At the start of September, my family had a trip to Drumheller. My son is six and that’s the perfect age to hang out with dinosaurs. It was also the perfect trip to end summer. It’s a long drive but worth it! We were able to stay for three days and we fit a lot into our days of adventure. This also left time to relax in the hotel room and swim. We all came out of it with something we loved. If you’re planning a trip to Drumheller in the next year, maybe this will give you some ideas.
Our Trip to Drumheller
It was a long drive to get there but worth it. We chose the long weekend so we had an extra day before we had to get back to school. We didn’t do a lot on the first day.
Our first stop was the Information Centre. We needed the washrooms and my son loves planning ahead in gift shops. It’s a great first stop. They have a splash park, a beautiful fountain, maps and information AND the opportunity to climb up to the mouth of the world’s largest dino. It’s a wonderful way to stretch your legs after a very long drive.
We went for lunch downtown after that. We chose Bernie & The Boys because it was highly rated on google. And Google was correct! We had burgers and milkshakes and walked away with very full stomachs. My son doesn’t eat a lot while he travels but Drumheller had all the good food. We walked around downtown before going to the hotel because we were so full. We decided to stop at the local Brewery – Valley Brewing. It’s not the best choice when you’re already full but we knew we wanted to try it and had some time. My partner and I each tried a flight of different kinds of beer and thought they were very good. My son was allowed to bring in his milkshake so he was happy with our choice as well. We noted our favourite ones so we could come back later. From there, we drove to the hotel to check in and relax for the night. We have a 6-year-old so we didn’t actually relax. The hotel had a pool/waterslide/hot tub and it was my son’s favourite thing. The hotel was close to restaurants as well so we didn’t have to get back in the car that night. They also had an amazing little ice cream truck that was within walking distance as well. We ate supper, swam in the pool, and headed to bed because we had a big adventure the next day.
We started Saturday with something I was really looking forward to. I know Drumheller is all about the dinosaurs but I was looking forward to the Hoodoos and I knew my son would love them as well. We went bright and early. We beat the heat and quite a bit of the other tourists. By the time we left, the parking lot was full. Our walk was amazing. We climbed rocks, we enjoyed the gorgeous view and we had a great time together. As a side note, we love hotel breakfasts. They really help start the day.
We planned our activities well. We got to watch the sunrise and heat up our world and then chose an air-conditioned place in the afternoon. After the Hoodoos, we headed to the main attraction of almost everyone visiting Drumheller. The Royal Tyrrell Museum was HUGE. We got our tickets online the day before and decided to eat there as well. Not only is it an amazing museum but they also have an amazing playground for kids. We headed there after our tour.
I’m at a loss about what to say about Tyrrell Museum. There is a lot of information! We toured it pretty quickly because my son kept seeing something else. The kid’s section was quite good and had a lot of activity. We arrived at about noon and it was busy but not awful. As we left, there was a HUGE line-up. Once again, we did very well at beating the crowds. We ended our tour in the gift shop and of course, bought my son a dinosaur book and toy. He knew we weren’t buying something from every stop so this was our treat. It was a good tour and had a lot of moments to learn. As I said, the playground made my son very happy after we got out.
After we left the playground, we decided to add one more last-minute adventure. We headed out of town to visit an orchard. It turned out to be an hour away from Drumheller but it was a nice spot and a lovely drive.
We went to DNA Gardens, Elnora. This spot was a winery but was a very family-friendly destination. We tried the wine and my son loved playing in their play area. We looked at the flowers and visited the farm store. We did a hay bale maze and had a little walk. It was very hot out that afternoon but we made the best of it. It’s a beautiful place. We headed back to Drumheller for an evening with supper and swimming.
Our last full day started with another outdoor hike. This one was stunning. I cannot say enough about hikes in Drumheller. They are amazing and a wonderful way to start the day.
Horse Thief Canyon made for a fantastic morning. It started off chilly, just like the day before, and ended up hot by the time we were done. These are the moments I love while travelling. The moments when you can look around at the amazing views and appreciate everything. I was full of gratitude that morning for this HUGE hike with my family.
We hiked those hills for over an hour before climbing down and heading back to our original hill. We walked down in the valley until we climbed back up to wear the parking lot was. We were exhausted and I was so proud of all of us – especially my six-year-old for all the great enthusiasm and sense of adventure. It was a wonderful way to start the day.
Our second stop (after lunch) was to a gem store. My son collected rocks everywhere we went but we wanted to see what they had. We all picked some favourite gems that we wanted to bring home with us. (We did find some awesome rocks on our hikes as well though.
We had a great time looking around and the store owner was great. He loved telling everybody about the fossils and rocks and answered any questions.
Our next stop was the Atlas Coal Mine. We had booked our tickets and train ride the night before for this one as well. The heat had arrived so we made sure we had a lot of water.
We took a ride on the antique train and it was great. Our tour guide gave us a lot of information and we learned a lot. We also found out what it’s like to stop on a coal train and luckily were able to get used to the jarring stop! My son volunteered for every job and had a great time talking to the other tourists.
Our last stop of the day was to stop at the cafe in the Museum. It was on our way back from the coal mine. We stopped in and took a quick tour before heading back to the hotel for supper and swimming.
We didn’t do a lot on Monday. Stopped to say goodbye to the dinosaurs and then headed out on our long journey home.
We had a wonderful trip to Drumheller. We LOVE Saskatoon but this was a family trip we really needed. We can’t wait to visit again someday. If you go, definitely check out some of these amazing places. My favourite was the hikes. My partner really liked the museum. My son told me he enjoyed swimming the best but I know he loved the trip. Everything was new and amazing. And he came home with rocks!