Don’t let the winter weather keep your family stuck indoors, arguing over the remote control! Head for the hills to enjoy the beauty of winter and make family memories that will last a lifetime. Not sure where to go and what to do? Check out this terrific list of family-friendly winter activities in Canmore and area. There’s something here for everyone!
Snowshoeing. It’s a Canadian tradition, a fantastic way to stay fit and fun for the whole family. Whether you’re trying it for the first time, or you’re a seasoned ‘shoer, you’ll find a trail or circuit that suits you. And stunning alpine scenery is just part of the experience! Visit a Canmore visitor centre to pick up your free trail maps, or sign up with a local outfitter for a guided excursion.
Snow Tubing. You don’t need to be a skier or snowboarder to enjoy the area’s world-renowned ski resorts. Have you taken your family tobogganing? Chances are they loved it. Now kick it up a notch and take them snow tubing! Hop aboard an inflated tube, lean back and hang on; the adrenaline rush as you cruise down the mountain on a groomed tube run is out of this world, and accessible to all but the smallest members of the family. Nakiska Mountain Resort and Lake Louise Ski Area both boast tube parks.
Dog Sledding. Get out of the minivan and behind a furry team of athletic superstars, for a journey you won’t soon forget. Caught up in the thrill of the ride, you won’t much care where you’re headed, but try to remember to take in the amazing views as you mush your way through snow-packed trails, valley descents, and all manner of winter terrain. At the end of your excursion, reward the sled dog team with some treats and treat yourself to a warm furry snuggle.
Skating on the Pond. You know that expression, “You haven’t really lived until…”? Well, you haven’t really skated until… you’ve skated outdoors! And Canmore’s skating pond is the perfect place to try it. Located 2 blocks north of the Canmore Tourism Centre (at the corner of 7th Avenue and 11th Street), the downtown pond sits next to a heated gazebo where you can lace up your skates and come off the ice for a little warm-up. The ice is kept cleared, perfect for a skate with the family, a little hockey practice or a game of shinny. When you need to refuel, Communitea Cafe is just a short walk away and offers lots more than just great tea.
Ice Walk. All things Frozen are hot this year and there’s not a kid (or a grown-up, for that matter) out there who won’t get a thrill from hiking along a frozen creek bed, through a towering canyon, to a sparkling ice-covered waterfall. An ice walk through Grotto Canyon could easily have been the inspiration for the phrase ‘winter wonderland’! Organize a bit of gear and explore the area on your own, or simplify the experience by signing up for a guided tour.
The Winter Carnival. Each winter, the Canmore Winter Carnival rolls out the red carpet and celebrates the season with residents and visitors alike. A tradition for more than 20 years, the carnival features ice carving, snow sculpting, fun family activities and lots more. This year, the Carnival runs from February 13th to March 1st.
Cross Country Skiing. Since bursting onto the global nordic scene in 1988 as the host of the Winter Olympic Nordic events, Canmore has developed a reputation as one of the world’s premiere cross country ski areas. The Canmore Nordic Centre is home to over 100 groomed trails for every skill level. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own equipment; rentals are available on site. Never tried the sport? Sign newbies up for family lessons at Trail Sports, located next to the day lodge. This is a sport, and a great form of low-impact exercise, that you can enjoy from your early years and through the rest of your life.
Elevation Place. Canmore’s outdoor winter activities are fantastic, but on a really cold day, late in the day or just for a change of pace, head to Elevation Place, Canmore’s indoor playground. Find a shortcut to a tropical escape at the Aquatics Centre, where you can float down the lazy river, slip,slide and splash down the water slide, or get in a no-impact workout in the competition-length lap pool. Or get your feet off the ground and take your family’s fun to new heights at the Climbing Wall. If you’ve never tried climbing, the centre’s staff is happy to show you where and how to get started. This is a great indoor activity for anyone aged 4 and up.
Have we got you dreaming of your next adventure and imagining unprecedented family bonding? When you’re ready to plan your family’s day trip or extended Canmore winter holiday, head to the sites listed below for the nitty gritty details. Then get out there and enjoy the winter!
Canmore Kananaskis Insider’s Guide: www.tourismcanmore.com/explore/insiders-guide
Winter Trip Planner: www.tourismcanmore.com/things-to-do/overview#winter