Chances are, you have some shopping to do. This time of year, you might be on the hunt for just the right holiday gifts, or looking for the perfect outfit for a New Year’s party. Regardless of what you are searching for, chances are also pretty good that you need a holiday. So why not take your shopping to the next level with a fun Calgary getaway?

A trip down the road to Calgary can be the break you need during this busy season, whether it is with your family or a coveted weekend with a friend. And you will especially love the early present you get when you stay at a participating hotel: a $75 gift card good for purchases at either the CORE, CF Chinook Centre or CrossIron Mills.

Itinerary 1: All in the Family!

2 Ways to Spend the Perfect Day in Calgary

There’s plenty to see and do for families at CrossIron Mills. image courtesy of Tourism Calgary

No one is going to argue that shopping with kids is easy. You can make it easier, though… maybe even, dare we say, enjoyable, with a couple tricks up you sleeve.

A.M. Up and at ’em! If your kids are like mine, they will be raring to go bright and early. After a good breakfast at the hotel, head out for some shopping. The CORE, CF Chinook Centre or CrossIron Mills are all excellent spots for families to go because they all have something for the youngest patrons to do, and as any seasoned parent knows, the secret to a successful shopping excursion is “bribe and distract.”

The CORE in downtown Calgary is home to some of the city’s most high end stores, but visitors might not know the delight hidden (well, not that hidden) on the 4th floor: an indoor play park! The climbing apparatus is perfect to help get the kids moving in a way that isn’t hiding in racks, and can be a great bargaining chip: “Three more stores and then you can go to the play park!” The fourth floor is also home to the Devonian Garden which is presently partially closed for  renovation, the parts that are open are a great downtown oasis you won’t want to miss!

2 Ways to Spend the Perfect Day in Calgary

The Campfire is one of the many pieces of art at CrossIron Mills. image courtesy of Tourism Calgary

Next head out to CrossIron Mills. There are tons of factory stores and outlet stores in this massive shopping centre. There are also interesting visual art and sculptures in each of the “neighbourhoods” that make up CrossIron Mills. A fan favourite is the Campfire and Night Sky, a large “bonfire” built under a simulated night sky. Lastly, kids won’t want to miss the Little Fossil Fun Zone for a fun way to expend some energy. Don’t forget lunch at one of many family fun options!

Afternoon: CF Chinook Centre is the last stop on the perfect day of shopping with your family. If you haven’t spent your $75 gift card yet, you will definitely find something here! In the kid department, a bit of bowling at the Chinook Bowladrome might be in order or an afternoon matinee at the Cineplex. We wouldn’t say no to an afternoon treat from Bliss Cupcakes either!

2 Ways to Spend the Perfect Day in Calgary

Evening: For supper, you don’t need to stray too far from CF Chinook Centre. Double Zero Pizza has been getting some buzz, but there are lots of family friendly options if you are looking for something different!

Good night! You’ve had a full day, and it’s probably time to head back to your home away from home. If you are staying at a hotel with a pool, a little splash before the pre-bed wind down is in order (bonus points if you can get a few minutes in the hot tub!)

Itinerary 2: Adults Only!

Perfect Day in Calgary

Spend some time exploring the latest in tech at CF Chinook Centre. image credit: Kelly Hofer, courtesy of Tourism Calgary

Grab some girlfriends or your significant other for a weekend away. What will your adults-only day look like?

A.M. We recommend an early start! Take advantage of a hearty breakkie at some Calgary breakfast favourites like Diner Deluxe, The Beltliner, or Monki, then hit the shops. Head to CrossIron Mills for outlet shops and factory stores,  plus great spots to help you find just what you need. Each of the six themed “neighbourhoods” is set up so you can easily navigate the extensive square footage of the centre.

Afternoon: Time to hit the next mall, but first you need to have some lunch! Let the weekend valet deal with parking for you while you suss out some sustenance. CF Chinook Centre has seven sit-down restaurants plus a nice variety of quick lunch ideas at the food court. Browse the shops and have an afternoon pick me up at Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters.

If lux is the name of your game, get downtown to the Core, where you’ll find Simons and Brooks Brothers among the high end shops. Depending on how successful your shopping adventure has been, you might have time to get your hair done at EvelineCharles, or get a mini make over/make up lesson at one of the cosmetics counters in Holt Renfrew. Both MAC Cosmetics and Sephora offer customized make up lessons too! If you really want to go all out, the CORE even offers personal stylist services.

A coffee break at CF Chinook Centre will help keep you going all day. Credit: Kelly Hofer

Evening: Take the child-free time to splash out at a restaurant where you wouldn’t necessarily bring your kids. The view from the top of the Calgary Tower can’t be beat at Sky 360, or try Bar Von der Fels, which was celebrated as one of enRoute Magazine’s top 10 restaurants in Canada for 2017!

After dark: If you choose to hunker down and take advantage of a quiet hotel room and the bliss of high thread count sheets after your grown up perfect shopping day in Calgary, we won’t blame you. However, if you are up for some music, drinks and dancing, the nightlife scene in Calgary has a little something to show to you. Kick up your dancing heels at  HiFi , take in a floor show or top DJ at Commonwealth, or have some fun at one of The National locations to get you going!

So that’s our can’t miss guide; two ways to spend a perfect day in Calgary, and spend the $75 gift card that is your treat just for staying at a participating hotel! We’d love to hear how you’ll spend a perfect day in Calgary!