750 – 9 Avenue SE
Gordie’s review (6 years old): I liked brunch the best.
Nicky’s review (3 years old): I liked the pink hat and the red hat.
Robbie’s review (9 months old): Lots of things to look at. Easy to get around in a stroller or baby carrier.
Day Pass Cost: Adults $12, Youth (7-17) $7, Child (3-6) $5, 2 and under free. Included with Sunday Brunch.
Annual Pass Break Even point: Adult or family 2 visits.
Parking: free parking lot
Food Services: Sunday Brunch. Reservations: 403-290-1875
Age Range: All ages.
Stay Length: Around an hour
Overall: The original Fort Calgary was built in 1875 by the North West Mounted Police with a mandate to force out whisky traders. This was the beginnings of the city that we know today. The site is now a museum and historical site.
Fort Calgary is going through a period of renewal and renovation. With the development of St Patrick’s Island and the East Village the area is more vibrant than ever. There is a new playground being installed within walking distance on 6th street and you can also walk across the bridge to St. Patrick’s Island or walk along the river. The Deane House is currently being renovated and a recreation of the 1888 Fort Calgary Barracks were built in 2000.
On this visit we were taking part in Fort Calgary’s Sunday Brunch. The brunch is held the 2nd floor (an elevator is available) of the barracks building. Adults are $27, kids 5-12 are $15 and 4 and under are free. Admission to the museum is included with your brunch.
Your brunch starts with warm house made scones at your table accompanied by house made jam. They are amazing.
The buffet is great with lots of hot and cold options and dessert. I particularly liked the Arugula & Frisée salad and the double smoked bacon. They also have an egg station where you can get omelets and eggs made to order. In addition, you can get items from the kitchen like french toast, eggs benedict, crepes and cassoulet at no extra cost. The options were a little more adventurous than my kids usually like but it was still easy to find things that they enjoyed. My big kids loved the bacon and eggs, fruit salad and cake and baby Robbie enjoyed a finger food meal of fruit salad, salmon and broccoli rabe. They also had a highchair he could use.
I would absolutely come here again the next time we are going for brunch.
On the main floor of the barracks you’ll find displays about the old fort. They have the information set up like facebook posts which I thought was really clever.
You can also see models of what the fort used to look like.
At the back is an art exhibit – it’s perfect for kids. The artwork accompanies the story of Boo the trickster rabbit. My son loved going through the exhibit and reading the story.
After you go through the barracks, you head back towards the entrance and the rest of the museum is set up in a loop.
The museum reminds me of a good small town museum. There are a lot of kid friendly elements. One of the first things you come upon is a display of Mountie uniforms that you can try on. My kids loved this.
The displays are set up in a really attractive manner to look like real rooms and places. This is showing the hospital at the barracks.
My son’s favorite spot is the ‘backyard’.
There you can find dress up clothes and ‘olden days toys’ that the kids can play with.
My kids both enjoyed stamping the letters from the printing press.
There is also a theatre that plays documentaries related to Calgary’s early history. My kids found the one playing while we were there to be a bit dry.
My son is a huge fan of all things train related so he was really impressed with the streetcar that you could sit in.
Right before you leave there is an old car at a gas station display that you can sit in along with some dress up clothes. Pretending to drive the car wearing this pink flower hat made my daughter’s day.
They are working on the grounds at the moment, but you can still make you way along the river or take a 10 minute walk across to St Patrick Island while you are in the area. You’re also only an 8 minute walk away from Pop’s Dairy Bar (open seasonally).
Have you been to Fort Calgary? What did you think?