Cheesy titles are everything, aren’t they? 😉 We are thrilled it’s spring over here in Calgary (despite the fact that it’s forecasted to snow all weekend…), and we’re starting to enjoy some fun adventures as a family. It’s a fun phase to be in with Abigail at 18 months old now – she’s walking, starting to run, loves climbing and exploring new surfaces like playgrounds and parks and trails, and she’s at a great age to take her out to more “big kid” activities. I wanted to share a few fun examples of ways to get out as a family and embrace the change in seasons!
I saw someone recently say on Instagram that young millennials are excited for rooftop patio season and old millennials are excited for outdoor playground season. 😉 So true! With winter lasting for about 8 months here, it’s safe to say we get outside despite the weather, but there’s definitely a happy uptick in playground fun when spring arrives!
Just wandering around with Abi, helping her climb, and watching her follow other kids around with such interest is so fun!
One thing we’ve wanted to do more of with Abi is get her into a pool more and comfortable in that setting. So far in her short life, she’s been nervous in that environment and there have been tears and lots of clinging to us. She’s just starting to enjoy her baths but doesn’t last too long in them, happily waving “bye bye” to the water to let us know she’s ready to get out. So I was pumped to get the chance to visit the new Jayman BUILT Aquatic Centre in the Town of Cochrane, just outside of Calgary.
We thought it’d be great to take Abi here as she’s a bit older and try our hand at a water park and see what this new centre is all about.
I wish we could have taken pictures because Abigail looked so cute in her little one piece, which finally fits her, and because she LOVED seeing all the kids in the pool! She still was nervous and clingy, not wanting to go deep into the water, but she was pretty fascinated with the place. It’s like a resort in there! She liked watching the big bucket pour water out when it filled it from our safe spot in the warm, saltwater pool, and actively pointed at it when it spilled over as well as at any kid that swam or walked by.
We didn’t last too long after a short dip in the hot tub together too before Abi was waving at the water and saying “bye, bye!” over and over again. 😉 She was done, but she did pretty well after not having been in a pool since last summer! Time to start getting her more familiar with this fun environment, just like at a playground or the gym!
We continued our fun afternoon by walking around the rest of the complex, which Abi loved – and so did we! There are two gyms, an upper level running track, three hockey arenas (Abigail LOVES watching kids play hockey and always says “Da Da!” and moves her hands along an imaginary hockey stick when she sees hockey players!)… It’s quite impressive!
There’s a Jugo Juice, a burger, milkshakes and cold crew coffee joint inside, and a huge room all with bouncy castles and fun bounce structures to climb and explore! Abi was too young for that area but we walked around and judging by the amount of times she tried to climb in with the kids, I think it’ll be a future fun hit. 😉
Thanks again to Jaman BUILT for the family pass for the day – next time I’m going to try out both the gyms and get a workout in while Abi and Mikey watch the hockey players with their smoothies. 😉 We’ll be back! Plus, it’s in Cochrane, which is the town where some awesome ice cream is… which brings me to the next fun activity…
Go for ice cream!
I love going out for fun foods like ice cream or coffee or special meals because it’s an event in itself and you don’t have the whole pint in your freezer – just a taste is great. These are fun memories too, and recently we ended up at Made By Marcus for a staying-up-past-bedtime treat all together:
We also recently went to Peter’s Drive-In and got some burgers and ice cream:
But it’s just not just pool dates and ice cream runs; I think spring is also great for finally getting your family back on some trails!
With Abi only walking for a few months now, a whole new world has unfolded before us that is family hikes! We bring the backpack, but she loves to get out and move and walk over rocks dirt and hug trees (really! It’s the cutest!). Soon we’ll be getting more familiar with toddler-friendly hikes (I know Troll Falls is a local favorite), but one place I’ve been wanting to see is Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, just beyond the city (and, incidentally, before you get to the Town of Cochrane as I shared out above).
My mother-in-law told me about Glenbow Ranch ages ago and we finally went over Easter weekend to check it out. It was cool but perfect weather for hiking and we had Abi snug in a little wind-resistance suit from our neighbors (so grateful for hand-me-downs!). There are paved trails from the parking lot, so it would be great for bike riding or strollers – good to know for future explorations! We ended up doing a loop off the paved trails and got on some great gravel trails as we hiked, out for about three hours and stopping for a fun lunch break along the way.
Abi ended up falling asleep much later than usual because she was having such a blast hiking but eventually crashed hard in the backpack while Mikey and I enjoyed walking and talking – a simple thing we haven’t done much of lately. It was a treat – of the non-ice cream variety. 😉
We will definitely be back to Glenbow Ranch and look forward to bike rides (the trails go all the way to Calgary!), bird watching and frog listening, mid-trail snack breaks and more gorgeous vistas of rolling hills with that remarkable Rocky Mountain background.
Nothing too new around here except more early morning outdoor workouts, lunches on the porch, and neighborhood walks with Abi as we embrace spring as a family! What’s something you’re doing right now to welcome spring? And for local readers, any family-friendly hikes you’d recommend or have you been to the new aquatic centre in Cochrane? Maybe I’ll see ya there!
Live well & be well!