Some days you need an indoor space where your kids can burn off some energy. You’ll be sure to find something that will suit your family on this list!
Calgary Public Library. Library cards are free for everyone! Calgary Public Libraries also offer many free programs and activities for families. Recently, the library has added toys to the kids’ areas - some are small but many, such as Fish Creek Library, have new Early Learning Centres, which are excellent places for preschoolers and toddlers to play. The Early Learning Centres are geared toward kids under the age of six. The new Central Library has an Early Learning Centre, too!
Indoor play places. Calgary and the surrounding towns have many different indoor play places; awesome places for your kids to burn off energy! No matter what your kids like to do, their ages, and where you live, there are lots of great spots to choose from. Shakers Family Fun Centre, Treehouse Indoor Playground, Joso’s Play and Learn, Big Fun Play, and InjaNation are great choices but there are dozens of options.
Post-secondary institutions. Did you know SAIT, the University of Calgary, and Mount Royal all have publicly accessible indoor recreation facilities? Check their websites for hours and drop-in fees for activities ranging from ice skating to rock climbing at reasonable prices.
Calgary International Airport. The Calgary International Airport has a lot to offer kids, all for free (except parking at the airport). The most obvious attraction is the airplanes, which you can see out the windows at various points. The airport also has play areas including one on the second floor, which has a great playground climber for school-aged kids and big windows with an airplane view. The Spaceport, near the food court, provides a lot of interesting material for kids (and adults!) interested in NASA space programs.
Shopping mall play areas. Most of Calgary’s malls have at least a small free play area aimed at kids five and under. Check the height requirements before you go if you have a five-year-old or a taller four-year-old.
(The City of Calgary) Devonian Gardens. The Devonian Gardens is a little indoor oasis in the heart of the city (located on the fourth floor of The CORE Shopping Centre). Kids will love the challenge of the playground and climbing wall, and everyone will enjoy walking around and seeing the fish. If you have some extra time, you can find a map and explore the plus-15 system, calgaryplus15.com.
Go swimming. Don the swim goggles and head to the pool! Calgary has tons of options for indoor swimming, including YMCA locations across the city, Trico Centre for Family Wellness, The City of Calgary Recreation’s many community swimming pools, and post-secondary institutions.
Recreation and leisure centres. In addition to swimming, many recreation and leisure centres in the city have other activities included with your admission, like gymnasiums, where you can play sports like badminton and basketball.
Go to a trampoline park. Calgary boasts three indoor trampoline parks - Extreme Air Park, Flying Squirrel and InjaNation - where you can find trampolines, climbing walls, and obstacle courses. These will be a sure hit with your active kids that would otherwise be climbing your walls at home!
Go climbing. Speaking of climbing walls, the Calgary Climbing Centre has multiple locations, two with ClimbParks that are great for kids.
Indoor ice skating. Indoor ice skating with the family is inexpensive. Most rinks have a family rate and also host special skates and activities with Santa during the holidays!
Gasoline Alley Museum (at Heritage Park Historical Village). Gasoline Alley is open year-round and is a fantastic car museum! They also have a kids’ area with board games, toys, and a little tricycle track for little ones.
Try an escape room. Calgary is home to over a dozen escape room companies, many of which have rooms appropriate for families with teens and older kids. They typically take about an hour and are perfect for groups of four to six! Most require booking beforehand and some are very difficult and/or too scary for younger players, so make sure to visit the website before you make a plan. The Locked Room has multiple locations and multiple rooms per location, so it’s a great place to start for first-timers!
What is your family’s favorite place to play indoors?
Dana is the creator of Calgary Playground Review, calgaryplaygroundreview.com. She searches out the best places to play, eat, and learn with kids in Calgary, across Alberta, and beyond. Her three kids also contribute their unfiltered opinions to her reviews. Reprinted with permission by Dana Wheatley.
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2020 Calgary’s Child