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Calgary

Picnic in the Park

By JANET DAVIE

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Courtesy of Tourism Calgary

August may be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy the lingering warm days. Celebrate the end of summer outside with a picnic in one of Calgary’s parks:

Central Memorial Park
Located in the heart of the Beltline district, this park is adorned with pretty flowerbeds, fountains, and a couple of statues. Grab a few friends and order the Group Lunch to Go at the Boxwood Café, situated in the park itself (note that groups must call 24 hours in advance to order). The boxed lunch consists of your choice of sandwich, salad, and a cookie, and there are additional add-ons that you may order as well. The full menu at Boxwood is also available for take-out. Roll out a blanket and you have the perfect picnic lunch with your pals.

St Patrick’s Island

Recently opened in July, this spot is just a few steps from East Village and features marked walking and biking pathways and a small amphitheater to host performances. Before walking to the island, pick up lunch at Sidewalk Citizen Bakery in the Simmons Building. Try their Jerusalem Mix—chicken thighs and livers are tossed with caramelized onions and cumin, served with hummus and pickles—to compliment your house-made sandwich. The bread pudding is quickly becoming a crowd favourite and is not to be missed.

Riley Park

Head to Flipp’n Burgers located in the heart of Kensington and order up one of their award-winning hamburgers (we recommend the signature Flipp’n Burger or the organic vegan burger) and don’t forget the onions rings on the side and a classic milkshake to drink. Take the meal to go and head a short walk west to the sprawling Riley Park where you can enjoy the food and then cool off by walking through the shallow wading pool.

 

Prince’s Island Park

If you’re looking for a picnic fit for Royals, be sure to order a picnic basket from River Café in the beautiful Prince’s Island Park located just north of Eau Claire. The picnic meal must be ordered 24 hours prior, and includes appetizers of fruit, salad, and cheese, and your choice of baguette sandwich for an entrée. A sweet selection of desserts finishes the meal, and the picnic basket comes complete with linens and utensils.

 

Fish Creek Provincial Park

Bike or walk down to Fish Creek Park in the southeast and stop at Annie’s Bakery—located just west of the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant—for some lunch including their yummy soups and sandwiches. Take it to go and walk on the path until you find a nice spot to spread out a blanket and enjoy your meal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lion King in Calgary

By JANET DAVIE

11-01 Patrick R. Brown & L. Steven Taylor

Photo courtesy of Broadway Across Canada

 

This classic Disney tale is the king of the Jubilee.

Join Broadway Across Canada as they adapt one of Disney’s most beloved films, The Lion King, and bring it to the stage with a ferocious Tony Award-winning splendour. Simba, the young and precocious lion prince lives with his royal family in the African Pride Lands. After a tragedy plotted by his Uncle Scar leaves his Father, Mufasa, dead, Simba leaves his home and befriends an unlikely duo, only to discover that he must go back to Pride Rock to avenge his Father and fulfill his destiny of becoming king.

The show features Elton John’s memorable hits such as “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” and “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” as well as some new songs not in the original film. The triumphant song “Circle of Life” is performed in a dazzling opening scene that you need to experience to understand—you might tear up with childhood nostalgia and the sheer impressiveness of the costumes. More than 40 actors bring the Savannah to life with spectacular makeup and wardrobe, including known characters Pumbaa, Timon, and Zazu. Rafiki, the wise baboon, is a hilarious delight.

With awe-inspiring visuals, stunning choreography, passionate music, and jaw-dropping talent, Broadway Across Canada’s The Lion King is indeed worthy of its crown.

The Lion King is playing in Calgary through September 6 at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Visit jubileeauditorium.com for tickets and more information.

 

 

Sea-Town: Great Seafood in Calgary

By: JANET DAVIE

 

Photo 2014-02-15, 4 14 21 PM

Photo Courtesy of Rodney’s Oyster House

 

 

Though Calgary is known for beef, seafood lovers can still find great options in the city. From oysters to lobster to fish, you don’t need to head to the coast for your seafood fix:

 

The Keg

The Keg has rolled out their Lobster Summer menu, a celebration of –you guessed it— lobster. The regal crustacean is featured in many ways, from being mixed with veggies in Szechwan style to crispy lobster tacos. For true enthusiasts, a steak and half lobster entrée is available, as well as a whole (2 pounds!) lobster served with hot butter and lemon. Hurry, the menu is available until August 30th.

