Thursday, November 23, 2017

Celebrating a Mountain Top Christmas in Banff

Last weekend we headed out to Banff for the annual Santa Claus Parade, and we visited the Banff Gondola for the first weekend of their "Mountain Top Christmas" event. We had a lot of fun and so I wanted to write about some of our highlights from our early Christmas weekend in Banff.

Celebrating a Mountain Top Christmas in Banff


Admission and Basic Details for the Mountain Top Christmas Event


The Mountain Top Christmas event runs on weekends from Saturday November 18th, 2017 - Sunday January 7th, 2018.

Admission to the Banff Gondola is $56 per adult if you book in advance ($62 regular rate.) However, as I know this is expensive, know that kids are currently free if you visit before noon. (So that helps a LOT.)

Kids ages 6-15 ride the gondola for free before noon each day. (And kids under 6 are free all day.)

Want to save even more money? You can always hike up the Sulphur Mountain Trail, and ride the gondola down, which is free to ride down in the winter months. Know that it is a pretty big hike though for kids, with 700 metres of height gain. It takes about two hours to hike up at a moderate adult pace (longer with young children) and you'll want ice cleats or spikes.

NOTE that you should always check the current trail report for the Sulphur Mountain Trail to ensure that it's recommended for hiking. Sometimes it can be closed when avalanche risk is high. (as is currently is.)

Scenery as you hike up the Sulphur Mountain Trail

Don't want to hike up with the kids, but still want to save some money? Send one adult up ahead (on foot) while the other parent rides up with the kids. My husband would absolutely do this to save $56. And you could always spend time at the hot springs with the kids while waiting for dad (or mom) to hike up the mountain. (The hot springs are conveniently located right beside the gondola)

There is also a "Northern Lights Lunch Package" for $69 which includes gondola and lunch at the cafeteria up top.

Visit the Banff Gondola website for hours and full admission details.

View of Sanson's Summit and the Boardwalk Trail from the Upper Gondola Building

What Do You Get with Your Admission to the Banff Gondola 



  • Access to the interpretive museum, movie theatre, and all facilities at the upper gondola terminal. Food is extra unless you buy a package ticket.

  • All Christmas activities are included once you get to the top of the gondola. Hike or ride up, but there is no cost for the cookie decorating, crafts, visit with Santa, or other fun activities. (You will pay though if you want a professional photo taken of your family with Santa.) - We just took our own photo with Santa for free. (NOTE that the Christmas Activities tend to wrap up early in the afternoon, and Santa is only on site between 10:30 am and 1:30 pm.) So visit in the morning (when the kids are free.)

  • Access to the boardwalk hiking trail to the top of Sanson's Peak and historic weather station

  • Stargazing experience with astronomers  from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada on the rooftop deck (Fridays 6-8pm) - but note that the Christmas activities only run on Saturdays/Sundays. So you can't do both in the same day.

Interactive displays and exhibits in the Banff Gondola interpretive centre
12 Animals of Christmas Treasure Hunt at the Banff Gondola



Mountain Top Christmas Highlights 



My son's top highlight was visiting with Santa. And I loved that we could take our own photos, that there was no line up, that Santa welcomed our whole family for a photo, and that there was no cost associated with the visit/photo opp. The backdrop was also better than what you often get at a shopping mall.

Visit with Santa at the Banff Gondola
The second activity that my son LOVED was the Christmas Movie, "Disney's Prep and Landing" playing in the theatre. He liked the movie so much that he actually started crying when we couldn't find it on Netflix the next day. (not kidding.)

My son also loved the cookie decorating. Kids could put as much icing and candy on their creations as they wanted (and some got pretty big!)

There was also a craft picture frame the kids could make, and they could write letters to Santa. We didn't have time for either because we spent too much time on the 12 Animals of Christmas Treasure Hunt and completing our adventure booklet. The treasure hunt activity is fun and is a good counting activity for young kids. (Just don't expect a big prize when you get back down because it's just a small candy cane.)

