The silhouette of a child crouching along a waterfront at sunset.

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5 Family Activities While Maintaining Social Distancing

When you have kids, the hunt for age-appropriate activities that will keep them entertained, active, and learning never ends. Living in a family-friendly neighborhood can help, even when our options for fun are limited. In Wolf Willow and surrounding areas, there are lots of opportunities for outdoor family fun that you can enjoy without putting your loved ones at risk.

Here is a list of 5 things to do with kids while maintaining social distancing in south Calgary.

1. Enjoy a Family Walk or Bike Ride

Now that the weather is warming up, it’s the perfect time to put on your sneakers and head outdoors for a walk. Calgary is lucky to have so many natural spaces conveniently located in the city and now is the perfect time to take advantage of that.

Of course, we can’t suggest a nature walk in south Calgary without mentioning the wonderful Fish Creek Provincial Park. With over 100 km of walking trails, you and your family won’t run out of new places to explore any time soon.

Another popular walking place is along either of our two rivers, the Bow and Elbow. Residents of Wolf Willow will find several parks with access to the Bow River within easy walking distance of anywhere in the neighbourhood.  

2. Practice Your Favourite Sport

While all city of Calgary athletic fields and recreation centres are closed, the approximately 1,800 playfields in the city are still open to the public. These unstaffed rectangular or diamond-shaped fields can be found in many neighbourhoods. To be sure that the field in your area is one of the open “D- or E-Class” fields, just check the tags on either the soccer posts or ball diamond backstop. The second number will be between 1 and 6. To learn more about which city properties are open for use, visit the city’s website.

Wolf Willow itself will have 10 parks when completed where you can kick around a ball, play catch, or toss around a frisbee with members of your household. Plus, you can include your dog in the fun at the off-leash dog park which will soon open in the neighbourhood.

3. Show Off your Drawing Skills with Sidewalk Chalk

Discover hours of entertainment in a box of sidewalk chalk. This classic kid’s activity can take any form your kids can imagine. Ask them to show you their finest masterpiece and see what kind of colourful creation they can come up with on the driveway. Or, test their balance with a hopscotch course. You can go the classic route or add in as many twists and turns as your family wants.

Invite the neighbours in on the fun too by creating your own “Silly Walk Zone.” Use your chalk to mark out an area of sidewalk in front of your house and notify passers-by that it’s time to show off their best silly walk. Not only will you brighten up a walk around the block for your neighbours, anyone who happens to see the performances will surely enjoy the show.

4. Get Away with Backyard Camping

For many families, camping is an essential part of summer. If you’ve had to change your plans because of COVID-19 restrictions and are now looking for a way to spend a fun family weekend in Calgary instead, why not try backyard camping?

Bring all the fun of a camping trip to your own backyard. You don’t need to wait for campgrounds to open, or even leave the safety of your south Calgary home, to enjoy a night under the stars. Just set up your tent and camping gear in the backyard and settle in for a cozy night with the family. Take the camping experience even further and cook some camping classics for supper on the BBQ or, if you have a backyard fire pit, tell stories around a campfire. Getting the whole family outdoors and recreating the camping atmosphere at home is also a great opportunity to try and take a break from the extra screen-time we’re all getting these days.

5. Education and Entertainment Indoors

When the weather turns south, many of Calgary’s best institutions have online options for education and entertainment at home. The Calgary Public Library has four locations in south Calgary for the convenience of nearby families: Fish Creek Public Library, Seton Public Library, Shawnessy Public Library, and Southwood Library. While these physical locations aren’t open to the public, you can use your library card to access tonnes of fun and educational online services for kids of all ages.

Video songs and rhymes will help your baby’s language skills grow and Storytime at Home videos will keep your youngsters’ attention when you need a break. Tips for educational play using items found around your house are available for toddlers, plus more advanced educational supports to keep your school-age kids learning.

Other Calgary institutions, the Glenbow Museum and Telus Spark have created online content to keep your little ones learning too. Follow Glenbow on social media for kid-specific content every Wednesday morning. The Telus Spark website shows you how to do kid-friendly experiments at home. Both are offering video tours of their facilities.