This collection of Canadian Forces museums explores the history of Canada’s navy, army, and air force. Exhibits emphasize interactive experiences, whether it’s walking through WWI trenches or steering from a wheelhouse. A variety of military vehicles are on-site, including several tanks.
Where to Stay in Calgary:
Luxury Hotels: In the heart of the action near 17th Avenue is the Hotel Elan, featuring modern rooms with balconies, heated floors, and a complimentary breakfast. The elegant Hotel Le Germain Calgary, in the central business district, is within walking distance of the Calgary Tower and EPCOR Center for the Performing arts. The new and conveniently located Hyatt Regency features rooms with city views, a rooftop sundeck, and an indoor pool. It’s connected to the Telus Convention Center.
Looking like a whimsical copper castle, this fabulous new museum is entirely entertaining, taking you on a ride through Canada’s musical history with cool artifacts (like the guitar Guess Who used to record ‘American Woman’) and interactive displays. Test your skill at the drums, electric guitar or in a sound-recording room and even create your own instruments. Don’t miss the Body Phonic room or the solar-powered Skywalk with its repurposed pianos destroyed in the 2013 flood.
Summit a Mountain with the Banff Gondola
Discover a new side of Sulphur Mountain and the Canadian Rockies with a mountaintop experience everyone can enjoy. New restaurants, interactive exhibits, and a 360-degree rooftop observation deck make the reinvented Banff Gondola a breathtaking experience you wont find anywhere else.
The iconic Calgary Tower opened in 1968 and is a staggering 191 meters high (about 627 feet). But dont worry, you wont have to climb its 762 steps two 25-passenger, high-speed elevators soar to the top in 62 seconds. Once there, stand on the glass floor observation terrace for a birds eye view of the Rocky Mountains and iconic Calgary landmarks. An audio guide is available in 7 different languages (English, French, Mandarin, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and German) and will explain interesting trivia about some of the notable art and architecture in your view. Check out the visitor information centre and souvenir shop at the towers base, Ruths Chris Steakhouse on the second floor, and revolving restaurant Sky 360 at the top, which makes a full rotation every 45-60 minutes, allowing you a complete panoramic view of the city as you dine. Admission: general (ages 13-64) $18, senior $16, child (4-12) $9, children three and under are admitted free. www.calgarytower.com
Loose Moose Theatre
Located on the second floor of the Crossroads Market in the historic Inglewood neighbourhood, this theatre company presents weekly improvised comedy shows. Their Maestro Improv show on Friday nights at 8 p.m. features elimination rounds, where audience members rate performers chosen at random until one performer wins the maestro improviser title, going on to direct shows during Gorilla Theatre on Saturday nights. Every show is different, but theyre always very funny. Tickets: general admisison $15, student $12. Some shows not suitable for young viewers. www.loosemoose.com
Heritage Park Historical Village
This living history museum features more than 180 attractions and exhibits that re-create Western Canadian history from the 1860s to the 1950s. Interact with costumed interpreters, explore pioneer homes and businesses, ride a steam train, board a paddlewheeler on the Glenmore Reservoir, try antique rides and games, and enjoy Western Canadian cuisine at Selkirk Grille. While the park is open seasonally May through October, year-round daily attractions include dining at Selkirk Grille and Railway Caf, exploring Haskayne Mercantile Block a collection of one-of-a-kind boutiques and an antique shop the Big Rock Interpretive Brewery, and the Gasoline Alley Museum of vintage cars. Access to Heritage Town Square (located before the gates) is free. Park admission: adult $26.25*, senior (65+) $20.50, youth (7-14) $18.75, child ($13.50). www.heritagepark.ca (*Adult admission during the summer season is more than $20, but overall most of their other offerings are under $20. And, even at $26.25, its still very much worth a visit.)
City of Calgary Leisure Centres
Get active at The City of Calgarys two leisure centres. Admission includes access to the wave pool and slides, fitness centre, gymnasiums, exercise and aquafit classes, as well as scheduled public skating and shinny hockey. The recreation areas also each have their own unique qualitiesthe 5.5 acre Village Square Leisure Centre, located in the northeast, boasts its own safari-themed waterpark, while the Southland Leisure Centre, located in the southwest, spans 227, 000 square feet and its pool features a rope swing. Admission: adult $12.50, child/youth (age 7-17) and seniors $6.25, preschooler (age 2-6) $3.10, toddlers two and under are admitted free. www.calgary.ca
The community-based Grasby Art Studio, located in the Northwest, offers more than just art supplies they also teach art classes and paint night events, as well as host several art shows a year. Their drop-in open studio offers instructed art classes from 10 am to 4 pm daily. Whether youre a newbie, novice, or an advanced artist, choose your medium and work closely with an art connoisseur. All students learn a five-step drawing strategy and the six fundamental principles for professional art production. $16/hour includes instruction and supplies for participation in open studio. www.grasbyartstudio.com
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