A long-time Calgary resident and mom of three, I was embarrassed it took the hoopla of Heritage Park celebrating its 50th anniversary to motivate me to take my three daughters to this beautiful, and yes, educational, attraction in the south end of the city. The offerings at the park bring history to life in a way that’s accessible to children but can be appreciated by adults, too.

Heritage Park’s serene, natural setting offers a reprieve from today’s modern world – don’t make the mistake I did of letting a busy family schedule keep you away from this experience.

HELP NAB A THIEF 

Looking to experience the thrill a stagecoach robbery? Only at Heritage Park can you act as witness in a mail wagon robbery. Costumed performers act out the theft of Miss Fitzhenry's important package, while the Constable searches for the culprits and holds a public investigation and Town Hall trial.

 
staged heist
 

SWEET TREATS AND GOSSIP 

Time travel shopping and gossip anyone? Whether you’re interested in antique housewares or sweet treats, this is the only spot in the city to offer turn-of-the century shops. Costumed shopkeepers may even catch you up on the local town gossip as you browse.

 
candy shop


YUM! OLD-FASHIONED ICE CREAM 

Heritage Park is also the lone attraction in the city offerings kids and adults the opportunity to make homemade ice cream the pioneer way. Visitors take turns using an antique, hand-cranked ice-cream maker at the Nightingale Colony House before sampling the fruits of their labour.

 
ice cream shop

BOAT CRUISE WITH A VIEW

Where else in Calgary can you cruise on a paddle-wheeler past a view of Calgary’s modern skyline? The S.S. Moyie is a replica of the Moyie, a paddle steamer sternwheeler originally intended for service during the Klondike Gold Rush. She eventually ended up ferrying Canadian Pacific Railway passengers on Kootenay Lake from 1898 until 1957, and now takes park-goers on a 20-minute tour of the Glenmore Reservoir.

 
SS MOYIE BOAT

LIVING HISTORY

While downtown Calgary’s Olympic Plaza is home to the Women are Persons! Monument, only at Canada’s largest living historical museum can you meet one of the Famous 5, Nellie McClung. Two actors play the roles of McClung and her maid Elsa, touring visitors through McClung’s home in eager anticipation of the Persons Case results by telegraph. 


nelly mcclung at desk

 

- By Sarah Deveau


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