Parking: Free lot parking
Summer Features: Pathways; Lagoon (popular with ducks and geese, canoes, kayaks and paddlecraft); Boat rentals; miniature ride on train; wading pool, Bow River access.
Winter Features: skating on the lagoon; skate rental and sharpening; cross country skiing.
Playgrounds: As of 2014, Bowness has a new large playground as well a few older small playgrounds
Amenities: Restaurant and cafe, washrooms, water fountains; fire pits, barbeque stands, picnic areas (can be booked), shelters.
Seating: There are numerous benches and picnic tables throughout the park. Tons of picnic tables.
Overall : Bowness Park was an extremely popular destination in the 1920s and 30s. Inspired by New York’s Coney Island, Calgarians would ride the streetcar to access Bowness Park’s carousel, fountain with accompanying light and music, dance hall, scaled-down railway line and other attractions.
Until recently there were still amusement park rides at the park, but the ‘funland’ area is now completely closed.
Bowness Park is still a very popular location and a great place to spend the day with the family.
Bowness Park has the largest picnic areas in City of Calgary parks making it a great spot for large gatherings.
Bowness Park has a large accessible playground as well as a couple of small older playgrounds. playground review here.
Bowness Park’s miniature ride on train is back in business after Bowness Park’s reconstruction. Runs seasonally – you can find the train schedule on the UofC Outdoor Centre’s website.
Tickets are required for children and adults. You can ride around a complete loop of the east end of the park, or you can get off at the wading pool.
The train ‘station’ is next to the main parking lot North of the restaurant and cafe area.
Bowness Park also has a lovely, well shaded wading pool with on deck spray features. It is open seasonally and typically opens mid-June, weather dependent.
It’s located on the East end of Bowness Park and is a non-trivial walk from the parking lot and further still from the large playground.
See more about the Bowness Park wading pool here.
Bowness Park Lagoon
The Bowness Park Lagoon is a central feature to Bowness Park.
You can often see ducks and geese near the water.
You can also rent paddleboats, kayaks and canoes at the boat shop.
In the Winter, you can go skating on the lagoon and out onto the inlet. It is one of the best things we have done as a family – I highly recommend it.
Overall this park would be an excellent choice for a family day at the park. Many of the picnic areas are available for booking and if you are looking for a larger area in the summer it would be a great location.
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