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Winter activities

Getting Tubular at Rabbit Hill Ski Resort

Ready to take your kiddos for a spin?

Mama Chris and her two kiddos, 10 & 11 headed out to Rabbit Hill this weekend to take advantage of the beautiful weather with some tubing. We’ve always wanted to go but hadn’t had the chance, so this was the perfect day for it!

With three choices of slide, even though it was busy we weren’t waiting long to go, and the burlap at the bottom made it so you slow down safely!

The handy magic carpet helping you get to the top, once you have spun (or not haha) down is great. The kids think their dad should put one in our back yard now lol!

It was an amazing way to get out of the house, and really out of the city. We got to spend some time having fun, in a covid-friendly way.

It was indeed, TUBULAR 😉

Chris is a Mom of 2, a 10 & 11 year old, she works as a admin for a local bakery. She loves cider, hanging out with good people and writing about her feelings. She currently resides in our Capital City, however she grew up on an Alberta farm.


*Our visit to Rabbit Hill was complimentary. As always all opinions are our own.

5 Winter Activities to Get Kids Outside

It’s winter in Alberta, which means peak season for staying indoors watching movies, reading books, and cooking delicious recipes. But getting outside is still important, even in the middle of winter. After all, who doesn’t feel better after some fresh air and sunshine? This roundup of five winter activities for kids will give you some inspiration to get your family outside!

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Safely Enjoy Your Favourite Winter Activities

Living in North Edmonton for the majority of my life, the biggest stormwater facility that I knew of was Beaumaris Lake. I grew up walking around the paths, lived in the townhouses across the street from it, and genuinely love it.

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Beginner Family Skiing Tips + Giveaway to Rabbit Hill Snow Resort!

Beginner Skiing at Rabbit Hill Snow Resort

I have flirted with skiing my entire life. I love the idea of it, but to be honest I found it kind of overwhelming. There’s the gear that I don’t really understand, the risk of hurting myself, the potential embarrassment of hurting myself or looking a fool and don’t even get me started on my fears of me or kids falling off the chair lift! BUT I see families skiing together and I love it! The chance for exercise outside all day, the scenery, the family connectedness, confidence building and often challenging nature of the sport are all reasons that I want my family to ski together. Plus, my husband grew up in a small mountain town and has been on skis since he was 3. Its in his blood and something I would love for my son and I to share with him.

Go Ski Alberta approached us and asked if we would be interested in doing a beginner ski day a few weeks ago. I jumped at the chance because as a family we had made a goal that we would ski more this winter (yet had only been once so far) and I love the idea of sharing the experience of skiing with others who also might be apprehensive about it.

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Winter Play – Getting the Kids To Play Outside

Whether we like it or not, winter is here for a few more months. Getting the kids to go outside and play seems like way more work in winter especially when they are little. We’ve come up with some tips and tricks to help you get outside and take advantage of the snowy weather. Who knows… Winter may even become your favourite season!

  • Dress for the weather – this means lots of layers especially for little ones. It can also mean spending some extra money on things like really good socks (wool based ones are great for warmth and moisture), boots, and mitts. Yes even for yourself! If you are cold you will not want to be outside. We live in a place where it is winter for half the year – invest in some good winter boots. It is a game changer!
  • Sign up for winter activities if your budget allows – If you have put money down on a class, chances are you will show up no matter the weather. Ski lessons, snowshoeing, winter hike tours, and skating are all things you can do as a family.
  • Enjoy the darkness – With winter comes shorter days but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. If you live in the city go for a drive to the country and go star gazing. Elk Island National Park, Kananaskis, or really any country road are all great options for star sighting. Don’t want to leave your backyard? Give the kids flashlights and glow sticks to take outside. You’ll have to drag them back in.
  • Bring treats – Summer adventures mean ice cream and picnics but you can reward yourself for getting outside in winter too! Get a fancy hot chocolate and go for a walk or instead of finding ice cream, find a new bakery to check out.
  • Book a mountain trip – Jasper in January can bring some great hotel deals and if you have a flexible work schedule try booking Jasper or Banff midweek to save some money. Winter doesn’t seem so bad when you are surrounded by Rocky Mountain beauty.
  • Make a playdate – Tell the other parent they will be outside so they are dressed appropriately and let the kids build a fort, have a snowball fight, or build a snowman. Playing is more fun with a friend.
  • Plan a family toboggan date – Get friends and family together to go tobogganing. Everyone brings their sleds and a thermos of hot drinks and you’re ready. If tobogganing isn’t your thing, find an outdoor rink and have a skating party!
  • Use summer toys in winter – Keep the sand toys out to let them build snow-castles and dig with shovels. Bring out bubbles and watch them freeze. Use hula hoops for a winter obstacle course. Just because they are toys marketed to summer activities doesn’t mean they can’t use them year round.

