Calgary’s Heritage Park

I’d forgotten how much fun Heritage Park was until we attended the season-opening this weekend. Anticipating that it would be packed we planned to go for only an hour; however, an hour quickly turned into two, two turned into three, and before we knew it I suddenly discovered we wouldn’t be home for lunch.

Not only did we wander and discover a typical prairie wedding, the 1910 main street, warm cheese buns from the bakery, random staff skits, and interactive activities; but, we also found our way through an antique car show and display of historic fire engines/pumps put on by the Firefighters Museum.

In the midst of it all, there’s a variety of antique midway rides: a Ferris wheel, mini Ferris wheel for tots, caterpillar, carousel (1904), whip, and dangle swings. These were the biggest hit with La Niña who seems to be a bit of an adventure freak. It didn’t take long to find myself on a mishmash of rides going round and round and round and round and round and round more times then my stomach cares to admit.

Many rides later, I managed to convince La Niña to sit and eat some food at the Shepard train station (1910) so we could admire the large (and broken) steam locomotive (1944) parked on the tracks.

However, upon arriving at the station a conductor appeared, removed the “broken train” sign, and quickly ushered us onto one of the empty cars so we could chug chug to the next station and pick up passengers. It was a complete treat riding around the park on an almost empty train.

The rest of the day was spent exploring the Hudson’s Bay Company Fort (1860), the 1880s pre-railway settlement, and an old Albertan farm. The biggest surprise for me was discovering that Mak enjoys sifting through the vestiges of history as much as I do. As we perused house after historic house (on her insistence), she excitedly explained how fascinated she was by all the artifacts, stories, people, smells, and general ambiance of old buildings.

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