I love having the opportunity to spend one on one time with my kids. With Logan’s 11th birthday coming up, I was excited for a little weekend getaway with him in Calgary! With so many things to see and do in downtown Calgary our weekend was jam packed, Tourism Calgary was a big help with ideas of what to see and do! Check out their website next time you are planning a trip to Calgary, it is filled with great info!
We took the Ford Canada Ranger with us on our road trip to Calgary. This truck was a great size to drive on the highway and I found it easy to park when we got downtown. The Ranger offers Apple CarPlay which is perfect for someone like me who is constantly getting texts and phone calls for work. I was able to stay in touch while driving and use the maps on my phone to navigate through downtown Calgary. The ride was smooth and it put Logan to sleep both ways!
Where to Stay
We stayed at the brand new Residence Inn by Marriott. It is located where the historic boot company once stood in the heart of the Beltline neighbourhood in Calgary. Our room was on the 33rd floor which offered sweeping views of downtown. This hotel offers valet parking, concierge services, complimentary daily breakfast buffet, shared laundry, and a large workout facility. The staff was attentive and so helpful with all of our needs. They also left Logan a special birthday surprise in the room! It is the perfect spot for a family trip or business traveller. Click here to book your next stay in Calgary!
Our room was so clean, it offered a kitchen and living room area with 2 queen beds. The room felt like we were staying in our own condo it was so spacious! Other options at this location include studio rooms and one bedroom suites. The beds were so comfortable we both had a great nights sleep. The hotel location offers complimentary grocery delivery services for long term stays as well as a 24 hour market in the lobby. It was great having a kitchen in the room for our snacks and a full fridge for our drinks.
The Residence Inn by Marriott has a large breakfast buffet daily for travellers with endless options including: waffles, eggs, hash browns, sausages, yogurt, fruits, cereals, oatmeal, toast, bagels and baked goods. With so many options we had a hard time choosing! Logan loved all the choices and enjoyed sampling a little bit of this and that. His favourite was having the opportunity to make his own waffles!
The hotel was family and pet friendly but also great for travellers and people looking to stay long term. The location was ideal and we felt safe walking around in the evenings after our dinner and activities. I can’t wait to bring the whole family, including Bandit back to experience the hotel!
What to see
Downtown Calgary offers so many great things to see and do with kids! We wanted to experience a little bit of everything on our weekend getaway and we did just that! From local attractions to roaming the city, we took in all the sights of downtown!
Calgary Tower – located high up in the sky (191 meters to be exact) the tower offers 360 degree views of the city, Rocky Mountains and the prairies. The glass floor allows you to see straight down to the ground and makes for great photos and boomerangs! With the Calgary Flames being in the playoffs this year the tower was lit up red in celebration on game night. My hockey loving son thought it was so cool to see from our hotel.
Central Library – the newly opened library in the East Village is a must see! The architecture of the building is mind blowing and the library offers 4 floors of things to see and do! There is no cost to visit making it an affordable option for families travelling to the city.
The library offers a large kids area with interactive games, a play structure and loads of books to curl up with. There were lots of families visiting on a Saturday but it didn’t feel crowded because the space was so large! Logan loved the comic book area and I enjoyed checking out the building design. You can plan to spend a couple hours here exploring with your family.
Studio Bell National Music Centre – another must see building for the modern architecture! The National Music Centre is located down the street from the library so we were able to explore both in the same day.
The Music Centre offers 5 floors of interactive rooms and exhibits from famous Canadian musicians. I didn’t realize that Canada had so many famous musicians! Logan enjoyed the interactive aspect playing with many instruments throughout our visit. He also learned a lot about music and it’s history while we were there. Take some time after to wander around the East Village and check out some of the sights while in the area. You can plan to spend a whole afternoon in this neighbourhood with everything it has to offer.
Get Snapping – Downtown Calgary has so many things to see and do. We wandered around town and found some great instagrammable walls as well as the Peace Bridge in the Eau Claire neighbourhood. Be sure to take your camera to capture some great shots around the city!
Where to Eat
Calgary is a hot spot for food options. With so many choices in the downtown area it was hard to choose where to eat! From pizza and pasta to burgers, we tried a variety of restaurants on this trip.
Ten Foot Henry – I love this restaurant, it’s always one of my favourites to visit in when staying in Calgary. Their new menu had lots of delicious offerings, we tried the henry salad, roasted cauliflower and bucatini. I love that the dishes are share style, it gives you the opportunity to try a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Thank you to Tourism Calgary for the lunch date!
Clive Burger – Logan loves burgers and fries so we stopped by Clive burger for lunch. The menu is small but everything we tried was delish! I tried the hamburger and fries and Logan enjoyed the kids meal which came with a mini burger and fries. They have the best dipping sauce for your fries, make sure to get it if you go! Clive Burger is in a great location on 17th ave, we did a little shopping after lunch as well!
Una Pizza & Wine – Pizza is another kid friendly option and Una offers dine in and take out options. This restaurant is very popular so expect to wait to get in or try to visit during less peak times. We like to use the Yelp waitlist to check in online and get us a spot to cut down on wait times, especially with kids. We started with the Spanish cheese croquettes and enjoyed the kale caesar salad and margarita pizza for dinner. They were all fabulous choices we would recommend!
Logan and I share a love of sweets treats and downtown Calgary has so many options for dessert! From ice cream to donuts there is something for everyone with a sweet tooth.
Village Ice Cream – Located in the Victoria Park area of downtown Calgary, Village Ice Cream is walking distance from the new library. All there ice cream is handmade in Calgary and they offer seasonal flavours as well as their regular best sellers. I loved the salted caramel and Phil & Sebastian coffee flavours and Logan went for the classic village vanilla bean. Take a walk down the street to discover the beautifully painted murals along the way towards the library!
Hoopla Donuts – When I asked on Instagram this one the number one place people suggested we visit! The donut flavours change on a daily basis (see menu) and they sell out all the time so make sure to visit earlier in the day! They are also only open Monday thru Friday so you can only get them during the week. We tried 6 different donuts and all loved the different variety of flavours offered. My personal fave was the raspberry truffle cheesecake!
This blog post was written in partnership with Tourism Calgary, Residence Inn Marriott Calgary Downtown and Ford Canada. We were invited to experience attractions in Calgary, stay at the new hotel and drive a Ford vehicle. Views expressed are my own based on our personal experiences. We love the city of Calgary so we are so excited to share our experience with readers.