Only a short drive from south Calgary, through picturesque, rolling hills, is Granary Road: a brand new family attraction that has something for everyone. With a large public market, a bakery, restaurant, and lounge, and an active learning park that encompasses 37 acres, families can make the short drive and enjoy this dining and entertainment venue for the day. As Granary Road declares, this is where friends and family come together to enjoy the good things in life!
We visited Granary Road on opening day, anxious to see what all the buzz was about. Unfortunately, the venue was not yet at full availability, as the restaurant area wasn’t ready, and the market had only a handful of vendors. The area is beautiful, though, and promises to be a charming location to browse, shop, or enjoy a pastry on the patio.
We were happy to see that the active learning park was open and ready for business. Divided into different play zones, the park is filled with engaging play areas, informational boards, and wonderful attention to detail. There are wide areas filled with picnic tables, lots of paths for kids to run around on, and such interesting play areas as an ant farm, a spider’s web, and a bat cave. Every area provides themed hands-on fun for the kids and a vibrant information board for anyone who wants more information. (Did you know that the only apples native to North America are crab apples? And spiders eat the web silk and “recycle” it to make new webs?)
The active learning park has something for any age child, (for example, there are 2 mazes to explore, and one is perfect for the little ones) and toddlers and preschoolers would definitely have lots of room to grow into the play structures! I brought my own personal “test subjects,” who were 8, 10, and 12, and they clambered over every surface, slide down the tallest slide, and rode every themed merry-go-round.
I thought they’d like the giant spider web the best, for they all like to climb, but they actually agreed (a rare occurrence, so I especially enjoyed it) that the giant ant farm was their favourite. There were nets to climb, slides to slide, and giant ants with their giant eggs nearby.
A close second was the orchard treehouse, with the slides that looked like worms going through fruit and a miniature zip line.
The kids also enjoyed visiting the animals, especially being able to pet the goats and visit the alpacas. As it turns out, alpacas are interesting and verbal animals!
The trampolines set into the ground at the frog pond play area were fun, although the day was so hot, they were too tired to jump long. I loved the details of the tadpoles growing into frogs as you crossed the stepping stones at the frog pond, and the lily pad shaped merry-go-rounds.
As is often the case for parents, one of my daily goals is to tire out the kids before they tire me out! And the active learning park certainly accomplished that for us today. Next time, when the market and bakery are open, you’ll find me relaxing on a patio chair with a coffee and a pastry after our adventures in the park!