Monthly Archives: June 2017

Canada Day 150 in Calgary!

There’s so much going on all over the city on Canada Day – take the whole family out and enjoy!

The City of Calgary Canada Day Celebrations. Canada Day is Calgary’s largest single-day festival and this year, it will be even more special as we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday all across downtown Calgary! More activities and festivities will be added to join annual favorites such as the Living Flag, Powwow dancers, live music, and fireworks.

11pm; Canada Day Fireworks. The fireworks are being launched from the Centre Street Bridge at 11pm. Wherever you happen to be at 11 p.m. on Canada Day, if you can see the sky above the Centre Street Bridge, you’ll have a wonderful view of this world-class fireworks show. You can enjoy the show  from any viewing location along the entire Bow River corridor.

3pm to 11pm; Canada Day in Airdrie. Family Fun Event includes live bands and family entertainment, some of the Calgary region’s best food trucks, henna, fireworks, face painting and many surprises to come. Check out their Facebook page for further details!

4pm to 11pm; Canada Day in Cochrane. Celebrate Canada Day at Mitford Park! A variety of Food trucks, Jumpstart Games hosted by Canadian Tire, Multi-cultural Activity Centre hosted by the Cochrane Immigrant Services Committee, Bumper Balls, Mini-Golf, super inflatable slide, Interactive Reptile Display and photo ops, Kids Zone, mascots, fireworks, live music and more!

9am to 11pm; Canada Day in Chestermere. Join us for a fun filled family celebration, as we come together as a community for Canada Day! Pancakes, kids activities, bunny races, swing dancing, wagon racing, cake, fireworks and more!

Canada Day in Okotoks. Special activities are being held all day long at various Olde Towne Okotoks merchants; fireworks following the Dawgs game starting at 7:05pm. Join Okotoks for barbeques, multicultural fun events, and much more! Check out the website.

12pm tp 9pm; Genesis Centre Canada Day Outdoor Festival. Enjoy this free family-friendly festival at the Genesis Centre! Bouncy castles, games and slides, henna, live music, an artisan market, and much more!

10am to 7pm; Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday with Calaway Park! The first 1,000 guests will receive a Canadian birthday cupcake. Surprise giveaways, too! And Calaway Live will be performing One Five Oh Canada, a high-energy musical performance celebrating what it means to be Canadian.

10am to 5pm; Canada/Dominion Day at Heritage Park. Celebrate Canada Day the old- fashioned way! The first 2017 guests can enjoy a free pancake breakfast. Watch an old-fashioned parade, mini chuckwagon races, and visit the new exhibit and performance: A Journey of a Lifetime.

10am to 4pm; Canada Day at the Calgary Corn Maze & Fun Farm. Come out to the Farm for Canada Day celebrations! There will be face painting, marshmallow roasting, Lost Treasure Mining, train and wagon rides, petting zoo animals, and more!

9am to 5pm; Canada Day at Fort Calgary. Beginning with a free pancake breakfast in the morning, this is a day of celebration and fun. Activities include live music, traditional Indigenous games and stories, the NWMP Commemorative Association patrol camp, a food truck caravan, powwow dance workshops, plus The City’s ‘Living Flag’ event.

10am to 5pm; Canada Day Celebrations at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Be inspired by Canada’s greatest sport heroes and test your skills on 50 hands-on interactive exhibits! Family crafts, activities, and 3 special film screenings will take place throughout the day. The short films include Harry Jerome: The Fastest Man on Earth, My Brand New Life, and The Sweater.

10am to 6pm; Canada Day Celebrations in Chinatown. Join the celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday and decades of Chinese contributions to this great country in Calgary’s Chinatown District. Enjoy cultural performances, family friendly activities or visit our stores and indulge your taste buds with culinary delights from Asia.

9am to 1pm; Canada Day Celebrations at Confederation Park. Come on out and enjoy a free pancake breakfast, horse-drawn wagon rides, main stage musical entertainment, a new natural play space and the opening of a 1967 time capsule. There will be lots of family friendly activities to enjoy.

10am to 5pm; Canada Day at Studio Bell. On Canada Day, celebrate at Studio Bell with live music that takes you across Canada, interactive exhibitions, and some surprises!

10am to 5pm; Canada Day at Calgary’s Central Library. As a place where the nation’s stories are discovered, shared and celebrated, the Calgary Public Library invites everyone to drop by the Central Library for family-friendly activities, including: campfire stories and songs (English, French, Indigenous); 150 acts of reconciliation; selfie station; arts and craft activities including colouring stations, storywall, and animal tracks adventure; Lego construction pit; giant chess tournament.

11am to 2pm; Celebrate Canada at Prairie Winds Park. Celebrate Canada is an initiative of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamā’at (AMJ) Calgary. Enjoy a complimentary barbecue, flag hoisting, and recreational activities.

For more details, check out our calendar online at!

Jump into Fun With our Top Tips to Make the Most of Spruce Meadows!

MES_8954by Nanica Brown

There is no doubt that Spruce Meadows is an iconic part of Calgary. While it’s best-known for the incredible summer show jumping season it’s best-kept secret is what a special place it is for families of all ages the other 365 days of the year.

Which is exactly what founders, Ron and Marg Southern wanted. “They really wanted it to be a space for the community to enjoy and it is certainly become that,” said Caroline Grant, Media Coordinator and Administrator for Spruce Meadows.