Winter is not going anywhere so you may as well join in. If the kids see you out having fun, they’ll follow suit. And soon enough they will stay outside longer than the time it takes to bundle everyone up. Hopefully.


When your province is a winter wonderland (let’s go with that) 6 months a year there’s plenty of opportunities to enjoy winter festivals! Festivals around the province have a component for families too, but often make a great opportunity for date night! Here are our top picks for winter festivals with your family in 2019

Awesome Alberta Winter Festivals and Activities 2019

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$29.95 SnowPass For Kids In Grade 4 & 5 To Ski & Snowboard Across Canada 


If you have kids in Grade 4 & 5 that love to ski & snowboard, the SnowPass is definitely something that you’re going to want to invest in.

How The SnowPass Works

For just $29.95 the SnowPass gives you access to 0ver 150 ski areas across Canada. In Alberta, there are over 15 ski areas which include Lake Louise Ski Resort, Sunshine Village, Nakiska, and Mount Norquay.

The SnowPass gives kids 3x admission per location, and signing up is easy. You can sign up either online or through a printed application and you only need to apply one time, meaning that if your child is in grade 4 at the time of applying it is good for 2 seasons. Proof of age is required which can be a report card, birth certificate etc.

For the 2018/2019 there are new rules regarding an adult being present. Some ski areas require an adult to be onsite, and some require a paying adult. Check the full list of ski areas across Canada here. 

Buy Now 

To read the full list of rules & regulations check out the Ski Canada website 



5 Reasons for Families to Love Marmot Basin Ski Resort

Marmot Basin offers family skiing in Jasper

Tanya here and I’m back to tell you about another great ski resort, this time in Northern Alberta! We like Marmot Basin so much, we’re willing to drive the 400 km from Calgary for a weekend if it means we can spend a couple of days skiing and playing in beautiful Jasper National Park.

Family skiing at Marmot Basin in Jasper

There are many reasons for families to love Marmot Basin Resort in Jasper, but I’ll tell you about my top 5 favourites: 

  • One. The whole family can ski together on the entire mountain

The whole family can ski together on the entire mountain as long as you have confident advanced-beginner or intermediate skiers. Most chairlifts on the hill allow skiers to access green, blue, or black runs, with options for groomed or natural runs, bumps, glades, and even terrain parks (of which there are three on the hill).

The only chairlift that doesn’t give access to a green beginner run is the Knob Chair, Marmot’s highest lift, but there is an easy blue traverse off the top (that would be considered green at most other resorts). Wait until the Knob Traverse has been groomed, and most advanced-beginners should do fine.

I love that beginners aren’t stuck skiing on the lower mountain while the rest of the family leaves them behind, and I like that there is something for all abilities and preferences of skiing off each chairlift. For my family, it means we can all ride up together and then split up to ski something fun or comfortable for each of us, always meeting at the bottom to ride up together again (while we swap stories of our chosen runs).

  • Two. Marmot is fabulous for beginner skiers

 Marmot Basin has a true beginner chair, the School House Chair, with two easy green runs off it, access to the main lodge at the bottom, and conveniently located beside the parking lots for ski in/out access.  There is also a tiny beginner area (serviced by a magic carpet) perfect for toddlers or the complete first timer.

Beyond that, beginners will love everything off the Eagle Express Quad. With runs like Bunny Hop, Old Road, and Sleepy Hollow, you’ll know you’re not in for anything too scary. These are some of the best green runs I’ve seen at a resort and gave me confidence when I was learning to ski as a kid.

After mastering the runs off the Eagle Express Quad, advanced-beginners will have the confidence to ski green runs across the entire resort with access to the mid-mountain lodge.

  • Three. There are so many opportunities to “play” at Marmot Basin

My son loves terrain parks, and so he was in heaven at Marmot with three parks spread around the hill. And you can hit all three in one descent from the top of the Canadian Rockies Express Quad.

