The top 7 parks for a secret picnic in Calgary this summer

Jun 17 2017, 7:22 am

It’s summertime so naturally you want to spend as much time as possible outside in Calgary.

But instead of hitting up a patio, you could try dining al fresco on your own terms. After all, that means you don’t have to pick up a tip afterwards which is an added bonus.

All you have to do is prepare a picnic basket and you’re done. It’s that easy.

The only problem is that you don’t want to go somewhere crowded where you have little or no space to place your picnic blanket. That’s why you need to go somewhere quiet to enjoy your outdoor feast.

We’ve compiled a list of the top seven parks you need to visit for a secret picnic this summer.

Riley Park

Pack a picnic and head out to northwestern Calgary’s Riley Park, located close to the Kensington shopping district. This stunning park has plenty of secret grasslands where you can set up your outdoor dining spread. The best part? It’s open until 11 pm so you can go there after work and even fit in a game of cricket if you want to.

Shouldice Park

You really won’t mind preparing your own charcuterie board to have a secret picnic in Shouldice Park. Once you’re there you can enjoy a peaceful ambiance as you eat, admiring views of the Bow River and a wealth of flowers. You can also play tennis here when you’re done and bring your dog along with you.

Carburn Park 


If you want to dine somewhere ultra tranquil in the heart of nature, go to Carburn Park located at 67 Riverview Drive. Nestled along the Bow River, the park features three manmade ponds where you can watch as wildlife roam freely.

Pearce Estate Park

Pearce Estate Park is situated on the east of downtown Calgary, along the Bow River and it’s the perfect place to have a picnic. You’ll feel like you’re a million miles away from the city and you can check out the 15 hectares of reconstructed wetlands filled with plants and animals while you’re there. You can eat your salad at one of the designated picnic areas or set up on a section of unkept grass. Epic.

Olympic Plaza

This urban park is centrally located around Macleod Trail and 7th Avenue meaning you can stop by to enjoy a picnic here during your lunch break if you work downtown. The plaza area was built back in 1988 for the Olympic Winter Games and now it’s an idyllic place to have a secret picnic beneath the trees.

Bowness Park

Bowness Park stretches over 30 hectare on the Bow River in Bowness so there are plenty of spots off the beaten track to set up a picnic. The park was closed for flood recovery and redevelopment but the entire west side of the park is now open. You can get into a boat and go paddling within the park if it suits your mood.

Stampede Park

Calgary Stampede/Shutterstock

Head to Stampede Park in the Beltine District southeast of downtown Calgary and enjoy a picnic close to the exhibition facility. It’s somewhere you may frequent but now you can try it out for a different purpose – a picnic. Simply set your basket up on one of the grassy patches and have dinner in the sun.

Catriona HughesCatriona Hughes

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+ Great Outdoors