Come on in, fine! water's the
BY RACHAEL FREY The ultimate list of water activities.
Boatloads of Fun
When the weather heats up, Calgarians come out in droves with inflatable rafts to soak up the sun on a leisurely float down the Bow River. This beloved local pastime can be difficult to navigate for some, but this year
The Paddle Station (page 40) has waded in to make it safer and more accessible for all. From tents set up on the river’s banks, fun-seekers can rent rafts or kayaks that include lifejackets S.S. Moyie on the Glenmore Reservoir (they must be worn according to city bylaw), helmets, paddles, a dry bag, and a vessel safety kit. Start at Shouldice Park and float to either Prince’s Island or St. Patrick’s Island for a two to twoand-a-half hour trip, or try a half hour ride from Prince’s Island to St. Patrick’s Island. Then, take a shuttle back to your vehicle. All fun, no hassle.
GOOD TO KNOW: The Paddle Station only accepts credit cards. It is illegal to be intoxicated on the water or transport alcohol, and this law is actively enforced on the Bow.
Dip a Toe
If you find yourself in need of a refreshing break downtown, there are a couple of places where you can treat your feet to a dip. St. Patrick’s Island (evexperience.com/patrickisland) features a natural wading area where the waters from the Bow River are calm and shallow, making for an ideal place to chill out and explore. The park also has a new playground, picnic areas, and nature zones. In the heart of downtown, you’ll find people of all ages and walks of life cooling their heels in
Olympic Plaza’s large, calf-deep reflecting pool (228 - 8 Ave SE). Over at Eau Claire Plaza, there’s a wading pool and an adjacent spray park that are wildly popular with the under-10 crowd (3 St & Riverfront Ave SW).
GOOD TO KNOW: For a list of all municipal wading pools, spray parks, and outdoor pools throughout the city, visit calgary.ca
Cruise Back in Time
In the 1800s (and in some cases, well into the 20th century), many parts of Alberta and British Columbia were not accessible by road or rail—
Calgary may be land-locked, but that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to staying high and dry—there are plenty of unique ways to enjoy being in, on, and around the water.
remote communities relied on stalwart steamships to ferry gold-rush miners and settlers. Heritage Park Historical Village’s (page 33) S.S. Moyie is a halfsize replica of a paddlewheeler that once traversed Kootenay Lake. The park’s visitors can get a taste of bygone times on a captain’s cruise around Glenmore Reservoir, Thursdays between July 20 and August 31. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains along with gourmet hors d’oeuvres, a selection of beer and wines, and a live jazz band. GOOD TO KNOW: Heritage Park is Canada’s largest living history museum, spanning the early 1860s fur trade to the petroleum and automobiledominated 1950s with authentic, historic buildings, costumed interpreters, and exciting events.
Located about 10 kilometres west of Calgary, Calaway
Park (page 33) is Western Canada’s largest outdoor family amusement park with more than 30 rides including the Vortex rollercoaster. But when it’s time to beat the heat, head for Timber Falls—the sawmillthemed log ride includes three high velocity drops with splashdowns at the bottom and a zig-zag river section. If you have a bit of a competitive streak, jump into a Bumper Boat, which is a motorized rubber tube that you can use to steer, bump, and spray your way to victory. Shorter fun-seekers can pilot the Tot Yachts that circle around a shallow pool.
GOOD TO KNOW: Aside from the rides, Calaway Park also offers games, live performances, food kiosks and restaurants, and a 3D movie theatre.
Little ones need to burn off some energy, but the sun won’t come out to play? Suit them up anyway—they’ll have a scream dodging waves and hurtling down water slides at Village Square Leisure Centre (page 40) and Southland Leisure Centre (page 40), Calgary’s indoor water parks. The wave pools are beach-style so they start off very shallow and slowly get deeper, which is perfect for wee waders. The centres also feature full gyms, fitness rooms, and weight rooms. Southland has raquet ball and squash courts, as well as a climbing wall. GOOD TO KNOW:
Both leisure centres offer drop-in programs for preschoolers. Kids will play, learn, and be physically active while parents exercise, take a class, or just hit the hot tub and steam room.
Go Jump in a Lake Catch a Wave
While Calgary isn’t exactly known for its sandy beaches and rippling lakes, there is one place where you can have it all within city limits.
Sikome Lake is a small, man-made lake in Calgary’s Fish Creek Provincial Park (albertaparks.ca/fish-creek). Ringed by sand, it’s a popular swimming hole for locals and visitors alike. There are no lifeguards on duty, and an adult must accompany children.
GOOD TO KNOW: Sikome is open 10 am to 7:30 pm (weather dependent) and there is a$2 - $5 fee per person to enter.
Wet 'n' Wild Rides
St. Patrick's Island