My son also enjoyed playing in the trees off the “Old Road” beginner run. Narrow twisty runs resembling a luge track make their way through the trees alongside this run, and parents can just stick to the road (waiting for the kids to pop out on the next switchback lower down).

Marmot is an amazing hill for intermediate skiers wanting to take it up a notch with easy bump runs on low angled slopes. There are also several wide-open bowls off the Knob Chair that are fun to play in on a powder day (and they have easy escape routes back onto the groomed traverse if the kids get scared at any point).

And if groomed terrain is more your speed, there is no shortage of groomed blue and black runs for intermediate/advanced skiers looking to carve some swoopy turns. My personal favourite was Highway 16.

  • Four. There are unlimited ways to challenge every member of the family

 Once you get beyond the green runs, the groomers, and the easy traverse off the Knob, you’re going to want something more challenging – and Marmot definitely delivers here!

I’ve already mentioned the open bowls off the Knob (a dream on a powder day,) the terrain parks, and the variety of runs for skiers of all abilities. Other highlights for advanced skiers include the double black runs off Eagle East (this was my husband’s favourite area on the hill) and the brand new “Tres Hombres” area off the Paradise Quad Chair – full of steep double black chutes.

My boys also discovered that you can climb up above the higher chairlifts to ski down fresh untracked powder (in avalanche-controlled terrain that is still technically “in bounds.”) They carried their skis up the “Peak Run” off the top of the Knob Chair and then skied down into the bowl below. And that’s just one of the many runs that you can “bootpack” your way up if you’re willing to earn your fresh turns. 

  • Five. Marmot Basin is an easy hill to navigate

Step One: Arrive before 8:45am and make your way to one of the upper ski in/ski out parking lots off the School House Chair. There’s no need to use the bottom drop off zone. (It just gets congested and is way too busy.)

Step Two: Carry a small backpack to the mid mountain lodge, hang it on a hook, and make that your home base for the day. Avoid the main base area (which gets very crowded.)

Step Three: Have fun and enjoy this easy to navigate hill where you shouldn’t ever have to worry about getting lost. There’s no “back side,” and you don’t have to worry about kids accidentally ending up at the wrong chairlift or in the wrong bowl. Set an emergency meeting spot for the bottom of the hill (or even the mid mountain lodge) and you’ll always find your way there if you ski down.

We found it very easy to navigate our way around this resort and knew the runs quite well by noon on the first day. No matter how we chose to get down off the top of the mountain, we always ended up at the mid-mountain lodge. And if we went further, we always ended up on Bunny Hop or Old Road. There was comfort in seeing the same runs at the end of each descent and I knew my son would find his way down if we ever got separated.

Marmot Basin offers family skiing in Jasper

Tanya blogs about her outdoor adventures on her website Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies. We are so happy to have her as our regular ski contributor this winter!  To read the previous ski stories she has written for Alberta Mamas, check out the links below:

5 Reasons for Families to Love Nakiska Ski Area in Kananaskis

5 Reasons for Families to Love Lake Louise Ski Resort

5 Reasons for Families to Love Fernie Alpine Resort

5 Reasons for Families to Love Panorama Mountain Resort




5 Reasons for Families to Love Lake Louise Ski Resort!

5 reasons to ski lake louise

It’s Tanya here of Rockies Family Adventures, and I’m continuing with my plan to review and write about ski resorts across Alberta and BC, and to share another one of my family’s favourites with you.

Hopefully you had a chance to read my first story: 5 Reasons for Families to Love the Nakiska Ski Area in Kananaskis. In my previous story, I recommended finding a home hill, and “skiing close.” Well, in today’s story, we’re moving on to road trips, and “skiing BIG.”

The Lake Louise Ski Resort has been chosen as “Canada’s Best Ski Resort” for the fourth time in the World Ski Awards. It also ranks in the top three for “World’s Best Ski Resorts.”

If you haven’t skied here as a family yet, read below for five reasons my family fell in love with Lake Louise last year!

5 Reasons to ski at Lake Louise

One: Lake Louise is surprisingly great for beginner skiers

I was pleasantly surprised by how many beautiful, groomed novice runs Lake Louise has. Complete beginners can start in the Sunny Side Learning Area, serviced by three progressive magic carpet runs. This is also the location of the Sunny Side Tube Park when the kids get tired of skiing (discounts available with a lift ticket.)

