Big crowds can sometimes be hard with young kids, which is why surviving the Calgary Stampede with your family means takes a bit of planning.
There's a lot to love about the Stampede- It's essentially 10 days of full on, jam packed things to do and see, plus some of the most delicious food you'll eat all year.
If you're like us, you're probably trying to figure out the best time to go, and what highlights there are for kids. We've compiled a list of things to consider before you go!
Tips, Tricks, Things To Do With Kids
1. Watch the parade on Friday July 5th downtown! Starting on 9 Ave near the Calgary Tower and following along for nearly 2 hours until they turn on 10 St, and come back on 6 Ave for another 2 hours. The parade draws 75,000 spectators each year.
2. If you go straight to the park from the parade, there is free admission to the park from 11am - 1:30pm (score). The perfect way to kick off the start to the Stampede.
3. Live music on the Coca-Cola stage is free with your park admission. There's an amazing line up of music groups: Fiest, Metric, Mother Mother, Chromeo, Keys N Krates, Death Cab For Cute, Dashboard Confessional, T-Pain, and more.
4. On Sunday, July 7th is Cenovus Family Day, which means FREE entry in the morning from 7:30am - 11am, PLUS they feed you! Breakfast is free for the first 25,000 attendees at the Saddledome Steps or Grandstand Courtyard.
5. Trying an oddly delicious treat together is a must. What do we mean by "oddly delicious"? Pop rock mini doughnuts, cookie dough burritos, cricket caramel apples, wat-a-melon, charcoal ice cream, are just a few examples. Here's some food highlights.
6. Looking for an adrenaline rush? Try the zipline that soars over Stampede Park.
7. Cheer on the juniors at the rodeo. These 12-15 year olds have to hold on for dear life for at least 8 seconds.
8. Partake in old fashioned fun at the Shepherd's Haven, happening each day from 11am - 1pm at the Victoria Pavilion. There's animals and free games.
9. Everyday at the Stampede your kids can have fun in the BMO Kids Zone with complimentary face painting, a daily wall mural, and special events just for the kids. The Kids Zone is now at the south end of Stampede Park (moved locations).
10. Watch the Motocross Monster Energy Compound. A super thrilling show with high flying flips and tricks.
11. Check out Buckaroos in Hall A of the market for your kids if they are 12 and under. Where they can listen to Dora and friends, or Safari Jeff share stories on stage. Have a walk through the market too, you might find a cool and unique item made locally, or at the very least, some tasty treats.
12. Stampede Kids Day is on Wednesday, July 10th, only $2 admission for all kids 12 and under (or free between 7am and 9am)! You can Stampede with your little ones with free breakfast and BMO Thunder Sticks in the Grandstand Courtyard from 8 - 9:30am (while quantities last) and a free variety show on the Grandstand stage from 8 - 10am.
13. Watch dogs wow the audience with their stunts and agility. Kids love it! The Dog Bowl Show happens daily at 11:30am, 2pm, 4:45pm, and 7:30 pm.
14. Watch the Acrodunk show, a high flying, energy packed performance from dunk masters. Shows happen every day at 2:30pm and 6:30pm in the BMO Kids Zone, lasting about 20 minutes.
15. Don't forget the midway!
Read more about the author