One of the best wedding gifts Hubs and I got was to use 1 week of a family friends time share to go anywhere we wanted. It was hard to choose, but after a lot of research we decided to explore Canada a little more and headed to Alberta. We had an amazing time checking out Drumheller and Banff. Although we had a great time, there are still lots of things to do in Alberta I would like to check out. Its important to note that Alberta tourism is booming in the summer so prices are often higher, so I would suggest if possible to visit in the off season when prices are lower but weather is still good.
Hubs and I visited Alberta just after we got married but life and traveling has changed as the next time we go we will have 3 kids in tow so I decided to reach out to Mitchelle of MamaBuzz who is a first time mom of a sweet little man and local to the Calgary area and an expert in Travel in Alberta with Kids. Planning a trip to Alberta with kids can be super fun and easy to do if you use our guide to identify the fun things to do in Alberta with Kids from hiking to swimming and everything in between Alberta is about taking in the beautiful landscape and exploring nature.
A Weekend Trip to the Canadian Rockies with Kids
Have a few hours or days in Calgary? Not a problem. The Canadian Rockies is just a drive away and there are lots of Calgary tourist attractions and unique places to visit in Alberta.
Top Alberta Attractions for Families:
- Banff National Park
- Maligne Canyon
- Quarry Lake
- Source of the Springs Trail
- Cat Creek Falls
- Lake Minnewanka
- Hard Luck Canyon
- Lake Louise
- Columbia Ice Fields
Things to do in Calgary with Kids
As a matter of fact, living in Calgary makes me feel blessed and lucky knowing that the Rocky Mountains is highly accessible to us. From touring around the Banff and Lake Louise areas, there are other beautiful places that you can easily visit within a day. Here are the best places to check out in Alberta when traveling with kids. While Alberta is a large province this guide will be focusing on Banff, Drumheller, and Lake Louise as there is lots of Alberta attractions to check out and explore.
An Insiders Guide to Travel in Alberta with Kids
Things to do in Banff with Kids
There are lots of fun things to do in Banff and visiting the Banff National Park is just the tip of the iceberg. Banff offers one of the world’s greatest natural playgrounds for you to explore with your family as Banaff National Park offers so much for families to do in both the summer and the winter. In the summer time you can enjoy a beautiful and scenic view from the Banff Gondola, or if you love animals and nature take in a horseback ride through the Rockies, or explore on foot one of the amazing hikes offered in Banff National Park ranging from beginner to expert so you can choose the right choice for your family. Learn more about the Best Things to Explore in Banff with Kids.
Things to do in Canmore with Kids
Located just 5 minutes east of Banff National Park, you wouldn’t miss this place as a start of your tour around the Canadian Rockies. With a rustic looking downtown core, you will find this place as a home of fine restaurants, unique boutiques, art galleries and cozy coffee shops. While in downtown Canmore, you might want to drop by the Bow River Pedestrian Bridge, which was converted from a railway bridge. This is a perfect spot for a stroll.
If you’re planning for a swim, the Quarry Lake is an easy find. With the beautiful views of Ha Ling Peak, Mount Lady MacDonald and the Rundle Mountain Range, it’s actually popular for weddings and picnics. As an adventure seeker like me, I find Canmore to be a perfect spot for hikes as well. You will find different trails and you’ll get a majestic view of the mountains.
Not as crowded as Banff, Canmore is absolutely one of my favorite towns in Alberta. Feel free to check it out and for sure, you will love it and it may become your favourite tourist spot in Alberta.
There are lots of things to do in Jasper, Alberta and right in the heart of Jasper National Park, Maligne Canyon is a versatile hike that you can take as part of popular guided tours from a touring company in town, or easily go it on your own. A completely different landscape between the winter and summer, it’s one of the most popular canyons in the park, with five different hiking paths to choose from.
