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Things to Do In Central Alberta This Summer

Things to Do In Central Alberta This Summer

Ever since we bought a place at Gull Lake, we’ve spent the summers there. Now that we’ve moved here full time, I’m trying to get to know the area more. It’s amazing how many things we still haven’t seen. Here is my go-to list of Central Alberta Tourist Attractions (updated for 2022) that come highly recommended for a visit in the summer. (Click on the name to go to more information).

Have we done all of them or will we do all of them this summer? Doubtful but at least we have a great list of things to try. So know that I have NOT tried everything on this list but if I haven’t it comes recommended by someone I know and trust (though I do realize that things can change over time).

Also, for the purpose of this post, I am sticking to around 50 km east and west of Highway 2 (usually closer). Want to know the latest events in Lacombe County (Lacombe, Bentley, etc), make sure to check out the Lacombe County Tourism website.

See something I missed? Please, please, please let me know in the comments!

Things to Do in Central Alberta – General

  • Visit a small town movie theatre – We’ve visited the theatre in Lacombe. It is much cheaper than the city and has a more intimate feel. It’s great for one of those rainy summer days where you need to find something to do to get out of the house. They are also always air conditioned which can be amazing on a hot summer day.
Albeerta Tourist Attractions Saskatoon Berry U-pick
  • Visit a local U-pick – Check out this website that lists local U-picks, what they offer and when. We love visiting the Saskatoon Orchard near us and all the Saskatoon pies and Saskatoon muffins we make after. New on the scene this year is Koornneef Farms right outside of Bentley. They just opened a brand new strawberry U-pick. I’m picking up some strawberries from them this weekend for my Easy, No Bake Strawberry Pie. Yum!
  • Visit local farmers markets and greenhouse stores – Central Alberta has TONS of local growers. Some of our favourite markets are the Red Deer Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, Lacombe Farmers Market on Friday mornings,  Bentley Farmers Market on Saturday afternoon and Rimbey Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. Most open on May long weekend and run through September long weekend (but check each market to make sure). With the local increase in precautions, make sure to check with each market to see when/if they are opening.
    • If you are looking for fresh veggies (but no fruit), you can always stop at Pik n Pak or S4 Greenhouses on Hwy 12 between Bentley and Lacombe. They offer fresh veggies 24 hours a day with an honour pay system where you can pay with cash or card.
Selfie by the world's largest fishing lure in Lacombe, AB

Things to Do in Central Alberta – Bentley Area

  • Downtown Bentley -Downtown Bentley is FULL of cute little shops, including mine (Merry’s Mercantile). Kid’s will love The Kite Guys kite store and getting an ice cream cone at the local IDA Drugstore. Parent’s will enjoy a latte from The Drop or a Caesar at The Monkey Top Saloon (a cowboy/biker bar that is known all over Alberta…PLUS kids are now allowed until 8pm).
  • Head to the Beach! – Head to Aspen Beach Provincial Park or Ebeling Beach for a sandy beach and shallow water. Perfect for a family beach trip.
  • Gull Lake Honey Company – Get up close and personal with a family-run honey operation. They have a farm store, a small U-pick and more. Definitely worth a visit!

Things to Do in Central Alberta – Lacombe Area

Dip netting at Ellis Bird Farm in Lacombe, AB
  • Ellis Bird Farm near Lacombe- We visit Ellis Bird Farm each and every year. We love it so. Definitely ask for the scavenger hunt upon arrival. If you plan to be there around lunch time, check out their on-site Tea House.
  • Pick up lunch at Eastside Eatery for a picnic at the park! They have house made soups and sandwiches Tuesday – Friday.
  • Kraay Family Farm near Lacombe – Life is fun on the farm, especially when there is a giant corn maze! Kraay Family Farm opens mid- July with over 40 attractions and amenities.
  • Experience Nature at the JJ Collett Nature Area – With over 18 km of maintained trails, take a walk through the natural area types of Central Alberta including shrubs, wetlands, Aspen groves and more.
  • Grab a pint of locally brewed beer at Blindman Brewery. They have an ever-changing tap room offering and now they have a taqueria in case you need a snack.
  • Bike the Trans Canada Trail – Bike the 8 km dedicated biking/pedestrian trail between Lacombe and Blackfalds. Check out the map so you know where the day use areas, bird watching boardwalk, restrooms and more are along the trail.
Caesar Flight at Cilantro and Chive
  • Cilantro & Chive in Lacombe – This is our favourite restaurant in Central Alberta. Cilantro & Chive focuses on fresh and delicious food featuring local producers. They also have EXCELLENT cocktails and feature tons of Alberta craft beers on tap. The picture above is of their Caesar flight with original, garlic, hot pepper and bacon Caesar’s. They also do great Moscow Mules. Thinking this sounds like an adults-only place? Not so! They also have an excellent kid’s menu. Evan highly recommends their house made mac and cheese. Reservations are highly recommended if you plan to drop in and they have an extensive patio and take out! They have also opened a second location in Red Deer with the same great food in a larger venue.
  • Grab a yummy, handmade chocolate treat and Oodles of Chocolates in downtown Lacombe.
  • Take in the horse racing at The Track On 2 in Lacombe – Open to all ages and they have a restaurant on-site. (Make sure to check their schedule to see what events are planned when you visit.)
  • Visit Flying Cross Ranch  – Learn to ride or for one of their summer events. They have a petting zoo and a Sunday farmer’s market starting in May!
  • Lacombe Museums – Take a step back in time by visiting the Michener House and the Blacksmith Shop. Check the Lacombe Historical Society website for more information about when they are opening and different activities they run throughout the summer.
  • Stop by Tollers Bistro for donuts, a coffee or lunch (I recommend the California BLT)! Donuts make everything better!
  • Planning to do everything? Book a room at the Best Western Lacombe. It’s a great place to stay and they have a pool!

