Family Fun: Exploring Calgary’s Riverwalk

We didn’t travel anywhere over Spring Break, but that didn’t stop us from having some serious family fun right in our hometown of Calgary.   Exploring Calgary’s Riverwalk was a great family affair filled with cheap Chinatown eats, free parking and a wonderful mix of nature and art literally at our footsteps.

View from 2nd Ave NE

Calgary Downtown as seen from 2nd Ave NE

Since we’re self-employed and work from home, we don’t get out much.  No really – it’s true.  Even after living in Calgary for over a decade it’s always great to play “tourist” and explore the beautiful city we live in.    

4km Calgary Riverwalk

If you’ve got a couple of hours you want to spend with the family exploring Calgary, here’s a map of our 4km Riverwalk loop:


Quin’s cousin tipped us off to free parking on 2nd Ave NE.   You get 2 hours of free parking and a gorgeous view of Calgary downtown from this residential street.  But if you plan to eat or walk longer, you’ll want to find alternate parking.

Stroller-bound beware: the riverwalk is super stroller friendly, but the end of the loop we took has a decent flight of stairs to get you back up to Centre Street and your parked car (the stairs appear at the end of the video below).

Tobi framing a shot of Calgary Tower

Tobi framing a shot of Calgary Tower

Once you cross Centre Street, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Calgary’s Chinatown.  It shouldn’t have to be said that there’s lots of great cheap eats to choose from: bubble tea, Chinese bakeries and noodle shops abound.

Us? We chose a quick noodle stop by Calgary Court and were well-fuelled to explore Calgary’s Riverwalk.

A bird. A bridge. And a pony-tail.

A bird. A bridge. And a pony-tail.

The City of Calgary has been working on the Riverwalk and revitalization of East Village for years.   It’s still a work in progress, but already a great place for a day’s exploration.

Tobi and the Lowepro Hatchback

Tobi and the Lowepro Hatchback

Definitely bring your camera (or if you’re like us: bring 4 :)) and be ready for great light and goofy faces galore.




There are benches to lounge on (and jump off), great walking bridges, and artwork – from beautiful to bizarre – to explore.


Tobi on St Patrick's Bridge


Cheung boyz on St. Patrick's bridge

Cheung boyz crossing St. Patrick’s bridge


The best part: being the goofy family we are, and allowing space for the conversations and interactions – silly and small – which cement our love for each. This is what family memories are made of.



C-train and best buds

Here’s a short video I made while testing our new Family Camcorder on our walk. Please excuse the crazy talk and antics.

Special thanks to Lowepro for the 22L Hatchback. It’s a great convertible camera + day-pack perfect for our photo-loving family.


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