10 Best Picnic Spots for Outdoor BBQ in Calgary

10 Min Read
Apr 5, 2024

Get ready to fire up those grills and savor the great outdoors with Calgary's best picnic spots for BBQ lovers!

Imagine gathering your loved ones, spreading out a blanket, and enjoying delicious grilled treats amidst stunning natural backdrops. Whether you're looking for a cozy spot by the river or a panoramic view of the city, Calgary has something for everyone.

In this article, we'll guide you through the city's most beloved BBQ picnic spots, each offering a unique blend of scenery and culinary delight. So grab your apron, pack your favorite BBQ essentials, and get ready for a day filled with good food, great company, and unforgettable memories in Calgary's beautiful outdoor spaces.

1. Bowness Park

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Bowness Park shines as one of Calgary's most cherished outdoor destinations, making it a prime location for BBQ aficionados and picnic lovers.

Its year-round appeal includes a picturesque shallow lagoon that becomes a hub for paddle boating under the summer sun and transforms into a magical ice-skating rink as the winter snow sets in.

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What sets Bowness Park apart for your outdoor grilling endeavors is not just its scenic views but also its well-equipped picnic areas.

These spots are perfect for those looking to combine the smoky aroma of BBQ with the fresh, outdoor air of Calgary.

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Besides the BBQ and picnic facilities, Bowness Park offers a plethora of activities.

From leisurely strolls along the pathways that hug the lagoon's edge to engaging in more vigorous pursuits like kayaking, the park caters to all tastes. 

Location: Bowness Park - Google Maps

2. Carburn Park

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Carburn Park is a verdant oasis in Calgary, offering an idyllic backdrop for those eager to indulge in an outdoor BBQ or a serene picnic.

This park is a treasure trove of natural beauty and recreational activities, making it a standout choice for outdoor enthusiasts. Its lush surroundings are not only pleasing to the eye but also provide a peaceful ambiance for grilling and dining al fresco.

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The park's diverse landscape supports a wide array of activities.

In the colder months, the park's surfaces freeze over, inviting ice skating enthusiasts to glide across the icy expanse, while the warmer seasons see anglers and bird watchers flocking to the area, drawn by the rich biodiversity and the calm waters ideal for fishing.

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Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it offers spacious areas where families and friends can gather around a grill, cook up a feast, and enjoy the tranquility of the park's natural setting.

With paths winding through the park, visitors have the opportunity to explore the beauty on foot, making it a perfect spot for those looking to combine outdoor dining with a touch of adventure.

Location: Carburn Park - Google Maps

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3. Edworthy Park

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Edworthy Park, nestled along the Bow River and adjacent to the community of Wildwood in southwest Calgary, offers an unparalleled setting for outdoor BBQs and picnics.

This expansive park is celebrated for its rich diversity, featuring areas like the majestic Douglas Fir Trail and the historic Lawrey Gardens. It's a year-round destination where the beauty of Calgary's natural landscape can be enjoyed in every season.

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One of the park's unique draws is its location in a valley, providing a secluded feel that's perfect for those looking to escape the city's noise without venturing too far.

The Douglas Fir Trail offers an enchanting backdrop for outdoor activities, with towering trees and scenic views that promise a refreshing experience for hikers and nature lovers. Meanwhile, Lawrey Gardens adds a touch of historical charm, inviting visitors to wander and explore its beauty.


For BBQ and picnic enthusiasts, Edworthy Park's ample green spaces and picnic areas are ideal. Here, you can grill to your heart's content while basking in the serene riverside ambiance.

The park's accessibility and the variety of available activities make it a top choice for a day out.

Location: Edworthy Park - Google Maps

4. South Glenmore Park

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South Glenmore Park offers a vibrant setting for outdoor BBQs and picnics with its unique combination of waterfront greenery and recreational facilities.

Situated with stunning views over the water, this park is for those seeking a picturesque spot for their outdoor dining adventures. The park's biking and hiking paths make it a favorite among active visitors, who can enjoy a leisurely ride or walk before settling down for a delicious BBQ feast.

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What sets South Glenmore Park apart is its array of amenities, including a sailing school and an aquatic playground, which adds an extra splash of fun for families and groups.

These features ensure that there's something for everyone, from water sports enthusiasts looking to catch the wind in their sails to kids and parents eager for a playful day out.

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The park's well-maintained picnic areas are strategically placed to offer breathtaking views of the surrounding waters, making them perfect spots for grilling and chilling.

Location: South Glenmore Park - Google Maps

5. North Glenmore Park


North Glenmore Park, a sprawling 208-acre waterfront oasis, serves as a prime location for those in Calgary seeking the ideal outdoor BBQ and picnic spot.

With its scenic trails, playgrounds, tennis courts, and dedicated areas for fire pits and BBQs, the park caters to a wide range of interests and activities.

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The abundance of picnic areas equipped with BBQ facilities makes it easy for visitors to cook up their favorite meals while soaking in the park's natural beauty.

The fire pits scattered throughout the park add a cozy element, perfect for those cooler evenings when you can gather around the fire, roast marshmallows, and share stories.

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What truly distinguishes North Glenmore Park is its ability to balance recreational activities with serene natural spaces.