320 – 4 Avenue SW, 403-699-9843; 130 Crowfoot Terrace NW, 403-208-0220; 7104 Macleod Trail South, 403-253-2534; 425 – 36 St NE, 403-235-5858; 1101 – 5 St SW, 403-266-1036; 100 – 4600 130 Ave SE, 403-726-1022; 1923 Uxbridge Drive NW, 403-282-0020 www.kegsteakhouse.com

Catch

This elegant seafood restaurant has a menu that changes with the seasons, to always guarantee the freshest food. Entrees in the dining room include Wild BC Halibut and Alaskan Weathervane Scallops. After work, head to the lively Oyster Bar to slurp down fresh oysters. Daily Oyster Bar specials are featured.

100 – 8 Ave SE, 403.206.0000 www.catchoysterbar.com

 

Charbar

Head to the newly opened Charbar in the Simmons Building where seafood items include clams, oysters, and a tableside ceviche. If you’d like to combine the best of both worlds, order the seafood and meat platter. With seafood this fresh and the rooftop patio overlooking the Bow, it’s almost like you’re right on the coast.

618 Confluence Way SE, 403-452-3115 www.charbar.ca

 

Rodney’s Oyster House

This seafood restaurant has one of the best seafood selections in the city, with a charming cape-cod décor to match. Main dishes include steamed mussels, garlic shrimp, and Dungeness crab, with five different types of chowder available as well. Their Bait and Tackle takeaway spot (located on the side of the restaurant) is perfect for seafood on the go. Items include Fish and Chips and a Lobster Cobb Salad.

355 – 10 Ave SW, 403-460-0026 www.rodneysoysterhousecalgary.com

 

Rush Ocean Prime

If you’re really into seafood — and we mean really into it — then head to Rush Ocean Prime and order the decadent Seafood Tower, loaded with smoked shrimp, tuna tartare, king crab legs, smoked salmon, and more. Not ready to commit to such a feast? Other seafood items on the menu include a selection of sushi, lobster pot pie, and seabass.

207 – 9 Ave SW, 403-271-7874 www.rushoceanprime.com

 

Modern Steak

Modern Steak serves up more than just great beef; they also have a tasty seafood menu as well. Order up a pan roasted Atlantic cod, or try the Prawn Skewers. The Bacon “Not Wrapped” Scallops is a fresh take on an old classic, and those looking for a comfort dish will not go wrong with the Lobster Mac n’ Cheese.Modern Steak

107- 10a St NW, 403-670-6873 www.modernsteak.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flex Your Brain at Telus Spark’s Brainasium

Phase Two of the Brainasium at TELUS Spark Allows for Learning Through Play

Seven new play structures have been added to the Brainasium outdoor play park at Telus Spark in Calgary.

 

By JANET DAVIE

Sure, we know about the benefits of exercising our bodies, but when was the last time you flexed your brain muscles? Studies show that the ability to problem solve and communicate effectively is bolstered by taking the time to play, and the Brainasium outdoor park at the TELUS Spark science centre gives guests the opportunity to do just that. The outdoor park has been in full swing (pun intended—there are indeed swings at the Brainasium) since fall 2014, with structures including a teeter-totter built for six and a giant 36-foot tall tower and an accompanying 63-foot long slide. The brains behind the Brainasium decided, however, to expand the park, and the highly anticipated second phase opens on August 4, 2015 with seven brand new play structures. The giant log jam is great for testing your balance, while the swings allow you to touch the sky. Grab a friend and work as a team to balance the swing scales, or climb across giant molecule-shaped blocks. Spin around a circular apparatus and explore centrifugal force.

The Brainasium is open year-round, and it is recommended that visitors wear proper running shoes or flat footwear. All ages are welcome to climb, play, learn, and feel the brain benefits of play.

Swanky Sippin’

One18 Empire boasts an impressive whiskey menu and delectable dining.

