Press Play: Six Calgary Parks to Visit

May 18, 2022 by University District

Spring and summer is the perfect time to explore our city’s park spaces and gather with friends and family for some fun activities and games. Whether you’re hoping to explore a new pastime, or discovera new park space to get competitive with your friends, taking the time to press “play” has never been easier. 

There are three things to think about before heading to a park for some fun in the sun: The activity you’d like to play, what the park space can accommodate, and what kind of equipment is available or if you may need to bring it along. We’ll share some of the best park spaces in NW Calgary for games, sports and activities to help you make the most of summer.  

Activity Type

If you are anything like us, you know just how hard it is to pick an activity. Thankfully, Northwest Calgary is home to dozens of spaces that accommodate everything from basketball (St. Andrew’s Outdoor Courts) to horseshoes (Edworthy Park).

If you are feeling overwhelmed with choices, consider who you are playing with and what you want to accomplish. Some of our favourite outdoor park activities include: 

  • Pickleball
  • Spike ball
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Cricket

Are you more of a solo sport, team sport or exercise person? Consider disc golf, biking, or roller skating at some of the N.W corner of the city’s most desirable parks below.

Where to Go

Choosing your activity type will help narrow down the best park to accommodate your plans. 

Baker Park Disc Golf Course, Located in Baker Park at 9333 Scenic Bow Road NW

This 18-hole course is considered one of the best in the city – attracting afficienatos from across Calgary. The stone tee pads and variety of short and long style holes makes the Baker Park disc golf course the busiest in Canada and the 9th busiest course in the world!

Perfect for: Those with a competitive side looking for a group activity!

Northwest Commons Park, Located in University District at Thirsk St NW, Calgary, AB T3B 6A8 

Built in 2018, Northwest Commons Park is a Playcore National Demonstration site for inclusive play. The park was built with Playcore’s 7 Principles for inclusive design and includes accessible flooring, a ramp system, an accessible double swing and spinner, tactile and musical features, a saucer swing, a sway fun rocker and a roller slide that everyone can enjoy. The playground also received the 2018 City of Calgary Advisory Award for Universal Design. The park includes a ping pong table, oversized chess board and green space so you can make it an afternoon of outdoor fun!

Perfect for: Those looking for a variety of activities in one location. From the playground, oversized chess, ping pong with space for spike ball, soccer and tossing a football around with friends and family.

Riley Park, Located at 800 12 St. N.W.

Home to one of Calgary’s only cricket pitches and a summer splash pad and wading pool, Riley Park is a must-see park during the summer months. A perfect place to cool off on warmer days. Complete with wide open green spaces, a playground, concession and public restrooms, it would be easy to lose track of time. Riley Park is also home to the Senator Patrick Burns Memorial Rock Garden.

Perfect for: Families and groups looking to fill a full day. With everything from cricket, soccer, swimming, playing catch and taking in the rays in the rock garden. 

University District Walking Paths, Located in University District at 4410 University Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2L 2K7

If you are looking for an area with great paths for biking, longboarding and rollerskating, the paths of University District are your ultimate destination. U/D was designed as a cycling and walking community. With more than 12 km of interconnected pathways, you will be able to keep yourself busy for hours. The walkway will take you through the North and South Pond Parks, giving you plenty of opportunities to take a break and enjoy the elevated and variety of green spaces.

Perfect for: Individuals who want to get their heart pumping. Walking, running, longboarding, skateboarding, biking and rollerskating. The options abound. 

Pro tip: Stop by Village Ice Cream or Monogram Coffee for a midday pick-me-up to keep your energy up during your day!

West Confederation Park, Located at 2020 Chicoutimi Dr. N.W.

Also known as North Capitol Hill Park, West Confederation Park is famous for its massive collection of sports fields. Whether you are a varsity pro or it’s your first time trying your hand at a new game, West Confederation Park is where you will want to spend your summer months. It is also home to a splash pad in the summer.

Perfect for: Team sports. Space for everything from tennis, baseball, softball, dodgeball, flag football, field hockey and soccer. Bring out your competitive side!

Urban Dog Park, Located in University District at the corner of Shaganappi Trail and 32 Ave NW.

If you are someone that likes to include your fur baby on your park days, you will want to check off the Urban Dog Park on your summer to-do list. Located in the heart of U/D, the Urban Dog Park is completely contained and will give you peace of mind while your dog plays in the off-leash area with separate spaces for large and small dogs. 

Perfect for: Low key outdoor time. From playing catch with your dog to relaxing by the pond.

What to bring

Did you know that the University of Calgary has a complete outdoor sports equipment rental program? They have everything from hiking and biking gear to river, lake, and ocean accessories.

You also don’t want to forget about the essentials! Be sure to stock up on sunscreen, water, sunglasses and snacks to make your park day in N.W. Calgary is one to remember.  

Did you know that Calgary has more park space per capita than any other city in Canada?


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