Keeping Cool in Calgary- Summer 2015

Posted by Marnie Campbell on Friday, March 27th, 2015 at 11:43am.

Staying Cool in Calgary this Summer


Calgary may get it’s fair share of cold weather, but we also have hot prairie summers perfect for taking advantage of our city’s summer activities. If you’re looking to plan summer 2015 to make sure you get the most out of the hot summer months, here are a couple ideas to pencil in to your calendar, that are sure to be a hit.

Slide The City

New to Calgary this year, you’ll want to experience the famous “Slide the City” that comes to Calgary this year (August 1 & 2). It’s the first year for the event to be in Calgary  & the 1,000 foot slip n’ slide will be set up near Riley Park on Calgary’s 10th Street NW. Because of the popularity this event has experienced in other cities, you’ll need to register to slide, and there are different packages to choose from, from one slide to all day sliding, decide whatever suits your best. You’ll want to make sure to arrive early to sign in and pick up your swag bag and make sure to pre-plan your transportation because parking & traffic is restricted. This is an all ages event so if you’re little ones want to take a trip down the slide, take the opportunity and jump on it with them, I mean really, why should the kids have all the fun? Oh yeah, you’re going to want to remember your sunscreen, drinking water, water guns and floaty to make sure you can get everything out of this 2 day event!

Summer safety

There’s so much to pack into the few short months of hot weather that Calgary gets, but it’s also important to take precautions to make sure there aren’t any accidents that will cut your summer fun short. Water activities are always so appealing so make sure that come June, you’re ready to take it all on. The City of Calgary, YMCA and most private aquatic facilities in Calgary offer swimming lessons year round, but if you only enrol your kids in one session, those offered in the spring give them fresh knowledge they can rely on all summer long. Not only are swimming skills taught, but age appropriate water safety information & recognition of distressing water situations can come in handy  during the hot summer months. Check out the registration guides below for more information on swimming lessons.


City of Calgary

YMCA- Membership required 

Handling the heat checklist- make sure to bring…

 Lots of water- fill a water bottle half full and freeze it, once your ready to leave, fill the rest of the bottle, you’ll have the longest lasting ice cube!

  1. Sunscreen- Always have this, even if it doesn’t look bright outside or you plan on only being out for a short period of time, burns happen fast! Oh yeah, check the expiration date, throw it out if it’s pasted it’s best before date, as it can act as a tanning oil otherwise.
  2. Hats and umbrellas- depending on your activity, make sure you have something or somewhere to give you shade.
  3. Sunglasses- rock the latest style and protect your eyes, sun damage can happen quickly and if you’re around water, the reflection off the water from the sun is intensified. 
  4. Walkie-Talkies/ Cell phones & a waterproof watch- if you have pre-teens or older kids that might want to play a little further out of your sight range, setting their waterproof watch for 20 minute increments and telling them to text, call or check in so you know they’re ok, will help ease your nerves. Make sure everyone who’s not in your sight lines has appropriate swimming skills and knowledge of what to do if something goes wrong near water.
  5. First Aid kit- hopefully you don’t have to ever crack this open, but cuts, scrapes and broken noses happen, and when you’re not at home, sterilizing the wound can be tricky; the first aid kit will be your friend here.
  6. Snacks- it doesn’t take much to work up an appetite so take snacks that wont go bad in the heat. Granola bars and fruit snacks are always crowd pleasers.

Spray Parks!!

The greatest idea to come to the city within the last 20 years, spray parks offer the opportunity to cool off without having to do a full body plunge into the water. They’re perfect if you’ve got younger kids who aren’t as adept swimmers yet and some are interactive, offering different opportunities to play around. The water is recycled so you can feel good about not wasting water, but also remind your kids, don’t drink the water. Many Calgary communities have spray parks, but some you have to live in the community to gain access to. Don’t live in a spray park community? Don’t worry, the City of Calgary has seven throughout the city you can visit throughout the summer. 

