Beloved dads are dependable by nature, but does it mean they deserve predictable presents on Father’s Day? Forgo the socks, ties, and tools. Kick it up a notch this year by giving dads an experience to remember; Calgary is ripe for adventures.
Treating your father, uncle, grandpa or other father-figure to a memorable experience makes a perfect present. Whether your dad likes to enjoy the outdoors and hike local trails or get down late to the beats of live bands, Northwest Calgary has something on the go sure to make this June 17 a Father’s Day to remember.
From golfing in Northwest Calgary to day trip adventures only a stone’s throw away from University District, here’s a roundup of ways to celebrate every kind of dad that will surely leave a smile on pop’s face – and no, tools and ties are not included.
Quench dad’s thirst for adventure with a thrilling gravity ride on the world’s longest downhill luge track, featuring more than 50 twists and turns to get your adrenaline pumping. The summer favourite Skyline Calgary Luge runs along the famous Winsport Winter Olympic luge track. It’s fast enough for speed demons but controlled enough for the cautious, making it an ideal adventure for dad, dad’s dad, and dads-to-be.
Post activity: Take a break from the fun-filled experience at Skyline Luge and stop into Bona Roma. A short walk or drive away from Winsport, Bona Roma serves up authentic Italian cuisine in a cozy, unassuming atmosphere. From wood-fired pizzas and delicious pasta, we promise this hidden gem won’t disappoint.
Tips: It’s best to be prepared for any adventure, big or small. For Skyline Luge, remember to wear sensible shoes, sunglasses, and a GoPro for the tech fanatics to capture the thrill. You can also bring your own helmet, provided it is not full-faced.
At Valley Ridge Golf Course, you can spend 9 or 18 holes worth of quality time to practice your swing with dad. Situated a mere 15 minutes from downtown Calgary in a secluded, undisturbed valley, this championship course offers breathtaking views and challenging slopes featuring hills, ponds and holes that will test every part of your game. Whether a pro on the golf course or more of an ace at putt-putt, an afternoon of golf is a great way to celebrate the father-figures in your life.
Looking for other golf courses in our neck of the woods? There’s several to choose from, including the Silver Springs Golf and Country Club, Country Club of the Hamptons, Country Hills Golf Club and Confederation Park Golf Course.
Post activity: This is perhaps the city’s best-kept secret when it comes to patios, making it the perfect escape after a day of golfing under the sun. With a newly renovated clubhouse and patio, Mulligan’s at Valley Ridge will have you feeling like you’re at an exclusive patio party with its all-welcoming and laid back vibe. Tuck into tasty summer menu items like a Cajun crusted beef patty with chipotle aioli; or fish tacos with mango salsa, lettuce, guacamole, cilantro and poblano citrus aioli.
Tips: Be sure to book your tee time three days in advance by calling 403-221-9682 x2 or online. For the budget conscious, we suggest you stop in at Mulligans for their happy hour eats and drinks every day from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm! If your dad loves brunch, then consider making a reservation for Father’s Day brunch at the Valley Ridge Golf Course.
Valley Ridge Golf Course and Mulligan’s at Valley Ridge: 11618 Valley Ridge Park N.W. | 403-221-9682
Stunning 9 or 18 hole golf course in Valley Ridge. Photo credit: Valley Ridge Golf Course
A hidden gem in Northwest Calgary. Check out Mulligan’s recently renovated patio. Photo credit: Valley Ridge Golf Course
Is your dad an avid outdoor enthusiast? Living in the Northwest means easy highway access to the mountains – hop in the car and take a short 50-minute drive out to bask in the beauty that is Calgary’s backyard. Outdoor-loving dads, dad’s dad and dads-to-be will be thrilled to experience a half-day trip exploring Canmore’s Grassi Lakes Trail, approximately a two-hour easy hike. With panoramic views of Canmore and varied landscape, this Instagram-worthy wooded trail leads you to a waterfall that makes for the perfect boomerang video, two majestic turquoise lakes and plenty of different viewing points along the trail.
Post activity: After burning off those calories, replenish with a plate of sushi and bowl of ramen. Make your way back to the city and stop in at Wami Ootoya, a brand new Japanese fusion restaurant located in Brentwood Village Shopping Centre. From its traditional sushis and rolls to innovative fusion dishes and ramen bowls made from scratch, Wami Ootoya is bringing all the tastes and flavours of Japan to Northwest Calgary.
Tips: Leave early enough in the day to get prime parking located at the start of Grassi Lakes Trail. For late goers, overflow parking is available, but tack on an extra 15-minute walk to get to the start of the trail. Don’t forget the bug spray, snacks and water for you and your animal friends. For those planning to visit the Stadium Keg, free parking is available, but make sure you get your ticket by selecting option 3 from the parking kiosks.
The picturesque Grassi Lakes. Photo Credit: D. Da Silva
Let the dad in your life relive his rockstar days by catching a concert by indie bands such as Wye Oak, Deerhoof and The Avulsions or rocking bluesman like Bebe Buckskin, at the annual Sled Island music festival. This five-day music and arts festival features the kind of innovative and edgy music, film, art and comedy Calgary is known and loved for. With Northwest venues – like Macewan Hall and Marion Nicoll Gallery – and all across the city, there’s something for every dad and for all ages, making it the perfect family outing, so gather friends and family to sing your hearts out!
Post activity: After a day long of “sledding”, you probably worked up an appetite. Stop in at Sidewalk Citizen Bakery in Northwest Calgary’s vibrant Kensington Village, known for its eclectic shops and restaurants. Show your Sled Island pass and get 10% off Sidewalk Citizen’s unforgettable lush pastries, tempting desserts and bold food that will titillate your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied.
Tips: Attending Sled Island is a full-day event, which means you need to bring snacks, plenty of cold water and drinks for those warm Calgary summer days, plus a clean blanket or two. Better yet, head to Save-On-Foods for some made-to-order platters and make a picnic out of it!
If your dad is a history buff, then take a short trip to the nearby town of Cochrane. A 15-minute drive from University District, Cochrane’s western culture can be felt today when wandering its popular Main Street. Named after Senator Matthew Henry Cochrane, this small town is home to eclectic canteen-style buildings and quaint western-oriented stores. So gander through Cochrane’s streets and explore its rich western history. You won’t be disappointed!
Post activity: Once you’ve explored Cochrane, venture back to the city and enjoy a classic family dinner at one of Northwest Calgary’s staple restaurants, Matador Pizza and Steakhouse. A fixture since 1976 and located in the heart of Varsity, this family-style restaurant provides a nostalgic backdrop of old-world Spain, with its white stucco arches and original walls. Known for their made-in-house pastas and pizzas, to their signature fan-favourite Caesar salad and house dill dressings, Matador Pizza and Steakhouse remains a neighbourhood joint that simply can’t compare.
Tip: A trip to Cochrane never feels complete without indulging with a sweet treat at the legendary, family-owned Mackay’s Ice Cream. Stop in and try one of its classic or new flavours. It might just be the start of a new tradition or simply bring back those nostalgic memories from back in the day.
Canmore’s historic Mackay’s Ice Cream shop.
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