Promises of a waterfall, a creek, a canyon, and candy are the things that get my kids hiking. Here are 11 family-friendly waterfall hikes so, Mamas load up your playlist with TLC and start the car.
A short walk from the parking lot along Miette Road.
This popular family hike is a choose your own adventure. From a short hike; viewing the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd bridge. Or for a longer less traveled route park at the sixth bridge and walk the entire canyon in reverse order to the first bridge, a 7 km return hike.
30 km south of the Jasper townsite go early or late to miss the crowds. If you have the time walk down the stairs to the base of the Athabasca River and check out the inukshuks.
55 km south of Jasper check out Upper & Lower Sunwapta Falls. Short on time, the Upper Falls are a short walk from the parking lot. The lower Sunwapta Falls is a 3.2 km return hike.
Keep driving south on the Icefields Highway (93) to hike this 3.2 km return trail. The trail initially runs parallel to the highway before turning left to follow a narrow canyon where you view a series of waterfalls before ending at Stanley Falls. A smaller version of Maligne Canyon, but with no railing so stay safe. Beauty Creek to Stanley Falls parking lot is a small pullout approximately 88 km south of Jasper on the north side of Highway 93. You may have to drive past the pullout until you can safely turn around depending on the direction you are driving.
I wondered if it was worth writing about a year with COVID-19. It has taken over our lives and has dictated our activities. I’ve also thought about how different we are from the start of the pandemic in 2020. The uncertainty and nervousness from March 2020, to now – freezing in Alberta February, 2021. Almost a year later from our initial lockdown and still no parties, sleepovers, no kids sports, no boozy girl nights (we could gather outside but -25 isn’t my jam).
The global pandemic didn’t stop our life, but it was the year we did a LOT less.
Fewer gathering, fewer people, fewer parties, and instead of the big family reunion this summer, we did day trips in Alberta. More family time, more time alone, more time realizing I’m a terrible baker. More gardening, more time in a hammock. More ordering in from restaurants and giving into buying from Amazon.
We got married young. Really young. Like so young that now when I see people that are 21 I can’t believe that I was already married and expecting our first child young. Neither of us brought a lot of stuff coming into the marriage. We both lived on our own for a bit but when you’re a poor student you don’t exactly have the nicest things.
So when we got engaged I was REALLY excited about the registry part. I know I know I should have been thinking about marrying the love of my life blah bah blah. But what I really was excited for was two things:
Up until 2 weeks ago, my work was full time. 730 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, both kids in Daycare. No flexibility, no leaving early, or even really being able to stay home with the kids if they were sick.
PS – this is not a political opinion post.
This was a change after having an incredibly flexible, work from home or partial work from home job since my daughter was 1. I started this full time gig just before she turned 9.
I loved my work.
I loved the customers, I loved my co-workers and I loved the daily challenges. I respected and grew to care for the people I worked with. BUT there was certainly “culture shock”.
The kids being in daycare, coming home spouting opinions and “Well, Dayhome Lady says…” 9 hours of my day not seeing them. By the time I got home and made supper, it was pretty much shower and to bed. There was one time my son was a bystander of a fight on the bus, a kids head hit into his mouth knocking one tooth out, and he was bleeding. I wasn’t there at the stop for him. Dayhome was. It broke my heart.
In our house I am not the fun one. I am the one telling them to get dressed, eat their food, stop farting at the table – The classic broken record of a Mom.
But I am working on it.
Part of this process is talking to my husband about it. I needed him to step in and say no sometimes. After hearing me out about it he has been trying to letting me be the one to say yes. I can tell it is hard for him sometimes but he knows what a difference it makes to me to be able to play “nice guy” every once in a while. He is naturally more easy going than I am for a lot of things and I learn so much watching him with the kids.
So here is my goal:
- More ice cream.
- More fort building in the living room.
- More rough play in the house.
- More nerf battles in their underwear.
- Less room cleaning (unless it gets REALLY gross because there’s only so much I can take).
- More painting and playdoh.
- More stopping everything to sit and really listen. No distractions.
- More playing with food and being silly at dinner time.
There’s more to work on but it’s a work in progress. And I can only handle my couch cushions being on the floor more than on the couch for so long.
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 #cocktailMonday dates with her husband and chasing around her two boys. You can find her at @DeanneFerguson on Instagram and @BoxSocialYEG on Twitter.
I recall, as a child being asked – “What do you want to be when you grow up?“
When you’re small, the sky is the limit. I wanted to be a singer most of all but a paleontologist on the side. As I grew up and realized I wasn’t going to make it as a singer, my second option became a focus. BUT my challenges in school – science and math, not to mention the cost of that kind of education, quickly laid that dream to rest. I grew up in a small town with no career supports and no one encouraging me to be ambitious. Let’s be honest, the first goal was getting to “the big city” and figure it out from there.
I didn’t go to university or college in the end. I had amazing opportunities continuously fall into my lap, worked hard and ended up around people who believed in me. I got incredibly lucky with being able to provide for myself and now my family.
Now at almost 40 I’m asking myself the same question I was asked as a child.
“What do I want to be when I “grow up“
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.
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.
From age 9-16 I was a competitive swimmer for a small summer swim team in Jasper National Park ; the Jasper Red Fins. We were small but mighty and we called ourselves “RED HOT!” WE were very proud. I didn’t actually learn to swim until age 9 but my parents focused on it so much that within months, I had completed all the levels and joined the swim team. Swimming became my life. I wasn’t the fastest swimmer but my technique was good and I loved it! I enjoyed early morning practices and I would even go to the pool to “swim laps” on my own regularly. Our pool had a Kilometer Club and where the goal was to swim 100km in the specified time frame and we got prizes at different milestones. When I say swimming was my life, I’m not exaggerating!
After age 16, I started coaching the swim team. First I was an assistant coach then a year or so later, I was the head coach. The team was mine! I was a “take no crap” kind of coach. I was a 6am practice kind of coach. I was a “no junk food or unhealthy food the week before a competition” kind of coach. Like I said, swimming was my life. I did this until about age 21 when I stopped spending the summers in Jasper.
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.