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Rural Journeys

5 Alberta Festivals to Check Out This Fall

Summer is over but it doesn’t mean that the festival season has stopped in Alberta. Fall is a season of all things, pumpkins and harvest and you can get all that and more with these 5 fall festivals in Alberta. So, grab your latte, pull on your wellies and lets get exploring.

Jasper Dark Sky Festival

When: October 12-21
Where: Jasper, Alberta
Events: Schedule of Events can be found on the Dark Sky website

Did you know that in 2011 Jasper was designated a Dark Sky Reserve, by the Royal Astronomical Society “due to its limited light pollution that creates ideal conditions for dark sky viewing” (source)

Jasper National Park is one of 17 designated Dark Sky Preserves in Canada. We are the second largest Dark Sky Preserve in the world, and we are the largest accessible Dark Sky Preserve – meaning there’s a town within the limits of the preserve.  – Jasper Dark Sky Festival 

Not your typical ‘fall festival’ there are no farms, pumpkins but the dark sky festival is unlike any other you’ll attend this fall. With both free and paid events, attendees will have the opportunity to listen to world famous scientists, astronauts, go star gazing or take photography workshops. Plus… you’re in Jasper and there are lots to do with the family while you’re there as we’ve written about before (tips for staying in Jasper inexpensively are here,  for food with kids click here).

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Alberta Open Farm Days

Cute animals, food and local breweries and that’s just the start of Alberta Open Farm Days.

On August 18 and 19 all Albertans are invited to join their rural neighbours to learn how your food gets from the farm to your table at Alberta Open Farm Days.

 

What you need to know

Admission: FREE with the exception of the Culinary events.

Location: All across Alberta

When: August 18 & 19

What: Three types of events: Culinary and  Farm Tours.

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Rowley Ghost Town

By Amanda

On a recent family trip to visit Drumheller, we made the best decision and took the slight detour off of Hwy 56 to visit the Rowley, Alberta…the ghost town.  

Located between the towns of Big Valley and Munson, about 5 Km down a gravel road, the town has a current population of approx. 10 people and is considered abandoned.

The Setting

The setting for several movies (including Bye,Bye blues, Pelican Brief, Legends of the Fall),  the bulk of the buildings can be found on the main street. Stop in at the town office to take advantage of the free, though tips are greatly appreciated, tours that are offered and get you access into all the buildings. Tours run from 10-6 every day in July and August. Our guide Brayden was fantastic, he was very knowledgeable and offered lots of interesting facts as we made our way through town, and super patient with the kids who asked about a million questions as kids tend to do.

The kids loved exploring the train station (operational from 1925-1965) and old garage with vintage cars. Another kids favorite was the old school house. A really great feature in the old school is that every desk is seated a plush doll with a nameplate of a person who actually attended the school when it was operational.

There are lots of antiquities to be found as you go through the buildings including a bible from 1871 in the church and a large printing press that was used between 1900-1920, that is housed in its own separate building.

The Playground

Another great bonus is the large covered picnic area and playground located in the middle of town. We were also pleasantly surprised to learn the town offers free no hook up camping on site if you’re planning on staying in the area. While still being fairly central to all the main attractions in the area it’s a great alternative to paying for camping as long as you don’t require all the frills of a power/water site. If you happen to be there on the last Saturday of the month be sure to check out pizza night held in the still functioning salon.

A must stop attraction whether you’re traveling with or without kids. Would definitely recommend going if you are anywhere in the area. We would go back in a heartbeat.

Born and raised in Edmonton, Amanda is a single mom to a fantastic 8-year-old daughter and works full time in emergency services. She has great fondness for all things old and abandoned and can be found camera in hand whenever she has a spare minute.

5 Ways to Create a Family Friendly Business

By Mona Ismaeial, photo’s by Mona at Go Nissan North Edmonton.  

As a busy work from home mom I definitely Feel the need for family friendly spaces. My son who is just over 2 years old is always in tow. He comes grocery shopping with me, we get oil changes, dr. appointments, meetings and of course out for coffee and meals.  For stay-at-home moms, work-from- home moms or just parents who want to take their kids with them rather than leaving them with family friends or a babysitter, there are a few very easy ways businesses can be more welcoming to families.

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Fallen Timber Meadery – Road Trip in The Ford EcoSport

The drive between Calgary and Edmonton can be pretty and also pretty monotonous, and it’s not often I decide to go off the highway. Opportunity leant itself for a “side” road trip when driving from Calgary a few weeks ago. Deanne and I decided that we were on a road trip we were going to make the most of it. We left Calgary and headed up the Cowboy Trail for a perfect little side trip.

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Risky Play in Your Own Backyard

Risky Play has been one of those terms parenting experts have been throwing around a lot lately. I think we have all seen the video of the playground in New York where it looks like the kids are playing in a junkyard and no parents are around. The fun that the kids are having is apparent in their faces but we have yet to find a park like that in Alberta and realistically no one wants all that junk in the backyard.

A few weeks ago we posted on Instagram (If you aren’t already following us on Instagram you can do that here) a few videos of Deanne’s kids playing in the backyard with tree stumps and boards. We had so many questions about it that we decided to write a “how to” for you to bring more risky play into your backyard without it looking like a junkyard.

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Simple Ways to Curate Lasting Memories

Simple Ways to Curate Lasting Memories

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.

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