15 Activities to Discover Canada with your Family
When you live in a place, you tend to take it for granted and overlook its beauty. This is even more true for Canada given the sheer size of its territory. As a matter of fact, tourists arriving in Canada are always shocked by how vast the country is. Unlike Europe, you cannot drive for a couple of hours while crossing a few different borders. Distances from one big Canadian city to another are huge! Unsurprisingly, you will find that Canada has always something spectacular to discover from coast to coast all the way to the Arctic polar circle.
Whether you’re visiting relatives in Canada or just coming for a holiday, here are 15 activities suitable for the entire family.
1. Exploring One of the Many National Parks
To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, you have until the end of 2017 to claim the Discovery Pass which provides free admission to all Park Canada places. Here are some of the most popular National Parks across the country:
• Banff National Park (Alberta)
• Gros Morne National Park (Newfoundland)
• Parc National de la Gaspésie (Quebec)
• Fundy National Park (New Brunswick)
• Bruce Peninsula National Park (Ontario)
2. Learning About the Native Culture of the First Nations
Natives have called Canada their home for thousands and thousands of years. Their rich history and legacy can be found everywhere from town names to ancient traditions and landmarks.
In the northern region of Eeyou Itschee Baie-James (Quebec), you are encouraged to visit the Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute to get a deeper understanding of the Cree culture through workshops and exhibitions.
3. Going on a Polar Bears’ Safari in Churchill
Although only accessible by air since the recent closure of the rail line reaching Churchill (Manitoba), you should join a tour for an opportunity of a lifetime to spot polar bears and other arctic animals in their natural habitat. Aboard a safari rover, you will explore the northern tundra on the lookout for this majestic bear and much more wildlife.
4. Taking a Road Trip on the Glacier Road Between Banff and Jasper
The Icefield Parkway (Route 93) will take you through the Canadian Rocky Mountains where you will encounter some of the most pristine lakes in the world. On this 232 km stretch of road, you will run into countless viewpoints, such as:
• Lake Louise
• Columbia Ice Fields
• Peyto Lake
• Athabasca Glacier
• Horseshoe Lake
• Moraine Lake
5. Searching for Dinosaur Fossils and Bones at Dinosaur Valley in Drumheller
Drumheller (Alberta) is known as the dinosaur capital of the world. On the Dinosaur Trail, you can explore the Royal Tyrell Museum, a scientific museum dedicated to paleontology, go inside the world’s highest standing dinosaur (86 feet tall) and visit the Fossil World Dinosaur Discovery Centre where you can dig up real fossils.
6. Getting Lost in the West Edmonton Mall
Located in Edmonton (Alberta), this is the biggest mall in North America with over 800 stores, an indoor amusement park, a water park, a full-size wave pool, a bungee tower and a themed hotel.
7. Taking the Scenic Train Ride Across the Country with Via Rail
Begin your journey in Montreal (Quebec) all the way to Vancouver (British-Colombia) through six provinces from coast to coast. Sit back and enjoy the ride as you leisurely cross the whole country.
8. Visiting a Viking Village at L’Anse aux Meadows
Go back in time at the National Historic Site of L’Anse aux Meadows (Newfoundland). There you will find the replica of an original Viking Encampment. Join a guided tour to get the most out of the informative storytelling experience and understand the history of the Norsemen in Canada.
9. Admiring the Northern Lights in the Northern Territories
Although they can be observed from almost anywhere in Canada above the 52nd parallel, Yellowknife is renowned for its spectacular location to enjoy the Northern Lights in all their glory.
10. Experiencing the Best in Terms of Amusement Parks
There are two major amusement parks not to be missed in Canada. La Ronde, in Montreal (Quebec), features the tallest wooden rollercoaster in the world. Alternatively, Canada’s Wonderland near Toronto (Ontario), has over 200 attractions and rides pleasing a crowd of all ages. Make sure to try their new 4D ride, Wonder Mountain’s Guardian.
11. Exploring the Joys of Winter at Village Vacances Valcartier
You will fall in love with winter at the frosty playground of the Village Vacances Valcartier (Quebec). There you will find tubing, snow slides, ice skating and snow rafting. For those still scared of the cold, enjoy the warmth of Bora Parc, an indoor oasis with water slides, pools and many more aquatic activities. Do not miss the World Famous Ice Hotel, a must-see attraction deemed as a unique architectural masterpiece.
12. Skiing or Snowboarding in the Rockies
Head to the Rockies for world-class snow conditions and breathtaking scenery. Ski and snowboard enthusiasts will fall in love with the slopes of Whistler, Banff, Jasper, Revelstoke and many more ski centres located in the Rockies. Take advantage of the many hot springs found in the area to relax after a day on the mountain.
13. Participating in the Calgary Stampede
Put on your cowboy hat and take part in the world’s largest outdoor rodeo. Every summer since 1912, Calgary (Alberta) has been hosting this 10-day country festival. You will enjoy rodeo competitions, chuck wagon races, cattle exhibitions, lasso throwing, nightly concerts and much more.
14. Going Museum-Hopping in Ottawa
Ottawa (Ontario) has much more to offer in terms of culture than the Parliament and the changing of the guards’ ceremony (although very impressive). There is a vast selection of museums and the most children-friendly one, located across the river in Gatineau (Quebec) is the Canadian Museum of History, also home to the Canadian Children’s museum.
15. Boarding the Maid of the Mist Boat to Admire the Niagara Falls
The horseshoe-shaped falls might not be the biggest in the world, but the volume of water that flows through them is absolutely impressive. It is a true adventure to get up close and personal with the Falls on board this exciting boat trip.
All these activities should keep you and your family well occupied during your next trip to Canada. Remember to stay on the safe side by subscribing to a travel insurance. Although Canada has a universal health system, it doesn’t apply to non-residents. A proper insurance plan will allow you and your family to benefit from a comprehensive coverage, giving you peace of mind on your upcoming trip. Call your travel insurance representative now to find the best solution for your needs.
Article by Nomad Junkies team