Heritage Park is always a fun trip with the kids. We bought annual passes this year and have definitely used our money’s worth. The park has gone extensive renovations over the last couple years and the changes are great. The parking lot has a pedestrian pathway with years marking each section. If you pay attention, the numbers run from the 2000’s all the way back to the 1900’s as you approach the park gates. It’s a great way to explain to kids that you are “stepping back in time”. When you arrive at the gate there’s a new square with pagoda. In the winter they host an ice rink made of artificial ice. The square is surrounded by stores which are worth a peek. They have treats from “years gone by” – like toys and most prices are pretty reasonable. The walk from the parking can be far with little ones but at the far end is the stop for the street car. It costs $1/person or free with annual pass and it a lot of fun for the kids.
The newest attraction is Gasoline Alley. Right though the gates you enter the garage and see all the old cars. The kids are always wowed by them all and the shiny paint colours. But the best part of it is that it’s open year round and provides a place to escape the rain. They have a section in the back set up for the kids. There’s a car they can sit in and pretend to be watching a drive-in movie as well as a circuit with tricycles, gas pumps and street signs. The kids always have a blast there and often don’t want to see more of the park. We usually end up doing a stop on the way into the park and on the way out. If you have a pass it’s also a great place to pop in to play on the bikes for even just 20 minutes.
There’s a lot of walking at Heritage Park. This is the main reason I love taking the kids there. There seem to be so many excuses in our lives for the kids to sit around or be shuttled here and there by car so this is a great way to get them moving – and they don’t always notice! There’s just so much to see at the park. Since we have passes we don’t usually see it all every time. This past visit we simply did Main Street. We checked out the rides on the West side of town and hoped a ride on the carousel. Next we mosey-ed on down to the bakery to catch the smell of fresh-baked bread. And as always we had to take a stop in the school house for my daughter to pretend she’s in school. Next was the train station to watch the train pull up and pick up passengers. The train goes around the entire park stopping at every 2nd stop. There’s 3 in total so it’s about every 20 minutes that it arrives.
There’s lots of places for picnics – picnic tables, grassy spots and benches. There are also many establishments selling food but we always pack our own picnic. We let our daughter bring a few coins to buy her own candy from the general store. But with an ice cream parlour, bakery with gingerbread cookies and sticky buns and a candy store – there’s plenty your kids will be bugging you for that a healthy lunch is my compromise.
Because the place is a blast to the past – the roads are not paved and the boardwalks are few – meaning that if there’s recently been rain or it is raining it can get a bit mucky. There are also live horses doing their rounds of the town which means mess in the streets. I haven’t had to put the kids in rubber boots but I don’t recommend their Sunday best. On the hand if it’s sunny – do remember a hat and sunscreen. The sun in Calgary can be quite hot and the park has lots of open areas and with its enormous size there’s plenty of time for the kids to burn!
Park – Weekends from 10am-5pm until October 11th.
Gasoline Alley Museum – Open daily, year round. 9:30am-5:00pm
Park admission – $19 adult, $14 child over 3 years
Gasoline Alley (after Oct 11th) – $9.50 adult, $4.50 child over 3 years
Annual Passes – $45 adult, $27 child over 3 years, $55 flex pass (anyone can use the pass – great for grandparents) or $117 family
There are also options for all of these to include rides.
Danielle is mom to a 3.5 year old daughter and 1.5 year old son and always looking for fun things to do with the kids.