Roasting marshmallows on the campfire, Kootenay Rockies BC | Photo credit: Destination BC / Dave Heath
Family Holidays in Canada
Nothing quite beats a family holiday in Canada. From the spectacular scenery and wildlife to the festivals and cities, this awe-inspiring country has so much to offer families. But as the world's second-largest country, where do you start?
Planning a family holiday in Canada can be a tricky task. Just like Australia, there are great distances between towns and cities and what appears not that far on the map could be a couple of days driving time. Self-drive tours are so much fun, though, and one of the best ways to get up close and personal with Canada's natural wonders.
So, what might you want to include on your family holiday in Canada?
Well, I guess that’s partly going to depend on the age of your family. The spectacular Canadian scenery may annoyingly underwhelm young kids. Still, if you can combine sightseeing with activities and attractions that will interest them, you can make it a holiday to remember. For example, take a ride on the huge all-terrain vehicles out onto the Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia Icefield in the Rockies, or walk the Skywalk glass floor attraction – it’s the perfect way to see some of the incredible scenery in the world while keeping your kids occupied too.
No lack of things to do for all ages
In British Columbia take the kids to the impressive Vancouver Aquarium, or ride the cable car up Grouse Mountain for fantastic views over the city. Go on an adventure, kayaking in pristine waters or take the kids camping by a crystal clear lake in the mountains. Hike, fish, and go mountain biking in the summer, or ski, snowboard, snowshoe and ice fish in the winter. Take a thrilling dog sled ride, or an unforgettable sleigh ride, or grab a tube and go snow tubing – it’s so much fun!
While we think of Canada for its majestic scenery and outdoor activities first, the country has ample culture to offer too. If you’re visiting the cities, be sure to check out their great museums. Ottawa, the capital, is such a family-friendly little city and home to the Canadian Museum of History that takes a look at 20,000 years of human history in Canada. There are exhibits here that will interest children, such as the towering totem poles, but for more fun and family-friendly exhibits head into the Canadian Children’s Museum right in the same building.
Then there are the festivals
From coast-to-coast Canada has many festivals and events to get involved. The biggest party usually takes place on Canada Day, July 1st, when all Canadians celebrate the day their country was born. Every city puts on festivities and they often always culminate with a spectacular fireworks show after dark. Other significant events and festivals include Winterlude in Ottawa, the Celebration of Light in Vancouver, the Calgary Stampede, and the Canadian National Exhibition and Caribbean Carnival, both in Toronto.
Lots to tempt the tastebuds
Families on holiday in Canada can also enjoy the food. Try the tastiest and freshest seafood on the Atlantic Coast and the Pacific Coast, or indulge in a juicy steak or fall-off-the-bone ribs. Try something different, like a Bison burger or elk, and sweet treats like Beaver Tails.
Canada has so much to offer for a family holiday, and this is only touching the surface of what you can see and do on your next visit.