Spring in Alberta can mean snow, or it can mean sun. If you’re looking for a spring break staycation this year, there are activities around the province that can be enjoyed with all the possible spring conditions.
Many of these spring break staycation ideas can also be enjoyed as day trips.
1. Across Alberta
Visit Provincial Parks
Who needs a tropical vacation when you live in a winter paradise? Don’t miss your chance to explore some of Alberta’s parks this Spring break. Whether you plan to enjoy stunning sunsets of Crimson Lake, or re-discover hoodoos of the Badlands, there are plenty of options across Alberta.
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Spring melt creates thunderous waterfalls. Plan a trip to the nearest waterfall and watch frozen waterfalls come alive this Spring.
- 15 Alberta Waterfalls Worth a Weekend Getaway
- 13 Frozen Waterfalls to Visit in and Around Calgary During Winter
- 25 Day Trip Waterfall Hikes from Calgary
Scenic Road Trips
Alberta is one of the perfect provinces for travelling, especially if you are looking for a pretty drive to keep you entertained. Of course, driving through the province invites you to discover and enjoy some spectacular scenery. Here are 15 scenic road trips for your bucket list this spring.
2. The Rocky Mountains
Skiing and Snowboarding (there’s still time!)
Just because there isn’t a lot of snow in Edmonton or Calgary doesn’t mean the mountains don’t have snow! It was a great year for snowfall, in fact, and there are various Rocky Mountain resorts and chalets open for Spring Break.
- Castle Mountain Ski Resort (near Pincher Creek): This Southern Rockies resort is open until April 11th. The resort boasts a large variety of lodging options and has an area open to RV/trailer parking and overnight RV/trailer stays.
- Sunshine Village (Banff): This resort offers accommodations through the sunshine Lodge, where you can now book 3 nights, and receive a 4th night for free.
- Marmot Basin (Jasper): With a recent 10cm of fresh snowfall and warm, late-winter weather, Marmot is ready for spring skiers and snowboarders.
Jasper Sky Tram
This must-try Jasper experience will take you high above the townsite, the green valleys, and bright blue lakes, all of which can be seen at the Tram’s top. The Tram opens March 26th for the season, and if you want access to these magnificent views, they ask that you book online. Experience the best view in Jasper, and rent snowshoes at the Upper Station to explore even further! Don’t forget your mask or your camera (will operate at half-capacity). Make sure to check before you book to see if you qualify for any of their discount rates.
Canmore Cave Tours
You’ve explored the Rocky Mountains on the outside; but have you explored the mountains from the inside? You and your household can take part in day-long cave tour adventures this spring break with Canmore Cave Tours. This unique excursion will take you through long tunnels, serene spaces, and you pick your level of intensity: The Adventure Tour, for example, is 6-hours and takes you through some more extreme terrain. Recommended for 12+.
Explore Banff Gondola summit: a picture-perfect area with extensive boardwalks, mountain-top dining, and a few different package deals to help you save on your staycation. If you’re just looking to ride to the top then you can take advantage of the Alberta locals discount admission; families can also book as a group to save. Or combine your gondola ride with lunch or dinner at Sky Bistro. If on a day-trip to Banff, you can spend an entire day exploring the base and summit, but the town offers many hotels, big and small.
Explore Alberta’s famous caves and canyons through an Ice walk. Go deep into Maligne Canyon, experience the winter wonderland of Banff’s Johnston Canyon, and explore Grotto Canyon in Kananaskis.
- Guided Tours:
Go for glamping at Elk Island Retreat. Located near Elk Island National Park, you have many comfort camping, or “glamping,” options: rent geodomes, yurts, tipis, or tents through Elk Island Retreat and experience what comfort camping is all about. During the day visit Elk Island National Park, you can roam among the bison or enjoy long and short hikes. But you might not even want to leave your camping area while you’re here; you’ll be SO comfy.
Imagine Van Gogh
This immersive exhibition, in celebration of the paintings and life of Van Gogh, will allow you to transport yourself into his Starry Night or onto his Café Terrace; it will allow you to experience the paintings free of “antics” and “add-ons,” while still being completely all-encompassing. The event begins showings on March 27th and tickets are on sale now– just in time for spring break!
The city invites you to get explore downtown Edmonton and has funded several artistic and cultural experiences to put a spark into your downtown experience. View art installations of 13m illuminated humanoids, wâpos, and glowing chickadees!
Planning to wine and dine? Save while you support local businesses on 104th Street, who will have food and drink specials in support of Spark March 27-28. The different Spark events run from now until April 30th, 2021. If you’re looking for a place to stay, then the Crash Hotel makes for a wonderful stay downtown with unique and stylish rooms available at low rates, and the Ice District right next door.
Bed and Breakfast at the River Cree Resort
This is a great staycation option for anyone in the Edmonton, Stoney Plain, Spruce Grove, Devon, or Edson areas! The River Cree is known for its amazing hospitality, and delicious food. So, it is fitting that you include some room service breakfast in your stay with their Bed & Breakfast Package. As the hotel sits atop flat prairie land, you can see for what seems like an endless number of kilometers from almost all the rooms.
