Beat the Summer Heat

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As temperatures rise in Calgary, and blue sky days become sizzling hot, many look for ways to cool down. Here are a few ways to beat the summer heat.

Float the Bow

Luckily for Calgarians, the flowing waters of the Bow River runs right through our city and cooling down is just a raft ride away.

Creating your own DIY flotation kit is easy by including a durable base like a raft, kayak or paddleboard, paddles, spare pump, emergency kit, a Canadian approved PFD, water, and a healthy supply of SPF.

But for those who are visiting or want to forgo the fuss, there are a number of businesses that offer a prepped and ready experience so you can be river bound in an instant.

  1. Lazy Day Raft Rentals: Open 7 days a week, Lazy Day offers 15 kilometre rides down the Bow, starting at West Baker Park, on a choice of their rugged and comfortable rafts, solo or duo Memba Pro Kayaks, or their ‘BowYaks’ – their Kayak/Raft hybrid.
    Lazy Day also offers extended evening hours for sunset floats and an affordable shuttle service, with pick up and drop off times each hour.
  2. Paddle Station: After booking yourself online, you’ll check in at Shouldice Park on the shores of the Bow, where your raft, safety gear, and all equipment will be ready and waiting for you. After a quick orientation you’ll be off on a 2-3 hour float.
    Your float will offer one of the most picturesque views of the city as you pass through, ending near the Calgary Zoo.
  3. Calgary Canoe Club: If quick moving water is not your cup of tea, Calgary Canoe Club offers a still water experience for you to explore the Glenmore Reservoir and the waterways of nearby Weaselhead via recreational kayaks.
    Boats are available on a first come first served basis but for those who plan to make a season of it, memberships are also available and include the opportunity to book online through their app to ensure your boat, paddles, and PFD are reserved.

Outdoor Pools and Splash Pads

The Calgary Outdoor Swimming Pools Association (COSPA) manages eight outdoor swimming pools on behalf of The City of Calgary, and they are in operation through the end of August.

Admission cost is $6 for ages 2+. All pools are supervised by qualified lifeguards and most offer adult and youth swim lessons at an additional cost.

  1. Mount Pleasant: This pool is a favourite of parents and kids, offering a free-form pool with a zero-depth entry area which gently slopes to a depth of 3.0 meters in the deep end of the pool.
    Mount Pleasant Pool also features one above deck water slide at 1.8 meters high and, like most city pools, the opportunity to rent it out entirely, with 2-3 hour time slots on select days throughout the summer.
    Pool rentals can accommodate up to 200 people with starting rates of $175 for up to 40 people. Information on booking and availability can be found on
  2. Stanley Park: This inner city pool offers early morning swims with their 8 lane, 25 metre long pool and hosts robust daily public swim times from noon until 5:45pm most days throughout the summer, with some extended evening swims ending at 7:45pm.
    Stanley Park pool also features a Splash Basin – Wading Pool and Spray Deck with a zero depth entry, water spray ring and 5 floor spray nozzles.
    Like all pools, public swims are available in 105 minute slots and can be made online in advance to secure your space.

A Chilly Treat

Calgary is home to a number of made-from-scratch ice cream creators and several treat shops that have been keeping us delightfully cooled for years.

  1. Lics Ice Cream Shop: Scooping since 1982, this family owned shop has recently undergone a facelift making it a colorful and instagramable dream.
    Located in Parkdale, a convenient stop along the Bow River Pathway near Edworthy Park, Lics offers 44 flavours of creamy, de'Lics'ious premium ice cream including no-sugar added and lactose-free options.
    But it’s the cereal milk ice cream where they hand blend your Saturday morning favourites like Fruity Pebbles or Frosted Flakes with vanilla ice cream that will have screaming for more.
    Also unique to Lics is a 6 flavour scoop flight that allows you to sample and share multiple flavours at once.
  2. Made by Marcus: Owner and Founder, Marcus Purtzki received his bachelor's degree in food science and nutrition at UBC and has since been delivering unique and creative flavour profiles to Calgary through his 5 store fronts.
    Sea Salt Goat Milk Carmel, Monogram, Espresso Pretzel Toffee, and Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk just to name a few.
    Each month MBM also delivers limited edition and one-of-a-kind flavors to each of their stores, so hit up as many locations as you can because you never know what you’ll find.
  3. Village Ice Cream: After visiting Montana and experiencing a ‘life changing Huckleberry icecream’ from a small-batch ice cream shop, owner Billy Friley woke up the next morning determined to make the best ice cream Calgary had ever tasted.
    In shop you’ll find their 10 'always' flavours like their North 49 Honeyberry, Toasted Coconut, and Guide’s Mint – Billy’s personal fave.
    And each season, Village Ice Cream also offers a rotating selection of flavours by sourcing and utilizing the best possible seasonal ingredients.

Ryan Massel