“Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
In the lane, snow is glistening,
A beautiful sight,
We’re happy tonight,
Walking in a winter wonderland.”
(Dick Smith, Felix Bernard, 1934)
Admit it, as soon as you read those magical words you started humming this holiday classic. So, why not get out and enjoy all that the season has to offer? Sure, I love a good meal more than anyone, and sipping hot cocoa around the fire sounds like the perfect way to end any evening, but there’s a lot of family activities to see and experience outside of the home as well. It is Christmas after all, one of the few times of the year that you get to spend with all of your family; so this year, gather your brood and start a new outside-the-home family holiday tradition. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Dress Warm for the Lights
If you’re hitting the ol’ snowy trail this Christmas and travelling throughout the province, there are many adventures you can set out on — just don’t forget to pack your toque and mitts. If you’re travelling to Calgary between November 21 and January 3, 2014, why not plan to walk through Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo. From Santa and his reindeers to a Candyland filled with lollipops and sugarplums, the Zoo sets up over 1.5 million lights every year. If it’s cold out, don’t worry, the amazing staff and volunteers serve hot chocolate and tend the fire pits located throughout the zoo. The Conservatory is another great place to stop not only for a quick warm up, but also to snap that perfect family photo in front of all of the decorated Christmas trees.
Get the Train in Motion
Have you always dreamed of taking a step back in time and travelling by train? Well, now’s your chance. Book your winter getaway with Brewster Travel Canada today. They offer Train Tours departing from Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, or Montreal. There is truly no better way to get a behind-the-scenes look at our country’s breathtaking landscape (and the views become even more spectacular covered under a blanket of snow). For Alberta travellers, they have various packages leaving from Calgary, ranging from two-night to eight-night adventures where you can explore Banff and take a ride up the Banff gondola, take-in the views from the Chateau Lake Louise, and enjoy the wilderness in Jasper. Not only do you get to see and experience all these amazing wonders, you get to travel from each destination to the next on a train. How cool is that?
Take a Journey Through History
Do you like history and experiencing things from the movies come to life? Then I have just the idea for you and your family. Until April 2015, Telus World of Science in Edmonton is hosting Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology. This exhibition is sure to not only bring back all those nostalgic feelings from your younger movie-watching days, but to also shed light on what is happening in the world of archaeology today. If you haven’t been out to one of Telus World of Science’s exhibitions, I definitely recommend making this one your first.
If you’re not in the Edmonton area, there is still a chance for you and your family to take a journey through time. The Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller is home to nine ever-changing galleries that showcase Alberta in various settings throughout history. There’s something for everyone at the museum, whether it’s archaeology and fossils, or learning about dinosaurs that once roamed the Alberta badlands. Personally, I love the dinosaurs. There’s something about their majestic presence that keeps me longing to learn more.
The Family that Plays Together
Now that you know some of the highlights Alberta has to offer, you can start planning your holiday family outing. And AMA members save on admission to Telus World of Science, the Calgary Zoo, the Royal Tyrrell Museum, and a number of tours through Brewster Travel. See our complete list of reward partners for more.