Do you feel like it’s the same old thing every year? Quickly after the beauty of fall fades, the next season creeps in. A season that makes even some of the world’s most resilient animals say… yeah, no, gonna sleep through this one.
I’m talking about winter.
Winter makes us feel the need to bury ourselves under every blanket in the house, turn on the fireplace, and debate whether letting our kids watch TV for the next 5 months straight is reasonable. Anyone with me? I haven’t always been the biggest fan of winter and my fiance is even less impressed with this particular season.
Unfortunately (but also, fortunately), our 5-year-old child tends to set the stage for our daily activities, so… OUTSIDE WE GO! He has truly helped warm my relationship with winter. Greatly. I’ve come to actually love it! So I’m going to spend the next little while trying to convince you, while winter isn’t the easiest season to tolerate, it can be one of the most fun! Believe me?
First, let’s quickly touch on safety. Safety in the outdoors is always important, but I would say it’s the most critical in the winter with all the ice, snow, and darkness (I know… I’m selling it. Please keep reading!). I’ll keep it short. I strongly suggest you check the forecast and overpack with many layers and backups if you’re heading out. If your kiddo is typically unimpressed with the cold weather, bringing hand and foot warmers can help keep them toasty and you happy!
Winter Fun in the Backyard
Camp Yowochas has been running year-round programs since 1981, and summer camp programs since 1916. But this year, they’re offering something completely new! A way for your kids to get their regular schooling done, but ALSO enjoy the benefits of the outdoors.
In 2019, Camp Yowochas hosted over 8,300 visitors, including summer campers, schools, user groups and employ up to 60 staff members during the high season. Located in Fallis, AB, this year, they are offering Yowochas Learning Academy!
The Yowochas Learning Academy is designed for students who have chosen a distance or virtual learning option with their school division. The Camp Yowochas team will work with the parents of the students to understand and schedule their day to ensure they are meeting all curriculum needs.VLDC is for students who are 5-15 and enrolled in kindergarten to grade 9.
“In a typical year at Camp Yowochas, our staff are busy providing programs for more than 8,000 guests throughout the year. The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything this year, and we worked hard to figure out safe, responsible and meaningful ways to continue to run programs at Camp Yowochas. Through our summer Family Fun Days, Cabins at Yowochas and the Yowochas Learning Academy, we continue to support our community by offering programs that meet their needs in these uncertain times.”
– Terry Kony, Director, Camp Yowochas
Designed With Parents In Mind
As the Alberta Mamas, obviously, we are parents ourselves and we know that we’ve all had to make changes AND choices that have not been easy. Camp Yowochas wants to provide parents with the opportunity to return to work with the peace of mind of knowing their children are safe and progressing in their learning and development.
If you’ve ever driven on the Yellowhead Highway around Wildwood and Entwistle, you’ve no doubt noticed a massive lake along the highway. During a recent road trip we actually saw a sailboat on this lake and I was intrigued so, decided to take the kiddies on a road trip to Chip Lake.
There are smaller tenting sites, larger open sites and then also group sites for camping, though there is no power. At $25/night it’s super affordable!
One of the things we wanted to do more this summer was to explore different hiking trails. Our kids are getting a bit older (7&11) so going on adventure walks by the campsite isn’t cutting it anymore.
We were in Kananaskis and one of the very helpful park staff members suggested Elbow Lake. If you’re ever in Kananaskis we highly recommend you stop by the information center. It has a pretty good little (FREE) museum and the staff there are fantastic at suggesting things that suit your family.
Far from the touristy mountain spots and cramped campgrounds you typically find near urban areas; Black Nugget Campground is a hidden gem that is perfect for families. Located just over an hour outside Edmonton this campsite has everything you need for a quiet weekend getaway.
One of our favourite events of the year and, one of the very few that happens across the province is back for its 7th year. Open Farm Days is back with a recond number of farms participating in 2019 and they have their own beer which means there’s a greater chance of a being able to visit many farms near you, AND, the variety of farms is greater.
We just came home from a little trip to Red Lodge Provincial Park and I am so happy I found this place! Here’s why:
How did I not know this little piece of camping paradise existed right in our own backyard?
The Mamas were very lucky recently. Arrkann RV set us up with some sweet trailers for Glamping right in Edmonton. You can read all about our take on the trailers here – but I digress.
Rainbow Valley Campground boasts 39 15 amp powered sites + 29 natural sites;
And a massive green space WITH a playground.
The Alberta Mamas are always up for an adventure, so when Arrkann Trailer & RV asked if we would be interested in taking some of their trailers camping for the weekend we immediately jumped on the opportunity! Out of the 5 of us, 3 of us camp on the regular, 1 loves to camp when she can and the other is not into camping at all (or so she thought). The trip was an opportunity for us to connect face to face because even though we live in the same city it can be a challenge to get us all together in the same room for a meeting sometimes.
We arrived at the campsite on a Friday to meet the folks from Arrkann Trailer & RV who gave us a rundown of the trailers and their basic features. Immediately we were taken with the automation and ease of use with both models. For the record, we camped in serious luxury. Both trailers (Passport Ultra-Lite 2920 BH and Sprinter 26 RB Campfire Edition) were about 28 feet long with slide outs, full bathrooms with showers, air conditioning, couches, automated awnings and levelling systems as well as sound systems! This was no “roughing it” type of trip, and that suited us just fine.
This levelling system on the Sprinter made set up SO easy. One push of the button on Auto Level and the trailer did the work in under 5 minutes.