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, with older kids, experiences are definitely the way to go, so check out our Calgary Christmas Gift Guide.
Tickets to local attractions make great gifts, especially when it’s an annual or seasonal membership to a family favourite. The following family-friendly Calgary attractions offer passes, which are generally great value compared to buying individual visits.
Calgary Tower (December 2021: Only daily tickets available.)
Glenbow Museum (December 2021: Glenbow Museum is closed for reservations, but they’ll be bringing new in-person experiences starting in February 2022, when they open a temporary pop-up location in downtown Calgary.)
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 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!
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.
Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s Symphony Sundays for Kids (In 2021/22, only Symphony Sunday is in-person.)
Without leaving the city, you can visit WinSport and the Servus Tube Park, and spend an afternoon swooshing down the hill on a tube. (Only for kids over 36″ tall.)
Pursuit Banff Jasper Collection offers many Rocky Mountain attractions and experiences, lots of which would make a great gift for an adventurous (or even not-so-adventurous) family.
If you have older kids and teens, adventure in the Rocky Mountains with a Canmore Cave Tour and an experience you’ll never forget.
Head to Mount Norquay for a day of skiing, snowboarding, OR tubing.
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’re sending to someone else and you can’t deliver in person or don’t have time 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!