(Credit: Sunshine Village)

(Credit: Sunshine Village)

The May long weekend always presents a bit of a dilemma for our family. Basically, I want to go one way and the huz wants to go another. Fortunately we’re at that stage in our relationship where we relish not being joined at the hip, so we divide and conquer. Typically we spend the first day or two together, then he heads for the hills and I head for my hometown. We regroup Monday night over a girdle-bursting BBQ and everybody’s happy. Here’s a look at what’s shaking just outside of Calgary over the May long weekend:

Little Britches Parade and Rodeo, High River

(Photo Credit: OkotoksOnline)

(Photo Credit: OkotoksOnline)

Admittedly I’m biased, as I think my hometown can do no wrong. But seriously folks, this is the sweetest event you’ll find within an hour’s drive of Calgary. The Little Britches Parade is the real deal – all the marching bands are there, plus the Shriners, and kids are allowed on the street to catch candy tossed off the floats.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. on Monday, but you’ll want to roll into town around 9:30 to park and get a prime seat curbside. Don’t worry, people won’t be lined up several feet deep like at the Stampede Parade, so you can bring your lawn chairs and blankets.

Afterwards, head to George Lane Park for beef on a bun (so rurally retro!) or follow the locals to the Hitchin’ Post Drive-In for a post-parade HP burger, seasoned fries and ridiculously thick milkshakes. Starting at 1 p.m., little cowpokes aged 6 to 14 years can strut their stuff at the Rodeo Grounds in events like barrel racing and mutton busting. Yee-haw!

Banff Children’s Festival, Banff Centre

(Credit: Banff Children's Festival)

(Credit: Banff Children’s Festival)

The Canmore Children’s Festival isn’t going on over the May long weekend this year, but the town of Banff is ensuring kids don’t miss out on bouncy castles and sugar overloads, by hosting the Banff Children’s Festival.

Held at the Banff Centre on Saturday, May 18, you’ll find loads of performances and amusements laid down for kids aged three to 10. Free activities range from family swimming to story time to gym play areas.

Remember Sharon and Bram? Oh come on, you know you do. Well, they’ll be here giving an afternoon performance as will wacky Flyin’ Bob. And Eric Caryle fans will want to secure tickets for a production by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia of three of his Treasured Stories.

If swarms of excitable children have left you hankering for some peace and quiet, rent bikes from Soul Ski and Bike or Snowtips n Backtrax in Banff, and cruise along the Legacy Trail.

Slush Cup, Sunshine Village

(Credit: Sunshine Village)

(Credit: Sunshine Village)

The ski season at Sunshine Village ends with a bang or more like a splat into the icy slush tank for those brave enough. Defying the international definition of ski season, Sunshine stays open until Monday, May 20.

You don’t have to be a daredevil to appreciate the Slush Cup, just a fan of good old fashioned, nonsensical entertainment. When snow and sun meet, the only thing that matters is enjoying yourself. For some that means burgers and beers enjoyed outdoor at Trapper’s Saloon, for others, listening to live bands, and for a hardcore few, getting the last tracks of the season. You’ll find Dan and likely a few of his buddies here and maybe even our daughter. Tiny Tigers Day Care accepts children aged 19 months to six-years, and ski lessons for older kids are available, making the day fun for them and carefree for their parents.

For most the May long weekend celebrates the beginning of summer. For others, it celebrates the end of winter. Which is the bigger party? You tell me. I’d love to hear from you. What are your plans for this upcoming weekend?

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6 Responses to Three Fab Ideas for Your May Long Weekend

  1. You always have great ideas – the High River parade sounds like my kind of day. We may just see you there…

  2. Oh my gosh. This is awesome! I was just thinking about what we might do. The parade and Banff sound like perfect choices for us.

    And Sharon and Bram? Nostalgia! One of my faves. (What happened to Lois?)

  3. Sounds to me that neither of you have to travel far to have an enjoyable long weekend – and with rain in the forecast maybe it will be snowing at Sunshine – God forbid. Last year we hiked and camped in Elk Island NP near Edmonton – and it was a great way to get that summer feeling started.

  4. danawyyc says:

    wait, what happened to Lois?

  5. Misty says:

    The Little Britches Parade sounds appealing. Small town fun is just my speed these days! And the bigger party is definitely the END of winter!

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