After inventing paper and gunpowder, the Chinese invented history - primarily as a way to document their many inventions. Take a stroll through history with today's Groupon: for $6, you get a family pass for two adults and two children to the Chinese Artifacts Museum at the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre (up to a $12 value). Kids 5 and under are free.
The Chinese Artifacts Museum houses detailed replicas of rare relics meant to emulate, explore, and celebrate Chinese culture at its origin and within Canada. A family pass beckons a small dynasty to drift by the exhibit's displays, which include life-sized terra cotta soldiers and mahogany furniture replicated from the Qing Dynasty Imperial Palace. Glean the various stages of Eastern and Western history and how they collide at the Chronological Table, or glide through a sea of Shiwan sculptures depicting figures found in legends, myths, and cereal-box backs of historic China. The building also boasts an intricately decorated 70-foot high dome modelled after the Temple of Heaven in Beijing where emperors once prayed for a generous harvest.
Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre
In 1982, Calgary's Chinatown district almost disappeared due to a proposed land redesignation. Luckily, citizens banded together to keep the district a vital hub of culture and history, eventually establishing the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre to continue the neighborhood's mission. And the centre fits right in. Inside the Dr. Henry Fok Cultural Hall, an ornate dome that takes its design cues from Bejing's Temple of Heaven inspires oohs, aahs, and visits to the chiropractor due to neck strain from looking up at the 40 phoenixes and 561 dragons painted above.
Elsewhere in the centre, the Chinese Artifacts Museum dazzles with terracotta soldiers and luxurious handmade tapestries. The Chinese Library corrals more than 70,000 books and videos about Chinese culture, and the Chinese Learning Academy instills language skills and cultural appreciation in nursery-age toddlers up to students in grade 12.