An honest review of the Active Learning Park at Granary Road near Calgary with tips for your next visit (+more family-friendly activities at the end).
We visited Granary Road in May when our son was almost two years old, shortly after it opened for the season.
It’s located close to Spruce Meadows, just outside of Calgary, and let me tell you, right now, it’s worth the drive. I knew that they have many agriculture-themed playgrounds and farm animals you can pet, but I didn’t expect the place to be so huge. We spent the whole day at Granary Road and managed to try almost everything.
Along the 3 km long trail, you can find trampolines, mini-golf, slides, a giant rope web for climbing, a big Ant Farm with slides, zip-lines, nets, climbers, a mushroom forest, Bee Hive Honeycomb, an Orchard treehouse, and many more. Farm animals include goats, sheep, alpacas, donkeys, pigs, peacocks, and bunnies.
Granary Road opens April 28, 2023 for the season.
Here’s our review and all the details for planning your visit to Granary Road.
Granary Road review
After driving south of Calgary, we were welcomed by a beautiful ranch-looking building and a big free parking lot. I could feel the farm vibe when we stepped into the building.
After navigating through the farmer’s market, we walked past the gift shop (since we pre-purchased the tickets) and went straight to the outdoor Active Learning Park gates.
The gravel trail took us around so we could visit everything Granary Road offers.
After entering the park, the mini golf is immediately to your right. Golf clubs are at the gift shop where you can also buy a mini-golf ticket (it’s not included in the daily admission fee).
Frog Pond Fun Pad
Frog Pond Fun Pad is the first playground after the gates, where you can find everything frog-themed. There are lots of frogs, slides, trampolines, and flowers. It’s a toddler-friendly area for the youngest. Our son loved climbing through the big frog and sliding down its tongue.
Mushroom Meander features all kinds and sizes of mushrooms. Kids can walk around the mushrooms, learn about mushrooms from displays, walk through a wooden log tunnel, and even climb a giant mushroom.
Orchard Tree House
This giant climbing structure has all kinds of slides, and the fruit tree design is impressive. Most kids were sliding down the apple’s 2-storey tunnel slide.
It gets very busy during the weekend as you see below:
But when you visit mid-week, you can have it all to yourself:
Farm animals petting zoo & farm animals
You pass a nice grassy area with picnic tables when you continue towards the farm animals at the far end of the place. It looks like a perfect place for a break without having to return to the main building to buy food. We’re definitely bringing our picnic next time.
First, there are little goats you can pet inside their enclosure.
And when you continue up the hill, there are even more animals.
Farm animals were a huge hit, as they always are for kids. There are pigs, goats, alpacas, horses, and bunnies. We found all animals to be very friendly and used to being petted by kids.
The petting farm is also the only place with a washroom, except for the main building. The washroom pictured below which is close to the Ant Farm (a big playground for older kids) was closed for repairs.
Continuing the loop around Granary Road, we came to the Chicken Coop. A gazebo provides shade for parents while older kids can climb onto the rope climber or climb up the steep chicken coop and slide down.
Our two-year-old son loved the challenge of climbing up the Chicken Coop and then proudly sliding down.
The last part we explored at Granary Road was Croplands. Kids can sit on a real tractor, play in a sand pit or race with rubber ducks.
Out of all the things we played with at Granary Road, we spent the most time with rubber ducks. Our boy was in charge of scooping the ducks and transferring them to another lane while Michal pumped the water to make them swim in the channel.
There are many other things we didn’t get to that seemed to be for older kids – a huge rope climber called Arachnid Web, several zip lines, a giant climber with slides called Ant Farm and a Bat Cave Hangout, a cave maze with real bats.
When we returned to Granary Road the next year, the biggest hit was definitely riding a small tractor.
I like the budget-friendly admission fee; it’s a steal for everything they offer. Buying the admission online (which you can then use on any day) also gives you the advantage of skipping the line and going directly to the gates of the Active Learning Park.
While the parking lot seemed full, the park itself didn’t feel crowded since there were many areas where people spread out.
I found the eatery at the main building on the pricier side with very limited healthy meal options for little kids. But you can bring your own food and have a picnic on the grass without returning to the main building for meals.
When designing Granary Road, they thought of fun activities for kids of all ages – playing on climbing structures while learning about animals and plants and visiting farm animals.
Kids can easily spend a whole day here, and I’m sure they’ll want to return.
Tips for visiting Granary Road
- Get ready for lots of walking. Strollers or wagons are a must for small kids or for carrying your picnic around (the trail is 3 km long).
- Bring lots of water; the only place you can get drinking water is the main building/farmer’s market. Although there are only a few snack stations along the main trail.
- A washroom is located at the main building and the Petting Zoo (halfway on the trail).
- There are benches in each play area, but the shade is limited, so wearing sunscreen and a hat might be a good idea.
Info for visiting Granary Road
- Address: 226066 112 Street W, Foothills County, AB T1S 5S5
- Contact: Granary Road; [email protected] (403) 453-7623
- Open: daily from 9 am to 5 pm (closes after the Christmas Market and opens again in spring)
- Children 3 & under are FREE
- 15.95 Cad/person for a day pass (you can pre-purchase online and use it any day that season)
- 50 Cad/person for a season pass
- 180 Cad for a family season pass
- 10 Cad/person for mini golf
- 25 Cad/person for goat yoga class (admission to the park is included)
More family-friendly fun activities in Calgary
- Creative Kids Museum at Telus Spark Science Centre
- 15 Best playgrounds in Calgary
- Calgary Zoo
- Sikome Lake
- Ducklings, joys of spring in downtown Calgary
- 10 Best indoor playgrounds in Calgary
- Early Learning Centres in Calgary Public Libraries
- Cobb’s Adventure Park
- 33 best family trip movies you’ll love
Have you been to Granary Road? What do you think?