids know no fear (at least mine, anyway!) and were off! My 5-year-old surprised me with her strategy and body strength while my 9-year-old didn’t surprise me with his spiderman-like climbing and act first, think later strategy (which was good for a few laughs!)
Finally, the Spiderweb is a great climbing structure for kids to burn some energy while racing each other to the top! You can even slowly “fall” downwards while each floor catches you along the way. I only got one shot of the kids here as they raced back to the other two activities. I think this one may be fun for kids on the younger spectrum of the recommended age of 4-16, though remember that what goes up must come down, mom and dad. 😉
The most popular area at the Canada Olympic Park Activity Centre was actually the Mini-Golf which is a full 18-hole course for families (and date-afternoons as I noticed!) It surprised me how busy this area was, since we had the activity area all to ourselves but from what I understand there are very few Mini Golf courses in Calgary so it’s a popular attraction! We only managed 10-holes before the kids got too hot in the sun, but it was fun (and frustrating for some of us) while it lasted!
Pricing is reasonable! The website (based on my searching) only lists each attraction individually at around $10 each ($5 for 6 and under). However, you can actually purchase a Multi-Pass which gives you access to the Eurobungy, Climbing Wall, Spiderweb and Mini-Golf for $30 ($18 for ages 6 and under) which is the better deal because this gives you unlimited access to each (just try and get your kids off the Eurobungy if no one else is waiting for a turn!) The individual pass for the Eurobungy, for example, at $9.50 gives you 8 minutes.
The Activity Area is open Monday-Friday from 12pm-6pm and Weekends 10am-6pm (Mini Golf is open until 9pm weekdays and 7pm on weekends). You can check out all the activities, tours and fun available at Winsport Canada Olympic Park in Calgary on their site! You can follow Winsport Canada Olympic Park on Facebook and Twitter for updated news and event info.