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Ca - Cl : Canada Last Updated: Oct 24th, 2012 - 04:06:42



Canada - Alberta Family Favorites
By Travel Alberta
Jun 26, 2008, 06:32

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Crowsnest Pass Frank Slide - Travel Canada
With the Rocky Mountains framing Alberta's western border, its five UNESCO World Heritage sites and five national parks - this province is an outdoor playground for not only adults, but for kids as well.

In fact the very concept of "child friendly" was pioneered in Calgary, which became the first city in North America to wear that badge. "Child Friendly Calgary" has a team of "kid inspectors" that rate and rank attractions, sites, hotels and restaurants. You'll spy their whimsical blue and white logo on accredited establishments.

Clown, Edmonton Fringe Festival - Travel Canada
Calgary's well-known crowd-pleasers among the small fry are its Zoo (second largest in Canada) where you can breakfast with the gorillas or even have a sleepover in the large mammal enclosure. Just a stroll from the Zoo leads you to Fort Calgary, loaded with costumes (here's your chance to be a Mountie!) and hands-on displays. Then there's the Science Centre, an IMAX theatre, the 626 ft. tall Calgary Tower, Heritage Park (one of Canada's largest living museums), Bonker's and Calaway Park (rides galore). The unknown gems are the Police Interpretive Centre, Kids Port (at the airport), the Olympic Oval, four rock climbing walls and the Museum of the Regiments.

In Edmonton you'll find an IMAX Theatre at the Odyssium (Space and Science Centre) as well as its famous Discovery Zone for little kids and the largest planetary dome in western Canada.

Another hit for all generations is the Provincial Museum of Alberta, full of aboriginal artifacts, interactive exhibits and touring shows. Always a jaw-dropper here is the Bug Room. At Fort Edmonton Park, the province's history is relived between 1846 and 1920 - through architecture, games, festivals and special events.

But the biggest draw of all is the West Edmonton Mall - a masterpiece of indoor shopping, complete with sports facilities, entertainment wonders and the world's largest indoor watermark. Spanning 48 city blocks and featuring seven world-class attractions, don't start your story here, you'll never pry those little ones away.

Beyond the city limits lies adventure. From whitewater rafting trips for families to voyageur canoe trips to thousands of hikes, cycle opportunities and camping adventures - many of these excursions are available at all corners of the province.

However, if you want to veer off the beaten path snap on a headlamp and take your kids down a coal mine with the Bellevue Underground Mine Tours (from May through August). Also in the south, near Bellevue, is Frank Slide where you can scramble through the 82 million tons of rock that slid down Turtle Mountain in 1903, or poke around its excellent interpretive centre.

Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, Drumheller - Travel Canada
No "family friendly' story would be complete without mention of dinosaurs and this province not only has the most extensive display of dinosaurs in the world, but loads of activities. From sleepovers at the Tyrrell to dino-camps and day digs- families are invited to the bone beds at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller (in the heart of the Badlands) as well as where the eggs were discovered, in Devil's Coulee, near Warner, Alta.

In Banff, the kid-pleasers are the Cave and Basin Museum, the Banff Park Museum, a gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain, a dip in the Upper Hot Springs and horseback riding.

Then of course, we've got reptile museums, barn dances, the world's tallest tee pee, a doll palace, rockhounding, scuba diving . . .

But don't take our word for it. Come see for yourself.

Travel Alberta is happy to assist writers in any way we can. If you have a theme, or an angle, you'd like to develop for a story, just let us know. We can design the itinerary or link you up with an operator or outfitter depending on your requirements. Remember - Alberta is a four-season destination. The adventures never stop, they just shift with the colours.

Source: Travel Alberta International





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