We also received a Rocky Mountain Adventure booklet to fill out as we visited the interpretive centre. (Know that there is no prize though for filling it out. It just helps keep older kids motivated as they walk around the interpretive exhibits.)


Banff Gondola Kids Booklets

Other Highlights from a Visit to the Banff Gondola


Make sure you take the short hike up the boardwalk trail to the historic weather station on top of Sanson's Summit. It's a scenic walk and kids love running up/down the boardwalk.

Be prepared with good winter clothing though because it's often cold and windy on the boardwalk. You'll also want good winter boots for the walk.

Magical Scenery on the Boardwalk Trail at the Banff Gondola

And make sure to take some family photos on the rooftop observation deck. We even found Santa hanging out here last year. (Hello Christmas card photo!!)

Please visit the Gondola website for a complete list of Christmas activities at the Banff Gondola.

Santa on the roof top observation deck at the Banff Gonddola

What Else is Happening in Banff for the Holidays 


I could write up everything else happening in Banff for the Christmas season but I don't believe in reinventing the wheel. For a complete (and fabulous guide) to all things "Christmas in Banff," please read "Celebrating Christmas in the Canadian Rockies" from Family Fun Canada. There is nothing missing in this great story.

Cookie decorating at the Banff Gondodla
Cookie decorating at the Banff Gondola

Affordable Accommodations in Banff 


We have stayed at numerous hotels in Banff but chose to stay at the HI Banff Alpine Centre on our recent visit. The hostel has two private cabins (each with private bathroom and two double beds.) While not fancy, they are comfortable and completely sufficient for a family to stay in for a night or two.

The cost is $99 per night (Hosteling International Member rate) for up to two adults. Ask about an additional cost for children. 

While there are no kitchens in the cabins, you'll find two communal kitchens on the property along with a common lounge area in each main building.

Know that if you choose to stay here, the alpine centre targets young people working and traveling in Banff. Families are not their primary focus. You are welcome to stay in a cabin but don't get upset if the "atmosphere" in the common areas isn't always "family-friendly." This worked for us because we spent all of our time out and about in Banff, returning to the hostel to sleep. And when we were at the hostel, we just went straight to our own private cabin. We used a communal kitchen once for breakfast, but that was it. 

We also liked that there was a cafe on site so we could skip cooking our own breakfast if we truly didn't want to cook. (Which we didn't Sunday morning.)

Private cabins at the HI Banff Alpine Centre

Thanks to Banff Lake Louise Tourism for taking care of our admission to the Banff Gondola on our recent visit. Thanks as well to HI Hosteling International for taking care of our accommodations at the hostel.

This story is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. 

Parting shot of our family at the Banff Gondola


Monday, November 13, 2017

A Ski Family's Holiday Gift Guide

There's lots of snow in my backyard, the skis are out, and I've already been listening to Christmas music since November 1st. (yes, I'm one of "those" people.) My annual holiday gift guide has always been one of my most popular stories, and this year I have chosen my family's favourite winter hobby as the theme. Skiing!

A Ski Family's Holiday Gift Guide


Gift Ideas for the Downhill Family 


- Sponsored by Nakiska Ski Area (with GIVEAWAY)



Ski Discount Cards - Didn't jump on seasons passes this year? No problem. Put an RCR Rockies Card in each family member's stocking and you'll be able to afford multiple ski days on the slopes this winter. Each card costs $99.95 and includes three free days of skiing at four awesome resorts including Nakiska Ski Area, Calgary's closest resort. And for creative gift wrapping, wrap the discount card in a pair of ski socks or a new pair of gloves.


A New Thermos for the Day Lodge - Save money on over-priced hot chocolate and coffee at the ski hill by bringing your own thermos with you.  You can also bring a hot lunch for the kids in a fun themed food thermos.

Beverage Thermos Suggestions:



New skis (of course) - There must be somebody in your family who could use a new pair of skis. I know my husband hints about this often! Or at the very least, buy your wife a new pair of ski poles if she's been using the same ones since she was a teenager. (Yes, that's a true story!) And I should add that new ski boots also make a great gift idea. (Also good for the wife who's had the same pair since she was probably 18 years old.)

