Start with Breakfast at the Summit Cafe
Delicious, fresh food and unique flavors of sausage with the breakfast special are two of the reasons you’re going to want to start your day at the Summit Cafe. The line up can be a bit long sometimes, but the food is worth it. It’s a kid friendly space, with enough space for everyone to sit inside, or you can head out to the patio and let the kids run around the grass until the food arrives. The table markers range from popular kids plastic toys, to a large ceramic ‘Belle’ from Beauty and the beast and kids menu items are under $6. See my full review, here.
Hike at Grassi Lakes
Take the difficult route and you’ll be rewarded with a scenic waterfall at the top. We had the best of intentions to do this hike, but the first time left us without sweaters so the kids climbed on the rocks for a while, and the second time Violet was not having it. We are going to head back to the mountains with a babysitter the next time around and hike up with Olivia. Part way up the trail, you will have the decision to take the ‘easy route’ or the ‘harder route’ and I’ve heard the harder route is really worth it (and not that hard) but the easier route is a better option for parents that want to take along a rugged stroller.
Bring up a lunch and have a picnic, on a sunny afternoon and you’ll be sure to get a nap time out of the kids when the hike is over. Get all of the details and directions.
If you’ve got kids that aren’t up for a hike, try heading out past the dog park in town to Quarry Lake. The easy to get to beach is perfect for younger children that want to dip their toes in the water, find rocks, climb on the small bed of rocks or head in for a dip and a picnic on the warmer days of summer. If you’re heading out of the city this summer, it’s worth the drive and could be a fantastic day trip for a wonderful mountain view beach.
There are trails to explore, dogs to meet and a lake to explore. Plus, it’s an easy trip for young kids. I was happy to get the tip after the hike we planned didn’t work out for those small legs.
Bike the Bow Valley Trail
Didn’t bring your bikes? No problem! You can rent bikes for the day (and bike trailers $15/day) from Gear Up in Canmore. It’s an easy way to save time packing and especially great if you don’t have the room to carry along the bike trailer in your vehicle from home. Junior and adult bikes are available, and you can use this map to create your route from the 70km of trails around the area.
The easy to ride trails, and rentals (if you didn’t bring your own bikes) are a great way to get out and about, exploring. You can take your time, so it’s even a great adventure for younger children that are just getting started on two wheels.
Get Ice Cream from a Bus
Want a sweet treat on a hot day? Head to 621 Main Street and get ice cream from a traditional school bus, the kids were enamoured with the fact that the ice cream was coming from the bus, but it’s cash only so don’t forget to hit up the ATM before you go. At $2, it’s a great way to grab a treat after dinner that’s not going to break the bank.
Get a $5 Bag of Bagels
Grabbing bagels on the way home for easy and delicious breakfasts is simple when you stop by Rocky Mountain Bagel Co. and grab a bag of a dozen of yesterday’s bagels (still fresh!) for five bucks. Or, pick them up on your way in for the weekend if you’re staying somewhere with easy kitchen access, like Silver Creek Lodge, and make breakfast simple (and inexpensive) while you’re enjoying a weekend away.
Go Out to Eat
Around here, taking the kids to a restaurant usually ends up questioning why we just didn’t grab take out. You can skip those feelings of dread at places like the Georgetown Inn, where the kids can swing, play and run around on the small play structure and green space while you’re waiting for the food and while you’re enjoying delicious fish and chips. If they don’t eat? Well, you can always take it with you when you go back to the hotel for later.
Go Stand Up Paddling
Great for older kids, or you can find a local babysitter and head out for a quick day date and try some stand up paddling lessons. At $100 for two for lessons, or rentals from $25/day, it’s a simple and easy way to get out and get active. If you’re not up for lessons, you can rent stand up paddleboards from Bow Valley Stand up Paddleboards and got a quick lesson before heading out for a few hours ($25 for a half day rental). Plus, there are easy to use inflatable boards in case you don’t have a roof rack or enough room in your vehicle.
To keep those energy levels up, I made these toasted coconut energy bars and pecan pie energy bars before we left, stashing them away in the cooler with the rest of the snacks to keep us fuelled for adventure throughout the weekend.
There you have it, a fun filled weekend adventure in the mountains that includes getting outside, biking, hiking and even spending time on the water. To cut the costs of those weekends away, we make sure we stay in places that come equipped with kitchens to reduce the money we’re spending on snacks, meals and drinks. One and two bedroom suites at Silver Creek Lodge are a great way to get access to family-friendly accommodations – and experience everything Canmore has to offer.