Things to do in Calgary
Float down the river
Come summer, Calgary experiences scorching hot days, and a wonderful way to cool off is to float on the water. For a super gentle trip, tubing on the Elbow River is relaxing and undemanding. A popular, four-hour float-rafting route is from Bowness Park to Calgary Zoo on the Bow River. You can hire floater rafts and tubes from a few operators in town, such as Lazy Day Raft Rentals (tel: + 1 403 258 0575; www.lazydayraftrentals.com).
Skate in the city or on a frozen lagoon
Canada isn't renowned for its balmy winters, but the cold weather means there are plenty of outdoor ice rinks. In downtown Calgary, you can skate at Olympic Plaza (originally the medal presentation site during the 1988 Winter Olympics) from mid-November to mid-March. For a more natural ice experience, glide on the frozen lagoons at Bowness and Prince's Island Parks. Apart from Olympic Plaza, outdoor rinks are typically open from December to February.
Skiing and snowboarding in the city
You don't even have to leave Calgary's city limits to strap on your skis or snowboard, as Canada Olympic Park is perfect for an evening on the slopes to practise your turns before you hit the big mountains. You can also bobsleigh, hurl yourself off the ski jump or try cross-country skiing. If the sight of the Rockies is too tempting, Banff and Lake Louise have world-class ski resorts with bucket loads of powder.
Take a walk on the wild side
Calgary has a whopping 700km (453 miles) of pathways for pedestrians and cyclists and 7,800 hectares (19,300 acres) of parkland. Walk, cycle or rollerblade along the banks of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, or hike the trails in Nose Hill Park, where you might spot deer or coyotes. Fish Creek Provincial Park is Canada's largest urban park and is home to a large variety of birds and mammals, including beavers, bald eagles and white-tailed deer (www.albertaparks.ca/fish-creek.aspx).
Watching ice hockey
Join in the roar of over 19,000 fans in the Saddledome (named for its saddle-shaped roof) as they cheer on their city's NHL ice-hockey team, the Calgary Flames. Games against archrivals the Edmonton Oilers are especially fiery. The Saddledome is also doubles up as a major concert venue (tel: +1 403 777 4646; www.scotiabanksaddledome.com).