And if the kids need new ski boots, I suggest checking out the adjustable Roces Ski Boots from All Out Kids Gear, Affiliate Partner.


A New Ski Helmet - Kids grow. Helmets get too small. Upgrade to a newer helmet this Christmas and protect those noggins.

Ski Helmets make great Christmas gifts


New Ski Goggles - My son will be getting  a new pair of ski goggles this Christmas because I just realized that he's been wearing his current ones since he was 2 or 3 years old. (He's now 8!) Helmet-goggle gap is a "thing" apparently, and so you'll want to make sure your child has a cool pair of goggles to fit his or her helmet.


Two Way Radios for the Hill - Have you ever lost a kid on a ski hill? Or a spouse even? I have, and it's terrifying! With two way radios, you can ski worry-free, even if your little shredder accidentally gets ahead of you and takes a wrong turn.

Check out this Motorola Solutions T100 Family Two Way Radio


Note that this section contains affiliate links to Amazon.ca. Follow the links, shop from their website, and I might earn a few dollars to put towards those new skis my husband wants. 


AND, scroll to the bottom of this gift guide to ENTER TO WIN two day passes for Nakiska Ski Area



Enter to WIN two day passes for Nakiska Ski Area this Winter



Gift Ideas for the Cross Country Family


- Sponsored by All out Kids Gear (with GIVEAWAY)



Ski Passes for your Local Nordic Centre - I'm thrilled that I actually have a seasons pass for the Canmore Nordic Centre this winter, and I plan to get out a LOT mid-week when my son is at school.


A New Thermos for the Trails - Invest in a vacuum insulated thermos (as already mentioned for downhill gift ideas) and bring tea or hot chocolate with you on the trail to stay warm.

Cross country skiing is a great family activity

New Skis (of course) - I'll never forget how happy I was when I received a pair of waxless cross country skis for Christmas a few years ago. (no more wax problems on sticky spring days!)

And there are so many different kinds of cross country skis out there, it shouldn't be hard to think of a new pair your partner would appreciate (skate skis, light touring skis with metal edges, actual skinny Nordic skis if he/she only has wider touring skis...)

And then of course there are the kids, who just won't stop growing!!

And you might be buying new boots to go with the skis.


A Pair of Adjustable Trekking Poles for the Kids - I grew tired of constantly having to buy my son new poles every year or two (for both cross country and downhill skiing.) So last year we just bought him some adjustable trekking poles and he uses one pair of poles for everything!! Brilliant, right?

AND if you scroll to the bottom of this gift guide, you can ENTER TO WIN a pair of Black Diamond "Kids' First Strike" adjustable trekking poles from Canadian company All Out Kids Gear.

One pair of adjustable poles is all this kid uses for all outdoor sports

Ski Clothing and Outerwear Gift Ideas


Sponsored by Altitude Sports (with GIVEAWAYS for every item featured below)




Ski Socks - Can you ever have enough ski socks? And check out these cute Kids' Wintersport Smart Wool Socks.  


Ski Gloves - Skiing is fun when hands are warm. And hands will be toasty in these awesome Kombi Yolo Big Kids' Mittens And note, my son has never had cold hands when wearing Kombi mitts or gloves. It's an amazing brand and the company knows all about warmth!



My son loves his pom pom toque and buff on cold ski days 
A New Toque or Beanie - I am absolutely in love with these North Face Youth Pom Pom Beanies. And I'm a firm believer that you can never ever have too many different toques or knit hats to match every different winter jacket in your closet.


A New Set of Long Underwear for the Kids  - Again, kids grow, and chances are they won't fit last year's base layers anymore. (I know my son doesn't.) Upgrade to this Burton Youth Mini Fleece Set and the kids will be toasty warm on the slopes or trails.


A New Buff to Wear Under a Ski Helmet - Kids tend to chew holes in their buffs (at least my son does) so chances are, your child could use a new ski buff. And for ultimate warmth, check out these Junior Polar Buffs (we swear by fleece buffs in our family.)



