Heritage Park in Winter: Calgary's Historical Village has Plenty to Offer

Posted by on Sunday, January 15th, 2017 at 4:40pm.

There’s a lot going on behind the gates at Heritage Park on the eastern edge of a frozen Glenmore Reservoir. 

Next door to Eagle Ridge and across the water from Calgary’s Bayview neighbourhood in southwest Calgary, Heritage Park is the largest living history village of it’s kind.  It offers visitors a complete immersion into Western Canada’s past, depicting the era from 1860 to 1950.  There are more than 180 exhibits, 50,000 authentic artifacts of the past and people dressed in costumes appropriate to the era playing the part of town folk.  Heritage Park brings history to life!

While the train doesn’t run and the Antique Midway is in full hibernation, there’s still plenty going on at Heritage Park.  You can always visit the Selkirk Grill and the 1930s Calgary display outside the park gates, the winter is when you can drive right into the park directly to your destination.  Whether you’re coming for a program or for something to eat at the Wainwright Hotel, Heritage Park is just as fun in the off-season. 

Here’s what’s going on:

Brunch at the Wainwright Hotel

Every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. from now until April 30, drive into the park and leave your car outside the hotel and enjoy a good old-fashioned home style breakfast.  From baked goods straight from the onsite Alberta Bakery, to eggs, bacon, sausages and custom-made omelets, Sunday mornings at the Wainwright are great for the entire family. Reservations are recommended.  Prices are $18.50 for adults, $11.25 for kids 12 and under with children aged 2 and under no charge.  Add GST.

Story Time Tuesdays

Head to Gasoline Alley for stories every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. from now until April 11.  Hear some of the classics then enjoy the Gasoline Alley Museum experience.  There’s no charge for story time if you have an annual pass or if you’ve purchased museum admission.

Speaker Series at Gasoline Alley

Come and hear topics of interest related to Western Canada’s history each month on a Thursday at 2:00 p.m.  You must have an annual pass or have paid for museum admission to enjoy these lectures. Topics include:

  • January 19:  How colonist cars helped settle the West with Sylvia Harnden, park curator
  • February 23:  Calgary playwright Caroline Russell King has written a short play entitled FIRE !  There will be a debut of this work given plus a short presentation on the early days of the Calgary Fire Brigade.
  • March 23:  How did women participate in sports in the old days when they wore such long skirts and uncomfortable corsets?  Yet, play they did.  Hockey, tennis, ski jumping and skating.  Gladys Serafino discusses women in sport.
  • April 20:  Hear Wendy Aitkens give a talk on two adventures women who made their way to Canada so very long ago.

Ghost Tour Wednesdays

On select Wednesdays beginning February 15 at 7:00 p.m., come for a 90-minute walking tour through the dark streets and alleys of the village and learn about the scary side of history.  Then enjoy a few drinks after at Selkirk Grille afterwards.  You must be 16 to dare come on this tour and it is also weather dependent.  Tickets on sale at the Selkirk Grille.

Family Day Weekend

Gasoline Alley will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm. On February 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 for Family Quest. Heritage Park is organizing some games within the historical exhibit to introduce you to the great drivers of history.

Fiber Arts and Spinning

Learn how to use a spinning wheel to create your own yard with advance classes available on subsequent dates.   The program cost is $80 and up.  Register at the Heritage Park Office or online.

Tea Time in the Roaring 20s’

Have you heard of a Trousseau Tea? 

The trousseau was a group things that a bride-to-be collected before her marriage. Often put in a Hope Chest.  Bed linens, quiets, dish towels etc.  A Trousseau Tea was traditionally held for friends that either could not attend the wedding or weren’t invited to the wedding.  The tea will be held at the Thorpe House at Heritage Park on Saturday, April 22 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at a cost of $55 plus GST.  Attendees will see the tea preparations taking place on an antique gas appliance.  

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