Before you travel, be sure to check existing travel guidelines and restrictions for the area and visit responsibly.
Sure, I like adventures.
But I also like a warm shower and hot coffee. I like a good night’s sleep that includes pillows and blankets. Travelling with kids is an adventure in itself, and I want to love my vacation, too. On a chilly weekend in a Rocky Mountain winter, we decided to take our big kids to Radium Hot Springs for winter adventures and indulgent accommodations at the Bighorn Meadows Resort.
Radium Hot Springs is nestled in the Columbia Valley, 3 hours west of Calgary, AB and 1 1/2 hours north of Cranbrook, B.C. Summer or winter, Radium is a favourite destination for travellers in search of rest and relaxation. Surrounded by natural beauty, families of any age can enjoy vacation, play, and make delightful memories . . . and your adventures can include a little luxury, too!
Remember when we got to travel and stay in hotels?! When you have kids, staying in a classic hotel room can work for some occasions, especially if you need to crash for the night. But it’s not necessarily that comfortable. Whether you have babies or teenagers, it’s easier to relax in a suite where you have more privacy and room to breathe.
Bighorn Meadows Resort in Radium has a wide variety of options, including 3-bedroom condos for families that need more space. We stayed with our three kids (including two teens) for a couple of nights in a 3-bedroom condo where we had beds for everyone, lots of space in the living room, and an amply supplied kitchen with a large dining table. My kids were happy to see the dishwasher. I was happy to see a real coffeemaker. We could choose to cuddle on the couch or spread out. Everyone was happy.
Bighorn Meadows Resort, situated on 9 acres and surrounded by a lovely mountain golf course, has a hot tub available all year long and an outdoor pool in summer. Little ones will want to check out the playground, and there is a fitness room, as well. Because of COVID, you will need to book your time for the pool, hot tub, and fitness room, but in a non-COVID time, the Welcome Centre lends out games, books, or movies, and rents bikes during the warmer months. No matter when you travel, you can plan a restful, worry-free time and find out how Bighorn Meadows Resort is taking care of your health and safety.
Summer vacations are a family staple, but planning some fun during the winter months can really brighten a dreary season! Radium Hot Springs and the Columbia Valley have winter activities that any family will love, from relaxing in the Hot Springs (okay, if you have small children, that looks more like “experiencing” the Hot Springs) to more active choices for those who want amp up the adrenaline. Families can enjoy one of the many winter hikes in the area; some are quite short but still perfect for burning that legendary kid energy. Kootenay National Park Short Hikes will help with your planning. Of course, all that mountain snow gives you a perfect chance to head out for some snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, too. Four popular ski resorts are located within an hour’s drive of Radium (including Panorama, one of our favourites), or you can ride snowmobiles from Toby Creek Adventures in nearby Panorama.
Prefer ice to snow? Then head to Invermere and glide along the longest skating trail in the world! No exaggeration, the Lake Windermere Whiteway won the Guinness World Record for the longest skating trail in the world, at over 30 km in length. They also have a large groomed skating area if you don’t want to do a loop and it’s a great place to cross-country ski.
Even if you’re only escaping the quotidian drudgery for a couple of days, you’ll come back revived. Our family’s winter getaway sparked joy in even the surliest teenager in my house. We watched TV, splurged on snacks, and read books on both evenings we were at Bighorn Meadows, enjoying the jacuzzi tub and the ambience of the fireplace.
We had one full day to play, and we started it slowly by sleeping in and enjoying a leisurely breakfast and coffee in the condo. (Parents of littles, there is hope; they do eventually sleep.) We arrived at the actual Hot Springs right when they opened and enjoyed a winter wonderland in the water with no waiting. Branches, heavy with frost, hung down towards the pool, and the steam rising from the water created a muffled, mysterious ambience. The kids dunked their heads in the water and laughed when their hair turned white from frost, and the covered walkway to the pool made entering and exiting the pool bearable.
After a delicious lunch at the Horsethief Creek Pub (I had the best clam chowder; it was perfect for a cold day!), we headed to the Lake Windermere Whiteway. I figure skate for recreation, and honestly, I can be a bit of a diva about outdoor ice. But even I could not resist skating on the longest trail in the world. We didn’t go very far, but we enjoyed the sunshine and winter activity.
Our day ended in the resort hot tub for the final touch on a relaxing weekend. We had the perfect getaway, with a brilliant balance of playing and resting, and nothing bonds a family like racing, soaking wet, back to your condo in sub-zero temperatures! Start dreaming about your own escape and rediscover family fun.
The author would like to thank True Key and the Big Horn Meadows Resort for hosting her stay. This article was not reviewed by True Key or the Big Horn Meadows Resort, and all opinions are the author’s own. Photos are from the author.