Opting for a staycation vs a vacation doesn’t always need to be about saving money. It can be a chance to reallocate funds like airfare to do things you couldn’t normally afford to do while vacationing.
Choosing to vacation at home can be a chance to level up and create an unforgettable family trip. Without the stress of flights and all of the other challenges associated with visiting unfamiliar territory, your family vacation can be focused solely on fun.
Right now we’re home in Calgary,
Here’s what we think are some of the best Calgary staycation ideas!
Stay Different Ways
What do you usually spend per night for accommodation when you travel? Hotel costs are one of the biggest hits to any travel budget. What could you do with the money you’d usually spend staying multiple nights in a hotel?
Here’s some inspiration for different ways to stay during your Calgary staycation.
- Stay a night at The Fairmont Palliser Hotel, Calgary’s oldest and most extravagant hotel.
- Rent something to Make your own outdoor space a little more luxurious, like a hot tub, for the family to enjoy for a couple of days.
- Check out some of Calgary’s best Airbnb rentals. Some hosts offer some pretty incredible accommodations in Calgary’s most desirable neighborhoods. How much fun would it be to rent a cool place a night or two and explore historic Elbow Park, metropolitan Eau Claire, or along the river in beautiful Bowness?
Check out Calgary’s Most Exciting Attractions
Airfare is one of the most expensive travel costs. Imagine all the fun the fun things you could do in Calgary with the money you’d spend for flights!
Here are some of the most exciting activities you can try in Calgary.
- Get a different perspective on home. Take a balloon with Sundance Balloons! The most fun way to get a view of everything that Calgary’s surrounding area has to offer floating way up high in a hot air balloon! Sundance’s tour in Calgary takes about four hours, a truly special experience you and your kids will never forget.
- Try bobsledding and/or luge at Winsport’s Canada Olympic Park. Seriously, winter or summer you can experience an exciting ride like no other for a lot less than you’d think.
- Float down the Elbow River in a raft and see your city from a different perspective. Lazy Day Raft Rentals has everything you need for a fun and safe trip down the River.
- Did you know Calgary has the largest urban pathway system in North America? Around 800 kilometers of maintained pedestrian and bike paths! This means we Calgarians don’t need to leave the city limits to find great biking terrain. Pick a few routes and explore the most beautiful parts of the city.
- Make the most of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth! The Calgary Stampede is 10 of the most exciting, fun-filled days in the city. This year playing at Stampede Park can even be affordable! The new Stampede Super Pass entitles visitors unlimited entry to the park for only $39.
Escape the City for a day or two
You don’t need to travel far to find adventure in Southern Alberta!
- There are 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites within short driving distance from Calgary; Dinosaur Provincial Park, Waterton Provincial Park, Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump, and Banff National Park. Why not visit them all! Go glamping in Dinosaur Provincial Park, camp for a night in a real tipi in Waterton Provincial Park and visit Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump. Drive the Bow Valley Parkway In Banff National Park, stay a night at the Bakers Creek Mountain Resort, and hike Johnsons Canyon.
- Visit Drumheller to check out The Tyrell Museum, explore the historic Atlas Coal Mine, and climb into the mouth of the world’s largest dinosaur!
- Want to explore the Canadian Rockies a different way? How about from the inside! Check out the Rats nest Cave system near Canmore. The subterranean site has more than 4 Kilometers of underground tunnels containing cool things like ancient bone deposits, pictographs, and cave formations. It’s a museum, lab, and art gallery all in one incredible location.
Go to a Show
Calgary hosts a whole litany of fun family friendly festivals. Then there’s all of the theaters and businesses that offer shows and plays that kids and grownups love.
- Visit Calgary, Calgary’s Tourism board offers up to date information about everything happening in Calgary. Check out the calendar of events on their website and time your staycation to include a show or festival you’d like to attend. Some personal favorites are Global Fest, a fireworks extravaganza; Events and special installations at Telus Spark; Beakerhead, one of the world’s coolest spectacles of science, art, and engineering; and big city markets like the Lilac Festival and the Sun and Salsa Festival.
- Jubilations Dinner Theatre– Three hours of serious family fun. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another place and time! They coordinate musical comedies with four-course meals to create a fun experience like no other in Calgary.
- Go to a sporting event- When was the last time your family went to a Fames or Stampeders game? What about the Roughnecks? Going to a game is a great way to keep the excitement high during your homestay.
Learn Something New
A family staycation is a great time to learn something new!
- If you want to staycation in the Winter, learn to ski in under 2 hours at Winsport’s Canada Olympic Park. Their Winter Discovery Ski Lessons last 90 minutes and include ski equipment rentals and a lift ticket for the remainder of the day.
- Try climbing at The Calgary Climbing Center. They have 3 family friendly locations in Calgary.
- Learn about horses and how to ride them. There are a variety of guest ranches and tour operators around the city that offer different types of horseback adventures.
- Take a city tour and learn cool stuff about your hometown! Calgary Walks offers a fun filled 2-hour tour to help you discover tons of hidden gems in the Downtown area.
There is always something happening in and around Calgary. Choosing to take a staycation instead of an out of town vacation could give you the chance to experience something really incredible in your hometown. Customize a staycation to fit your timeframe and budget.
Featured image by Sundance Balloons.