Need a last-minute or no-postage-required gift for a Calgary family? Do you open your kids’ closets and toy rooms only to have everything fall out? I go to a toy store and feel like we already have all those toys in our house, so now we love to give gifts that offer experiences, not more stuff! (Plus, I’m a bit of an experience-junkie, so there it is.)
Annual or seasonal memberships to a favourite attraction make great gifts. The following family-friendly Calgary attractions all offer passes, which are generally great value compared to buying individual visits.
Bow Habitat Station (no online purchase)
Healthy families need to stay fit and active; membership to a good recreation centre can really help with that! They also make a great destination when you just need to get out of the house or need to deal with the winter blues. The following Calgary facilities offer memberships (annual, monthly or some combination thereof), any of which would make a great gift for a family!
Affordable feature item: The City of Calgary Kid’s Stocking Stuffer Booklet costs only $5 and entitles its recipient to 2 Leisure Centre admissions, 3 swim admissions at a regular aquatic facility, 3 skate admissions, and 2 junior green fees (with the purchase of an adult green fee at McCall Lake or Richmond Green Par 3 golf courses). What a steal!!
City of Calgary Recreation (multiple facilities)
YMCA Calgary (multiple facilities)
Tickets to a production (or a whole season of productions) make a great gift and you can arrange to have them sent to the family in question or picked up at the box office. The following companies regularly put on children’s productions; for other family-friendly options, see our guide to Theatre Events in Calgary.
Loose Moose Theatre for Kids (also offers season subscriptions)
Without leaving the city, you can visit WinSport and the Acura Tube Park, and spend an afternoon swooshing down the hill on a tube. (Only for kids over 36″ tall.)
Brewster Canada offers many Rocky Mountain attractions and experiences, lots of which would make a great gift for an adventurous (or even not-so-adventurous) family.
Mount Norquay’s Family Package (online only) includes lift tickets for 2 Adults and 2 Children/Youth (up to 17 yrs), plus you can add tubing and/or equipment rentals for $50 extra (each). Extra youth/children are $25 more.
Sunshine Village in Banff sells a myriad of options online from 1-day lift tickets for skiing/boarding or gondola/chairlift sightseeing to multi-use cards and season passes.
The RCR Rockies Card gets its owner 3 days of free skiing (in 7 visits) at any of RCR’s 4 mountains plus discounted lift tickets on other visits.
The Lake Louise Plus Card also gives 3 days of free skiing (in 7 visits) at Lake Louise Ski Resort and 6 other Alberta & BC resorts plus discounted lift and tubing tickets on other visits.
A short trip up to Edmonton offers an indoor day at the World Waterpark, the closest thing to a warm beach day you might get this winter!
Family Date Night
Gift cards for outings are likely to be welcomed by most families. After all, budgets can be tight when you’ve got kids! Your local grocery or drug store likely has a gift card section, but if you can’t deliver in person (and don’t want to mail), here are some that can be ordered online!
The Ultimate Dining Card (several restaurants including Milestones, East Side Mario’s, Montana’s and more)
So, what will your family and friends be getting under the tree this year? From an afternoon at the pool to a whole year visiting the hippos, all it takes is a little reflection to find the perfect experience for anyone!
Although we do our best to provide you with accurate information, all event details are subject to change. Please contact the facility to avoid disappointment.