Alberta Tourist Attractions – Edmonton Area

Ariel Park
Going back in time at the Ukranian Cultural Village
  • Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village – We visited the Ukrainian Cultural Village last year and had a blast. Many of the volunteer interpreters speak Ukrainian and they ALL do an amazing job staying in character to teach you about the lives of Ukrainians who settled in Alberta. You also MUST eat Ukrainian food at their cafe when you visit. They are only open in the summer so expect an opening announcement in late May.

Things to do in the Red Deer Area

  • Paddle Boats at Bower Ponds in Red Deer – Rent paddle boats for some water paddle boating fun! You can also rent kayaks, canoes, water balls and more for even more water fun.
  • Donut Mill in Red Deer Gasoline Alley – Yummy donuts in all shapes and flavours are the perfect pick me up when you are exploring Central Alberta. Their location on Gasoline Alley in Red Deer makes them super convenient too.
  • Little Ice Cream and Soda Shoppe – This WILL be happening for us this year. I asked where to go for great ice cream and 10 out of 12 comments was for this place. I’ve been convinced! It is only open during the summer and they only take cash.
  • Kirk’s Alpaca Farm – This is actually in Three Hills but it is only 45 km off of Hwy 2 and there are ALPACAS! Visit their farm store and hang out with the alpacas. Kids (and big kids like ME will love it)! Even if you can’t go, give them a follow on FB because they post the cutest alpaca pictures to brighten your day.

Tourist Attractions That Are Likely Closed for 2021

I’ve included these because WHO KNOWS. Definitely give them a call and see if they are opening as we head into 2021.

  • Ride the Stettler Steam Train in Stettler – Take a step back in time on the Stettler Steam train. Embark on a 4 to 6 hour trip through the prairies and learn how people travelled when Canada was new. Be careful, though, you never know when the train might be held up during your trip!
  • Discovery Canyon near Red Deer – Discovery Canyon is reopened and just as awesome as ever!
  • Small town rodeos and fairs – Join us in Bentley the first weekend in August for rodeo fun. There are pancake breakfasts every day, a parade on Thursday morning and more.

So what did I miss? What is on YOUR summer bucket list for Central Alberta tourist attractions? Share with your friends who will be in Central Alberta this summer too!

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Looking for more Family-Friendly Summer Fun? Check out these posts!

Janeane M Davis

Thursday 22nd of April 2021

I have never been to this part of the world. If I ever do go, there will certainly be a lot of wonderful things to do the I get there.

Merry Kuchle

Thursday 22nd of April 2021

I would love to show you around!

150 links for Canada Day – Yours to Discover! #Canada150 | DownshiftingPRO

Sunday 6th of October 2019

[…] Things to do in Central Alberta with Merry About Town […]


Tuesday 30th of April 2019

Merry. Thanks for the mention. Come and enjoy the Steam Train this summer.

Merry Kuchle

Tuesday 30th of April 2019

Fingers crossed that we get over that way!


Tuesday 12th of February 2019

Just heard about the Bowden Sunflower Maze last year and as its' near our RV spot, will check that out.


Friday 2nd of June 2017

The Kraay Family farm is my favourite place to take my kids! Corm maze and about 50 other awesome things to do....

Flying cross ranch just outside Lacombe is great on any of thier open ranch days. They do pony rides, petting zoo, markets, branding signs.... So sorts of awesome stuff!

Merry Kuchle

Friday 2nd of June 2017

Thanks for the tips! Sounds fun!