Hair loss seems to be one of silent effects of COVID, as parents lose fistfuls furiously trying to figure out new ways of keeping their kids active with limited external resources. With indoor choices being limited many parents started to look at options that were a stone’s throw from their front steps and things have gone a little “old school” as exploring the neighbourhood has quickly become the main activity of many families in Calgary.
As we enter 2021 hunkering down as a family maintains top spot as the #1 past time, and the continued closure of parent groups, recreation centres and organized sports keeps the pressure on parents to find ways to engage and entertain their kids. To help keep parents sane, take off a bit of that pressure and save future hair follicles, I want to offer you a list of Calgary’s best family friendly neighbourhoods.
Calgary’s newest lake community has so much to offer besides just the lake. The community is filled with kids racing along the walking paths to one of the many green spaces or fun filled parks to climb, swing or slide their way into an early bedtime. In the summer, swimming is only steps away and with warm water, large sandy beaches and umbrellas, you could almost imagine you and your family have been transported out of the city to a sunny, south destination.
Mahogany also has a large shopping area with grocery stores, pharmacies, pubs and restaurants, making any stops on your way home convenient and painless. For those that commute downtown or outside the city for work, Mahogany gives you quick access to Deerfoot and Stoney Trail, making it easy to get to and from work and allowing more time at home with your family.
Located right on the Bow River and with two of the cities most beautiful green spaces, Carburn Park and Sue Higgins park, Riverbend offers an escape that makes you feel like you’ve left the city, all within minutes of downtown.
Carburn Park is one of Calgary’s most diverse ecosystems where kids can explore through tall prairie grasses and wildflowers in search of the local beavers, porcupines, muskrats and deer. On bird watch duty kids can keep their eyes peeled for a variety of birds ranging from eagles and hawks, to the American White Pelicans that “winter” here during the hot Florida summers. Plus, the winter months offer a great skating pond with music, and fire pits for families to warm up around and enjoy some hot coco.
This family friendly neighbourhood also connects to the city pathway system, making it easy to bike, run or blade to neighbouring communities, or use the path system for a more environmentally friendly commute to downtown.
With easy access to the mountains, Canada Olympic Park, and the Bow River, Bowness is the perfect neighbourhood for families. There is so much to explore right in at your doorstep and the mature, extra large lots offer tons of privacy and space if you just want to spend time in your own literal back yard.
Bowness is also home to Bowness Park, which could be described as a family dream park with the number of activities you and your kids have access too. The large lagoon offers skating in the winter and paddle boating (with rentals if needed!) in the summer, along with the newly completed Ice Trail, which is a family friendly 1.6km skating path that runs along the Bow River. The park also has a ton of green spaces, with BBQ pits available for rent, which is great for picnics and family games of badminton, ladder ball, or corn hole to tire everyone out, and maybe even creating a little family friendly competition to keep things interesting.
This neighbourhood was built in the 1950’s and offers beautiful bungalows and split level homes on large lots, plus easy access to the C-train, getting you to and from downtown quickly.
Brentwood offers easy access to Nose Hill Park giving you the perfect place to bike, run, walk your dog and keep your whole family active. Known as Calgary’s largest natural environment park (almost 12 sq. km!), this is an area where you literally could forget you are in the city. Exploring Nose Hill Park will introduce you to so much nature ranging from fescue glass lands and wildflowers, to the Trembling Aspen and Willows that occupy the north facing coulees. It is home to many deer and coyotes, plus an abundance of small mammals like gophers, voles, ground squirrels and porcupines.
The park also contains significant archaeological sites such as tipi rings or circle stones, and a glacial erratic that was once part of Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper National Park. Nose Hill park is bursting at the seams with both active and educational activities; and with multiple access points to the park, it would takes months to visit everything this beautiful nature reserve has to offer.
No matter where you live in Calgary, we are so lucky to have this be our home! Calgary has one of the one most extensive pathway systems in the world, connecting all quadrants of our city with over 1000km of regional pathways. Many paths run along the beautiful Bow and Elbow Rivers or they connect us to other amazing green spaces like Fish Creek Park, the Glenmore Reservoir and Edworthy Park, just to name a few.
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