AND, if you scroll to the bottom of this gift guide, you can ENTER TO WIN the 5 items mentioned under this section from Canadian company, Altitude Sports. (in boys or girls models based on availability)

Warm toque, fleece buff, and warm gloves for ski day victories



Stocking Stuffers



Hand and foot warmers


Fun granola bars - the expensive ones or flavours that you never buy because they don't come in bulk from Costco.


Fun snacks - Christmas themed chocolate, fun items to take on the trails, or anything the kids beg for (and never get.)


Ski Wax - There's always a new and better ski wax for cross country skiing.

 - and check out this ZUMWax Rub on Ski/Snowboard Wax


Ski Repair Equipment (base repair kits, metal scrapers, repair tools and kits)


Ski Lock- I just received a few of these and look forward to trying them out at the ski hill this winter


Ski Socks - Because you can never have enough pairs of ski socks


And these are purely samples of the amazing selection of ski gear I found with a quick Amazon Search using the magic word "ski."  (and then you can break it down further into cross country, downhill, skis, equipment, etc.)


Take my suggestions and browse to find what works for you. There are dozens of different products available for ski tuning, waxing, carrying and strapping skis, or caring for your skis.

And by ordering off of Amazon, I "might" receive a few dollars as an Affiliate partner.


Load the stockings with items to make skiing more fun this winter


Ski Books 


The book that I have on my Christmas list is Ski Trails in the Canadian Rockies - 5th Edition - It is the ultimate ski touring guidebook for cross country skiers looking to get off the groomed and beaten path (and for backcountry skiers looking for a scenic ski tour.)


Follow this link to browse a giant list of other Ski Books off Amazon.ca.

Including these ski books:
- Summits and Icefields - Alpine Ski Tours in the Canadian Rockies
- Backcountry Ski Safety guidebooks
- Avalanche Safety guidebooks
- Ski themed cookbooks
- Tips for teaching kids to ski
- Powder: The Greatest Ski Runs on the Planet
- DIY Ski repair

Buy "Ski Trails in the Canadian Rockies" and find hidden trails like this one in Banff

And, if you're looking for some great ski-themed children's books, check out a few of these Ski Books for Kids off of Amazon.ca. 

Top Suggestions for Picture Books would include:
- Ollie's Ski Trip
- Squirrels on Skis
- Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee
- Bunny Slopes
- It's a Day for Ski and Play
- First Tracks

And for chapter books:
- Ski School Sneak (Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew)
- The Little Rippers: Volume 1 - Here come the little rippers
- Go West Little Rippers

And, check out this Skiing Coloring Book!


As mentioned already, if you buy a book or two here off of Amazon, I "might" make a few dollars to order a few for my family too.


Inspire the kids this winter with some fun ski-themed books


Fun Ski-Themed Gift Ideas



Ski-themed tree ornaments - like this cute one of 3 Moose On a Ski Lift Ornament

A mounted photo of one of your favourite family ski days - Take one of your favourite ski photos, take it down to any photography shop, and get it dry mounted for your rec. room. (It would also be great on a child's bedroom wall if it was an epic ski photo of your little ripper.)

A favourite ski map, dry mounted - My son LOVES ski maps. He would love a giant map on his bedroom wall for his favourite ski resort.

Ski Wall Art Decals for the House - And I personally love this Choose Your Destiny  decal.


And again, these contain links to Amazon.ca. Browse around if you want and support my affiliate efforts. 


Never a bad day on skis

GIVEAWAYS



Enter to WIN Two Lift Passes for Nakiska Ski Area, Kananaskis, Alberta


Conditions:

- Contest closes on November 21st. A winner will be notified by the 22nd. If I don't hear from the winner by the 24th, I will choose a new winner.

- Contest is open to all entrants age 18+. You must be able to visit the Nakiska Ski Area this winter, 2017-2018 season.

- The giveaway is valid for two adult lift passes. They will be mailed to the winner, or can be picked up at the Calgary RCR office.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Enter to WIN a Pair of Black Diamond Kids' First Strike Adjustable Trekking Poles from All Out Kids Gear


Conditions:

-  Contest closes on November 21st. A winner will be notified by the 22nd. If I don't hear from the winner by the 24th, I will choose a new winner.