From Sunny Side, beginners can progress to Wiwaxy (#9,) or Pine Cone Way (#10,) from the Glacier Express chairlift. These gentle green runs offer the perfect intermediate step between skiing in the learning area, and moving on to the Grizzly Express Gondola.

Other beginner runs that we loved at Lake Louise:

Eagle Meadows (#55) or Deer Run (#56) from the top of the Grizzly Express Gondola, linking up with Wiwaxy or Pine Cone Way lower down.
Pika (#65) from the top of the Grizzly Express down to Temple Lodge on the back side. This was my son’s favourite run on the entire hill because of the bumps and fun features along the sides of the run.

With a green run off every chairlift, you can now move on to any other lift (summit platter aside) knowing that there will be something easy for the kids, and that you won’t accidentally end up in an “experts only zone.

Two: The whole family can ski together

At most ski hills, the beginner terrain tends to be accessed from one or two chairlifts (always at the bottom of the mountain,) with the intermediate and advanced terrain accessible from the upper chairlifts (where there is often nothing for a novice skier).

Lake Louise is a rare exception where there are green runs accessible from every chairlift on the mountain. You’ll also find at least one black run off every chairlift. This works very well for my family because we can all ride up together, divide up by terrain we can ski, and then meet at the bottom again after our individual runs. Often, I’ll choose to ski the green or blue run with my son while my husband seeks out a more advanced run, or my boys will leave me behind on the groomed terrain while they seek out something harder. Either way, we always meet up at the lift line to ride up together again (and have stories to share during our ride.)

Three: Plenty of options for rest, food, and mountain breaks

I really don’t like crowded day lodges, so it’s always a relief for me when I look at a ski map, and see that there are multiple options for eating, resting, and taking a break on the mountain.

At Louise, you have the Whiskey Jack Lodge and the Lodge of the Ten Peaks at the main base area, both with cafeterias or areas from which to eat your own packed lunch. Alternately, you can soak up some afternoon sun on the deck of the Kokanee Kabin with a cold beer and a burger. (And in spring, there’s often live entertainment here on weekends).

Higher up the mountain, you can stop in at the Whitehorn Bistro, half way down from the Glacier Express Gondola, or you can use Temple Lodge on the backside of the mountain as your day lodge. (If doing so, just bring a day pack up with you and leave it in the lodge for lunch time. Bring it back down with you though after lunch because this lodge closes earlier than the ones on the front side).

Four: Ease of arrival and parking 

This will always be a big one for me. I don’t want parking to be a hassle, and I don’t want to have to show up an hour early just to get in to the parking lot! Fortunately, at Lake Louise, the parking lot is very big, and it’s not too hard to get a spot if you show up 20-30 minutes before lifts open.

Our parking/drop off strategy for Louise was to first pull into the loading zone in front of the Whiskey Jack Lodge. Here we unloaded our skis, our day packs, one parent (myself,) and my son. My husband then drove off to find parking. Meanwhile, my son and I carried our skis around to the front of the building, and moved our day packs inside the lodge. Inside we discovered an amazing system where you can leave your bags on a series of shelves (assuming you don’t leave valuables in them) without having to get a locker. And because of the shelves, nobody was stashing bags and shoes under tables, on the floor, or in every corner of the room!

I love organization, and I was in Heaven at Lake Louise.

Five: Spend a weekend and enjoy a variety of fun winter activities

Book a private room at the Lake Louise Hostel and Alpine Centre where you can save money by doing your own cooking in the communal kitchen. This hostel is very comfortable and has a large fireside lounge on the upper floor with a pool table and plenty of space for a family games night.

While staying in the Village, you can enjoy a wide variety of activities from cross country skiing and snowshoeing (the hostel has trails right outside the door,) to ice skating on Lake Louise, sleigh rides around the lake, or even dog sledding.

And if you tire of downhill skiing at the ski resort (or just want to add some variety to your weekend,) you can also sign up for a guided snowshoe tour or enjoy some tubing at the Sunny Side Tube Park.

Whether you visit Lake Louise for a day trip from Calgary, or you spend the weekend in the Village, it’s a great family-friendly destination, and a spectacular place to hit the slopes as a family this winter.


Tanya is an active Calgary-based mom and an outdoor family travel blogger over at Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies.