During the winter and summer months, the Calgary Olympic Park is the place to be for outdoor sports and recreation. Winter is the park’s main season with skiing and snowboarding, cross country skiing, hockey and skating. Visitors can even try a bobsled ride. In summer, the park transforms into a playground with ropes courses, zip lines, mountain biking, mini golf, and tours from the ski jump towers (for amazing views).
But what if you visit during the fall or spring? We stopped by in May, during which the snow was melting and the summer activities hadn’t ramped up yet. We spent our time in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, located adjacent to the park. This large indoor museum houses exhibits on all the inductees to Canada’s sporting hall of fame, but even if you’re not very knowledgeable about Canadian athletics, it’s worth the price of admission.
There are galleries within the hall celebrating many sports: hockey is represented of course, as are other Canadian favorites like curling, downhill skiing, and Canadian football, but so are baseball, rowing, cycling, basketball, and boxing. In each gallery, interactive exhibits offer either a film, a chance to demo equipment (try your hand at rowing!), or a simulator (learn how to curl).
My kids spent the most time at the multi-sports simulator, which let them hit real hockey pucks, soccer balls, and footballs at a screen that tested their accuracy, speed, and the like. A movie plays regularly in the theater, giving an overview on Canadian sports achievements. The Calgary Games are featured prominently throughout the hall, of course. There’s a particularly great short film on Canadian hockey.
You’ll need about an hour to tour the museum. On fair-weather days when the attractions at the park are open, it may not be worth your time, but for the shoulder seasons or during poor weather, this is definitely a place to check out.
We opted for a family admission of $30 (two adults and two kids). Otherwise, admission is $12 for adults and $8 for kids.
The hall is closed Mondays, and open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.
The hall is located at 169 Canada Olympic Road SW, next to the Canada Olympic Park. It’s about 20 minutes from downtown Calgary.
We toured Sports Hall of Fame on our Great Coast Road Trip with Coast Hotels. Read more about our road trip through the Wild West of Alberta!
Photo credit: Amy Whitley and Flickr/DavidWilson