By JANET DAVIE

Bar_One18_Empire_Bartender_Whiskey_Sour_2393

 

One18 Empire knows a thing or two about whiskey. Not only do they have a thoughtfully curated and constantly updated cocktail menu (focusing on whiskey, of course) but they also offer over 100 whiskeys, scotches, bourbons, and ryes to choose from. Whiskey fans will be able to sample from all over the world including Taiwan, India, Austria, and Japan. If you’re hoping to stick to tradition, there are plenty of choices from Kentucky and Tennessee as well. Interestingly, One18 Empire carries a selection of some of the finest single cask, single malt whiskey, bottled by the world famous Scotch Malt Whiskey Society. Due to the unique bottling process and the limited amount of bottles available, this whiskey is incredibly rare, and members of the club receive a 25% discount on the selection. Non-members typically do not have access to this exclusive selection of whiskey, however at One18 Empire, anyone can be part of the club for an evening. I ended up on the Mint Julep, a refreshing, summery drink with a bit of a kick.

 

The enticing dinner menu features food that is hearty and locally inspired. The maple bacon- wrapped dates are small morsels that, with the sweetness of the date and the smoky bacon, pack a mighty punch. The large soft pretzel (which I smothered in their whipped peanut butter) was warm and comforting, while the short ribs were juicy and full of flavor. The fried chicken board, the shining star of the meal, was pulled off to perfection, with tender meat nestled down under a crispy and well-seasoned shell.

 

One18 Empire also serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and late-night dining.

 

Happy Hour in Calgary: Summer 2015

By Janet Davie

CT_Sept2012-7041

Photo courtesy of Tourism Calgary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t worry, get happy! We’re in the middle of summer in Calgary, and what better way to spend summer than on a patio? Better yet, go for Happy Hour, a magical time of the day when drink and food specials will make soaking up some rays all the more sweeter. Here are some of our favourite Happy Hour spots in the city:

The Ship and Anchor
With one of the largest patios in the city and on a prime spot on busy 17th Ave, the Happy Hour at the Ship and Anchor is a great place to be every Monday through Friday from 4-7PM. Happy Hour includes a $5 can of Mexican Tecate beer and $5 tacos (2 beef or 2 shrimp, with salsa). 534 – 17 Ave SW  www.shipandanchor.com

National on 17th
Show up to National’s 17th Ave patio and indulge in $5 pints and cocktails from 3 – 6PM Monday through Friday. We recommend the Strawberry Lemonade—it’s like summer in a glass. 550 – 17 Ave SW ntnl.ca

Mango Shiva
Take a trip to India without leaving the city by visiting Mango Shiva on Stephen Ave from 3-6PM every day of the week. Happy Hour includes a $5 beer and wine list, as well as $2 off all cocktails (including their summer staple the coconut mojito!) Select appetizers are also on for $5 bucks. 218 – 8 Ave SW www.mangoshiva.com

Cibo
Pizza lovers should hurry down to Cibo on the weekdays from 3 – 6PM for half off pizza pies. Flavours include Wild Boar Bacon and Smoked Scamorza. 1012 – 17 Ave SW www.cibocalgary.com

Local 510
Swing by this trendy hotspot on 17th Ave and enjoy non-important draughts, highballs, and wine all for $5.10, Monday through Friday. 510 – 17 Ave SW www.localtavern.ca

Anjeo
Get ready to party during Anejo’s ‘Halfy-Hour’, with half priced tacos, tequila, margaritas and Mexican beer from 3-5PM every day of the week. 2116 – 4 St SW  www.anejo.ca

Wurst
From 3-5PM, guests can enjoy half-off appetizers (a hot and buttery pretzel, anyone?) from Monday to Friday along with $5 draft beers and special prices on wine. 2437 – 4 St SW  www.wurst.ca

Catch Oyster Bar
Swim up to this oyster bar between 1-5PM, Monday to Friday, and enjoy $6 feature wine, beer, and caesars. All of their daily food specials are available as well. 100 – 8 Ave SE  www.catchrestaurant.ca

The Yardhouse
Perfect for people watching in Kensington, the Yardhouse patio offers $4 off appetizers, $4 highballs and domestic bottles, and $5 import bottles and wine. 1136 Kensington Rd NW  www.yardhouse.ca

