Camping is a beloved Canadian pastime, but booking a popular campsite during the peak summer months can be as challenging as catching rare Pokémon. For more and more families, a great alternative to enjoying camping is during the ‘off’ season, when the air is crisp and the woods are lined with pristine layers of white snow.
It’s always fun to visit someplace new as a family, discover a new favorite trail, and perhaps even try out a new sport. And while the summertime may seem like the best time to go ‘exploring,’ personally, my family likes to visit new places in the wintertime. Summer’s such a short season and tends to get filled up with revisiting our favorite parks and campgrounds. Winter, on the other hand, at least in Alberta, is long and tends to drag on for five or more months, so it’s the perfect time to come up with creative destinations to explore, then take a trip and try something new.
Winter is always an amazing time of year to visit Banff National Park because there are fewer crowds and there is generally a more peaceful atmosphere. And to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this year, there’s no better time to experience the magic of a winter wonderland in Banff because admission to Canada’s National Parks is free for the whole year of 2017! Seize this rare opportunity to explore Banff without having to buy a Park Pass, and try some of my family’s favorite winter fun activities.
Raise your hand if your last mountain picnic was at Elbow Falls in Kananaskis. If your hand is up, guaranteed it isn't the only one since this is easily the most popular picnic destination within a 45-minute drive from Calgary. Fortunately, there are many other locations that are equally accessible from the city - and definitely less crowded. Visit one of these new day-use areas this Fall and plan a mountain picnic for the next nice weekend. Many of the picnic areas highlighted here have water features as well, so bring your swimsuits for a final dip before colder weather sets in!
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