Our last day in Calgary was spent at Olympic Park, which the kids wanted to go to after seeing it on The Amazing Race. Reality TV for the educational win!
I swear I checked the “open” days and times of everything very carefully before we left, but it turns out I missed something at Olympic Park – several of the attractions are closed during the week, and only open on weekends. We were heading there on a Monday so our activities were limited, so watch out for this if you’re going.
In the end, though, it didn’t matter too much because the bestest thing ever, our kids’ favourite thing from the whole trip, was definitely open – the luge run.
What you do here is take a chairlift to the top (where you are treated to a lovely view of all Calgary) and then hop in a little sled and then race down the mountain on a curvy concrete course. It’s stupid expensive but at least the ride is long – probably at least five minutes to get to the bottom – and man, what a rush. Buy the big pack of tickets – you’re going to need it.
My sister and her husband got back to Calgary early the day they were flying home and killed the extra hour by doing a bonus luge run. That’s how fun it is.
Other stuff you can do here:
- Zipline – there are three ziplines, one teeny, one medium, and one huge and scary. We skipped this as the kids were not big enough to do anything other than the teeny one (seriously teeny, like from the top of my house to my yard, for $10 a pop). It’s pricey but popular and this is actually what was featured on The Amazing Race, if you care about that sort of thing.
- Bobsleigh Run – you can take a “dry” run down the actual bobsleigh track used in the Olympics (well, a shortened version of it) but you have to be a minimum age and weight, so again, we skipped this as the kids did not qualify. Looked totally awesome, though. You get a professional driver, by the way, so don’t worry about wiping out, and like everything else at Olympic Park, be prepared to pay big bucks.
- Kids’ Adventure Park – this is the thing that was closed during the week, so sadly we didn’t get to try it. They have a bungee trampoline apparatus where you can jump way up in the air, plus a rock climbing wall and a spider climb thing with ropes and such. Looked awesome, we were sorry to miss it, although we really had no problem filling hours and hours of time with the luge run, because: AWESOME.
Also at the complex is the Sports Hall of Fame, which interestingly enough, was originally scheduled to be in Ottawa, in the conference centre downtown, but there were political issues that moved it out to Calgary. I have to say, we really missed out because this museum is TOTES AWESOME. We loved it there, and could have spent a whole day easily.
The great thing about the Hall of Fame is the interactivity. There’s hundreds of featured athletes and you can spend hours reading their little blurbs (which rock, by the way, so inspiring), but the museum really tries hard to make sport come alive. There’s dozens of clips of live events running all the time; there’s actual sports equipment, so you can try rowing or boxing Lennox Lewis or stopping a hockey puck; there’s cool computer games where you get a little spot of training from the likes of Steve Bauer or Kurt Browning or Donovan Bailey, then try your hand at their sport. There’s lots of life-sized statues of famous athletes so you can stand next to them, there’s iconic uniforms and sports equipment, there’s a pull-at-your-heartstrings movie about highlights of Canadian Sport.
I mean, I don’t even LIKE sports, and I loved this museum.
Verdict: Must do, for the whole shebang.