- Contest is open to all Canadian Residents age 18+.

- Free shipping is included inside Canada

- Visit All Out Kids Gear for more information about this product


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Enter to WIN a pair of Kids Wintersport Smart Wool Socks and a Kids' Burton Mini Fleece Long Underwear Set from Altitude Sports 


Conditions:

- Contest closes on November 21st. A winner will be notified by the 22nd. If I don't hear from the winner by the 24th, I will choose a new winner.

- Contest is open to all residents of Canada and the USA age 18+.

- Free shipping is included inside Canada and the United States

- Winner can choose the boys or girls model of each item, based on availability and stock

- See category "Ski Clothing and Outerwear" above for details on each item


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Enter to WIN a pair of Kombi Yolo Big Kids' mittens, a North Face youth pom pom beanie, and a Junior Polar Buff from Altitude Sports


Conditions:

- Contest closes on November 21st. A winner will be notified by the 22nd. If I don't hear from the winner by the 24th, I will choose a new winner.

- Contest is open to all residents of Canada and the USA age 18+.

- Free shipping is included inside Canada and the United States

- Winner can choose the boys or girls model of each item, based on availability and stock

- See category "Ski Clothing and Outerwear" above for details on each item


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Winter on skis. Glorious!

Check out these other Holiday Gift Guides and Giveaways!!

 

Tales of a Mountain Mama - 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Families

Monday, November 06, 2017

B-Line Indoor Bike Park - Now Open in Calgary

My son has long wished that he could visit bike skills parks or skate parks year round. His dream has now come true with Calgary's first indoor bike park opening its doors at the end of October.

Calgary's new indoor bike park, B-line Indoor Bike Park

B-Line Indoor Bike Park is located in NE Calgary off of Memorial Drive, and it will be "the place to be" this winter for families who don't want to put their bikes away for the season.

Riding the jump lines at B-Line Indoor Bike Park

What to expect from a visit to B-Line Indoor Bike Park



  • A loading dock full of amazing features designed for beginners. You'll find low practice features, small to medium pump tracks, and bumps to test your skills before moving on to the more intermediate terrain in the other rooms

     
  • 4 progressive jumplines that are clearly marked for all levels of riding from beginner to expert

  • A big air room called "The Bar" that reminded my son of a giant skate park. The best part though (for us biking families) is that there are no skateboards or scooters allowed at B-Line. This is purely an indoor BIKE park

     
  • A giant foam pit and Resi. The progressive foam pit has 3 different sized jumps going into it, as well as quarterpipes on each side. The Resi provides the next padded step when you’re ready.

  • Picnic tables and areas to eat snacks or lunch (bring your own food,) and for parents to hang out when not supervising or riding.

  • A public repair stand on site with parts for sale in case you break something while riding

  • Color coded rooms and sections (green for beginner, blue for intermediate/advanced, and black for expert.)


Check out this Video of the Pump Track:




Beginner Area Highlight


My son didn't spend a lot of time in the "true beginner area" but I can see this being a great place for young children on balance bikes or for kids not used to riding on a pump track.

There is a very small pump track in this area that works as a wonderful introduction to test whether your child is ready to move up to the larger more "intermediate" pump track.

Beginner pump track and bumps at B-Line Indoor Bike Park

Parents with novice riders will feel comfortable having their children riding in this area because it's safe to assume there will be no big riders in this area or teenagers ripping around at high speeds. This is a safe zone to work on basic skills needed to move on to the other areas of the park.

And, it should be noted that children aged 3 and under are FREE. So bring them down to the beginner area for an hour or so and you won't have to pay a thing. (And there's no charge for the supervising parent as long as you aren't on a bike.)

Beginner riding area at B-Line Indoor Bike Park


Beginner/Intermediate Pump Track Highlight


While the main pump track would be considered part of the "beginner area," you will see riders of all abilities in this part of the park because everybody loves a pump track! And the one at B-Line promises hours of fun. My son spent a LOT of time here trying to ride over as many bumps in a row as he could without pedaling (a goal when riding on a pump track) and working on the posture of standing with flat pedals.

