Home / Andrew Penner / Penner: Hot options for indoor recreation in Calgary when it’s freezing outside – Updated

Penner: Hot options for indoor recreation in Calgary when it’s freezing outside – Updated

“Colder than Iqaluit.” The radio announcer’s word’s inflicted some pain. But then I went outside and things near and dear to me started freezing and failing, shrinking and shrivelling. And the pain on this, the 94th day of January, reached a new level altogether. But, come hell or high windchills, one thing is still clear. I will recreate. I’ll just do it inside.

Yes, spring in Calgary. Not one of the finer things in life. It’s a dog’s breakfast. A bad apple. A rotten kid. About the only thing predictable about it is its unpredictability. And this year, especially, it’s been a belligerent little bully.

Thankfully, Calgary is laced with outstanding indoor options to throw a ball, climb a wall, spin a wheel, swim a lap, and so on. And every month, it seems, the options keep growing. There are, literally, hundreds of places to have some fun and burn a few calories. And, happy happy joy joy, none of them will require you to dress in goose down and fend off frostbite.

Here are a few of my favourite places to play (indoors, of course) when spring rears its ugly head.        

 


Rider Austin Odegnal doing tricks in the Big Air Room at B-Line.

Andrew Penner

B-Line Bike Park

With 66,000 square feet of jumps, berms, ramps, and rollers, the brand new B-Line Bike Park near Marlborough Mall is a thing of beauty. Thanks to a “green” level skills area, ultrasmooth track, women’s nights, and a massive foam pit (perfect for people dying to get airborne but don’t want to die), this is not just a hangout for dudes and daredevils. However, if you want to see some crazy stunts, some of the top freestyle BMX riders in the west are regulars in the “BAR.” (Otherwise known as the “big air room.”)

Public drop-in rates are $30 per day and yearly memberships are $800. Bike and pad rentals are available and, provided yours is clean and in good working order, you can also bring your bike. www.blinebikepark.com.

<img data-attachment-id="1040518" data-permalink="http://calgaryherald.com/health/diet-fitness/penner-indoor-recreation-rocks-in-calgary/attachment/drop-zone-practice-cal090611-gya-4-jpg-jpg#main" data-orig-file="http://wpmedia.calgaryherald.com/2018/04/drop-zone-practice-cal090611-gya-4-jpg.jpg?quality=55&strip=all" data-orig-size="1000,750" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"3.5","credit":"Calgary Herald","camera":"Canon EOS 7D","caption":"Gavin Young, Calgary Herald CALGARY, AB: September 06, 2011 – Calgary Herald assistant city editor Colette Derworiz gets ready to do a training rappel at the 80 foot Crux Climbing and Bouldering Centre wall in Calgary on Tuesday Sept 6, 2011. The training was in preparation for the 30-story (375 feet) rappel down the side of the Sun Life Tower at the Easter Seals Drop Zone event in support of children with disabilities and special needs in Alberta. Gavin Young/Calgary Herald (For City section story by Colette Derworiz) 00034938A","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"27","iso":"3200","shutter_speed":"0.016666666666667","title":"SUNRIDGE","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="040718-Drop_Zone_practice_CAL090611-gya-4" data-image-description="

Gavin Young, Calgary Herald CALGARY, AB: September 06, 2011 – Calgary Herald assistant city editor Colette Derworiz gets ready to do a training rappel at the 80 foot Crux Climbing and Bouldering Centre wall in Calgary on Tuesday Sept 6, 2011. The training was in preparation for the 30-story (375 feet) rappel down the side of the Sun Life Tower at the Easter Seals Drop Zone event in support of children with disabilities and special needs in Alberta. Gavin Young/Calgary Herald (For City section story by Colette Derworiz) 00034938A