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Calgary Zoo’s Easter Eggstravaganza
Between April 2nd and April 5th, you can visit the Calgary Zoo for an Eggstravaganza, including Easter-themed treat stations, a virtual egg hunt, and of course, the animals. The Zoo’s Virtual Easter Egg Hunt is a phone-based scavenger hunt, and the Treat Stations are intended for youngsters under 12 years old. The Calgary Zoo invites you to come and usher in spring with the whole household in these 4 fun-filled days.
Glamping With Kids at Sandman Hotels
If you are in search of a wonderful spring break getaway with kids without leaving Calgary, then book a “Glamping experience” getaway at Sandman Hotels. Glamp inside organic cotton tents, in a room furnished with kids camping chairs, and a starry night projector. You will also receive a camping picnic basket with Pop-Tart S’mores, hot chocolate and camping-inspired snacks.
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5. Central Alberta
Exploring Sylvan Lake
This Alberta favourite for summer beach days is also a beautiful lake to enjoy as the ice melts. If snow levels permit, you can strap on a pair of snowshoes and hike around Sylvan Lake, or walk along the main strip in front of the beach. There is beauty around every corner, and if you stay up late enough (or wake up early enough), you could catch some amazing late winter Aurora. The west-facing beach is also a good place to catch a sunset. Some accommodation options in Sylvan Lake:
Giant Alberta Tour
A large majority of the best of “Big Alberta” lay in central Alberta. What is Big Alberta? All throughout our small towns and cities you can find life-sized and over-sized odes and homages to the area’s history or cultures. As you tour the small towns with the big items, you’ll also have chances to stop at museums, forts and historical sites, and art installations. Each town has something different to offer in terms of local food, so help #supportlocal in Alberta this Spring with a break for snacks or coffee.
- Andrew: Mallard Duck
- Barrhead: Blue Heron (Aaron the Blue Heron)
- Bonnyville: Angus Shaw
- Donalda: Lamp
- Edmonton: Cowboy Boot
- Edmonton: Peace Dove
- Glendon: Pyrogy
- Hanna : Grey Geese (3)
- Hughenden: Brown-Eyed Susan
- Lloydminster: Survey Markers (4)
- Markerville: Cream Can
- Smoky Lake: Pumpkins
- Taber: Corn Stalk
- Vegreville: Pysanka (Ukrainian Easter egg)
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6. Southern Alberta
Camping at Cypress Hills Provincial Park
You can enjoy the beauty of this Park all year, but the spring makes for some exceptional scenery. Cypress Hills has 8 different types of cabin and lodge styles to choose from: some are hidden under tall trees, while others sit lakeside. If there’s still snow on the ground for your spring break staycation, the park is a great place to cross-country ski. But if its on the warmer side and the snow has disappeared, then enjoy the park through a hike.
Relax at a B&B
Southern Alberta and the southern Rockies are home to tons of fabulous B&Bs which all offer something a little different: you can enjoy the Badlands (Drumheller), the foothills (Nanton), mountains (Crows Nest Pass), or prairies (Vulcan), and the B&Bs make for an affordable overnight option. This is a fun way to support local businesses and enjoy spring in Alberta.
- York Creek B&B: Crowsnest Pass
- Del’s B&B: Drumheller
- Chimney Rock B&B: Nanton
- Your Tree House B&B: Vulcan
Waterton Lakes National Park
Visit Waterton Lakes National Park to enjoy the quiet season. During the summer months, it can be crowded here at times, but during the winter months, you will find you have the glorious outdoors practically to yourself. Phenomenal vistas, adventures, animals and experiences await you here. Step away from the busy places and head south to find some peace and quiet amidst the sparkling, snow-covered scenery of Waterton.
7. Northern Alberta
Grande Prarie Staycation
Whether the weather is above or below zero, the Grande Prarie region boasts of some fabulous nature activities. Whether you go birding at Saskatoon Lake Bird Sanctuary, hiking at Saskatoon Island Provincial Park, Wapiti Dunes Trail, or Kleskun Hill Natural Area, there are enough things to do in the area to fill your spring break staycation no matter the weather. In case COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed and the museums open, then visit Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum and other indoor attractions.
Ski and Snowboard While you Can
Northern Alberta received tons of snow late into winter, so the northern ski hills and resorts are excited to welcome you and your family this coming spring break. There are skiing and snowboarding options for a few different parts of Northern Alberta, and even some snowtubing! Due to COVID-19 protocol, all ski hills require you to purchase your lift tickets online in advance. Try these highly recommended and rated northern Alberta hills on your spring break:
- Nitehawk Adventure Park
- Misery Mountain: Peace River
- Whispering Pines: Worsley
- Vista Ridge: Fort McMurray
- Fairview Ski Hill: Fairview
- Little Smoky