Imagine an ideal summer vacation with your kids. What does it look like? How about lazy mornings laughing with your kids, warm afternoons on the water, stumbling on unplanned delights, and finding new activities to enjoy? If you’ve ever driven past the Lacombe Region on the way to Edmonton and never stopped to explore all the family fun that’s waiting, it’s time to head ‘next door’ to relax, find an adventure, and create lovely moments with your crew. Summer memories are made of this!

Lacombe, just north of Red Deer and less than two hours from Calgary, is set in Alberta’s parkland, with beautiful vegetation and plenty of lakes. It’s a wonderful place to visit during the summer. The area boasts great activities to enjoy outside, special events, and beautiful, long evenings. Make it easy on yourself this summer: pack up the kids for the short drive to Lacombe Region, where your family can create special memories.

Fresh Air and Sunshine

Nothing says summer like playing outside. And when kids fall exhausted and happy into bed at the end of the day, everyone wins! Lacombe Region is filled with places to go hiking, fishing opportunities, and beaches where you can enjoy family adventures all day.

Gull Lake is only 15 minutes from Lacombe. A popular place to boat and fish, it’s also home to Alberta’s first provincial park, Aspen Beach Provincial Park, founded in 1932. Here you’ll find a long, shallow, white sand beach, with a concession, change rooms, fire pits, a playground, and a scenic boardwalk. It’s the perfect place to relax and play for the whole day. Sandy Point is Gull Lake’s newest beach, with a boat launch, change rooms, picnic tables, and a play area.

For hiking, head to JJ Collett Natural Area. It’s a 6.6 km loop but is an easy hike. If you’re hoping to fish, you can fish in Gull Lake, which is full of northern pike and walleye, and you can also fish in the Len Thompson Trout Pond or Lacombe Lake. Don’t forget to grab your photo op by the world’s largest fishing lure in Lacombe!

Lacombe Tourism (Family Fun Calgary)

Family Fun and Great Events

A corn maze, the rodeo, a bird farm — Lacombe Region has fun events and great places for families to visit!

Kraay Family Farm is home to the Lacombe Corn Maze, a 15-acre maze that takes about an hour and a half to complete, but offers breaks to get out if little ones get tired. You can also visit the petting zoo or cheer during the piggy races. Plan a picnic and enjoy treats like ice cream, mini donuts, and freshly roasted nuts.

While you’re in the area, be sure to stop by the Ellis Bird Farm, soon to be the Ellis Nature Centre, a working farm with wild birds and education programs. Visit the nature centre, see hundreds of birdhouses, and go on nature walks. Kids can build birdhouses, too! Enjoy a locally sourced lunch or tea in the Ellis Café for a treat.

If you’re wondering about the rodeo and special events taking place during your holiday, see the Lacombe Tourism page for ideas.

Delicious Food and Unique Shopping

Over the last few years, the Lacombe Region has been building its reputation as a foodie destination. If you’re looking for a unique (and delicious) culinary experience, stop by the Cilantro & Chive or the Milly Oak Cafe. Plus, all summer long you can purchase local fresh products at the farmers market on Fridays in Lacombe or Saturdays in Bentley.

Or, you might want to plan a visit to the Billyco Junction Gardens, for U-pick fun! Depending on when you visit in the summer, you’ll find strawberries, raspberries, Saskatoon berries, and more. There are also opportunities to pick vegetables or you can stop at their country farm store, which carries fruit pies, jams, jellies, honey, and pickled goods.

Your family will find unique shops and culinary delights all over the Lacombe Region, like the Sweet Crumbs Cakery in the Village of Alix, with the largest-known cinnamon buns in the region. Or the Gull Lake Honey Company (on Gull Lake, of course!) where you can shop for treats and beeswax products.

Lacombe Tourism (Family Fun Calgary)

Serendipity is that surprise stumbling across something amazing — like the best vacation that was so easy to plan! When you wander off the beaten path, you usually discover fascinating, everyday wonders. Treat your family to the treasures and delightful discoveries of Lacombe Region, just next door. This summer will be a marvellous family time you’ll warmly remember!

Lacombe Region Family Fun:

Where: Lacombe Region, AB