Buchanan’s
Take a seat in the bar and enjoy an 18oz ground sirloin burger with a side of golden fries for only $12 from 3-6PM. 738 – 3 Ave SW  www.buchanans.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 Things to Do in Calgary Under $20: Summer 2015 Edition

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Float down the Elbow River on a hot and sunny day. Photo: courtesy of Tourism Calgary

You don’t have to spend a lot to have a good time! Here are 20 seasonal activities that you can do this summer in Calgary for under $20:

Read more…

Re:Grub Burgers are Made with Serious Love

By JANET DAVIE

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Since Calgary is known as a beef town, one is always looking for the next great burger in the city. Enter Re:Grub Burger Bar, a new restaurant that recently opened its doors on 11th Avenue. There are 13 burger options on the menu including three breakfast burgers, as well as a selection of salads and sides, and all of them look as mouthwatering as they sound. I ordered the “Andale” burger and quickly realized that I had made an excellent choice. The succulent beef patty, layered with queso fresco and a bright pico de gallo within a toasty house made bun, had me swooning. A unique feature of Re:Grub is the Venezuelan influences that are evident in the ingredients, such as the tangy pickled cactus and fried tortilla chip wedged into my burger, and other toppings including pickled pineapple, fried plantain, and torched asiago. I decided to also indulge my sweet tooth and opted for a creamy, sweet Peanut Butter and Honey shake on the side, made with gelato from local favourite Fiasco Gelato. If you are hoping for something a little stronger, you can always order an alcohol-infused milkshake, or choose from their list of craft beers and sangria.

The décor of Re:Grub is bright and a bit quirky, with plenty of seating for a casual meal. Take a seat on their sunny patio if you want to enjoy some beautiful weather or, alternatively, take your meal to go. Don’t fret if you cannot make it here for lunch, as it is opened early during the week for breakfast and stays open late into the night from Thursday to Saturday for a satisfying meal after a night on the town.

• 625 — 11th Avenue www.regrub.ca

Take a Calgary Stay-cation: Summer 2015

Stephen Avenue, Calgary Downtown. Photo courtesy Travel Alberta.

This summer, downtown Calgary is the place to be. A lot of Calgary’s best events and festivals are taking place in and around downtown, and many of the city’s hot new restaurants have opened downtown, too. Making stay-cation plans and staying downtown is a fun an easy way to access everything going on—you’re within walking or C-Train transit distance of a lot of  activities, restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues.

Just some of the events taking place downtown and around this summer include: Calgary Folk Fest, Calgary Stampede, and Sled Island Music Festival. Exciting new restaurant and bar openings including Beltliner, Pigeonhole, National on 10th’s rooftop patio, and Pr%f. On a hot summer night, walking around the downtown core and Beltline area to explore is a wonderful activity that can lead to patios, live music, and some of the best food and drink discoveries—you’ll see why Calgary is becoming a dining destination city. Downtown Calgary is also keeping things lively in the core with free pop-up picnics, live music, street vendors, and food trucks throughout the week during their Soundtown Calgary event.

Read more…

Step Back in Time with Calgary’s New Dinosaur Exhibits

By BREANNA MROCZEK

(Photo: Cynthia Radford, Courtesy TELUS Spark, Calgary’s Science Centre)

Dinosaurs in Motion at TELUS Spark (Photo: Cynthia Radford, Courtesy TELUS Spark, Calgary’s Science Centre)

Triceratops, pterodactyls, and tyrannosaurus rex—oh my! The dinosaurs are alive again in the latest installment of the Jurassic Park film franchise—Jurassic World—which roars into theatres in June. A visit to Calgary can have you starring in your own dinosaur adventure with all the dinosaur attractions in and around the city.