Bowness Park- 8900 48 Ave NW

Canmore Park- 19 St. & Chicoutimi Dr. NW

Eau Claire Plaza- 3 St. & Riverfront Ave SW

Prairie Winds Park- 223 Castleridge Blvd NE

Rotary Park- 617 1 Street NE

South Glenmore Park- 90 Ave & 24 St. SW

Valleyview Park- 28 St. & 30 Ave SW 

Want to live in a Calgary community with a spray park? Here’s a couple of neighbourhoods to start your search!

Auburn Bay

New Brighton


Do you know of other communities with spray parks? Leave a comment below!

Floating the Rivers!

One of the biggest summertime activity in Calgary is floating the river. Depending on where you live, you can float the Bow River (faster, deeper, colder) or the Elbow River (slower and more relaxed). You can make your trip down the river as quick or long as your like, just remember to plan and know where you’re going. The river’s are usually fairly busy during the hot days, so if you are unsure where you are, you can alway ask a fellow rafter. Check out Albert Rafting Alliance to plan your route. Don't float the river alone, it’s more fun with your friends anyway, but if you do a solo expedition, let someone know where you’re going, your route and time you plan on getting back.

What to bring…

You’ll need to remember a few items, because once you’re on the river, you’re there until your disembarking point. 

  1. Lifejackets are mandatory to wear, not just have with you & the Calgary Police Department are also on the river reminding and re-enforcing this safety point (sometimes with tickets & fines). 
  2. You’ll also need a floating device, you’ll see everything from air mattresses to 8 person islands equipped with stereos and coolers. The most popular option is the 2 person dingy available at your local Canadian Tire store, or you can also rent raft from various companies around the city. 
  3. If you’re not taking a raft/ boat with oars, you’ll want to make sure you have something to steer with or simply make sure you don’t get pushed into the river bank (where you can puncture your raft). Grab a spare boat paddle or even a walking stick before you start, but please try not to tear branches off trees.
  4. You need to have 2 vehicles, one to leave at the departure point and one to have ready to pick you up at your disembarking point. 
  5. Bring water, but leave the booze. Although you’ll see many people sipping a tasty adult beverage, be advised, it’s considered drinking in public and has a fine of $115, and tickets are handed out like candy during the hot months. Floating the river is also a family activity, so plan to go for drinks on a patio after your adventure on the river.
  6. Dry bags are not to be overlooked, they keep everything, well… dry. Here’s a couple things to throw in: Sunscreen, towels, cell phone, hand pump, wallets. 

Calgary’s outdoor swimming pools & wading pools. 

One of Calgary’s best summer feature is it’s outdoor swimming pools & wading pools. The swimming pools have change rooms and are all lifeguard supervised for optimal safety. Calgary wading pools are NOT overseen by lifeguards, so you you’ll need to provide the supervision. They also are in areas with parks and picnic tables so you can plan an afternoon of swimming and an evening BBQ to round the day off. Unless extenuating circumstances arise, opening day is June 20th for the swimming pools & mid to late June for wading pools. 

 City of Calgary Outdoor Swimming Pools

Bowview Outdoor Pool- 1910 6 Ave NW

Forest Lawn Outdoor Pool- 1706 39 St SE

Highwood Outdoor Pool- 25 Holmwood Ave NW

Millican- Ogden Outdoor Pool- 69 Ave & 20A St SE

Mount Pleasant Outdoor Pool- 2310 6 St NW

Silver Springs Outdoor Pool- Silverridge Close & Silverridge Drive NW

South Calgary Outdoor Pool- 3130 16 St SW

Stanley Park Outdoor Pool- 4011 1A St SW

 Wading Pools

 Eau Claire Plaza- 3 St. & Riverfront Ave SW

Prairie Winds Park- 223 Castleridge Blvd NE

Riley Park- 800 12 St NW


Do you have a great water activity to share with Calgarians, we’d love to hear your favourite summertime pastime below!

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