Our Discovery Centre continues to follow all health and safety guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. We remain committed to contributing to the health and safety of the wider community in which we operate.

Weekend Inspiration: Getting Outdoors In YYC

August 9, 2017

Looking for some staycation inspiration?

Calgary is filled with things to do in the great outdoors, and if you’re in search of ideas for a weekend well spent, look no further than the Northwest.

For the adventurers, the loungers, and the thrill-seekers among us, the Northwest offers countless possibilities for stepping outside and enjoying the local landscape.

Here are our favourite sources of summertime weekend fun.

Float the Bow River

Despite only being a stone’s throw from the Rockies, Calgary is also home to the Bow River—a picturesque current that moves throughout the Northwest and making it a perfect pick for rafting.

Park your car or lock up your bike to see the city through a new perspective. There are a number of drop-off and pick-up points along the river that make for a float that can be as short or as long as you’d like.

Some of our favourite drop-offs include the Northwest’s Bowness Park and Baker Park and helpful hints and safety advice for many of the drop off and pick-up points around the city can be found here.

Don’t own the gear? Head down to University of Calgary’s Outdoor Centre to rent a raft, paddles and a life jacket for your float, and get any information you might need about river-safety. For a checklist of what you’ll need for your river-adventure, start here.

Experience farm life

Leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind without ever leaving the city. You can embrace country living at its finest by visiting Northwest Calgary’s own Butterfield Acres.

A beloved Calgary mainstay, Butterfield Acres is the perfect rural family getaway within the city limits, and a great pick for animal lovers. Butterfield Acres offers the highlights of rural living, including petting zoos, pony rides, goat milking and tractor-rides, making it a great weekend destination during the warmer months, and its resident pumpkin patch also makes it a fun choice come fall.

Take a picnic

If you’re looking for a bit of a slower-paced weekend activity, consider a picnic. The Northwest’s collection of parks is impressive, and several lend themselves to warm-weather lounging, especially if food and a blanket are involved.

For a one-stop-shop approach to picnicking, we recommend the Northwest gem that is Bowness Park. Located along the Bow River between Stoney Tr. and 85 St. N.W, Bowness Park’s shallow lagoon running off from the river is a favourite spot for paddle-boarding and picnicking during the summer.

Beyond a gorgeous landscape with the Bow river running through, the park is also home to Seasons of Bowness—a restaurant and fresh market that is open seasonally. The market is the true picnic-hero, offering baskets that can be purchased when you pre-order, making for an easy, fresh choice for those who didn’t want to prep their picnic at home.

For a paddle or canoe post-picnic, you can visit the Bowness Boat House, operated by the University of Calgary’s Outdoor Centre.

Jump in a pool

No pool? No worries!

Since the warm season is generally short, many Calgarians don’t have a pool of their own. Don’t let this deter your dreams of swimming once the temperature rises. If you find yourself sans pool once summer heats up, it’s easy to find your way to one of the Northwest’s many public pools.

From lap-lanes to wading pools, some of our local favourites include:

Ride some rides

Did you know that Calgary is home to an amusement park of its very own, and in the Northwest, no less?

As Western Canada’s Largest Outdoor Family Amusement Park, Calaway Park has been offering affordable, family-friendly fun and entertainment for over three decades, and we’re lucky enough to have it right here in YYC.Whether you’re looking for some thrills or just a great throwback to times past, Calaway Park offers something for everyone. Come for some nostalgia-soaked experiences, including a host of roller-coasters, water-rides, and amusement-park confections like mini-doughnuts or funnel-cakes.

Catch a movie outside

You don’t need to head indoors to catch a flick—just head down to Kensington.

The Kensington Summertime Outdoor Movie Series in August is offering free outdoor films all month long. A different film will be screened each week in the parking lot next to Purr in Kensington (located at 1220 Kensington Rd NW) and there will be free hot chocolate and ice tea for all moviegoers. Summer 2017 screenings include some of our favourite cinematic classics, including The Breakfast Club on August 5, Ghostbusters on August 12, Pretty Woman on August 19 and Jaws on August 26. All screenings start at 9 p.m.

Come for a laid back Saturday evening, and to throw back to some of our favourite films.

Have a favourite way to spend an outdoor weekend in the Northwest that we didn’t include? Be sure to share with us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!


