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Southern Alberta

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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Corn Mazes of Alberta

I don’t when Corn Mazes became a thing but we are so glad they did! It seems like over the past couple of years Corn Mazes have been popping up everywhere. You can’t go through the Fall season without visiting one with the kids so we’ve compiled a list of our favourite ones across the province!

Corn Mazes of Alberta:

Calgary Corn Maze

With over over 13 acres of corn mazes, barnyard animals at the petting zoo, mini golf,  ropes course,  ziplines,  jumping pillows, a train, paintball shooting gallery, barnyard ball toss, pig races, and pumpkins; this Corn Maze will definitely entertain the whole family all day.

Cost: Adults (ages 18 to 64): $15.95+gst Youth (ages 3 to 17): $14.95+gst Seniors (ages 65+): $14.95+gst


Edmonton Corn Maze

What started as just a maze has turned into one of the most popular things for families in the Edmonton area to do. They’ve added jumping pillows, farm animals, pedal cars, potato cannons, tractor rides, a sunflower hide and seek area, and new this year a marketplace with local products such as honey, soaps, drinks and snacks.

Cost: General Admission: $12+gst Youth (ages5-11): $9+gst


Kraay Family Farm – Lacombe Corn Maze

This year is honouring the Canadian Finals Rodeo with it’s CFR inspired maze. “In honour of the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) inaugural appearance in Red Deer, the Kraay Family Farm is excited to announce that the 2018 corn maze design is CFR inspired. The maze covers over 15 acres and incorporates the Canadian Finals Rodeo logo featuring the fantastic saddle bronc, traditionally considered to be the “classic event” of the rodeo. In addition to the maze, the farm will incorporate the rodeo theme into the farm attractions and special events this year.” You will definitely need all day to get through all the activities at this Lacombe Corn Maze!

Cost: Adventure Pass (day pass plus enough tokens to try every activity once) $19.05+gst Individual Day Pass (ages 3-64) 14.29+gst Seniors 13.33+gst


Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farm – Bon Accord

This is one of the only mazes in the province with a mini maze (perfect for younger kids!) along with a regular 7 acre Mindbender Corn Maze. Just a short drive outside of Edmonton, Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farm has straw bale mazes, farm animals, tractor & wagon rides, pumpkin cannon, gem mine, a garden center and more!

Cost: Toddler (0-2 years old): FREE, Youth: $$13.34+gst, Adult: $17.00+gst, Family 4-pack (2 adults & 2 children): $55.00+gst, Family 5-pack (2 adults & 3 children): $65.00+gst, Family 5-pack extra child: $13.00+gst,  FESTIVAL UPGRADE TO THE ADVENTURE PASS: Get the Adventure Pass. $23.81+gst per person. Includes the Day Pass plus wrist band to enjoy all Token Activities once.


Brooks Corn Maze

The Brooks Corn Maze is open only on weekends to the end of October.  Besides a maze they also have a magnetic fish pond, The Human Hamster, Pasture Putt Golf, The Corny Sandbox, lambs, bunnies and goats. You can also pick up a pumpkin or two while you are there!

Cost:  Adults (ages 13+) $10, Children (ages 5 to 12) $6, preschoolers are free.  There is a family pass for 2 adults and up to 3 children (ages 5 to 12) $30


Cobb’s Adventure Park

Besides having a Corn Maze, Cobb’s Adventure Park has a kangaroo petting zoo! They also have a climbing wall, bouncy houses, pedal carts, tractor ride, giant slides, archery tag, zorbz, ropes course, and a black light minigolf course. Note that the cornfield of terror and other haunted attractions are only open in October.

Cost: General Admission $14 all ages. Does not include premium activities. Please visit their website here for a full description of pricing.


Lethbridge Corn Maze

Not only do they have a corn maze, there is also a puzzle maze, a hedge maze, hayrides, a pumpkin slingshot, pumpkins, a 40 foot slide, cow train and a petting zoo! There are additional costs for activities so please check out their website for a full list of prices. 

Cost:  Adults $10.00, Seniors $9.00, Youths (6-17) $9.00, Children (3-5) $3.00 (incl feed, no further discounts), Children under 3 Free


Did we miss any? Have you been to any of these mazes? We always love hearing from our readers!

Box Social Event Planning











Deanne Ferguson is the owner of Box Social Event Planning. When she is not planning fun, family, friendly events she is finding the yummiest food for the Edmonton Home and Garden Show Food Stage. She loves her #cocktailsMonday dates with her husband and chasing around her two boys. You can find her at @DeanneFerguson on Instagram and @BoxSocialYEG on Twitter

Ultimate List of Alberta Roadside Attractions

There is almost nothing better than a road trip, with the exception of going on a road trip and making a pit stop to see that world’s largest honeybee or a real-life UFO landing pad.

In honour of all things weird, here’s our ultimate list of all things roadside in Alberta.

 Andrew, Alberta

What to see: World’s Largest Mallard

Where to see it: Just off HWY 855 on 50th Avenue

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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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In Explore, Southern Alberta on
August 2, 2018

Day Trip to Drumheller

By Kathryn Wright

I found myself alone with 4 kids aged 1, 4, 7, 11 for two full days last week and wanted to find an activity that was age appropriate and interesting for all of them. I decided that a day trip to Drumheller and the Royal Tyrrell Museum would be a great way to spend one of our days together. 

Our day started at 9 am. I loaded up my new-to-me minivan with lots of snacks, a picnic lunch, DVDs, water bottles, swim suits and towels, sun hats, sunscreen, bug spray, diapers, wipes (I triple checked that I had them!) and of course keys, phone and wallet. 

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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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The Alberta Wilderness Association Caribou Flag Project

We’re the Alberta Wilderness Association (AWA) and we’d like to say “thanks!” Specifically, thanks to Alberta Mamas and Bella Maas for making us a part of their July fundraising collaboration.

AWA is one of Alberta’s oldest conservation organizations, founded in 1965 around a kitchen table in Pincher Creek. Since then our goal has been to raise awareness and inspire people to care about the protection of Alberta’s wildlife and wild spaces. In addition to our day-to-day conservation efforts we host talks, offer hikes, and hold fundraising events like the Climb for Wilderness and Wild West Saloon.

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