Summer 2022: Also known as the season of eating our way around Heritage Park.

Quick! What’s the fastest way to get your kids interested in a family outing? The most fool-proof way to ensure a fun day?

Whether you have toddlers or teens, a well-timed treat goes a long way. We have to eat anyway, and food has held a special place in celebrations and special events throughout history. We are rediscovering Heritage Park this summer, so of course, we need to dedicate a page to the fabulous food we can find at the park!

Heritage Park Food (Family Fun Calgary)

This is KID CORNER at Heritage Park. The candy store and the ice cream parlour, right across the street from the Midway.

Traditionally, at least in theory, our family packs a picnic to enjoy in the lovely, relaxing atmosphere. Flaky croissants and fresh strawberries, maybe a few cookies . . . picnics are delicious! And they save us money. But sometimes, it’s easier and more fun to buy treats or lunch. From the 10¢ candies at the Claresholm General Store to a special occasion gourmet lunch experience on the vintage River Forth Dining Car, enhance your own visit to the past with something delicious!

Grab and Go: Snacks, Concessions, and More

Suppose you planned ahead and packed a fabulous picnic for the whole family to devour. Find a picnic table or spread a blanket on the grass and enjoy it! But you can make your day even more special with a stop at one of the many quick service locations at Heritage Park. Of course, the candy store, Claresholm General Store, is an easy (if sometimes busy!) place to stop for a little treat. We also love the Alberta Bakery for freshly-made bread, cheese buns, and cookies. If you’re really lucky, they’ll have fresh sausage rolls, too! Grab a drink at Drew’s Saloon (root beer, anyone?) or an ice cream cone at the Vulcan Ice Cream Parlour.

Heritage Park Food (Family Fun Calgary)

A thing of beauty from Harvey’s Confectionery

Speaking of ice cream, you can purchase decadent milkshakes from the friendly soda jerks at Harvey’s Confectionery, outside the gates in Heritage Town Square. They also have amazing fudge there. Don’t forget to visit the midway for classic treats like candy floss or snow cones from the Midway Treatery or try something more unique, like the Korean-inspired Meshi hot dog.

Our favourites? Forever the candy store and sausage rolls at the bakery.

Heritage Park Food (Family Fun Calgary)

Take a Seat: Diners and Family Restaurants

If you’re visiting the park and feel like lingering a little longer over a meal, you’ll find satisfying sit-down meals for the whole family. The hotel was the centre of any small town, and the Wainwright Hotel is no exception, with a delicious lunch menu that includes soup, salad, and sandwiches, including tacos. Grab a coffee or hot chocolate at the Club Café, or enjoy an all-day breakfast sandwich, lunch, or dessert. The Railway Café, in Heritage Town Square, will remind you of a 1930s café with lots of snacks and lunch items from which to choose. Of course, you can’t talk about the restaurants at Heritage Park without mentioning the Selkirk Grill, a year-round restaurant with a nostalgic, relaxing vibe and a “fresh and inspired menu that takes diners on a culinary trip from coast to coast.”

Heritage Park Food (Family Fun Calgary)

The lovely patio at the Selkirk grill — it’s a peaceful summer vibe

Our favourite? The Club Cafe! With curtained family booths, it’s a fun break for the kids, as you sit in your own cozy nook. Plus, hot chocolate is a great way to warm up on the cool spring or fall visits.

Bon appetit, Calgary! Buy a sausage roll for me!

Heritage Park Food (Family Fun Calgary)

7 Tips For a Great Day With Kids at Heritage Park:

  1. Don’t rush! This is where an annual pass is so fabulous — you never feel like you’re missing anything because you can always come back. There is a lot of walking for little legs, but you can take breaks and ride the train and S. S. Moyie paddle wheeler. Don’t forget about the street car in the parking lot. Embrace slow travel.
  2. Pack a picnic, as there are so many wonderful places to relax and enjoy the outdoors, whether you want a private, quiet corner, or you like to people-watch in the centre of it all.
  3. Then, buy a treat. Maybe I’m a pushover, but a few 10¢ candies are always a hit! You can also visit the Vulcan ice cream parlour, stop by the Club Cafe on a cool day for a hot chocolate in a cozy booth, or grab a sausage roll from the bakery. There are so many possibilities!
  4. Remember, Calgary weather is changeable. An extra layer to take on and off is often a good idea.
  5. Visit the farm animals. Especially the pigs, if they’re out.
  6. Play games along the way. Many of the houses and exhibits have games and interactive activities for the kids. And remember, the theme this year is “The Way We Played”!
  7. Use your imagination! History is fascinating. During one visit when my kids were young, I enjoyed relaxing on the grass at the farm while they created a whole world for themselves, pretending they were new to the prairies and had to live in a sod house.
  8. And, of course, go to the Antique Midway! Ride the Ferris wheel or the merry-go-round with the vintage rocking horses for a classic experience.

Heritage Park Historical Village is open daily from 10 am – 5 pm, from Victoria Day Weekend until Labour Day Weekend then weekends only until Thanksgiving. Gasoline Alley Museum is open daily, year-round (holiday exceptions may apply).

Heritage Park:

Address: 1900 Heritage Dr. SW, Calgary AB
Telephone: 403-268-8500

The author would like to thank Heritage Park for the visit, but all opinions are her own. CQ

Photos by Charity Quick