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Super fun places to go with the kids in Alberta this spring

Alberta has a lot to offer for families in the Spring. Outdoor attractions start opening up, and there are tons of parks and trails ready to explore.

Red Rock Canyon – Waterton (2.5 hours south of Calgary). There is a short 0.7km loop that allows you to hike around the canyon. It’s an easy path, even for small children. There are fences along the edge, so you don’t have to worry about falls. Red Rock Canyon is an ideal hike for toddlers or kids. There is an entry fee to visit the park.

Horsethief Canyon Trail - Drumheller (located along the Dinosaur Trail loop to the NW). Spring can be a great time to visit trails around Drumheller, when the ground is clear but it isn’t too hot yet. The views from the lookout point are amazing and well worth the stop, even if you are just driving through. The trails start off marked to help you find a good way down to the peaks inside the canyon.

Heritage Park - Calgary. Heritage Park is a living history museum. The historical village is open beginning in mid-May. You can take a ride on a steam train, go on old-fashioned carnival rides, ride on a steamboat, take a horse-drawn wagon ride, explore a prairie railway town, and much more! Admission required.

Camrose Railway Station and Park. 4407 – 47 Avenue, Camrose (75 minutes south of Edmonton). Tour the Camrose Railway Station, outbuildings, and 12 heritage gardens. Favorites for kids are the Morgan Garden Railway, with G-Scale train and historic model buildings, and the Children’s Secret Garden with a large play train and dress-up clothes. Admission by donation beginning on the May long weekend.

Echodale Regional Park – Medicine Hat. Located east on the Holsom Road (3 hours SE of Calgary). Just a few minutes outside of Medicine Hat is a beautiful park that seems to come out of nowhere. It includes a historic farm, picnic areas, walking paths, a boat lake where you can go fishing, and a swim lake in the summer months.

Jurassic Forest. Near Gibbons (40 minutes north of Edmonton). Set in an old growth forest, at Jurassic Forest, you can learn about dinosaurs while viewing animatronic dinosaurs on the dinosaur trails, uncover fossils on a dinosaur dig, ride a triceratops, and play in the adventure play area. Opens May 1.

Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden – Lethbridge. Mayor Magrath Drive South, Lethbridge (2 hours south of Calgary). The garden was built as a symbol of international friendship with Japan and has been visited twice by Japanese royalty. If you have time, take a tour of the garden because there are so many cool things you will miss without a guide. Nikka Yuko uses a “hide and reveal” design, which means that every time you turn around, you see a new focal point that was previously hidden. Check the website, because you may get to see a tea ceremony or a drum performance, or even get chopstick lessons! Admission rates apply.

Fenland Trail – Banff. Fenland Trail parking area, off Mount Norquay Road (80 minutes east of Calgary). Fenland Trail is one of the lesser-known trails in Banff, but it’s beautiful. The trail loops through an old growth spruce forest. It’s also short (2km), and an easy walk (no elevation gain). If you’re looking for a less-crowded option that’s good for kids, this trail is your best bet. There are also picnic tables at the trailhead, so if it’s nice out, you can pack a lunch. There is an entry fee to visit the park.

Chestermere Family Bike Park – Chestermere. 333 West Creek Drive, Chestermere (25 minutes east of Calgary). Designed to appeal to all ages and abilities, the Chestermere Family Bike Park is a great destination for practicing bike skills. There is a large pump track with large rolling dirt hills, perfect for even beginner riders, as well as a skills loop to develop skills for the flow trails. The flow trails are one-way downhill trails that have hills, jumps and drops. The trails have different difficulty levels from beginner to expert. Free to access.

Calaway Park. 245033 Range Road 33. Calaway Park is Western Canada’s largest outdoor family amusement park. It offers rides for big kids and little kids, as well as entertainment and games. Admission rates apply. Opens May long weekend.

Fort Edmonton Park – Edmonton. 7000 143 Street, Edmonton. Edmonton’s living history museum is open May long weekend. You can explore four different historical periods, ride a steam train, ride a streetcar, play midway games and period amusement park rides, and more! You can even stay at the 1920s style Hotel Selkirk. Admission rates apply.

Columbia Icefields – Jasper National Park. Columbia Icefields Discovery Centre – along Icefields Parkway (4 hours NW of Calgary). Take a ride on a big ice crawler to get right up onto the Athabasca Glacier. You can then walk along the Glacier before heading back. Athabasca is the most visited glacier in the world as it is one of the most accessible. Season begins in May. Jasper can be super busy in the summer, so spring can be a great 

time to visit.

Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site (2.25 hours from Calgary). Follow in the footsteps of Indigenous peoples, fur traders, and legendary explorer David Thompson. Experience the archaeological remains of four fur trading posts and 7km of nature trails. Opens May 10.

Walk the Labyrinth in Grande Cache. If you are driving through Grande Cache, Labyrinth Park by Lions Park playground makes a great stop. When you get to the centre of the labyrinth, there is a natural echo when you face northeast.

Dana is the creator of Calgary Playground Review, She searches out the best places to play, eat, and learn with kids in Calgary, across Alberta, and beyond. Her three kids also contribute their unfiltered opinions to her reviews.


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