Every year thousands of families descend onto the Stampede Grounds in Calgary, Canada. If you are new to Calgary or haven’t been to the Stampede in years then I have a few tips for you when you are going to Stampede with children.
These are the basics.
- A hat
- Loads of snacks
Water: You and your child are going to need to be well hydrated throughout the day. If you want to pay $3.00 or more for a bottle of water, feel free. I am of the opinion that because we live in Canada and have unlimited access to clean water there is no reason for us to pay for it.
A Hat: The sun is pretty harsh on the Stampede Grounds. The trees are few and far between, so it is important you keep your head cool. If not you are in for a massive headache at the end of the day.
Snacks: The food on the Stampede grounds is questionable at best. If it isn’t deep fried or beef (obviously a gross overgeneralization) you won’t find it at Stampede. I suggest packing your own snacks for your children.
- Juice Snacks
- Cold pasta and chicken (kept cool with an ice pack in a lunch bag)
Other helpful items include
- a cloth
It may just be me, but I find that it is worth the $25 dollars to park on the grounds or a block away. I love public transit, but it is just not worth the headache to be on a cramped train there and back. Also, the math didn’t work out for me. We had three adults so it would have cost us $18.00 to get to the grounds and back to the train station nearest our home. Saving $7.00 is not worth the hour I would suffer on the hot train (that I may not even get on since we are going during rush hour).
We went on Kid’s Day, so we got in before 9AM for free. That may seem early for some people, but when you run a business and have children 9 AM is nothing.
- I spent $5.00 buying my daughter a plushy toy
- $35 dollars on fries and three hotdogs
- $6.00 on cold drinks (slurpees and diet coke)
- $25 parking
Total: $61.00 (Crazy right?). I expected to spend 3 times as much as that. I think we were so under budget because my daughter was too short to go on the rides, we brought snacks, and got in for free.
I only went to the Stampede to show my daughter the farm animals, but it turns out she only likes the stuffed animals and the ones in her books. She cried when she saw the cow.
We saw super dogs which was awesome. We also went to go see Olivia the Cat. I think that is the cat’s name. Anyway, she loved the cat so much she wouldn’t peel her eyes away from it to take a picture. She really disliked the pig by the way.
We also went to the Kid’s part of the park where every game was fixed in a good way. You basically buy your child’s prize and they play the game. They can’t lose. My daughter and her friend played a game where they picked rubber ducks out of the water and gave it to the game attendant. That was it. They had more fun just playing in the water.
We got to the park at 9 am and by the time 12 pm rolled along we were just about done. We ate under the shade and left at about 1pm. It took about 2 minutes of driving for my daughter to fall asleep. I would say that for $61.00 it was worth the day of fun.
Honestly, I will skip Stampede for the next few years. It is a lot of hullabaloo for walking around in the hot sun. Stampede is something you have to do once, and if you are prepared it can be a good day of fun.