For any displaced Dutch skaters, Calgary has a canal that freezes over every year and is suitable for outdoor ice skating. Located in the west of Calgary along the Bow river, a thin finger of water from the river snakes around the park and ends up in a lagoon. During the winter this freezes over and the parks department regularly plows off the snow to provide a skating surface enjoyed by families through-out the winter. No need to worry if you didn’t bring your own skates because rentals are available at the Café by the lagoon.
Golf courses are only open half the year in Calgary, so during the winter, some cross country clubs take over the courses to provide tracks for their members to enjoy skiing within the city. The Calgary Ski Club is one such club that maintains tracks at the Shaganappi Point Golf Course. Although free of charge to any enthusiast, there is the expectation that users will stick to the tracks and minimize any impact to the underlying golf course.
Cricket is almost unknown in Calgary but the Calgary and District Cricket League has been playing for over 100 years. The 300 members play at Riley Park on weekends from late May to September. Admission is free but bring your own seat unless you’d prefer to sit on the grass.
Calgary’s golf season runs from April until October. That’s not a lot of time, but dedicated golfers make the most of it. There are ~60 courses in or near the city. Eight of those courses are run by the City of Calgary and offer computerized booking allowing you to book over the phone up to four days in advance. Club rentals are available at some courses, but check in advance when booking a tee time. During the off season, there are in door driving ranges and simulators to keep your game from going into the rough.
For all the yogis and yoginis coming to Calgary - Heaven's fitness has a great facility and lots of variation in classes, including Hatha, Ashtanga styled classes, as well as Pilates fusion. I'd recommend the Ashtanga classes with Rob Nicholls. There is also another studio several blocks down, named Yoga Passage, which is also suitbale for Power-Vinyasa styled classes. Both are located just south of downtown, about a 10 minute walk from the 7th Ave LRT.
Please see the Heaven's website for more information as well as photos.
Equipment: If you are looking for yoga gear, we have a Lululemon located on the SE corner of 17th Avenue and 4th Street SW.
If you'd prefer a more boutique sort of feel I love YuDu in Kensington 233,10 Street NW (easy access from downtown - get off at the Sunnyside stop). Lixin, one of the owners is awesome - lots of colors and cuts. The sizing is NOT generous and I don't think they carry over a 14. I love this shop, however unlike Lulu, Yudu does not have any hemstresses on staff to take care of the really long yoga pants.
Shaw Millennium Park is one of the largest outdoor skateparks in the world and it’s free. Although largely concrete, it is surrounded by grass and trees to give it a more park-like atmosphere. The park provides different areas so that novice through to expert can be challenged and enjoy the facility.
If you like tennis, there's no reason to miss a game in Calgary. There are approx 160 free tennis courts located all over the city, and it's first come, first served. As a courtesy, if there's others waiting, people limit their game to 30 minutes. However, if the court is busy, there's usually more tennis courts in the area if you look.
If you need an equipment rental for your sport, the Outdoor Centre Equipment Rental in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary offers the most cheapest rates. For example, if you want to try hiking, they rent out hiking boots and backpacks. Also, they offer outings as well, so if you've never gone hiking, or canoeing, or kayaking, you can learn how, or if you know how, and don't have anyone to go with, you can go with a group. I've found the leaders knowledgeable and friendly. For a complete list of the equipment they carry, go the website below.
If you're into rock climbing, or want to try it, they also have an indoor climbing wall.
With snow on the ground and sun in the sky, every kid’s heart turns to tobogganing. What greater joy than hurtling downhill on a metal/plastic/wood sheet intent on going as far and as fast as possible. Looking for a good safe hill? The hill near the Richmond Green Golf Course is high and steep enough to be exciting but runs out into what is a baseball field during the summer so is fairly safe. Just watch out for the other sliders and you should have a great day.
There are about ten ski resorts within a two hour drive of Calgary but you don’t have to leave the city limits to strap on some boards. Canada Olympic Park hosts a series of hills for skiing and boarding. While not the same a skiing in the mountains, it’s a excellent place for beginner’s lessons. The hill is floodlit at night so it’s easy to get in a couple of hours on the slopes after work.
Canadians are a bit Hockey crazy, somewhat like Europeans are with soccer (or should I say football). Calgarians support their local hockey team, The Flames at the Pengrowth Saddledome on the Stampede grounds. Calgary’s color is red so be sure to wear some when you come out to cheer on the team. After the game, many of the fans head up the nearby 17th Avenue (also known as the “Red Mile”) to celebrate the victories.
If you like professional ice hockey, then I recommend going downtown and see the local Calgary Flames.
I happen to be a big fan of the flames and enjoy a night out, having a few drinks, something to eat and watching a good game of hockey. Depending on where you sit in the Saddledome, the prices are quite reasonable, even for the family($15-25each).
***UPDATE**** The Calgary Flames are currently playing the Detriot Red Wings in round one of this year playoffs. The first two games didn't go to good for the Flames, hopefully they can rebound in the next games at home.....GO FLAMES GO!!!!
Equipment: Everything from food to jerseys can be purchased in the concourse of the Saddledome.
Calgary was the first Canadian city to host the winter olympic games in 1988. The park offers competition training, sport and recreation year round for athletes and the general public. Naturally, in winter it is a popular place for skiing and snowboarding. When the snow has gone, the park offers mountain biking with 25 kilometres of single and open track trails.
Equipment: All sports equipment is available for hire in the park.
Calgary’s supports a professional football team called The Stampeders who wear the city’s colors of red and white. They are part of the Canadian Football League (CFL) and usually play their home games on summer/fall weekends at McMahon Stadium. The stadium is also used by amateur football such as the University of Calgary Dino’s and high school teams. The Canadian game has a couple of difference from the American version: the field is longer and wider, there is one more man on the field per team and there are only three chances to make 10 yards or more before turning the ball over to the opponents. Although popular, tickets can often be obtained to see a game, so come out and help the mascot Ralph the Dog cheer on the team.
Calgary hasn’t been good to its baseball teams. We’re working on our third team, since the stadium was built. Currently up to bat, it’s the Calgary Vipers professional baseball team, a member of the AA Northern League. The league is made up of eight teams in the northern US and Western Canada. If you’re in town on a sunny day between the end of May and the beginning of September, you might want to consider heading to the park for a beer and watch the game.