The City of Calgary is offering free swimming and skating at select locations this Family Day.

It’s one of the great ironies of life: by the time Family Day actually rolls around Monday, some parents are at their wits’ end with their offspring, who have been off school for five days. Rather than popping yet another Wimpy Kid DVD in the player, throwing a bag of chips down the stairs into the rec room, closing the door and hoping for the best, why not attempt an outing to burn off some of that energy?

Banish the “I’m booored!” blahs with a free family skate (with the donation of a non-perishable food item) at the Olympic Oval at the U of C. The fun goes from noon through 4 p.m. and there will be family-friendly activities as well. Plus, there will be Papa John’s Pizza and Pepsi for sale with proceeds going to support of Oval Program High Performance Athletes. There is free parking available on the north side of the oval in parking lots 9 through 13 and lot 16.

Or, take your gang swimming or skating on the City of Calgary’s dime. Select pools and rinks will feature free admission today. Acadia, Foothills, Inglewood, Kilarney and Thornhil pools will be open from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (And while there is a scheduled half-hour break from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., it will be waived if capacity permits.)

Or, lace up the skates at Murray Copot, Shouldice, Stew Hendry/Henry Viney, Optimist/George Blundun, Frank McCool and Jimmie Condon/Rose Kohn rinks for a free session from 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. In addition, there will be skates and helmets to borrow if needed at the Jimmie Condon/Rose Kohn location, as well as activities such as on-ice games, face painting and crafts.

If those don’t fit into your schedule, check out the winter carnival at Fort Calgary. The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be carnival games, face painting, cartoons and movies, crafts, a treasure hunt and more. If weather permits, there will also be maple-syrup candy making. And if you have little ones, please note that organizers are asking that people not bring their strollers along.



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