DINOSAURS IN MOTION at TELUS Spark
Until June 28, 2015
Art and science combine in this multi-media exhibit with interactive activities and large-scale art installations that are replicas of dinosaur skeletons. “When guests view the exhibit, they’ll be learning about components of history by reading about the era of the dinosaurs, and the artistic process used to create the sculptures,” says Devon Hamilton, VP of Exhibits at TELUS Spark. Don’t forget to check out the castings of Alberta dinosaurs on loan from the Royal Tyrell museum.
• 220 St Georges Dr NE, 403-817-6800, www.sparkscience.ca

DINOSAURS ALIVE! at Calgary Zoo
Until October 31, 2015
The plot of Jurassic World revolves around a dinosaur theme park, which is what you can experience in the larger-than-life and recently updated Prehistoric Park at Calgary Zoo. Seventeen lifelike moving and roaring lifelike animatronic dinosaurs accompany fun programming and activities that will immerse you in the Jurassic era. Unlike in the movies, though, you don’t have to worry about the dinosaurs running rampant. Some of the dinosaurs will even listen to your commands with interactive consoles let you control when the dinosaurs move, roar, and breathe.
• 1300 Zoo Rd NE, 403-232-9300, www.calgaryzoo.com

Dinosaurs Alive! at Calgary Zoo (Photo: courtesy Tourism Calgary)

Dinosaurs Alive! at Calgary Zoo (Photo: courtesy Tourism Calgary)

Though not in the city, the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller (an hour and a half northeast of Calgary) and Dinosaur Provincial Park (two and a half hours east of Calgary) are well worth the drive for dinosaur enthusiasts!

FOSSILS IN FOCUS at Royal Tyrrell Museum
The Royal Tyrrell Museum’s new Fossils in Focus exhibit opened May 16 and showcases recent fossil discoveries, exciting new research, and fossils from the vault of Canada’s largest fossil collection. The displays in this exhibit will change frequently to allow guests to see different fossil finds each time they visit. The exhibit highlights more of the museum’s most remarkable and scientifically significant fossils, as well as specimens that reflect current research as the science of palaeontology moves forward. Plus, the museum’s usual displays of dinosaur skeletons, hands-on activities, the fossil preparation lab, and exhibit galleries offer up close and personal insight into the days of the dinosaurs.
• North Dinosaur Tr, Drumheller, 403-823-7707, www.tyrrellmuseum.com

DINOSAUR PROVINCIAL PARK
Besides time travel, a dinosaur experience doesn’t get more authentic than this! This Badlands site holds the world’s largest deposit of dinosaur bones and fossils. For the most surreal Jurassic Park-like experience, sign up for a Dinosaur Dig and join an excavation led by a professional paleontological technician to uncover fossils. In order to avoid a situation like the scarier scenes in Jurassic Park, it is recommended to book a tour to fully experience the park at its best. Reserve a bus tour, enjoy a customized program, go for a hike, take a photography tour at sunset, or camp out. If you prefer to explore on your own, self-guided trails are available for hiking.
• 48 km northeast of Brooks, 403-378-4342 Ext 235, www.albertaparks.ca/dinosaur

Calgary Summer Festival Guide 2015

By RACHAEL FREY

Brazilian Association of Calgary dancers Paula Regehr (left) and Marie Benoit rehearse for GlobalFest's 2013 One World Festival. (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Brazilian Association of Calgary dancers Paula Regehr (left) and Marie Benoit rehearse for GlobalFest’s 2013 One World Festival. (Photo: Jason Dziver)

It’s festival time, Calgary! From culture to music to food, there’s a festival to suit every taste this summer—check out this handy guide and get ready to celebrate.

Jump to: MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUGUST | SEPTEMBER

MAY

Calgary International Children’s Festival
May 20 – 23
A feast for the brain, this child-oriented fest includes award-winning theatre, interactive activities, and free, outdoor performances.

Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival
May 22 – 30
A film fest that celebrates queer culture across the LGBT spectrum, from hilariously campy to heart-wrenchingly poignant.

Read more…

Spring Into Action: 6 Fun Family Attractions in May

By RACHAEL FREY

Calaway Park's Vortex roller coaster. (Photo: courtesy Tourism Calgary)

Calaway Park’s Vortex roller coaster. (Photo: courtesy Tourism Calgary)

Got some energy to spare after a winter indoors? Trade cabin fever for spring fever in May, when Calgary’s seasonal family-friendly attractions throw open their gates and invite kids (and the young-at-heart) in to stretch their legs and minds.

