Family travel expert Erin Bender of Explore With Erin revealed 5 of her favorite summer vacations in Eastern Canada recently. But what if you are on the other side of North America? It’s time to explore Western Canada’s best family summer vacations.
One of the most beautiful destinations in all of Canada, Jasper is a must when looking at a trip to the Canadian Rockies. And while many parents will want to spend their time drooling at the scenery, the rest of the family is going to be just as spellbound.
3 things to do with kids around Jasper:
Get adventurous at the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre – You simply must book the Glacier Adventure and Glacier Skywalk. Both of these activities are a must for adrenaline junkies. In the Glacier Adventure, a unique tank-like bus transports you to the Athabasca Glacier where you get to wander around on top of 800 feet of ice. Follow that up with a walk along a glass-bottom U-shaped bridge, perched high above the canyon.
Photograph gorgeous waterfalls – There are 3 waterfalls to enjoy on your summer drive through Icefields Parkway: Tangle Falls, Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls. Water is always the perfect way to splash into a summer vacation.
Take a tram into the sky – The Jasper Tramway takes you up nearly 2300 meters in elevation on the highest and longest guided aerial tramway in Canada.
Victoria, British Columbia
Just a hop, skip and a jump from popular Vancouver is the eighth largest island in the world and Canada’s second largest island. Trivia: It contains the world’s largest island within an island within an island.
3 things to do with kids in Victoria:
Fly in a seaplane – You will want to see this island from above. The bonus is it’s the fastest way to get to Victoria Island from Vancouver too.
Get out and go whale watching – The best way to see orcas (killer whales) in their natural habitat. Make sure you dress warm; it can get chilly on the water!
Play at Beacon Hill Park – A beautiful park on the island with plenty of playgrounds for the kids to burn off steam and for the family to enjoy a picnic.
“Cowtown” is Canada’s third-largest municipality. And while its skyscrapers lend itself to any big city, it is also steeped in western culture. Calgary is not far from some other fine summer family vacations.
3 things to do with kids in Calgary:
Head out to Drumheller – It’s a 3-hour drive to Canada’s dinosaur capital, but one that is completely worth it. Where else can you take a picture with the world’s largest dinosaur? Follow it up with an afternoon of interactive and creative education at the Royal Tyrell Museum.
Let the kids play at TELUS Spark – This children’s science centre covers over 18 acres with 100 hands-on exhibits. The kids can play on the outdoor playground, try wood crafting, watch bubbles catch on fire, perform on stage and so much more
Visit the 75-year-old Calgary Zoo – Featuring over 1,000 animals, 6 acres of botanical gardens, a prehistoric park and several playgrounds, this is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Calgary. Don’t miss the indoor gorilla enclosure and the tiger talk.
Edmonton is home to North America’s largest mall (and the world’s largest from 1981 to 2004). If you’re not into shopping, don’t worry. With year round festivals, “Canada’s Festival City” offers much more than just a mall!
3 things to do with kids in Edmonton:
Spend entire days at the Mall – West Edmonton Mall spans the equivalent of 48 city blocks, making it mum’s heaven. But don’t worry, the kids will also be thoroughly entertained by enjoying roller coasters at Galaxyland, riding waves at the indoor World Waterpark, or watching sea lions in Marine Life. And that’s not all!
Don’t miss a visit to Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farm – Look, if you can’t make it for the beautiful summer period then don’t stress. You’ll love Autumn just as much with their Haunted Pumpkin Festival. But during the summer, enjoy over 50 things to do on family summer vacations, from the corn maze to the petting farm.
TELUS World of Science – Much like Calgary, Edmonton is home to a magnificent science centre for kids. You can program your own robot, learn every possible thing about the human body, and discover everything you need to know about the Rocky Mountains on the big screen at the IMAX.
Kelowna, British Columbia
Definitely not your typical destination, but one of my personal favourites. Kelowna is about a 45-minute flight east of Vancouver in the Okanagan Valley, surrounded by provincial parks, pine forest, vineyards, orchards and mountains. We love how friendly it is for family summer vacations.
3 things to do with kids in Kelowna:
Ski at Big White Mountain Resort – A beautiful city only half an hour from a famous ski resort with plenty of white snow fun for everyone.
Enjoy City Park – The largest and most prominent park in Kelowna, adjacent to downtown and surrounded by a long paved boardwalk. Plenty of fun options here for the whole family with a splash park, skate park, playground with zip line and so much more.
Find the weird and wonderful at Log Barn – Not exactly in Kelowna, the Log Barn is just outside in Armstrong. It’s a wacky mish-mash of dinosaurs, goats, swans, candy shop and delicious foods like locally made sausages, pies, and more.
Featured image- Beacon Hill Park. Credit: Pearce On Earth.
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