The first outpost of the North West Mounted Police, Fort Calgary was set up in 1875 at the confluence of the Elbow and Bow Rivers. The foundations of the original fort can still be seen, and the Calgary Fort Museum helps interpret the founding of the city. On the other side of the bridge stands Deane House, built in 1906 for the fort commandant. Also on site is a gift shop, which sells souvenirs and RCMP collectibles.
Where to Stay in Calgary:
Budget Hotels: A good downtown budget option is the BEST WESTERN PLUS Suites Downtown, with extra-large rooms that include either a full kitchen or kitchenette. The new Fairfield Inn & Suites offers large suites with city views and a complimentary breakfast. Just south of downtown, near the Stampede grounds, is the BEST WESTERN PLUS Calgary Centre Inn with very reasonable rates.
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.
Travel Back in Time with Heritage Park Historical Village
History is waiting for you at Canadas largest living historical village. Hop aboard the steam powered train, take a ride on the vintage midway, get a freshly baked treat at the bakery, or take you on a trip down memory lane with a distinctly Canadian meal waiting for you at The Selkirk Grille
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
Canadas Sports Hall of Fame
Located at Canada Olympic Park, this attraction showcases the stories and memorabilia of Canadas sporting legends. Interactive exhibits include shadow boxing with world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, 3D hockey and baseball, simulated rowing, wheelchair racing, and more. Admission: general $12, seniors $10, youth (4-18) $8, children three and under are admitted free. www.sportshall.ca
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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