Kids love baby animals, bouncy houses and bumper boats, but who doesn’t? Being an adult shouldn’t mean having to spend your summer reading Dostoyevsky, listening to re-runs of This American Life and eating plates of vegetables.
These five outings are traditionally kid-friendly but are just as enjoyable for adults, because you have all winter long to read Crime and Punishment.
Butterfield Acres is an open farm, which means visitors can visit with the animals in their pens! Like the zoo, it’s fun for kids. Watching a baby goat gently nibble on your toddler’s rain jacket hood is delightful. But animal-loving adults will have just as much fun. Single day admission is $14.99 for adults.
Don’t be afraid to go right in the stalls and meet the animals. The bunnies are shy and sweet, the goats are friendly and rambunctious, and the piglets are surprisingly cute.
Take the tractor ride. An open wagon is pulled by an old tractor every day at Butterfield Acres. Times are listed by the admission area. The short trip takes you through the forested area around the farm. It’s cool and quiet in the trees and there’s lots to see.
254077 Rocky Ridge Road, 403-239-0638, butterfieldacres.com
Gate admission at Calaway Park includes all of your rides, live entertainment and parking. It’s open until 7 p.m. most days and is a quick five minutes out of the city. A visit would make for a fun, casual first date. Awkward conversation? Ride the rollercoaster! Disagree about politics? Bump each other in the bumper boats. Adult admission for one day is $37.95.
Amusement park food is notoriously indulgent and Calaway Park has some tasty new offerings this year. Try the jalapeno cheese pretzels, the fish tacos or potato roll nachos.
The new Timber Falls ride has three high-speed drops, a zig-zag river section and a continuous loading platform for short wait times.
The Sweet Toothe candy shop has fudge and more than 74 different kinds of bulk candy. Cavities shmavities. You’re an adult so you can eat as much candy as you want!
245033 Range Road 33, 403-240-3822, calawaypark.com
If you ever been to the Calgary Zoo on a statutory holiday you may think having a stroller and toddler in tow is a prerequisite to enter. But it’s not! Although, going to the zoo with a toddler will you help you appreciate some potentially overlooked critters like meerkats. Toddlers love meerkats and by default you’ll start to see their cuddly appeal. But I digress, the Calgary Zoo is for everyone. General admission is $24.95.
The zoo’s free daily programming include things like carnivore feeding time, animal workouts and keeper talks. #Lifelonglearning.
Grazers restaurant has daily drink specials, so plan accordingly. On Mondays you can pop in for $5 highballs or try a margarita for $6.50 on Fridays.
Gather a group of 15 to 20 of your penguin loving friends and book Breakfast with the Penguins. For $45 per person enjoy a pancake breakfast and a private viewing of the penguins.
1300 Zoo Road N.E., 403-232-9300, calgaryzoo.com
Located just outside of Okotoks, there are two parts to Kayben Farms, a garden centre and U-Pick farm, and the six acre Sunshine Adventure Park play area. The Sunshine Adventure Park is geared towards families, but everyone loves bouncing on inflated trampolines and wandering through corn mazes. Daily admission to the Adventure Park is $13 for adults.
Grab a seat on the patio for lunch at JoJo’s Cafe. The casual spot has tasty wood-fired pizza with farm-fresh ingredients and made-from-scratch baked goods.
Take advantage of Kayben’s U-Pick and stock up on blackcurrants. Kayben’s blackcurrant crop will most likely be ready to pick by the middle of August.
The Sunshine Adventure Park has two berry bounces, one for kids and one that fits kids and adults. It’s like a huge inflated trampoline that’s built into the ground.
316034 32 Street East, Okotoks, 403-995-5509, kayben.com
If you live here, you may have driven past Fort Calgary several times and never considered a visit, but the birthplace of Calgary is interesting and fun. Fort Calgary is not just for tourists and school groups. It has an interpretive centre, an amazing weekend brunch and it sits on 40 acres of parkland. Daily adult admission is $12.
The interpretive centre at Fort Calgary has some interesting interactive exhibits that tell the story of the North West Mounted Police and the early Calgarians who helped build the city. You can sit behind the wheel of a 1928 Ford, take a virtual streetcar tour and try on a NWMP jacket.
Brunch at Fort Calgary is easily one of the best in the city. For $27 for adults, you can eat from the tasty buffet and order hot items off the menu, like lobster eggs benedict. The house-made scones served with jam and butter are flaky, soft and addictive.
Dinner theatre at Fort Calgary is an all-inclusive, adult-friendly event. Smoking Gun Entertainment puts on the murder mystery shows. The $85 tickets includes a three-course dinner as well as the who-dunnit performance.
750 9 Avenue N.E., 403-290-1875, fortcalgary.com