The park's waterfront location offers stunning views and a tranquil atmosphere, inviting visitors to unwind and reconnect with nature. 

Location: North Glenmore Park - Google Maps

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6. Sandy Beach

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Sandy Beach, with its expansive 33 hectares along the picturesque Elbow River, stands out as a beloved picnic spot in Calgary, especially for those who love the combination of sandy shores and green spaces.

This spot is not only favored for its scenic beauty but also for the variety of amenities it offers, including a playground, a dog park, and convenient rafting access, making it an exceptional location for outdoor BBQs and gatherings.

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Picnic enthusiasts will appreciate the sheltered areas available for setting up their BBQs, ensuring a comfortable experience regardless of the weather.

The playground nearby keeps children entertained, while the dog park is a great addition for those wanting to include their furry friends in the day's activities. For adventure seekers, the access to rafting provides an exciting activity to complement a day of relaxation and dining al fresco.

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What truly makes Sandy Beach a top choice for outdoor grilling and picnics in Calgary is its serene atmosphere.

Positioned away from the city's hustle, it offers a tranquil retreat where friends and families can gather, cook together, and enjoy the beauty of the Elbow River's surroundings.

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Location: Sandy Beach  - Google Maps 

7. Fish Creek Provincial Park

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Fish Creek Provincial Park, a vast natural haven nestled within Calgary, emerges as a premier destination for those seeking to blend the joys of a picnic with the allure of the great outdoors.

Renowned for its expansive greenery and the meandering trails along the enchanting Fish Creek, this park provides a picturesque setting for outdoor BBQs and leisurely gatherings.

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What sets Fish Creek Provincial Park apart is its remarkable diversity of landscapes and activities. Whether you're up for a rejuvenating walk, a scenic bike ride, or a peaceful day immersed in nature, the park caters to all preferences.

The trails guide visitors through dense woodlands, alongside tranquil riverbanks, and past intriguing small caves and near a train line, offering a beautiful and varied backdrop for every visit.

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The park's abundant flora and fauna enhance its charm, making it a haven for nature lovers and anyone looking to escape the city's buzz

Location: Fish Creek Provincial Park - Google Maps

8. Pearce Estate Park

Pearce Estate Park, tucked away in a scenic bend of the Bow River in southeast Calgary, offers a unique picnic experience with its lush landscapes and a 15-hectare reconstructed wetland.

This serene park combines the beauty of nature with the convenience of city life, making it an ideal spot for those looking to enjoy an outdoor BBQ or a leisurely picnic.

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What makes Pearce Estate Park particularly appealing is its focus on environmental education and conservation.

The wetland area not only provides a habitat for a variety of wildlife but also serves as a beautiful backdrop for picnics.

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The park's layout encourages exploration and relaxation, with well-maintained paths leading through the wetland areas and along the river.

This allows for a seamless transition from a hearty meal to a gentle stroll or a moment of reflection by the water's edge. 

Location: Pearce Estate Park - Google Maps

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9. Prairie Winds Park

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Prairie Winds Park in Calgary is a vibrant and dynamic location that blends the excitement of outdoor activities with the leisure of picnicking.

This park is not only a favorite for its playground, which boasts a thrilling zip line and a refreshing water area, but also for its fitness stations and sports facilities, making it a versatile spot for visitors of all ages and interests.

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For BBQ enthusiasts and picnic lovers, Prairie Winds Park offers ample space to set up and enjoy a day under the sky. Whether you're grilling up a storm or spreading out a feast on a blanket, the park's atmosphere is perfect for a family outing or a gathering with friends.

The variety of activities available ensures that there's never a dull moment. Kids can dash from the playground to the water area for endless fun, while adults take advantage of the fitness stations or engage in a friendly game on the sports fields.

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The park's inclusive design means that everyone can find something enjoyable to do, creating a lively and engaging environment.

Location: Prairie Winds Park - Google Maps

10. Stanley Park

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Stanley Park, a riverfront gem spanning 21 hectares, is a bustling hub for Calgary's outdoor enthusiasts and picnic goers.

With its well-appointed play and picnic areas, tennis courts, sports field, and even a bowling club, the park offers a myriad of recreational opportunities against the backdrop of scenic river views.

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This diverse array of facilities makes Stanley Park an ideal destination for anyone looking to combine sports and relaxation with their outdoor dining experiences.

The picnic areas are thoughtfully positioned to allow visitors to savor their BBQ delights while soaking in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

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For those with a competitive streak or looking for more active pursuits, the tennis courts and sports fields provide an excellent outlet for energy before settling down to eat.

Location: Stanley Park - Google Maps

To Sum It All Up

And there you have it, folks – our roundup of the 10 best picnic spots for an outdoor BBQ in Calgary.

Each location offers its own unique charm, from serene riverside retreats to vibrant parks filled with activities. Whether you're a nature lover, a sports enthusiast, or just someone looking to enjoy a good meal in the great outdoors, Calgary has the perfect spot for you.

So, grab your picnic basket, fire up the grill, and get ready to create some unforgettable memories under the open sky. Remember, the best part about picnics is not just the delicious food but the laughter, conversations, and connections made with friends and family. Happy picnicking!

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