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In Camping, Explore, Rural Journeys on
August 17, 2019

Campground Review – Black Nugget Lake Campground

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.

The drive is easy and the kids will have fun looking out the window at passing farms. If you are lucky you will see cows, horses, tractors, beautiful canola fields (depending on the season), grain elevators and more. We suggest stopping in Tofield for a milkshake from Burger Baron on your way out if you are going on Highway 14. Their Vanilla Coke milkshakes are worth the stop!

The campsite has a lot of spots but it does fill up on weekends so if you cannot make it out during the week (which we recommend because it is SO quiet and peaceful) call ahead to make reservations. They do not book online but you can call  (780) 663-2421 to check availability.

The campsite was built after the coal mine in the same location closed down. The lake is long and winds around making it perfect for kayaks, bird watching, and there’s a great little hike around the water perfect for kids. They have a boat launch (for non-powered boats only), picnic shelters/cookhouses, and a sewer dump station for your convenience. There are lots of great fishing spots and some you don’t even have to leave your campsite to get to.

The sites are HUGE and can easily fit more than one trailer or book one of their group sites if you are going with friends or family.

The playground is large and works with both younger and older kids. There is also a basketball net, volleyball court and a large field for games and activities so you will not hear “I’m bored” once.

If you are a golfer right next door to the campsite is a new-ish golf course called Coal Creek Golf Resort. The family that owns the golf course has worked hard in the reclamation project of the original mine site into Coal Creek Golf Resort. The original site has stayed in the same family for three generations and even though the mine has shut down the family has brought the area back to life with this course. You can read more about the golf course and their history HERE.

We highly recommend taking kayaks or canoes out if you can. The lake has so many little spots to explore and the kids loved seeing all the wild life. This would be a bird watchers paradise! We also saw muskrats, a couple of snakes, and even though we didn’t see a coyote we heard them at night!

Overall this is a great little spot that isn’t too expensive, is far enough away from the city to be quiet and peaceful, and has large, beautiful campsites for you to enjoy.

Site Rates (not including GST):

  • No Services: $30.00*
  • Power Only: $36.00*
  • Power, Water, and Sewer: $42.00*
  • Best Average: $20.00*

Planning Your Open Farm Days Adventure

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.

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In Edmonton, Explore on
August 13, 2019

KidsFringe – It’s In A New(ish) Spot Making It Easier For Parents!

KidsFringe Photo Credit Marc J Chalifoux

This year KidsFringe is in a new(ish) location. KidsFringe has moved to the grounds of the Old Strathcona Community League, which is great because in addition to all of the outdoor programming indoor theatre shows for young audiences are also hosted inside the hall, so its kind of a one stop shop. Parking is made easier because it is further away from the main Fringe area and the crowds are less making it easier for strollers. We always recommend taking public transit though (have you been on the Edmonton Street Car yet this summer?) especially for bigger festivals like Fringe.

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In Explore, Lifestyle, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
August 8, 2019

Tips for Surviving Long Haul Flights with Kids

Dreaming of taking trips to incredible destinations? Dreaming of taking your children around the world to experience new cultures and take on new adventures? Having nightmares about the long flights? We have all been there!

From when my children were old enough to have a passport (so basically the first few weeks), my husband and I have been taking our children on trips around the world. Our first long haul trip was with our 6 month old daughter to Turkey. Of Course we were terrified. As new parents and never having travelled with children before we couldn’t even anticipate what it might look like. To make it worse, him and I had this image of exhausted parents not having slept for 24 hours pacing back and forth in airplane consoling a screaming baby in our minds. Our first experience wasn’t too far off from that image to be honest. On the way to Turkey, we had crying, no sleep, we had many many outfit changes and throw up. Lots of throwup! Not a great way to kick off a 2 week vacation. BUT we sat down, and we worked out a great plan for the return, taking into account everything we had experienced. It was almost perfect! We got it all worked out and we were now prepared. Fast forward 6 years and 2 kids later, we have taken many long haul flights including Egypt, Singapore, Indonesia, and The Philippines. 

I want to share with you my tips for taking long haul flights so that you can get past the anxiety of flying with children and start enjoying all the amazing places this world has to offer! 

BABY: 

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In Calgary, Edmonton, Events, Explore, Random Thoughts on
July 31, 2019

Life Without Limits Challenge

The Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta (CPAA) is ready to host their 13th Annual Life Without Limits Challenge event this September where people of all ages and abilities come together to celebrate their accomplishments, raise funds, and most of all … have fun!

This yearly event is not your typical walk-a-thon, as the CPAA puts a big focus on making the event fully inclusive and open to the community. 

“Many of the individuals we work with have some form of a disability and live right in your community. This event is giving them a day to have fun with their friends and family. It’s something they look forward to each year. The more participants we have out, the more fun they have.” Says Joanne Dorn of the CPAA. 

