One of the great things about being a parent is seeing the world through the unfiltered eyes of your children. To them, every new place has the potential to create wonder and unforgettable memories. And if there’s the promise of ice cream after a midway ride, the experience will border on magical. In a nutshell, that’s Calaway Park. 

This amusement park just west of Calgary is affordable and easy to navigate, and it boasts fewer crowds than popular theme parks south of the border. We love that it has a growing selection of gluten-free foods and healthy salads in addition to classic goodies like churros and cotton candy. What’s more, Calaway Park delivers in the thrills department, with 32 rides that range from a gentle carousel to giant swings to a wild rollercoaster. Here are our family’s Top 5 screams.


We almost skipped this gem of a ride because it was late in the afternoon and I was worried we’d get wet and cold. We got soaked, but it was worth it. My son and I laughed maniacally as we chased down other boats of shrieking park-goers to douse them with the water gun attached to our round bumper craft. 

father and son on Bumper boats


The best place at Calaway Park for a beat-the-heat licking is Little Deuce Scoop. I savoured my giant cookies ‘n cream double cone while the kids gobbled up their strawberry-banana and vanilla-chocolate treats. Beware eating them too fast, however, or you’ll get an unexpected amusement park scream—an ice cream headache.

Brothers eating ice cream


My daughter dragged me on to Calaway Park’s legendary rollercoaster while extolling its dual virtues of speed and upside-down loops. We hollered down the steep descent and continued screaming through two back-to-back corkscrews. The best part is the ride repeats itself and you get to perfect your yelling on the second loop.

Calaway Park Rollercoaster


I screamed my head off my first time plummeting down the final descent on this watery log ride when it was Shoot the Chutes, so I can only imagine the thrills in store when Timber Falls opens later this summer. The brand new ride will feature three drops, bigger splashes, and constant loading to bring the wait time down. 

people on log ride


The screams in here are not caused by the giant papier mache monster, or the creepy butler, or the warnings scrawled in white along the dark corridors; rather, they’re induced by members of your own party (e.g. dads) who sneak up behind you and yell “Boo!” just when you think there’s nothing scary inside.

- By Lisa Kadane



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