Ah… the holidays. So much fun until it sets in that you’re stuck in the same house with the same group of people for several days (that just happen to be the darkest days of the year). The easiest way to cure cabin fever is to get out of the house. I’m not advocating you go on holiday in the space between Christmas and New Years. No, unless you’re a teacher and limited by your vacation time, far better to stay away from the crowds and inflated prices. Here are a few festive activities around Calgary guaranteed to make spirits bright again.
Canmore Nordic Centre
The downhill ski resorts might be packed over the holidays, but the Canmore Nordic Centre has plenty of room for everyone. Day passes are affordable and ski rentals and lessons are available on site. Besides cross country, you can toboggan on hills specifically designed for maximum speed or take a twirl on their outdoor ice rink. Afterwards, warm up in the day lodge with hot chocolate, a hot meal and make a game out of counting how many Olympians you spot.
Dinosaur Fossil Hunt
When you have a world renown museum 90 minutes away from the city, it makes sense to take advantage of it as often as you can. Alberta’s own Royal Tyrrell Museum is a mecca for dino-hounds. Kids can walk (or race) through over 200 million years of history, sussing out one of the world’s largest displays of dinosaur remains. Stretch out your day in Drumheller by climbing to the to top of the Giant T-Rex or explore the sandstone hoodoos.
If there’s a prettier outdoor ice rink in the world I sure don’t know it. Not only is it free to skate on the famous lake, they go all out with fire pits, an outdoor ice bar and even an ice castle (sometimes that’s not up till January). Bring your cross country skis (or rent them at the Chateau) or pony up for a horse drawn sleigh ride to the end of the lake. Want to extend your day? Swing by the frozen waterfalls at Johnson Canyon, but only if you’ve remembered your camera.
Dog sledding in Canmore
If you really want to get away from it all, consider driving a pack of huskies through the through the snowy woods. Canmore’s Howling Dog Tours takes families on an incredible adrenaline rush as you mush through the scenic Spray Valley. Depending on their age and size, kids can either ride in the dog sled or drive the team.
West Edmonton Mall
Yes, it’s a little further out, but if the weather outside if frightful, an indoor amusement park will surely be delightful. Under one roof in Edmonton, you’ll find Galazyland, the world’s largest indoor amusement park, the WorldWater Park, an ice skating rink, mini golf, movie theaters and an aquarium. Phew! Kids get a kick out of spending the night in jail, in the back of a truck, or in an igloo at Fantasyland Hotel.
Where do you like to go to over the holidays when you can’t venture too far away from home?
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We’ve got one night at Deer Lodge planned so very much looking forward to some skating & skiing. I haven’t been dogsledding in awhile but what fun that would be to do again.
I’ve done them all but West Edmonton mall. Alberta is beautiful in the winter!
Wow, can’t believe the Planet D made it to my site! Thanks so much for dropping by!