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.
Popular Keywords
U/D Kicks Off its Design Series: Retail Main Street
Sweet Success for I Can for Kids!
Golf for All: University District Gets in the Swing!
See All Blog Posts
2018 milestones, active, Activity, Age-friendly community, Aging in place, Alberta, Alberta Children's Hospital, All ages, ALT Hotel, Alt Hotels, amenities, Ana Cummings, Analog Coffee, apartment rental, Aria, Artisan Pizza, Artist, August, August by Avi Urban, Avi Urban, Bakeries, baking tips, Balcony, Balcony Decor, BBQ, beard grooming, Bike routes, BILD, BILD Awards, black tea, Blaze Pizza, Bliss & Co. Cupcakes and Desserts, blockbuster movie night, Bookstores, Bragg Creek, Breakfast, Brenda Stafford Foundation, Brenda Strafford Foundation, Brookfield Residential, Brunch, Bucket List, Budget, Budget conscious, Buiders, Building Industry and Land Development, Calgary, Calgary Activities, Calgary bakeries, Calgary business, calgary charity, Calgary community, Calgary events, Calgary Fitness, Calgary LRT, Calgary Parks, Calgary Real Estate, Calgary restaurants, Calgary staycation, Calgary tourism, Calgary Trails, Calgary Transit, Calgary Women, Calypso's Green Taverna, Cambridge Manor, Canmore, Capella, Cartwright lighting & furniture, centerpieces, chamomile, charity, Cochrane, comfort food, Community, community festival, Community Living, condo life, condos, connections, contest, cookie baking, cookie recipes, cookies, cooking together, Copper Branch, Creative, Cuisine et Chateau, cup of tea, Curious Hair, Curious Salon, Date Ideas, Date night, Decor, Decor Shops, Decor Tips, Denim & Smith, Dental, dental care, design styles, Discovery Centre, DIY, DIY Skincare, Do-It-Yourself, dog park, Downsize, downsizing, downsizing tips, earl grey, Eco decor, eLearning, environment, Esquire by Truman, Euphoria Cafe, exercise, Explore, Fall, Fall Decor, fall design, family-run wineries, FAQ, Father's Day, fitness, fitness as we age, food, food waste, Fratello Coffee Roasters, Freshii, Functional Fitness, Garden Maintenance, gardening, gift guide, giving back, golf, Gracorp Properties, Green Calgary, Green tea, Grey Cup, Group Germain Hotels, guide, Guide to Northwest Calgary, gym, hair grooming, Health, Healthy Eating, Healthy Foods, Helen Youn, Higher Ground, Hillhurst Flea Market, hobbies, holiday, holiday activities, Holiday Budget, holiday memories, Holiday movies, holiday parties, holiday season, holiday traditions, holiday wines, Home Automation, Home Maintenance, Home organization, Home Technology, homemade pizza, honey, hosting the holidays, housing, I Can for Kids, IBI Group, Ice Cream, Ice Cream Shops, inclusive, Interior Design, Interior Design for your pets, Interior Design Tips, interior lighting, International Womens Day, Isolation, J.Webb Market Wines, James Robertson, Kananaskis, Kananaskis Nordic Spa, keep kids entertained at home, kids learning, KonMari, Lattes, Level Playing Field, Life at Maple, lighting, local business, local good, love your pet, Lunch, made in Calgary, making pizza, Making Pizza Pie, Maple, Maple by Truman, Marie Kondo, Market Wines, McKinley Burkart, meal plan, meal prep, meals, mens grooming, mental health, mint tea, Mother's Day Brunch, Movies at home, moving, multi-generational, National Ice Cream Month, Nature, new community, New homes, New Resident, New York, Noble, North Calgary, North Hill Mall, North Pond, Northwest Bookstores, Northwest Calgary, Northwest Calgary Brunch, Northwest Commons Park, Northwest neighbour, Northwestival, nutrition tips, NW Calgary, OEB Breakfast Co., Olympic Oval, online learning, oolong tea house, Orangetheory, Orangetheory Fitness, orangetheoryfitness, Organization, outdoors, Park n' Play Design, Partners, party hosting tips, Patio Decor, pet care, pet love, Pet Planet, Pets, Photography, pizza dough, pizza toppings, play space, Playcore National Demonstration Site, playground, Press'd, Press'd Sandwich Shop, puppy love, Questions and Answers, rafting, Reading, real estate, recipes, redecorating, rent to own, rentals, restaurant, retailers, Rightsize, Romance, Ronald McDonald House Charities, rooibos, Rosé, Sandwich, Save-On-Foods, Scotiabank, screen time, seasonal maintenance, senior health, Senior living, Seniors, sensory gadgets, shop local, single-level residences, Smaller space living, Smart Home, Smoothie bowl recipe, social media contest, Spark Joy, sparkling wine, Sports, Staycation, Summer Activities, Summer Bucket List, Summer Cocktails, Summer Drinks, summer getaways, Summer Mocktails, sustainability, sustainable design, Sutton Garner, table setting, tablescape, Tailgate Party, Tailgating, Tea, tea infuser, Tea lattes, Tea Pairings, The Gramercy, The IVY, The Space Reclaimers, things to do, tips, tourism calgary, townhome, townhome living, townhouse living, Trails in Northwest Calgary, travel, travel alberta, TREC Dental, Truman, Truman Homes, U/D, 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, vermicomposting, Volunteer, Volunteerism, West Campus Development Trust, Wilco Contractors, 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 Cycle, 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.