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The Calgary Stampede: A Family Affair

By Merry Kuchle

The Calgary Stampede is the biggest event in Calgary’s social calendar every year. It is filled with cowboys and cowgirls partying all over town. This could lead you to believe that the Stampede isn’t really a family affair but that couldn’t be further from the truth!

Today we headed down to the Stampede for the final day. Since we took the whole family (Me, my husband (Dewey), Will (13), Nicole (11) and Evan (4)), we decided to skip the rodeo and evening events. We also clipped a coupon to cover Nicole’s entry ticket. Definitely have a look around the internet for different deals and coupons that are available before you leave home! You can spend a large amount of money at the Stampede but there are also loads of fun events that are totally free.

We arrived right after opening at 11:30. The grounds were busy but not too crowded. Volunteers were handing out maps/schedules at the front gate. We quickly determined we wanted to check out Superdogs. We headed over to the Big 4 building & got our free tickets for a later show.

The Calgary Stampede Family Fun Calgary

Since we had a couple of hours to kill, we went to the Agriculture Pavilion. All the kids loved seeing the sheep, cows, goats, chickens and pigs. Most had signs asking that they not be touched but the Country Critter tent had lots of animals that could be petted.

The Calgary Stampede Family Fun Calgary

The Calgary Stampede Family Fun Calgary

The Calgary Stampede Family Fun Calgary

After a quick pass by the hand washing station, we decided to get something to eat. We decided not to pack a lunch because there was a LOT of walking today and we didn’t feel like packing lunch for 5 around with us all day. Corn dogs, pizza on a stick and bratwursts were on the menu. Everyone got to eat what they wanted but we tried to steer clear of some of the worst fair choices (check out my photos of all the different food choices).

The Calgary Stampede Family Fun Calgary

Back to Superdogs for the afternoon show. The whole family loved the show. There were big dogs and small dogs, fast dogs and slower dogs….all were cute and all were amazing. The show was also indoors and cool (which was a must since it was a scorching 27 degrees today!). On the way out we noticed that the concession stand was offering free popsicles! It pays to read all the signs because no one even mentioned it.

We wrapped up the day with the boys riding a few rides and everyone playing a few games. Overall it was a wonderful day though it was VERY hot. We all had a great time and with a few bits of preplanning and keeping a budget in mind, we managed not to break the bank.

About Merry Kuchle

Merry is an American living in Calgary since 2004. She is mommy to Evan and stepmom to Will & Nicole. She is the author of Merry With Children where she writes about her crazy life as a full time working mom and stepmom.


  1. Great post Merry. I loved the pics of Evan and Nicole interacting with the animals. I will have to make an effort to take Max next year. Although I think I will have to try some of the bad food choices.