CALAWAY PARK
Opening Weekend: May 16 – 18
Thrill seekers, get ready for heart-pounding, scream-inducing fun when western Canada’s largest outdoor family amusement park opens for the season. From the rockin’ rollin’ Mind Blaster to the twisty-turny, upside-down loopy Vortex rollercoaster, Calaway Park features more than 30 rip-roaring rides. While some are for experienced riders only, there’s plenty of fun for younger kids on rides like the spinning Berry Go-Round and the Mini Express rollercoaster. Need a break from all the zooming and zipping? Check out exciting stage shows ranging from song and dance to magic shows, or head to the air-conditioned theatre for a 3D movie. The Park also features fun games of skill and chance, as well as three walk-up food concessions and two restaurants.
• 245033 Range Road 33, 403-240-3822, www.calawaypark.com

HERITAGE PARK HISTORICAL VILLAGE
Opening Weekend: May 16 – 18
Travel back in time and interact with nearly 100 years of Alberta’s history at Calgary’s living history museum. Don’t let the word “museum” fool you, though—an entire re-created village sits outdoors on the banks of the Glenmore Reservoir. Hitch a ride on a horse-drawn wagon, feast on a fresh cheese bun, get your kicks on the antique midway, take a photo with costumed interpreters, or hop aboard the thundering steam train. On opening weekend, the first 500 guests who arrive before 10 am will be treated to a complimentary pancake breakfast. On May 23 and 24, Heritage Park hosts the 20th Annual Festival of Quilts with hundreds of beautiful, handmade quilts on display throughout the park.
• 1900 Heritage Dr SW, 403-268-8500, www.heritagepark.ca

FORT CALGARY
Mountie Day: May 18
Located at the junction of the Bow and Elbow rivers, where the first building in Calgary was erected, the National Historic Site features a colourful interpretive centre. See what it was like on both sides of the law by trying on a blazing red Mountie uniform and spending a little time in the antique jail. Celebrate the founding of the North West Mounted Police on May 18 with special activities, games, and birthday cake for Mountie Day.
• 750 – 9 Ave SE, 403-290-1875, www.fortcalgary.com

CALGARY INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL
Festival Dates: May 20 – 23
Every year, 50,000 people gather to expand their imagination, creative thought, and cultural understanding at the Calgary International Children’s Festival, one of the most prominent festivals of its kind in Canada and the largest presenter of theatre for young audiences in Calgary. A feast for the brain, it features performances on a free outdoor stage in Olympic Plaza, interactive activities of all sorts, and award-winning theatre on the next-door Arts Commons stages. This year’s exciting line-up includes Quebec theatre company Tout à Trac’s twist on Alice in Wonderland, the comedic percussion group BAM, and the eye-popping spectacle of SQUONK, a wild act that uses music to activate air-filled costumes—it has to be seen to be believed!
• Olympic Plaza and Arts Commons, 205 – 8 Ave SE, 403-294-7414, calgarykidsfest.ca

EXTREME AIR PARK
The most expansive trampoline park in Canada recently opened in Calgary, with a staggering 42,000 square feet of interlocking trampolines enclosed in trampoline walls. Extreme Air Park allows jumpers to catch some serious air on the two main courts, or bounce down a 50-foot trampoline half pipe into a huge pit of soft foam. You’ve probably played basketball and dodgeball before, but they take on a whole new dimension when you’re springing off a trampoline court to make a slam dunk or rebounding off of a trampoline wall to dodge incoming missiles. Friday and Saturday nights feature cool themes, black lights, music, games, and competitions. Trampoline gymnastics and aerobics classes are also available. Everything’s indoors, so a rainy spring day is no problem for a fun time here.
• 1411 – 33 St NE, 403-265-2733, calgary.extremeairpark.com

SHAKERS FUN CENTRE
Thanks to some unseasonably (but welcome!) warm weather, Shakers Fun Centre opened their outdoor go-kart track and mini-golf course early this year. Putt-putt your way through 18 fun and challenging mini holes on the golf course, or test your driving skills on Calgary’s newest go-kart track. Inside, there’s something to suit fun seekers of all ages with a lazer tag arena, a video game arcade, a climbing tower and an indoor playground.
• 9900 Venture Ave SE, 403-236-2213, shakerscalgary.com