For a good idea of what the pump track is like, scroll back up to the first video I posted.

And safety tip for this room: both pump track loops are multi-directional. There are no arrows telling kids which direction they should ride. And most of the time, this is not a problem because you should be able to look at the track, and see which direction other kids are riding. However, there are a few blind spots at the back where you can't really see other riders.

My suggestion if visiting the park with young riders: Use the pump track when it's quiet without a lot of traffic on it, stand and watch before riding in, and look carefully to make sure nobody is riding towards you on the loop that you want to ride.

Ideally, in my personal opinion, one loop would be marked for clockwise riding, and one would be marked for counter clockwise riding. This way, nobody would be at risk of getting hit by another rider, but everybody would still have freedom to do a loop in the direction that is most comfortable for their style.

Practicing on the pump track at B-Line Indoor Bike Park

 

The Jump Lines Highlight


There are 4 progressive jumplines, marked green for beginner and intermediate, blue for advanced, and black for expert.

Each line is also clearly marked with arrows for where to start/finish. This gave me peace of mind that my son wouldn't collide with another rider here, or even worse, take out a preschooler!

My son spent close to an hour on the two easier jumplines, with breaks to go play in the other parts of the park. He loved the table top style jumps that he could practice jumping. And while he wasn't quite able to jump them yet, I can see that he would progress quickly if we spent a few more afternoons at the park.

Kids learn by doing, and the jump section of this park is designed to be progressive for all ages and abilities.

Jump lines at B-Line Indoor Bike Park (clearly marked for beginners to advanced riders)


The Bar (Street Section) Highlight


The big air room called "The Bar" reminded my son of a giant skate park. He was riding up the walls, playing on ramps and mini half pipes, and trying to do jumps.

The best part though (for us biking families) is that there are no skateboards or scooters allowed at B-Line. This is purely an indoor BIKE park.

Skate Park and Street features at B-Line Indoor Bike Park

From a safety perspective, I could see this room being potentially "dangerous" for younger riders if it was too busy. We had the park pretty much to ourselves when we arrived so my son was able to freely play in this room without risk of getting hit (or of hitting somebody else.)

Realistically speaking though, there are no arrows on the street or in a skate park, nobody is standing around directing traffic at a skate park or at a bike skills park, and you have to learn to communicate with other riders. There will always be risk when practicing "street style biking." While B-Line probably could take steps to make this room "safer," I don't believe that would ever be their intention, and I'm sure they didn't really design this room to be "toddler friendly." It is the "Big Air" room after all.

If the park was exceptionally busy, or if this room was full of older teens doing big jumps, I would encourage my son to just play in a different room. Or we'd do what we did on our recent visit - and arrive early as soon as the park opened for the afternoon.

Riding around in the "Bar" at B-Line Indoor Bike Park

The Foam Pit and Resi Feature 


I have to confess that I couldn't have told you the first thing about a "Resi" when I first visited the park but I've since done my research and I can basically explain that you'll start out jumping into the soft foam pit, move up to the Resi, a soft foam landing, and then graduate to the standard box jumps (where if you fall, you get badly banged up!)

Looking down on the descent ramp to jump into the foam pit at B-Line Bike Park

For families, the foam pit was exceptionally cool. There are 3 different sized jumps going into it, the first one (colored blue) barely a jump. You push or ride your bike up a steep ramp, ride down the ramp (without braking,) ride up a much shorter ramp and then sort of fall into the foam pit (getting off your bike after you land.)

In theory, my 8-year old could have done the foam pit jump, and plenty of younger kids were doing it, but my son wasn't sure if he could commit to the "not braking" the entire time, and wasn't sure what the landing would feel like. Again, as with everything at B-Line though, it's all progressive and he'll work his way up to it on a future visit.

