5 Free Outdoor Winter Activities Around Calgary

Does this sound familiar…

The holidays have come and gone and you find yourself a little low on cash. You want to save money this month but still have fun and shake off those winter blues. Thankfully, there are all kinds of great winter activities to do in and around Calgary for FREE!

For those of you who don’t let a little cold weather stop them, here are our suggestions of fun free outdoor activities to do this winter.

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Ice Skating

There is no shortage of places to skate in Calgary! Grab your skates (or rent them) and hit the ice! Bring some hot chocolate in a thermos and cookies to snack on. Here are some locations that you can go to with free admission!

  • Big Marlborough Park 5AM – 11PM
  • Bowness Park Lagoon (rentals available) 5AM – 11PM
  • Carburn Park 11AM – 11PM
  • Olympic Plaza (rentals available) 10AM – 9PM
  • Prince’s Island Park 5AM – 11PM
  • Thomson Family Park 5AM – 11PM

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Geocaching

Geocaching is becoming more and more popular and is lots of fun for all ages! Geocaching is a type of outdoor treasure hunt using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Once you find the hidden treasure, sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location.

Sign up for free and get more information at Geocaching

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Tobogganing

In the winter, tobogganing and sledding on the hills of Calgary is a thrilling way to enjoy the winter and take advantage of the snow. Several parks and green spaces offer safe and exciting hills including:

  • Confederation Park
  • Glendale Park
  • Monterey Park
  • Stanley Park

For a full list of places (and addresses) to go tobogganing please visit Tobogganing Sledding

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Snow Days Festival & Ice Magic Festival

Get out of the city and drive to Banff and Lake Louise to experience a winter wonderland. The annual SnowDays festival is a highlight of the winter season in Banff National Park. It’s a free 11-day long celebration held during January and centered around 10 massive snow sculptures in downtown Banff.

Occurring at the same time as the Ice Magic Festival in Lake Louise. You’ll have plenty to explore!

For more information please visit Snow Days

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Cross Country, Snowshoeing & Hiking

For those who enjoy being outside and are looking for some great exercise, it’s time to make your way to Fish Creek Provincial Park. Entry into the park is free and you can access it by public transit. The park is open from 8AM to 6PM and the Bow Valley Ranch Visitor Centre is open from 8:15AM to 4:30PM Monday to Friday.

Cross-Country skiing trails for those who are more experienced are at the west end of the park. The trails are not groomed, leaving an endless amount of possibilities of which journey to take! Snowshoeing is also encouraged at the west end. Hiking can be done on the paved trails found throughout the park. Bird spotting while hiking is a great activity for the family to do. After braving the cold, there is an Archaeological interpretive centre at the Bow Valley Ranch Visitor Centre, free of charge, where you can explore 8500 years of human history.

For more information visit Alberta Parks

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Written by: Ryan Wong | Edited by: Alannah McEwan

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