Location: Banff – Birch Drive
Directions: Go across the main bridge on Banff Ave, and turn right at the T intersection at the end of the bridge. Take an immediate right onto Birch Ave and keep going past the Luxton Museum.
Parking: Free parking in adjacent lot.
Surrounding Park Area: The playground is part of the much-larger Recreation Grounds, which include a skate park, bike park, picnic shelters, baseball diamonds, etc. It’s a very short walk to the river.
Age Range: 2 – 12
Ground Cover: Pea gravel
Shade: There is shade from many large trees, as well as a few picnic shelters.
Seating: Several benches and picnic tables.
Accessibility: Not accessible.
Playground Features: There are three play areas separated by paved walkways. One has a toddler playground, one has a playground for older kids, and one has large rocks for kids to climb on. There is also an area with a swing set, although the swings had been removed (presumably for the annual fall rut, when they pose a danger to elk who can become entangled).
The toddler play structure has three slides, a tunnel, and a small bouncer. The larger play structure has a straight slide, a curly slide, a tube slide, and several different ways to climb up.
Directly behind this playground is a bike park that older kids will love. Additionally, if you go for a very short walk to the right, you’ll find the river.
Amenities: Washrooms, pop machine, fire pits, picnic shelters
Overall Assessment: This is a great playground. It was very cloudy the day we visited, but you generally have a view of the mountains from here.
I liked that there was a play structure specifically for younger kids in addition to the larger play structure. The bike park would also be great for older kids to amuse themselves while younger kids play. Also, as a mom with a toddler, I appreciated that there was a washroom.
My kids also had a great time climbing on the large rocks, which are an attractive natural element in the playground.
Katie is a librarian and freelance writer based in Calgary.