The Husqvarna roars again. My daughter, wide-eyed, looks at me in awe. Cozy inside the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, we peer through the frosted window panes, watching 24 ice carvers hoist their weapons and create whimsical works of art out of 300 pound blocks of ice.
Last January, we headed to Lake Louise, to take in the Ice Magic Festival. It had been awhile since our family undertook a winter weekend away. Since Eve decided at the ripe old age of six, she’d never ski again, it hardly seemed worth the cost and effort. Were we ever fools! What kind of idiot parent lets their kid dictate what you do? That’s me, guilty as charged.
Instead of hibernating for yet another winter, we decided to celebrate our frozen assets. Toting toques, Sorels and skates, off we barreled to the Chateau.
Now don’t let this brand synonymous with luxury and grandeur put you off. It’s more family friendly than you think. Here, children are treated as important guests with their own check-in area and menu options besides burgers and fries.
Even the loudest (yet most important) family members are welcome. For an additional $25 our dog Buddy, could’ve joined in the fun. But sometimes you need a break from the kids to really relax, so we pawned off the pooch for the weekend.
Ice Ice Baby
No matter the weather, quintessential winter activities abound at Lake Louise. Rippling around the frozen lake, Eve darted in and out of the ice castle, pausing only to roast marshmallows over the open fire pit.
While Dad amused himself at the Ice Bar, we gals snuggled under warm blankets, and toured around the Lake on the horse-drawn Brewster Sleigh Ride. For a change of scenery, we romped around the Ice Playground (located at the shopping plaza in town), trying our hand at ice mini golf and cruising down the ice slide. And as you can see, warming up after being outdoors for so long is never a problem.
This year’s Ice Magic Festival takes place January 18-27. See the ice carving competition January 18-20 or take the wee ones to Little Chippers Weekend, January 26 & 27.
Don’t worry if you can’t make it out during the festival, the ice castle and sculptures stay for the duration of winter, making it a worthy family destination.
Have you ever been to Lake Louise? What are your favourite activities there?