Foam Pit and Resi at B-Line Indoor Bike Park

Additional Features at B-Line


There is also a skills area in the park (similar to what you'd find at many mountain bike skills parks) where you can practice riding across skinny logs, planks, learn to ride teeter-totters, and improve your balance. They even have double teeter totters (which I had never seen before.)

Bringing mountain bike skills up to the next level at B-Line Indoor Bike Park


Recommended Minimum Age and Biking Ability for Visiting the Park


The park is suitable for all abilities and ages with progressive features for kids as young as 2 or 3 years of age on balance bikes, all the way up to expert BMX riders.

Children 7 and under must be supervised at all times but parents don't have to pay if they aren't riding.

Practicing on a fun feature in the Big Air Room

Recommended Equipment for Visiting the Park


It is recommended that you either rent a BMX bike or a dirt jumper on site, or that you bring your own bike with you. If bringing your own bike, please make sure it's been cleaned since your last mountain biking trip.

Regular mountain bikes will work fine in the park, but it is highly recommended that all bikes have hand brakes (rather than coaster brakes.)

Adults can also use their own full-sized mountain bikes, but again, would do best on a smaller BMX style rental bike from the park.

Helmets are required at all times inside the park and padding is highly recommended. Helmets and bike padding come with all rentals from the park.

Riding on the pump track at B-Line Indoor Bike Park

My Overall Opinion of the Park 


My 8-year old loves skate parks and bike skills park. It is therefore no stretch that he would LOVE B-Line. I expect we will visit once a month over the winter months until we can ride outside again.  And my son has already told me that he wants to have his birthday party here. (Yes, they do those too!)

The only thing that would prevent my family from visiting weekly (other than the drive across the city since we live in the NW) is the rather "high" cost of visiting the park. Admission is comparable and actually more affordable than many other family attractions in the city, but it doesn't mean that it's "cheap" family entertainment.

We'll be visiting a lot this winter so that my son can ride around the "bar" as you can watch in the video below.



 

Admission to B-Line Indoor Bike Park


A full day at B-Line Indoor Bike Park is $30 for riders ages 8+ (kids ages 4-7 are half price with kids 3 and under free.)

The $30 day pass is comparable to Winsport's Canada Olympic Park where youth pay roughly the same price for a full day of skiing. Adults however pay $46, making B-Line the more affordable option here.

Meanwhile, one hour at the Calgary Climb Park, The Flying Squirrel Trampoline Park, or Inja Nation is $20. (Which is a lot for just one hour, as compared to $30 for a whole day.)

So overall, admission prices to B-Line are not completely out to lunch with what other facilities in Calgary are charging. But, it still doesn't mean you're in for a cheap day and kids may need to start saving their allowance money if they want to visit often.

For other admission options (including annual passes) visit the B-Line Indoor Bike Park website.

Street style riding at B-Line Indoor Bike Park

Personal Recommendations and Thoughts for the Park


  • I'd like to see a "family pass" option for daily admission to the park. $60 will be out of reach to many families with two kids wanting to ride. (I'm lucky that I only have one child, but I know families with three kids - who will never be able to afford a visit to this park.)

  • I'd love to see a discounted "early bird" admission option for riders who want to visit the park between 3-5pm before the evening rush.

  • I've had families asking me about a "punch card" system where you'd get a discounted daily rate if you pay for multiple admissions up front (without having to buy a full annual membership.)

  • I've also had families asking about a special time for the toddler and preschool crowd without bigger kids in the park. Perhaps this would be something to look into once a week. (Even an hour before the park opens to the regular public from 2-3pm.)

  • I'm hoping that there will be lessons offered in the future for school-aged kids and teens who would like to learn progressive skills including jumping and trick riding.

  • Finally, I've had questions about whether the park would be able to provide gift cards or ride vouchers for Christmas presents. I think this is a great idea and I'd love to put some in my own child's stocking.
Playing on the Jumplines at B-Line Indoor Bike Park

For More Information


Please visit the B-Line Indoor Bike Park website for full information on hours, pricing, the facility, and bike rentals.



Disclaimer: We were given complimentary admission to the park for this review. As always, all opinions are my own.

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