TELUS Spark Science Centre in Calgary is world class! The first purpose-built science centre in Canada in 25 years, the new location opened in 2011 and is a massive upgrade from the building I grew up visiting.
Travel can seem overwhelming for Alberta families that have children with Autism. As awareness increases, there are more and more resources that can help you plan a wonderful vacation. As a Certified Autism Travel Planner, I will help you find these incredible resources and work with you to plan a trip perfectly suited to the needs of your family.
My husband was born and raised in Fort McMurray, and, while his parents have retired south, several friends still live in the community, including our kids’ godfather. We don’t head up north often, but love the area when we do (the drive is long). There are so many things to do!
A hotel room in Fort Mac is a pretty reasonable price – especially on weekends when not as many people are working – so we treat the kids and stay in one instead of cramming them into a friend’s basement. One of our favourites is the Radisson Hotel and Suites Fort McMurray with their awesome orange waterslide!
You’ve got questions about oil and gas in Fort Mac? The Oil Sands Discovery Centre has answers! Before bombarding the locals as you try to understand the “tar sands”, stop in at the Oil Sands Discovery Centre for a deep dive into what there is to know about the work happening around Fort McMurray.
Don’t miss: Go behind the building to see the old machinery and see the 10-minute hot water extraction demonstration in the theatre.
Looking for something to do with the kids after 5pm in Fort McMurray? Head to The Alley YMM! This family friendly spot has a bowling alley, arcade, laser tag, and the biggest pizza I’ve ever seen!
Going with your adult friends? Don’t worry, it’s great for you, too! We saw a couple Bachelor/Bachelorette parties starting their night on the town as we were wrapping up ours.
Little Bow Provincial Park is a great place to spend a few days or weeks camping. The nearby reservoir with a marked off swimming area is the top attraction – spend the day lounging on the beach catching the sunshine, build a sandcastle, paddle board or bring your boat and jet skis. An onsite concession is available to treat yourself to ice cream, hot dogs or hamburgers, plus essentials like milk and ice, making it easy to stay for several days.
Photos can’t explain how MASSIVE the operations north of Fort McMurray are. In 1999 Syncrude decommissioned several machines and placed two at the side of the highway in an open-air museum to exhibit these giants and share information about what happens at their open-pit oilsands mining operation.
We’re fans of big things at Alberta Mamas. I’ve seen a lot of them. But walking up to these machines that are as big as my first four-story apartment building? You’ve got to see this!
I’m going to come right out and say it: Canadian Energy is a controversial topic. And I LOVE that the Canadian Energy Museum owns that fact. There is a newer film to watch – I strongly recommend doing it as the first thing after paying for admission – that covers a lot of the information in the museum and gets you ready for what you’ll be seeing. I found it very helpful to guide conversations with the kids about the exhibits before I’d had a chance to do any reading.