| by KATE POCOCK|
Family Travel Ink
Canada: Alberta's Top Ten Family Vacation Experiences
Digging for Dinosaurs: the Dinosaur Trail from the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller to Dinosaur Provincial Park. Day Digs, Dinosaur Day Camps or Dinosaur Camp-ins.
Horsing it Up: Family Ranch and Stampede holidays at the Homeplace Ranch, Bar U Ranch or Rafters Six Ranch. This year’s new Cowboy Trail offers roping experiences, coutry fairs and rodeos.
Calgary Stampede: The Greatest Show on Earth has activities and events for young and old. Definitely worth an overnight or two.
Columbia Icefields Parkway Tours: Knowledgeable Brewster guides lead families in a sno-buggy over the Icefields as they relate tales of the area and facts about the unique sight. Kids will love walking the ice fields and throwing snow balls in the middle of summer.
Banff National Park: hikes around Johnstone Lake looking for wildlife, rides up the Sulphur Mountain Gondola, swims in the hot springs and a stop at the Banff Springs Hotel to see the elk on the golf course.
West Edmonton Mall: Guinness Book of Records calls this the world’s largest mall, a destination in itself. There’s an amusement park, one of the world’s largest water parks, movies and an ice rink. Stay in a themed room at the Fantasyland Hotel. Sleep in the back of a pickup in a truck room or by a waterfall in a Polynesian room.
Native Lore: Head-Smashed-in-Buffalo Jump, near Lethbridge, the world’s largest, oldest and best preserved bison jump. Enjoy guided walks, drummers and storytellers at this World Heritage Site. Overnight at Waterton Lakes National Park or Lodge.
Living History: Klondike Days Festival, Edmonton Park, and Fort Whoop Up, a reconstruction of Alberta’s first and most notorious whiskey trading post. Take a wagon-train tour of the river valley, see an interpretive presentation,
Heli-Hiking for Families: Canadian Mountain Holidays offers Rocky Mountain hiking holidays for families, including special family weeks where younger children can participate. Great inter-generational holiday.
Alberta’s UNESCO Trail: Do a circle tour to take in all five Alberta World Heritage Sites: from Waterton Lakes National Park to Head-Smashed-in-Buffalo Jump, past the hoodoos to Dinosaur Provincial Park with its extensive dinosaur bone fields and finally to Banff and Jasper National Parks. It’s also International Year of the Mountain with dozens of family activities.