Source of the Springs Trail
If your looking for things to do in Jasper, an easy trail that’s perfect for hiking with small children, is the Source of the Springs trail as it is mostly paved path, with plenty to see along the way. It’s not very often you reach a cool end to a trail, so quickly. In under fifteen minutes, you can find an abandoned resort pool and the source of the springs, where the hot spring water comes out of the ground. Immediately the kids will want to touch it, which is fine – as it’s not too hot. The best part of this walk is the fact there’s plenty to see, all the way up the short trail.
Cat Creek Falls
It’s like something out of a movie, the hike to the falls. After the flood a few years ago, parts of the road at the access park have actually been washed away. You’ll have to park off to the side of the road, and start your journey through the park that’s been closed to vehicles. Crossing the road, and following the path for the out and back hike that takes less than two hours, you’re rewarded at the end with a gorgeous set of falls, and a hike that’s a bit long, but with terrain that’s easy enough for a very young child.
In the past, I used to just ignore Lake Minnewanka and the surrounding areas. I had no idea what it is. Until we drove one weekend and visited the lake in a nice summer day. It was stunning! I just didn’t expect it. Lake Minnewanka is a large glacial lake situated just five kilometers from the town of Banff. With the nice landscape of the mountains, it is a beautiful spot for picnics, biking, hiking, canoeing, diving and snowshoeing.
I remember we brought our dog with us when we visited the place. It’s a hot spot for summer as you can actually relax by the water, bring a book with you, relax and lie down on a blanket or sit around the picnic tables. Not only that, you’ll enjoy your trip in this lake if you go for the Scenic Boat Cruises. You’ll know about the history of the place as a tour guide will be with you. If you want to do water activities, there are also boat rentals at the dock.
Hard Luck Canyon
A quick kilometer long out and back trail can be found in Whitecourt, that’s home to a Canyon. fast hike with kids, on a flat trail with no elevation gain, the canyon is easily accessed with stairs. During spring, and after it’s been raining in the summer, there’s a small set of falls in the canyon with a small pool to take a dip that seems to be there regardless of the season. A quick jaunt from Edmonton, it’s worth a day trip if you find yourself in the area, as there are very few places as accessible where the kids can walk inside an actual canyon, after a ten-minute walk. Here’s where to find Hard Luck Canyon in Whitecourt.
There’s magic to be found on the banks of Lake Louise, during the summer with the crystal blue lake – and through the winter with the magic of a massive ice castle. In the warmer season, head out to the docks and rent a canoe from one of the local touring companies, getting on the water yourself. In the winter, head to the lake for the magical Ice Magic Festival, where crowds flock to see ice carvers from around the world compete.
Columbia Ice Fields
There’s something about taking a giant bus out to the ice fields, and having the chance to walk around when just a few minutes earlier you were just wearing shorts and a tee. Visit during the summer with kids, and see ice as far as the eyes can see. Easily accessible in just a short round trip from Jasper or Banff, the Columbia Ice Fields offer a great learning experience about the environment around us.
Located an hour and a half drive from the town of Banff, Radium, is a must-see location. A peaceful village with a unique feature of the Radium Hot Springs Mineral Pools welcomes you as you enter the village. It’s a perfect way for you to relax after a long trip. In here, you’ll find a scenic view of the mountains. We love the place so much that no matter how far it is, we can drive out here and maybe spend a night to recharge.
With a small downtown, Radium possesses that quiet and peaceful village. You can visit the Stations of the Cross just near the highway and a lot of affordable Chalets are in the area. The one that we like is the Radium Chalet which is situated on top of the mountain. Affordable and an easy find near the hot springs.
One more spot that is a must-see attraction is the Woodcarver’s house. Although the last time we went in 2018, it got burned which is a sad story for the whole village. With the unique creations of the carver himself, this house was part of Radium’s history.
There are so many things to see and do as a family in Alberta like Johnston Canyon. If you have a little paleontologist in your family then a visit to the Royal Tyrell Museum is a must as well. Now if you are going to be flying then don’t forget to check out or tips for dealing with unexpected layovers with kids and tips for packing a carry on for a child. No matter where you end up visiting, relax and have fun making family memories and checking out all the Alberta tourist attractions! Checkout all these amazing stroller options.