Heritage Park in Calgary is a typical village from the pioneering period, with dozens of reconstructed historical buildings and lively costumed interpreters from four different time periods – ranging from an 1860 fur-trading fort to a 1930s town square. An old steam engine provides transport at the park, and the Gasoline Alley museum offers a hands-on, interactive experience with one-of-a-kind vintage vehicles. The village is located near Glenmore Reservoir, which is popular with sailing, canoeing, and rowing enthusiasts.
Where to Stay in Calgary:
Mid-Range Hotels: Right downtown, just a short walk from Prince’s Island Park in the Bow River and offering large suites at an affordable price is the upscale International Hotel. The award-winning, boutique Hotel Arts, an easy stroll from the Calgary Tower, has custom contemporary dcor in all the rooms. South of downtown, but very close to Fish Creek Provincial Park, is the Wingate by Wyndham Calgary. With an indoor pool and waterslide, this hotel is a good choice for families.
More than 1000 animals from around the world, many in enclosures simulating their natural habitats, make Calgary’s zoo one of the top rated in North America. The zoo’s well-regarded conservation team study, reintroduce and protect endangered animals in Canada. Besides the animals, the zoo has a Botanical Garden, with changing garden displays, a tropical rainforest, a good butterfly enclosure and the 6-hectare Prehistoric Park, featuring fossil displays and life-size dinosaur replicas in natural settings. Picnic areas, concessions and cafes dot the zoo. During winter, when neither you nor the animals will care to linger outdoors, the admission price is reduced. To get here, take the C-Train east to the Zoo stop.
Dig Up Some History at The Royal Tyrrell Museum
Create a cast of a real fossil, try your hand at digging in a quarry, or stand back and take in one of the worlds largest collections of dinosaur skeletons. Discover the fascinating history of life on planet Earth at the Royal Tyrrell Museum
Get a Bird’s Eye View at Calgary Tower
It is easy to see why the highest 360 observation deck in the world is no small claim to fame when you are standing 1228 metres above sea level. Get a view from the Canadian Rockies to the prairies or stand on the glass floor for a breathtaking view of the streets below at Calgary Tower
One of Western Canadas largest museums, the Glenbow features 20 galleries, with permanent exhibitions on Western and Indigenous cultures, military and war history around the world, Asian and African artifacts, and Alberta mineralogy. The museum also plays host to a rotating selection of visiting exhibitions from across the country, and the globe. Glenbow maintains a digital archive of online exhibitions, including some that mirror current in-house galleries, allowing patrons to visit exhibits from afar or at home. Admission: adult $16, senior and student $11, (youth (7-17) $10, children six and under are admitted free, as well as annual membership holders. www.glenbow.org
The former home of senator James Lougheed and his family is now a public heritage centre that features permanent and temporary art and historic exhibits, and is a designated National and Provincial Historic Site. Explore this 1891 Victorian sandstone mansion on your own or with an interpreter for a guided tour. Relax in the Beaulieu Gardens, pick up an antique souvenir in the Lougheed House Museum Shop, or go for tea and a light meal in The Restaurant at Lougheed House. Admission: adult $8.50, seniors and students $6.50, child (6-12) $5, children under six are admitted free. www.lougheedhouse.com
The Military Museum of Calgary
Uncover the triumphs, misfortunes and sacrifices of the Canadian Forces at the second largest military museum in Canada. Their eight museums and galleries include the Army, Naval, and Air Force Museums of Alberta. Walk through a World War I trench, enter the wheelhouse of a World War II ship model, and visit exhibits at The Founders Gallery. Admission: adult $15, seniors, students and youth $5, children 7 and under, along with military veterans, are admitted for free. www.themilitarymuseums.ca
The North West Mounted Police built this National Historic Site in 1875. Located on a 40 acre riverside park where the Bow and Elbow Rivers meet, Fort Calgary features exhibits, an interpretive centre, and recreations of the forts 1875 palisade and 1888 barracks. Learn stories about Calgarys past, try on an authentic RCMP uniform, stand behind bars in the jail cell, treat yourself to vintage goodies at the Museum Shop, and visit their Community Garden. Admission: adult $12, seniors and students $11, youth (7-17) $7, children (3-6) $5, children 2 and under are admitted free. www.fortcalgary.com
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