Going to Banff is a fun experience for the whole family but sometimes it can be hard occupying the kids all of the time. This is especially true if you’re not familiar with what there is to see and do. We’ve got 10 kid-approved ideas on how to keep busy with the kids while visiting Banff!
Kid-approved activities to do with kids when visiting Banff
This mix of cheap and free things to do in Banff should give you a wide range of activities in the National Park that your kids will love and talk about for years to come!
1. Kid-Friendly Hikes
Go on a kid-friendly hike at Tunnel Mountain or Fenland Trail.
2. Visit Downtown Banff
Take a walk on Banff Avenue and stop off at the iconic Banff Sweet Shoppe for some of your favourite (and even hard to find) treats.
3. Go on a Pony Ride
Kids 3-7yrs can get up close and learn the basics of horseback riding on a 15-minute Pony Lead. The cost is $20, and worth the splurge.
4. Try Bowling
Check out High Rollers Banff and bowl a couple of games! There are 6 lanes, one with bumpers, a full menu, billiards and arcade games.
5. Biking at the Banff Pump Track
Bring your bikes and check out the Banff Bike Park at Sundance Road and Cave Ave! There are elements for all skill levels! (The pump track is being renovated in 2023 and may not be available this summer.)
Are there other activities that we didn’t include in this list that you like to do when you are visiting Banff with the family? Join the conversation on Instagram or Facebook and tell us what are some of the kid-approved activities that you do with your family.
Where to get your Charcuterie Boards and Charcuterie Boxes In Alberta
It’s going to be the summer of the picnic, and there’s no better (or fancier) way to picnic than a charcuterie in Alberta. Picture yourself on a hike in the mountains, your favourite hill, in a botanical garden, or even on a pasture (see Open Farm Days in August). Here’s where you can grab a charcuterie “to go” across the province.
Bow Valley (Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise, Exshaw, and Kananaskis)
Banff Graze Co.
Banff Graze Co. is great for those that live in the area, but also a terrific idea if you’re travelling to the Bow Valley and want to have something special for your lunch hike, or try a charcuterie board instead of eating at a restaurant while you’re in town.
We left our bubble for the first time since March 14th, when COVID-19 shut Alberta down, to Banff last weekend. While we were anxious about filling the streets of the Bow Valley and hopefully, not adding to a problem of overcrowded streets, we really (really) needed to leave town and have a change of scenery. What better scenery than Banff?
You know those real pants in the back of your closet? The ones without elastic waistbands or baby puke on them? Yes those ones shoved way back there between nursing bras and hoodies. They have been calling your name for months, screaming for a night out where you don’t have to cut up someone’s food before you can eat your own. A night where you can be out with your girlfriends for a while and just relax. A night where you don’t have to worry about bedtime routines. A night out with your girlfriends.
At the centre of my childhood were simple experiences rich with texture and wrought with meaning.It wasn’t until I was an adult that I was able to appreciate the beauty in the simple togetherness my mom wove into the fabric of our family.Our family didn’t have a lot of money so my mom got creative.I find myself using many of her ideas with my own children and I enjoy coming up with my own.Time is the precious gift our children want above all.Here are some of my favorite memory makers!I would love to hear about yours.
After what has seemed like a never-ending winter, summer has finally arrived! After being stuck inside all winter, Albertans definitely know how to take advantage of our short summer months. Along with longer days come festivals, food trucks, day trips and weekends exploring our beautiful province. The downside? All of these things can be financially draining for a family.
This week we made a bird feeder out of materials we had laying around.
With Earth Day being last weekend we have been talking a lot about the environment, recycling and nature. My 6 year old has been asking alllllll the questions. Why do people litter? Why do we throw away so much stuff? Why do we drive everywhere? You don’t realize the amount of waste you create until you have a kid in Grade One calling you out on every piece of plastic you throw away. I have been smuggling saran-wrap and ziploc bags into the garbage like a rum runner smuggling contraband booze in the 20’s.
So we decided to make a bird feeder with things we have laying around the house to a) give him something to do so I don’t have to answer questions about my non-compostable plastic containers and b) to show him that we can reuse and re-purpose things.
What you will need:
toilet paper roll
patience – because they will want to do it all themselves
Gather supplies ahead of time before you tell your child you are making something. They are impatient and will ask you 10000000 questions while you are setting things up. Pour the bird seed onto a plate to make clean up easier. Don’t worry about cleaning off all the toilet paper off the roll. This isn’t Pinterest. No one has time for that. *not noted on the supplies list but this would be a good time to make sure you have a glass of wine ready for after you make a mess with the kids. If you sit and drink the wine until your husband gets home he may even clean up for you*
Get them to cover the roll with peanut butter. This works on their fine motor skills, grasping and pinching muscles which help with writing. That is what you say to your husband when he comes home and sees peanut butter all over the counter and you are on the couch with the wine we mentioned above. You may have to hold the roll for them at the end so it does’t slip onto the floor. No one has time to mop. Unless you have a dog that will come clean up the mess on the floor. Then let the kid do the whole thing.
Roll the peanut butter covered roll in the birdseed pressing down so the seeds stick. Notice how long your kids’ fingernails are and how much dirt is under them. Add “bath time” to the list of things your husband needs to do while you help your self to another glass of wine after he gets home.
Thread the string through the tube and tie a knot so it can hang in the tree. This is great practice tying knots with your kids so they don’t end up wearing velcro shoes for the rest of their life. Nothing wrong with velcro – it is just really really hard to find velcro shoes when they get past size 3. I’m saving you time and money.
Take the cute picture to post later on Instagram to show everyone that you craft with your kids. #goals #instalove #blessed
Hang it in the tree in a spot they can see out the window so they aren’t asking you to lift them up a million times. Make sure they are inside to watch the birds eat. No bird will come to the bird feeder when an excited kid yells “BIRD! A BIRD IS HERE EATING! MOM I SEE A BIRD!” every time they come close.
Check the time. The husband is probably home soon so get that wine ready.
We’ve all been that parent yelling “Be Careful!!!” from the ground as your child is climbing up higher and higher, running faster and faster, and pedaling harder and harder. As adults we are only seeing the worst case scenario. The crashing and the tears. But we sound like parrots constantly telling our kids to be careful.
It is also hurting their confidence. Can you imagine if every time you unloaded the dishwasher your mom came running into the room yelling at you to be careful? After all there are knives in there. You may cut yourself!
So what can you say instead? We’ve rounded up our top 6 below:
Top 6 Things To Say To Your Child Besides “Be Careful”
What’s your next move? – We’ve all seen our kids stuck in a position that they want to be rescued from. They climb too high and aren’t sure how to get down. Instead of running up and plucking them off, walk over slowly (as long as they aren’t in real danger of falling far) and ask them what their next move could be. I’ve done this so many times with my kids that they mostly can figure it out by the time I get there because they have had time to stop, breathe, and think about that next step.
Sticks need space. Can you move that stick without hitting any people? If not, you need more space. – This one is pretty self explanatory. You know your child is going to pick up that stick and turn it into a light saber, twirling baton, sword etc. Make sure that you let them know it is ok to wildly swing it around as long as they are doing so in a safe space.
!s that rock stable? – Jumping from rock to rock whether at the beach or at the park is great fun. Just help them be aware that some rocks move so they can get their balance right.
Notice your body. – I think I say this more than any other. Having them notice their bodies and what they can/can’t do is so important so they can make the decision to move ahead or not. It also helps if you have a child like mine that has grown so much so quickly and has become clumsy. By getting him to be aware of his body and how it moves he has crashed into less things.
Do you feel safe? – Teaching the kids when they should push themselves and when they should turn around and try a new option is a skill they will use forever.
I’m here if you need me. – We are here to help push our kids to be independent but in the end they still need to know that we are here to help if they really need it. Not do it for them. Help them.
It’s a New Year and with that brings some awesome Alberta winter festivals and activities! Whether you’re looking for something to do with the family or get away without the kids we’ve got some ideas on what you can do around Alberta. Read more
I’m a self proclaimed introverted extrovert. Yes it is a thing. I think. But if it isn’t we need to make it a thing. I love being around people. My whole job as an event planner is to be cheerful, happy, and be good at working with large crowds and I love what I do. I thrive off of planning and executing events for the public.
But it is work.
I get home after an event or social gathering and crash. I cocoon and try to hide out from the world even shutting off my phone and going off social media *gasp*. I am thankful to my husband who after 10 years of being married to me will see the look in my eyes and just pass me a beer and a bag of chips and sit quietly watching bad reality TV with me all evening when I get overwhelmed.
The holidays make it harder. I want to go and do all the things. I will say yes to everything (work and personal) in September and October because writing it down in the calendar at that time looks like it is doable. But then things start piling up. Kid’s get busier with school activities, concerts and field-trips. Work gets busier this time of year with Christmas events. Friends and family invite you over for holiday parties. It adds up fast.
So What’s an Introverted extrovert To Do?
Over the years I have found some tricks that work to help create some down time when things start piling up and I start feeling overwhelmed.
Schedule alone time – It sounds silly but if I don’t clear times throughout the week to do nothing I feel too full. It could be an hour after the kids go to school to just sit and drink a coffee. Or as soon as your partner gets home from work one day pass them the kids and say you’ll be back in an hour and go for a walk or go sit in a coffee shop with a holiday latte. If those aren’t options take an hour after the kids go to bed for yourself. No cleaning or making lists. Do a face mask and have a glass of wine and breathe.
Really be alone – This means turning off my phone and getting rid of distractions so I can enjoy being by myself. I often use driving as my alone time throughout the week. Nothing is better than being able to choose the music, cranking it up, and singing along. Yes I am that girl in traffic belting out Spice Girls and Meatloaf. (and yes that is a weird music combination but it is magical for a bad mood. Try it. You won’t regret it)
Say no – This is a hard one for a lot of us. I want to be a part of everything and go to all the parties and events but saying no is OK when I’m feeling too full. A burn out right before the holidays isn’t fun for anyone.
Diet – I hate this one because I would love to eat like crap and survive off of black coffee all day but I know better. When I drink lots of water and eat a fruit or vegetable every once in a while throughout the day I am able to cope better.
Hang out with people closest to me one on one – Nothing is better than having a chill night with a good friend. Nothing that is work, drama, or high expectations. Just low key and easy fun.
These are just what I have found work for me. I would love to hear your thoughts! Do you love the hustle and bustle of the holidays? Or do you struggle trying to do all the things?