Before Evan and I head off on our grand USA RV adventure, we will be heading to Gull Lake for the summer. We love hanging out, relaxing and going to the beach. This year, though, I have decided that we are going to do a bit better job getting out of the house and exploring Central Alberta.
So what did I do? I hit Facebook to ask all my friends what THEIR favourite things to do in Alberta. So here’s our list of things we should do this summer (Click on the name to go to more information). Will we do all of them? Doubtful but at least we will 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 recomended by someone I know and trust (though I do realize that things can change over time). See something I missed? Please, please, please let me know in the comments!
- 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 and if you are going to be there at lunch time, make reservations at the tea house!
- Discovery Canyon near Red Deer – How did I never know about this place? After being closed last year for renovations, Discovery Canyon will be reopening in June and it is FREEEEEEEEEE. Tubing and two sandy beaches means we will definitely be visitng. Often.
- Blackfalds Outdoor Aquatic Centre – formerly known as McKay Ranch. Water slides and pools oh my. It’s open from mid-May through September 4th. Families get in for just $19.50 which is a great price for a day out.
- Paddle Boats at Bower Ponds in Red Deer – Rent paddle boats for $10/hour for some water paddle boating fun!
- Sweet Capone’s in Lacombe – This gem of a bakery is worth the drive whether from Calgary or from Edmonton. They make cannoli in house and it is AMAZING. They’ve also expanded to serve authentic Italian sandwiches paninis and panzarotti. Trust me when I say you will NOT be disappointed but you will end up driving to Lacombe much more often.
- Cilantro & Chive in Lacombe – This is our favourite restaurant to visit when we are at the lake. Cilantro & Chive focuses on fresh and delicious food featuring local producers. They also have EXCELLENT cocktails. 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 recomends their housemade mac and cheese. Reservations are highly recomended if you plan to drop in.
- Manluck Centre in Wetaskawin – Another great aquatic centre and this one has a WaveRider! The daily rate for a family is $21 with the wave rider at $10 per ride.
- Donut Mill in Red Deer Gasoline Alley – I’ve heard the apple fritters are amazing.
- Small town rodeos and fairs – Most have rodeo parades too where they actuall throw CANDY. Take that Calgary Stampede Parade! Check out Westerner Days in Red Deer (July 19-23), Ponoka Stampede (June 27 – July 3), Rimbey Rodeo (July 8-9), Bentley Rodeo (Aug 11 & 12) and many, many more!
- Whitecourt Rotary Park in Whitecourt – River slides and a splash park! Free entry but bring your own tube. They don’t have rentals available.
- Ranch Tracker at Heritage Ranch in Red Deer – I think this might be too advanced for Evan and I but it sounds so fun. Basically you have to stay away from the ranch tracker for an hour and capture 4 flags. Intense! Thanks to Jody Robins for the suggestion!
- 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 traveled when Canada was new. Looking for more adventure? Book on one of their murder mystery trips!
- Royal Terrell Museum in Drumheller – A world class museum in little ol’ Drumheller. This summer they have a new Grounds for Discovery exhibit open that highlights the fossils that have been found during industrial work in Alberta. This is one of Evan’s most favourite museums to visit.
- Ice Cream at the Big Moo in Sylvan Lake – Over 80 flavours of hand dipped ice cream plus grill favourites!
- Visit a small town movie theatre – Last year we visited the theatre in Lacombe. It is much cheaper than the city and has a much 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.
- Snow Valley Aerial Park in Edmonton – I know, I know, I wasn’t including Calgary and Edmonton BUT this aerial park is brand spanking new and would be perfect for some of my more adventurous readers!
So what did I miss? What is on YOUR summer bucket list for Central Alberta? Share with your friends who will be in Central Alberta this summer too!