With winter's grip upon us, many Calgarians seek refuge in either the warm confines of their homes or move swiftly from one building to another avoiding bone chilling winds.
Luckily, the advantages of a winter wonderland can morph into a day excursion for the whole family.
Calgary presents many sights and sounds for families seeking fun activities. A great starting point is the Olympic Plaza. The public skating rink is where kids of all ages can tie on their sharpest ice skates and practice their spins and figure eights. Parking is available on three sides of the site. You'll find convenient parking at: the EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts, the TELUS Convention Centre, the City Hall Parkade and East of City Hall (on 3 Street SE).
Once you’ve mastered the art of ice skating, grabbing a cup of hot chocolate for all can warm cold hands and stomachs at Baraka’s Café. It’s located conveniently on the main level of the EPCOR Centre. Pastries, sandwiches, coffee and tea can appease any appetite.
With full bellies, it’s on to the Plus 15’s, where a trip displaying an eclectic mix of art pieces awaits.
In downtown Calgary, citizens are fond of the Plus 15 bridges, especially on the minus 25 (minus 32 with the wind chill) days, the Plus 15’s are heaven sent.
As one walks along the carpeted (and heated) pathways, there is much eye candy along the way. The bridges present themselves as a self-guided tour through an array of art pieces.
For those who enjoy walking while seeing artwork, the smorgasbord of art and history collide upon arriving into the EPCOR centre.
Here you will see artwork, the temporary exhibits by Calgary Galleries and the shop where stage sets are created.
Directions: Continue south and turn east along the corridor. Turn north at the corner.
Art worth seeing: Pristine.
Location: Glenbow east corridor, first floor.
If you’d like to end your trip of the Plus 15’s, here there’s always the exhibits at the Glenbow Museum.
Feeling a little ambitious? The family can go a little farther to the Calgary Convention Centre (120, 9 Avenue SE, first floor atrium). Gargoyles is a piece of the architectural detail retrieve from the original Calgary Herald building. A mystical creature can be found alongside the Gargoyles, the Little Mermaid, a famous bronzed statue gracefully observing the passing traffic of the corridor.
Or the family can choose to follow the Plus 15 to the west, following the bridge over Macleod Trail to the Calgary Municipal Buildings.
Art worth seeing: The Bears.
Location: West entrance of the building.
Continue across the Plus 15 to the Municipal Building. Take the stairs or elevator down to ground level and proceed east toward the parking pay station, which will end the tour.
All of the Plus 15 is located above 9 Street SW in the west, 10 Avenue S in the south, 3 Avenue S in the north, and 3 Street SE in the east.
Take the afternoon and choose an adventure exploring the bridges.