FATDWAP: Winter activities
Calgary is home to a variety of different activities that will keep you busy and entertained during these cold winter months.
For those wanting to stay within the city limits, Nose Hill is one of the most underrated nature areas in Alberta. A massive nature area located in the north part of Calgary, Nose Hill offers a perfect environment for snowshoeing and winter hiking during these frigid months. You may even catch a glimpse of some deer or a coyote. If that worries you, head to any sports/outdoors store and pick up some bear or coyote spray.
Grotto Canyon is a stunning trail that during the winter months hosts hundreds of tourists. The creek leading up to the Grotto pass freezes over, allowing visitors to strap on their boots or snowshoes and take in the beautiful winter scenery. If you or your significant other have a more adventurous and daring side, pack up the ice climbing gear as you will be sure to find a frozen waterfall to climb. (DO NOT ATTEMPT ICE CLIMBING IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING.)
WHAT YOU NEED:
Snowshoes go from $40-$60 at any outdoors or sports store. Most of the other items you should bring are obvious, like snow pants, warm layers and toque and gloves.
Pack a lunch and bring a first-aid kit because you never know what may happen, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The golf dome is a golf training centre located just off Macleod Trail in south Calgary. The dome is more of a place to practice, so swing away, although that doesn’t take away from the potential of a solid Valentine’s Day date.
1 hour- $24 range only
1 hour- $25 full swing simulator
Metro Indoor Golf:
Located at 5220 4 Street Northeast #10, Metro Indoor Golf is a premier golf simulator establishment. With 82 virtual courses to choose from, Metro offers a more immersive golf simulation experience than the driving range or golf dome.
1 hour- $40 in the course simulator. (Each simulator can track 8 players at once.)
Craft Beer Market:
Heading down Craft Beer Market located on 10 Avenue downtown is a near guarantee for a fun night. Whether you want to grab a Gin and Ginger and some food or play some games, Craft is the place for you. The bar features two floors and bigger groups can book tables downstairs. The main floor is where you will find the fun ‘n’ games. Craft has three bocce ball lanes, mega-jenga, a hook and ring game, shuffle board and many others. Happy hour at Craft runs from 3-6 PM, then 9-close on all weekdays and Saturday. On Sunday, happy hour lasts all day long.
National, 10th, 8th , 17th :
National can be considered a staple of Calgary nightlife. With three locations all offering a different experience, National is always a reliable spot for a successful night or day out on the town. National on 10th features 8 bowling lanes, ping pong and foosball tables, and usually has a great atmosphere on weekends. For those looking to avoid the congestion of a Calgary Friday night, head down in the early afternoon and be sure to book a lane in advance, as they are prone to being taken up fast.
For more of a date-night vibe, head to either the Stephen Ave or 17th Ave locations where the food and beer is always plentiful.
Olympic Plaza is one of Calgary’s most iconic venues for ice-skating. Set in the heart of Downtown, Olympic Plaza is sure to have a packed crowd, so make sure to plan in advance. All you need to have a good time is a pair of comfy, warm skates and proper winter clothing. There are many restaurants and bars surrounding the area if you get hungry or want a warm beverage after a day of outdoor activities.
Bowness Park in the winter is one of the prettiest places to be in Calgary. The frozen pond makes for a beautiful winter setting and even features a tea house in the park where visitors can go to grab a bite to eat and a drink. Many people flock to the park during the winter, especially on the weekends. Plan a few days in advance to ensure you get the most out of your visit.
WHAT YOU NEED:
Bring a pair of skates as neither of the two rinks/ponds previously mentioned rent out skates.
Warm clothing and especially a toque or mitts.
A helmet is strongly recommended if you’re a beginner. Noggin safety is of the utmost importance.
The prices for food and drink at the Bowness pond are quite steep, so feel free to pack a lunch and thermos full of hot cocoa to help warm up the day, and to take it easy on your wallet.