Saskatchewan summers are no doubt beautiful, but we decided to take our crew on the road this summer. We went to Calgary for a week, and had SO much fun together as a family! Though our days were busy and full, we loved our time together as a family of five. We left feeling refreshed and with full hearts. Our accommodation was booked through Airbnb, and was totally perfect for us! We found an apartment that had everything we needed. We visited so many fun places- Calgary Zoo, Calaway Park, Riley Park, Granary Road, Royal Tyrell Museum, Kensington Harry Potter day, and of course some vacation shopping! We found local restaurants serving up incredible gluten free options. The words “incredible” and “gluten free” don’t often come in the same sentence. It felt like we ate a delicious hole through the city of Calgary…

 

{ The Village Flatbread Co. }

After doing a quick search of gluten free pizza options near our apartment, we found The Village Flatbread Co. Man, am I ever glad that we did! The pizza was AWESOME! And it wasn’t like there was just one pizza you could get gluten free, their pizzas were 100% gluten free!! There was a very happy little blonde kid at our table that day, let me tell ya!

 

{ Riley Park }

While looking for family activities in and around Calgary, I happened upon Riley Park. There is a HUGE wading pool (that is free to the public), a large playground and on Saturdays throughout the summer, Dr. Seuss in the park. A tent was there providing books, activities and crafts for the kids to do, all promoting literacy for the kids- it was so great! We spent the whole day roaming between the pool, playground, and craft tent. Such a great way to spend a hot Saturday, without having to spend a cent!

 

 

{ Kensington – Harry Potter Day }

Cam and I (and our kids) are kind of nerds. Ok, not kind of. We’re nerds, and we own it! We were so excited to find out that we happened to be in Calgary for Harry Potter Day, which was hosted in the Kensington area. A number of businesses transformed blocks upon blocks into Diagon Alley, and my nerd heart exploded a little. People walking by in costumes, even combining some of our favourite nerd culture into one magical moment- the Storm Trooper with the Harry Potter scar and the Tyrannosaurus in the Gryffindor scarf really were the best! We took the C-train from the Sunalta station to Kensington, and got special day passes that showed “Calgary to Hogwarts”, and even arrived at platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross station! I couldn’t believe the effort everyone put in for the day, we were so impressed!

 

 

{ Calgary Zoo }

You can’t visit Calgary without going to the zoo! Our kids are at great ages for the zoo, we had so much fun with them. Hippos are some of my favourite animals, but one of the hippos at the zoo was even better than most. We watched from the indoor viewing area for about 15 minutes as one of the hippos came up to the glass, belly closest to us, and dunked itself under the water. Then you’d see four hippo feet “walking” up the glass of the underwater viewing area, and it would do a backflip! We watched on as it happened over and over! The back flipping hippo was a favourite for everyone!

 

 

{ Double Zero Pizza }

After a morning of shopping at the Chinook Centre mall, we had to find our hangry- yes, that is right, hANGRY- crew (read: mom) something to eat. I’d read some awesome things about Double Zero Pizza, and they were all true! As I mentioned, pizza is the most loved meal for our kids, one in particular (Lego Batman), so this was a perfect way to bookend the trip! We tried a couple pizzas, but our ABSOLUTE favourite was the Prosciutto & Apple pizza. Caramelized onion, shredded apple, salty prosciutto- it sounds like a strange combination, but it is so fantastic- I almost wished we had ordered two of the same pizza!

 

 

{ Calaway Park }

There are SO many summers that I remember growing up where we went to Calaway Park. It was the first real theme park that I had ever visited! I was so excited to take our kids there this summer. They were at the PERFECT ages to take a trip to Calaway, and could ride most of the rides, which was fantastic! We put on a lot of miles walking that day, but it was worth it to hear those laughs and see the (mostly) smiling faces. Our oldest son, Ashton, was tall enough to ride the roller coaster- his first that turned upside down! It took some convincing, but he did get on the ride with me, and didn’t throw up as he claimed he would, which is always a bonus.

 

{ Granary Road }

A new attraction, just 30 minutes south of Calgary opened in early July. It is called Granary Road, and it was so great! It is on 36 acres of land, and has a greenhouse, restaurant, market, and a huge active learning park. Our family LOVED this place! There are themed sections that teach you different things. A section all about spiders, that includes a huge rope spiderweb that the kids can climb all over. Another favourite was the frog section, where there are lily pads (trampolines) built into the ground for the kids to hop around on. Their absolute favourite was the Orchard Treehouse. It features huge fruit that you can climb on, slide through, and even zip-line to! We were there before the market and restaurant were running, but we will visit the next time we’re in town! There is so much to explore- highly recommend it!

 

{ Blue Star Diner }

GLUTEN FREE BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN. Those are five words I never thought I’d see, but oh baby, Blue Star Diner has done it! It was incredibly delicious! Cam had the mac & cheese, which wasn’t gluten free, but he said it was also amazing.

 

 

{ Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller }

Located in the heart of the Alberta badlands, is a gem for science lovers- the Royal Tyrell Dinosaur museum. My kids LOVE dinosaurs. Who am I kidding? I do too… You know when you feel like watching something, and you just end up watching a movie you’ve seen a million times? My go-to movie is Jurassic Park. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched it- A LOT! Clever girl… We wanted to take our dino loving kids through the museum, especially to see all of the fossils that were found all around Alberta and Saskatchewan. I love looking at the badlands, it is so vastly different than the prairie around Regina, and it just feels like you have arrived in a different time!