Putting the FUN back in fundraising is another focus for the Life Without Limits Challenge. The CPAA has arranged for a variety of carnival games for kids, entertainment, and of course, some very special guests. The FUN doesn’t stop there…we’ve also brought back the Permobil Wheelchair Challenge which helps participants experience the daily challenges a person with physical disabilities faces while promoting teamwork.

The team in Edmonton is thrilled to be working with A Charmed Affair and Northern Alberta Mascot Performers who are bringing along many of their character friends to hang out with participants. A BBQ lunch is included with registration but there will also be food truck treats available to purchase if desired. 

Calgary attendees will have the chance to interact with ponies from Inner Equine Journeys and you never know who else may show up! We hear princesses and superheroes from Princess Parties by Mimi are expected, as well as, a band and DJ. 

Both events will have raffle prizes for all ages and each participant will receive a t-shirt, plus a race bag full of goodies. 

Why not enjoy some family time while raising funds for a great cause? …join now as registrations are filling up quickly!

Visit www.lifewithoutlimits.ca to ensure you get in on the fun! 

Calgary Life Without Limits Challenge 

Saturday, September 14, 2019 

Rotary Challenger Park 

Edmonton Life Without Limits Challenge

Sunday, September 15, 2019 

Family Centre Rundle Park

Photo credit Kelly Jennings Photography

In Calgary on
July 25, 2019

10 Questions with Hailey Hamilton

Each month, we play 10 questions with one of Alberta’s most interesting mamas. This month we get to know newborn photographer Hailey Hamilton. Hailey hails from Calgary, and is the owner and artistic talent behind Hailey Hamilton Photography. As a mom herself, Hailey gets that life with a new baby can be crazy, and strives to be flexible and understanding with her clients in order to make their experience relaxed and enjoyable. Connect with Hailey, and check out her beautiful portraits, by visiting her website or Facebook page.

1. How did your career as a photographer evolve towards a specialization in newborn photography?

At one time, I photographed almost everything. After a bunch of my friends had babies (and I was asked to take photos), I quickly learned how much fun it was to pose them and squish them into adorable curly positions. I found it was much easier to be creative with newborns and to be able to achieve the looks I was envisioning. As a mom myself, I’m also very comfortable working with babies!

2. What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Having the opportunity to snuggle new babies is obviously amazing, but as an artist, the most rewarding thing for me is achieving the final finished portrait and seeing my vision come to life!

3. Which three words best describe your artistic style?

Clean, simple, minimal

4. It’s Sunday morning. How is your family spending the day?

Brunch at our favorite breakfast spot, and then wherever the day takes us!

5. What’s your favourite kid-friendly destination in Calgary?

My son is a teenager so we don’t usually do too many kid activities. But escape rooms and go karts are always a hit.

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In Calgary, Explore on
July 23, 2019

Kangaroos & More At Cobb’s Adventure Park In Calgary, AB

Calgary is one of our favourite places to visit – and even more so now that my sister in law and her family recently moved there. A few weeks ago when we were visiting them we ventured out to Cobb’s Adventure Park.

Cobb's Adventure Park

Kangaroos & More At Cobb’s Adventure Park

One of the major things that Cobb’s Adventure Park is known for is their Kangaroos from older ones to little babies you can get up close to them and even feed them. (Staff walking around will give you food)

Cobb's Adventure Park Cobb's Adventure Park

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Fort Saskatchewan Event – Spark The Energy Credit Union Grand Opening

The first thing I asked myself is – What the heck is Spark The Energy Credit Union?

Here is a snippet from their About Us Page to give you an idea:

“Originally founded in 1953 as a credit union for employees of Shell Canada.
As the energy industry evolved, so did the credit union. On June 13, 2018, the membership approved to change the name from Shell Employees’ Credit Union to SPARK The Energy Credit Union to signal our opening to the people of the energy industry at large – no matter if you’re an employee, contractor, or consultant.”

They’re not just like any other financial institution – they’re for Albertans, by Albertans and they have the financial products, advice, service, and understanding to help you and your family thrive financially. 

And they’re opening a Credit Union branch in Fort Saskatchewan to do just that! 

The Grand Opening provides you with an opportunity to check it out AND have a little family fun!

DETAILS

When: July 26, 2019; from 10 to 2 pm

What:

  • Special SPARK gift bags for first 50 attendees 
  • Door prizes
  • FREE treats from the Tiny Tim’s mini-donut food trucks
  • Face painting & balloon animals 
  • Mix 107.9 will be live on location 
  • Grand Opening Giveaway of a Family 2019 Seasonal Membership to Jurassic Forest  

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10 Hotels With Awesome Pools Across Alberta That Kids Will Love

Hotels With Awesome Pools Across Alberta That Kids Will Love

Hands up if you base your hotel booking on how awesome the pools are? With 3 kids it’s definitely one of the top must-haves on our list. Whether you’re still looking for a getaway during the summer or something further down the road here is a list of hotels with awesome pools across Alberta!

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