Inspired by that and in honour of Canada’s 150 Spruce Meadows has ensured that there will be family friendly events on all season. This includes Movies in the Meadow which will take place Wednesday evenings from July 19th – 23rd of August and for the first time a corn maze and pumpkin patch that will open in the fall.

So how can you make the most of your day?

There are a few simple ways to get the most out of this low cost, family friendly venue. Deciding how long you want to stay in advance, whether you will pack snacks and drinks and what you really want to see will help you ensure that everyone has a great time.

What does it cost to get in?

For events rush seating in the east and west grandstand is only $5 for teens and adults. Children and seniors are free. If you want a guaranteed spot to see all of the action you can reserve a spot in the south-west grandstand for $35. Our favourite spot is the west grandstand’s grassy space where kids can get up and move around when the mood takes them. Just remember to pack sunscreen.

When is the best time to go?

Pretty much anytime that works for you. If you are heading out to one of the Summer Series show jumping events know that the horses are jumping at the seven different competition rings all day. However, if you want to see the elite jumpers the international ring starts later in the day and goes into the evening.

My kids have a short attention span; is there anything else to do?

Don’t worry! There is enough to keep even the most restless child amused. Situated throughout the grounds are face painting, pony rides, a playground, the ever charming Prairie Dogs competing to see who will be the top dog, Sam Steele’s Scouts and a variety of local musicians showcasing their skills.

How do I get there?

Parking is a hot commodity and traffic can really back up during tournaments. Plan ahead and take one of the Red Arrow Shuttle busses. They pick you up from the Somerset-Bridlewood C-Train station and run every 30 minutes. The full schedule can be found here:

We can’t make it to an event, can we still go?

Sure, there are lots of things to do. The best part of Spruce Meadows is that it is open to the public all year round and, outside of tournaments and special events, it is free to wander the grounds. Our favourite non-event activities are having a picnic, going for a family walk to see the horses training, going fishing* or even trying to teach your little one to ride a bike in the open spaces. While in the winter we like to skate on the pond, get hot chocolate and tour the lights at night and visit the Christmas Market.

*Spruce Meadows has closed the pond to fishing this summer because of the outbreak of whirling disease. They will let the public know as soon as it reopens.

Nanica is a Calgary’s Child staff writer as well as a mother of two adorable, but fearless, turkeys (kids). A crazy cat lady, and wife to one super smart nerd, she is loving every experience this city has to offer.


5 Tips for Giving Teacher Gifts

60_ Exploring Learning Styles127Teachers are a huge influence on the children they teach. Next to their parents or caregivers, teachers spend more time with your child than any other adult in their lives! If your child’s teacher has gone above and beyond to make their year special, a “thank you” gift at the end of the year is a lovely way to make them feel appreciated.

1. Give something consumable

Teachers will love any gift that comes from the heart, but storage for years and years of trinkets can sometimes be a challenge. Many teachers move from classroom to classroom (or even school to school!) at the end of every year, and desk space is usually at a premium. Something consumable can be enjoyed right away without ending up at the back of the classroom supply closet.

Here are some of our favorite consumable teacher gifts:

  •  Some loose-leaf iced teas to enjoy during the summer
  • A box of special chocolates
  • A “home spa” set with bath bombs or body lotions and a candle
  • A batch of your favorite cookie recipe in a pretty tin

If you choose to give your child’s teacher something they can eat, drink, or apply (like lotions and body creams,) make sure to ask if they have any allergies or restrictions you should know about. It might spoil the surprise a bit, but they’ll thank you for it!

2. Consider a gift certificate

Gift certificates may seem a bit impersonal, but they are often really popular with teachers. Having the freedom to pick something for themselves that they’ll really enjoy can be nice for a year-end splurge! Teachers spend long evenings and weekends working during the school year, so gift certificates for a date night or some self care might be just what they need now that the year is almost over!

Here are some basic suggestions, but ask your child – you’ll be surprised how many good ideas they might have!

  • A manicure or pedicure from a local nail salon
  • A gift card for their favorite coffee shop
  • Movie passes
  • A gift certificate for a trendy restaurant nearby
  • Mall gift certificates

3. Keep it private

Whatever you decide is appropriate as a family, try to keep your present as private as you can. There will be kids in your child’s class who love their teacher but don’t have parents at home who are able or willing to give a gift; there will also be parents who will feel self-conscious about giving a smaller gift.

If possible, give your gift after class is finished. Consider avoiding the last day of school, since there will be a rush for the teacher’s attention. Choose a quiet day in the last week of school and let the teacher know you’re coming by to drop something special off – if there are fewer parents and kids around, there will be less of a chance of awkwardness or hurt feelings.

4. Talk to the other parents

If you’re on good terms with some other parents in your child’s class and know they’re planning on giving a gift, talk to them ahead of time about chipping in for a larger one from multiple families. This may also prevent your child’s teacher from getting 25 Tim Hortons gift certificates! (We can think of worse things, but hey!)

5. Include a card with your child’s name and picture

No matter what you give, make sure you include a card with your child’s name, the year, and a current picture. All the teachers I know keep yearbooks and scrapbooks from every grade they teach; as the years go by, a picture and a name can bring back all kinds of wonderful memories.