” data-medium-file=”http://wpmedia.calgaryherald.com/2018/04/drop-zone-practice-cal090611-gya-4-jpg.jpg?quality=55&strip=all&w=300″ data-large-file=”http://wpmedia.calgaryherald.com/2018/04/drop-zone-practice-cal090611-gya-4-jpg.jpg?quality=55&strip=all&w=640″ class=”aligncenter wp-image-1040518 size-large” src=”http://wpmedia.calgaryherald.com/2018/04/drop-zone-practice-cal090611-gya-4-jpg.jpg?w=640&quality=55&strip=all&h=480″ alt=”” width=”640″ height=”480″ />

The Crux Climbing & Bouldering Centre

Boasting one of the highest climbing walls in North America (nearly 25 metres high!), the Crux Climbing & Bouldering Centre in northeast Calgary (also located near Marlborough Mall) is a hidden gem. And, considering the signage is basically non-existent, “hidden” is actually an apt description. However, thanks to Groupons and excellent beginner courses that have exploded in popularity, the facility is definitely “on the map” with Calgary’s courageous climbing community. Solo climbers can hone their skills in three spacious bouldering areas and, if you’ve got a climbing partner and have passed the safety/belay test, you can test your finger power on the towering walls that will get you primed for the legendary cliffs of Yamnuska.

A day rate is $16, $14 for students and there are a variety of other pass options, including $500 for a year.

www.thecruxclimbing.com.

 


The Grand Slam Golf Academy is one of the newest indoor golf centres in Calgary.

Courtesy, Grand Slam

Grand Slam Golf Academy

For golfers, especially, this spring has been downright depressing. Even the diehards who like to smack it around on the tundra at Fox Hollow in early spring (or winter) have had to swap their sticks for snow shovels. (You know you have a problem when golf in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is more appealing than here.) Thankfully, Calgary boasts a number of indoor golf centres (the outdoor heated stalls at Golf Canada Calgary Centre also work) where you can perfect your banana ball. The new Grand Slam Golf Academy, for example, is a sweet oasis for swingers.

With state-of-the-art simulators (Torrey Pines anyone?) and hitting bays, training equipment only found in the top studios in the world, full food and beverage service, short-game practice area, and the only RoboGolfPro in Western Canada, the Grand Slam Golf Academy is perfect for snowbound Calgarians who need to satisfy their golf cravings.

One hour playing 18 holes on one of four courses on the simulator weekdays is $45 and $50 on weekends. Youth rates are $5 less.

www.gsga.ca.  

<img data-attachment-id="1040516" data-permalink="http://calgaryherald.com/health/diet-fitness/penner-indoor-recreation-rocks-in-calgary/attachment/volleyball-cal1124-mkvolleyball4-jpg#main" data-orig-file="http://wpmedia.calgaryherald.com/2018/04/volleyball-cal1124-mkvolleyball4.jpg?quality=55&strip=all" data-orig-size="1000,750" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"2.8","credit":"Mikael Kjellstrom (Kjellstru00beu009dm)","camera":"Canon EOS-1D Mark II N","caption":"Calgary, AB-11/24/07-Lindsay Thurber Raiders (Red Deer) #9 Royal Richardson drops the ball past Grande Prairie Totems #1 Amanda Roy and #2 Tayler Kelly in the gold-medal match during the 4A Provincial High School Volleyball Championship, Saturday evening at the Rally Pointe. Grande Prairie Totems won the event. Photography by Mikael Kjellstrom (Kjellstru00beu009dm), Calgary Herald (For Sports, Story by Scott Connell, 00012885A)","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"155","iso":"1600","shutter_speed":"0.004","title":"Douglasdale","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="040718-volleyball_CAL1124-mkVolleyball4" data-image-description="

Calgary, AB-11/24/07-Lindsay Thurber Raiders (Red Deer) #9 Royal Richardson drops the ball past Grande Prairie Totems #1 Amanda Roy and #2 Tayler Kelly in the gold-medal match during the 4A Provincial High School Volleyball Championship, Saturday evening at the Rally Pointe. Grande Prairie Totems won the event. Photography by Mikael Kjellstrom (Kjellstr¾m), Calgary Herald (For Sports, Story by Scott Connell, 00012885A)

