If you’re anything like me, the most memorable moments of a vacation are often the moments that you didn’t anticipate. Those are the times you wander off the beaten path through fascinating discoveries, filling your memories with everyday wonders. If you’re anything like me, you’ve also driven past Lacombe on the way to Edmonton and never stopped to explore the family fun that’s waiting just next door!

Lacombe is just north of Red Deer and less than two hours from Calgary, set in Alberta’s parkland, with beautiful vegetation and plenty of lakes. It’s an ideal place to visit during the summer, with great activities to enjoy outside, special events, and those beautiful, long summer evenings. This summer, pack up the kids and make the short drive to Lacombe, where your family can create your own surprisingly special moments and memories.

Lacombe Tourism (Family Fun Calgary)

Lacombe Fishing

Keep Them Busy With Outdoor Fun

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

Gull Lake is only 15 minutes from Lacombe and is a summer destination for many Albertans. It’s a popular place to boat and fish and it’s also home to Alberta’s first provincial park, Aspen Beach Provincial Park, which was founded in 1932. Here you’ll find a long, shallow, white sand beach, with a concession, change rooms, fire pits, and a scenic boardwalk, making it the perfect place to relax and play for the whole day. Kids will also love the huge playground nearby. Sandy Point is Gull Lake’s newest public beach. It has a boat launch, change rooms, picnic tables, and a play area. Stop by the Summer Village for pancake breakfasts on long weekends from May through September.

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 Barnett Lake 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)

Lacombe Festival

Family Fun and Great Events

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

Kraay Family Farm is home to the Lacombe Corn Maze. The maze is 15 acres and takes about an hour and a half to complete, but there are always breaks to get out if the little ones are getting tired. There are also lots of other things to do! Visit the petting zoo or cheer during the piggy races. Cook over a fire pit for 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. It’s a working farm with wild birds and research and education programs. Families can visit the nature centre, see hundreds of birdhouses, and go on nature walks. Kids can build their own birdhouse, too! Enjoy a fresh and locally sourced lunch or tea in the Ellis Café when you’re finished.

You might want to plan on visiting the area over the August long weekend, so you don’t miss the Bentley and District Ag Society Fair and Rodeo! This traditional rodeo takes place from August 4 – 7, 2022, with family-friendly events that kids love. Plan on checking out bouncy houses, a free magic show, a family concert, and more. Plus, the whole weekend kicks off with a parade, and you know small-town parades are the best!

If you don’t make it to Lacombe until fall, look ahead to the Lacombe Culture and Harvest Festival, usually held in later September.

Lacombe Tourism (Family Fun Calgary)

Lacombe Berry Picking

Delicious Food and Drink

Over the last few years, Lacombe 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 Funky Monkey Kitchen. 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. Here you can pick your own produce, which is a great family activity! Depending on when you visit in the summer, you can pick strawberries, raspberries, Saskatoon berries, and lots more. There are also opportunities to pick your own vegetables or you can stop at their country farm store, which carries fruit pies, jams, jellies, honey, and pickled goods. You could even stay at the Bed and Breakfast for the complete experience!

There is also plenty of unique shopping in Lacombe County, like the Gull Lake Honey CompanyAlberta produces more honey than any other province in Canada and here you can visit the Honey Shop for treats and beeswax products and take a look around. They also have a small petting zoo.

Lacombe Tourism (Family Fun Calgary)

Lacombe Treats

Serendipity is that surprise stumbling across something amazing — like the best vacation that was so easy to plan! Just next door, your family will enjoy the treasures and delightful discoveries of Lacombe County. This summer is shaping up to be a marvellous family time you’ll warmly remember!

Lacombe Family Fun:

Where: Lacombe, AB
Website: www.lacombetourism.com