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The Best Picnic Spots In and Around U/D

June 20, 2024

Summer is upon us! What better way to make the most of the season than with an afternoon picnic? University District is home to some unique green spaces for the perfect picnic setting, as well as retailers who can help you with your preparation. Read on to find other amazing picnic spots around NW Calgary that you should be sure to check out this summer. 

Northwest Commons Park

Northwest Commons Park is a perfect, multi-purpose space for all ages and abilities. Enjoy the warm evenings while staying active with your kids at this hidden gem just off University Avenue. Designed with accessibility and inclusiveness in mind, the park features an extensive ramp system, accessible flooring, a double swing and spinner, tactile and musical elements, a saucer swing and a roller slide—all catering to children with mobility challenges. Recognized for its accessible design by the BILD Alberta Awards in 2022 and the Universal Design Award in 2018, Northwest Commons Park truly ensures fun and engagement for everyone.

Central Commons Park

Located in the heart of U/D , Central Commons Park is a mindfully-designed, year-round space perfect for all visitors. This urban oasis offers a multitude of amenities and community events throughout the year. Soak up the sun while enjoying a sweet treat from Village Ice Cream located steps away, or indulge in a dessert from the Borough Bar + Grill. During the summer, visitors can enjoy the Splash Pad, open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and take advantage of three BBQs available for public use. The park features plenty of picnic tables, fire features, art installations and more, making it an ideal spot for gatherings with friends and family. Central Commons Park also plays host to the U/D Night Market on the last Wednesday of May, June, July, August and September.

South Pond

The South Pond, located on the south end of U/D, offers a serene escape with its extensive green space and pathways. Enjoy a peaceful walk around this natural wetland, perfect for local bird watching and connecting with nature. With over two acres of open green space and pathways that connect to the community’s Green Spine. This neighbourhood gem features an island that acts as a habitat for seasonal birds, a quaint gazebo with seating for taking in scenic landscape views, and ample space for picnics, walking retreats or quiet escapes.

Edworthy Park

Go on an adventure in Edworthy Park, located on the south shore of the Bow River. Edworthy Park hosts a spacious area filled with picnic tables, BBQ pits, benches, a playground and beautiful views of the Bow River. Hike the Douglas Fir Trail to discover 400-year-old Douglas Firs and various other native trees like aspens, willows, balsam poplars and white spruces. Take your four-legged companion to the Edworthy off-leash dog park and let them burn off some energy. In need of a refreshment to beat the summer heat? Head across the Bow River and stop at Angel’s Cafe, the perfect spot for a summer bevy and a quick bite.

Nose Hill Park 

Rising from the suburban sprawl of Calgary’s northwest communities, Nose Hill Park stands tall, overlooking 12 surrounding neighbourhoods. As the fourth-largest urban park in Canada and one of the largest in North America, Nose Hill offers residents a brief escape into nature. Spanning 11 square kilometres of rolling Foothills, the park is filled with native trees, local wildlife and several indigenous archaeological sites. The park’s ample hiking and walking trails, including a dedicated off-leash dog park, make it a beloved destination for many Calgarians. Just a short 12-minute drive from U/D, this park provides a quick getaway into the wilderness of the Alberta Foothills, all while remaining within the comfort of the city.

Pick up all your picnic supplies right in U/D. 

​​Sandwiches and wraps are the ultimate picnic staples and Save-On-Foods has you covered with a wide selection of Ready Made Meals, including sandwiches, salads, wraps, sushi and desserts. A charcuterie board makes every picnic better and CHARCUT offers a build-your-own charcuterie board that is sure to impress at your next park outing. No picnic is complete without a sweet treat and COBS Bread offers a delicious variety of options, from twists, scones and pastries to savory mini pizzas. Did you know that it’s legal to enjoy an adult beverage in select Calgary parks? As part of a pilot program launched in 2021, the city has designated several picnic tables, group areas and fire pits for the responsible consumption of alcohol. Check here to find out if your favourite park is included in the program. For excellent service and a wide variety of beer, wine, spirits and more, visit Market Wines to help you stay cool while enjoying the outdoors this summer.

University District is proud to share that we recently celebrated the groundbreaking of Autumn by Homes by Avi! After two successful and now sold-out projects in University District, we are excited to see a third Homes by Avi project break ground.


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