Where to Picnic in Calgary
Our River Café gourmet picnic baskets are popping up all over town. Here are a few of our recommendations for outdoor dining this summer.
FOR THE BEST VIEW
- Scottsman’s Hill
- You can’t beat the view
- It’s not a typical picnic spot and perfect for a date at sunset
- Plenty of street parking around (please respect the neighborhood)
- You may be joined by a few neighborhood pooches chasing tennis balls around
- It’s small, hopefully you get lucky and find an empty area
Photo: Calgary-born singer/songwriter Michael Bernard Fitzgerald enjoying a River Café picnic basket with friends at Scottman’s Hill earlier this summer before heading back on tour – rock stars eat picnics too.
FOR THE BEST ENTERTAINMENT
– Prince’s Island Park
- Each summer Prince’s Island Park is home to incredible live Shakespeare performances. Shakespeare on the Bow (formerly Shakespeare in the Park) performs live on scheduled evenings throughout the summer. Bring a blanket or low chair and you can enjoy the show for cash donation (recommended $15 per viewer).
- River Café picnic baskets can be ordered in advance and picked up just a few hundred feet away for easy play picnicking – its like dinner theatre, but better.
- Theatre Calgary’s company of emerging artists is top notch, and the productions are always family-friendly crowd favourites – this year they will present ‘Comedy of Errors’.
- We’re biased, but Prince’s Island may be the most beautiful and social park in the city.
- The shows are weather permitting. Tip: bring a blanket and umbrella – the actors are troopers (the show must go on) and the weather usually passes within a few minutes.
- Haven’t brushed up your Shakespeare recently? Easy – cue up a dummy-proof outline on your phone (this one) and study up before you enjoy. There, no excuses.
FOR THE BEST “Off-The-Beaten-Path” FEELING
– Ralph Klein Park
Image Credit: © 2014 Mike Morrison
We heard about this place from Calgary blogger Mike Morrison of MikesBloggityBlog. He recently disclosed his favourite secret park, Ralph Klein Park – and you probably haven’t heard about it either. It’s relatively new, and while it’s only a few minutes off Glenmore Trail, it feels like a mini-nature getaway. He shared this image of him and friend enjoying a rainy day picnic with a River Café picnic basket earlier this summer.
- Extraordinary bird watching, wide open spaces, and beautiful water
- Home to a beautiful facility that promotes water sustainability. You’ll find wetland study stations, learning gardens and more.
- Privacy. It’s still a secret. Get ready to feel like you’re mile away, when you’ll just be a few minutes off Glenmore Trail.
- You can do what Mike did, and eat your picnic lunch on the covered patio tables regardless of weather.
- It’s a jaunt. Print a map, and watch for the signs.
- It’s secluded. No back-up plan nearby. Don’t forget your bottle opener.
A few other spots you may not have thought of:
- For the animal lover: Inglewood Bird Sanctuary Address
- For the suburbanite: Lake Bonavista Address
- For the bbq’ers: Stanley Park Address
- For lovers who love paddleboats: Carburn Park Address
The River Café picnic basket includes a gourmet lunch for 2 (or more!) with all the fixings, and can be picked up easily at River Café for picnics all over town, when ordered in advance. Check out our menu and order online or by calling (403) 261-7670.