” data-medium-file=”http://wpmedia.calgaryherald.com/2018/04/volleyball-cal1124-mkvolleyball4.jpg?quality=55&strip=all&w=300″ data-large-file=”http://wpmedia.calgaryherald.com/2018/04/volleyball-cal1124-mkvolleyball4.jpg?quality=55&strip=all&w=640″ class=”wp-image-1040516 size-large aligncenter” src=”http://wpmedia.calgaryherald.com/2018/04/volleyball-cal1124-mkvolleyball4.jpg?w=640&quality=55&strip=all&h=480″ alt=”” width=”640″ height=”480″ />

Rally Pointe Volleyball Centre

To become a volleyball fan, you either a) need to watch the famous pool volleyball scene in the movie Meet the Parents, or b) check out Rally Pointe Volleyball Centre in southeast Calgary. With eight indoor hard courts and six outdoor beach courts, Rally Pointe is a one-of-a-kind facility that was an early pioneer in terms of volleyball-only centres in North America. With leagues, lessons, camps, and clinics — there are also $9 public drop-in games on Friday — that run throughout the year (not just during our wretched spring season), there is something for everyone.

Court rental on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons are $55 an hour.

www.rallypointe.com.  

<img data-attachment-id="770092" data-permalink="http://calgaryherald.com/health/diet-fitness/penner-indoor-recreation-rocks-in-calgary/attachment/the-swimming-pool-at-the-remington-ymca-in-quarry-park-cour-jpeg#main" data-orig-file="http://wpmedia.calgaryherald.com/2017/01/the-swimming-pool-at-the-remington-ymca-in-quarry-park-cour.jpeg?quality=55&strip=all" data-orig-size="1000,750" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta=""aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"The swimming pool at the Remington YMCA in Quarry Park. Courtesy, YMCA Calgary","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"Remington Interior.jpg","orientation":"1"" data-image-title="Remington YMCA | Calgary Herald Homes" data-image-description="

The swimming pool at the Remington YMCA in Quarry Park. Courtesy, YMCA Calgary

” data-medium-file=”http://wpmedia.calgaryherald.com/2017/01/the-swimming-pool-at-the-remington-ymca-in-quarry-park-cour.jpeg?quality=55&strip=all&w=300″ data-large-file=”http://wpmedia.calgaryherald.com/2017/01/the-swimming-pool-at-the-remington-ymca-in-quarry-park-cour.jpeg?quality=55&strip=all&w=640″ class=”wp-image-770092 size-large” src=”http://wpmedia.calgaryherald.com/2017/01/the-swimming-pool-at-the-remington-ymca-in-quarry-park-cour.jpeg?w=640&quality=55&strip=all&h=480″ alt=”” width=”640″ height=”480″ />

Remington YMCA at Quarry Park

The YMCA’s rich history dates back to 1844 in London, England. The first one in Calgary was built in 1909 on leased land from the Canadian Pacific Railway and was called the Calgary City and Railroad YMCA. Since then, our ever-growing collection of YMCAs is the best in Canada. One of my go-to locations for a brief, low-intensity workout (I don’t move like I used to) is the new Remington YMCA at Quarry Park. With over 100,000 square feet of open, sunlit space — including a gymnasium, running track, six-lane swimming pool, hot tub, steam room, library, and much more — this is one of the crown jewels in the collection.

Drop-in rates range from $5.25 to $15 and there are a number of pass options.

www.ymcacalgary.org.

 

Hopefully, by the time you’re reading this, our lovely city will look — and feel — a little less like Nunavut. But, if it doesn’t, it’s comforting to know we have plenty of awesome indoor options to recreate. And, fear not, January will soon be over.

           

           

 

 

 

       


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