Dad's Day the Northwest Calgary Way

June 11, 2018

A Father’s Day Playbook of Local Activities Sure to Thrill.


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. 


Instagram worthy view of Canmore from Grassi Lakes Trail. Photo credit: D. Da Silva


Want to treat dad to a great cup of coffee before heading out for a fun-filled day? Take him to one of the top coffee shops in the Northwest, University District approved! 


1. Adventurous Dads


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.

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.

Winsport Canada Olympic Park: 
88 Canada Olympic Road N.W | 403-776-0617 | skylineluge.com
Bona Roma: 89 Bowridge Drive N.W. | 403-247-3327 | bonaroma.com


2. Classic Dads


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.

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


3. Outdoorsy Dads


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.

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.

Grassi Lakes Trail:
Spray Lakes Road, 2 kms past the Nordic Centre | 403-221-9682 | Grassi Lakes
Wami Ootoya: #130 3820 Brentwood Road N.W. | 403-289-8981 | wamiootoya.com


The picturesque Grassi Lakes. Photo Credit: D. Da Silva


4. Music-loving Dads


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. 

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! 

Sled Island: 
Various venue locations | 403-229-2901 | sledisland.com
Sidewalk Citizen Bakery: 338 10th Street N.W. | 403-460-9065 | sidewalkcitizenbakery.com


5. Nostalgic Dads


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.

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.

18 km west of Calgary along Highway 1A | Cochrane
Matador Pizza and Steakhouse: 101 – 4625 Varsity Drive NW | 403-286-3133 | matadorpizza.com

Canmore’s historic Mackay’s Ice Cream shop.

Have a dad approved activity that we missed from the list? Share your activity suggestions with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Join the Discussion

Comments are moderated before being posted. Your email address is required but will not be published.

Join our email list for more information and our newsletter.
I'm interested in learning more about:
Popular Keywords
New Retailers on the horizon: Take a look at the newest businesses coming to University District this year
The Perfect Easter at University District
Sneak Peek: A First Look at the New CHARCUT Restaurant at Alt Hotel University District
See All Blog Posts
2023, A year in review, active, Activity, Age-friendly community, Aging in place, Alberta, Alberta Children's Hospital, All ages, ALT Hotel, Alt Hotels, amenities, Ana Cummings, apartment rental, Aria, Artist, August, Bakeries, baking tips, Balcony, Balcony Decor, BBQ, beard grooming, Bike routes, BILD Awards, Block Party, blockbuster movie night, Bookstores, Bragg Creek, Breakfast, Brenda Stafford Foundation, Brenda Strafford Foundation, Brookfield Residential, Brunch, Bubble Tea, Bucket List, Budget, Budget conscious, Building Industry and Land Development, Business, Calgary, Calgary Activities, Calgary Art, Calgary bakeries, Calgary business, Calgary community, Calgary Drinks, Calgary events, Calgary Fitness, Calgary Hearing, Calgary LRT, Calgary Parks, Calgary Real Estate, Calgary restaurants, Calgary staycation, Calgary tourism, Calgary Trails, Calgary Transit, Calgary Women, Cambridge Manor, Canada, Canada Day, Canmore, Capella, Cartwright lighting & furniture, Celebration, centerpieces, Central Commons, Charcut, charity, cineplex, Classes, Cochrane, comfort food, Community, community festival, Community Living, condo life, condos, connections, contest, cookie baking, cooking, cooking together, Creative, Curious Hair, Curious Salon, Date Ideas, Date night, Decor, Decor Shops, Decor Tips, Denim & Smith, Dental, dental care, design styles, Dining, Discovery Centre, DIY, dog park, Dogs, Downsize, downsizing, downsizing tips, Easter, Eco decor, eLearning, Entertainment, environment, events, exercise, Explore, Fall, Fall Decor, fall design, family, Father's Day, Financial, fitness, fitness as we age, food, food waste, Functional Fitness, Garden Maintenance, gardening, gift guide, giving back, golf, Green Calgary, Grey Cup, Group Germain Hotels, Guide to Northwest Calgary, gym, hair grooming, Health, Healthy Eating, Healthy Foods, Hearing loss, hobbies, holiday, holiday activities, Holiday Budget, holiday memories, Holiday movies, holiday parties, holiday season, holiday traditions, holiday wines, home, Home Automation, home decor, Home Maintenance, home office, Home organization, Home Technology, homemade pizza, Homeowners, hosting the holidays, housing, I Can for Kids, IBI Group, Ice Cream, Ice Cream Shops, Ice Rink, inclusive, Interior Design, Interior Design for your pets, Interior Design Tips, interior lighting, International Womens Day, Isolation, Jayman BUILT, Kananaskis, kids learning, Level Playing Field, lighting, local, local business, local good, Love on Main Street, love your pet, made in Calgary, Magna, Maple, Market Wines, McKinley Burkart, meal prep, meals, mens grooming, mental health, mindful spaces, Mother's Day Brunch, Movies at home, moving, multi-generational, Nature, New at UD, New homes, New Projects, New Resident, Night Market, North Calgary, North Hill Mall, North Pond, Northwest Calgary, Northwest Calgary Brunch, Northwest Commons Park, Northwest neighbour, Northwestival, nutrition tips, NW Calgary, Office, Olympic Oval, online learning, Orangetheory, Organization, outdoors, Park n' Play Design, Parks, Partners, party hosting tips, Patio Decor, pet care, pet love, Photography, plant, plant care, play space, Playcore National Demonstration Site, playground, Programs, puppy love, rafting, real estate, recipes, redecorating, rent to own, rentals, restaurant, Retail, Retail Main Street, retailers, Rightsize, Romance, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Save-On-Foods, seasonal maintenance, senior health, Senior living, Seniors, sensory gadgets, shop local, Skating, Smaller space living, Smart Home, Sports, Spring, Staples, Staycation, Summer Activities, Summer Food, summer getaways, sustainable design, table setting, tablescape, Thanksgiving, The Space Reclaimers, things to do, tips, tourism calgary, townhome, townhome living, townhouse living, Trails in Northwest Calgary, travel, travel alberta, TREC Dental, U/D, UCalgary, UD Life, UDLife, University District, University District Dental, University of Calgary, Urban Balcony, urban dog park, Urban Garden, Urban Patio Decor, Valentines Day, Vegan Cuisine, Vegan Food, Vendors, vermicomposting, Village Ice Cream, Volunteer, Volunteerism, Walking, West Campus Development Trust, Wine, wine experience, Winefest, Winsport Zipline, winter, winter activities, winter festival, Winter Fitness, winter fun, winter memories, winter pet care, winter pet care tips, winter traditions, winter warm up, Winter workout, women grooming, Women Leaders, workouts, Yard, year in review, YYC Events, YYC Hot Chocolate Fest

Discover NW Calgary's most interesting places, people and things

Visit Our Channel

Looking for something to do in NW Calgary?

Check Out Our Event Calendar

The University District blog is a resource for Calgarians who want to live, work, play, visit or buy in the northwest. We will provide you with information, stories, news and a closer look at the things that matter so you can live a more inspired, active and connected life in NW Calgary at University District… Life works here.