Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Ultimate One-Stop Do Everything Winter Vacation

Skates - check, skis - check, snowshoes - check, sled, helmets, hockey sticks, hiking boots, ski boots, poles, and...swim suits - check! All stuffed into the back of a very small family car.  Thank God for our roof top cargo box because did I mention that we also had to fit a large ski pulk into our car that we'd use to tow our preschooler while skiing? 

The car packed and our family loaded up, we were ready for our first overnight trip to the Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge.   And while, we were only staying for one night, we were prepared to try and experience everything from skiing to hiking with skating, sledding and plenty of swimming sandwiched in between.  We even managed to try intro ice climbing - see photo below.

Ice Climbing 101 at the Delta Lodge

The Fireside Room at the Delta Lodge
Kananaskis Village has always been a favourite local destination for our family and we often head to the Village for day trips.  I love spending the day there mid-week when my husband is working and I'm looking for a fun little adventure with my son.  A couple weeks ago we spent the morning snowshoeing around nearby Wedge Pond and then finished the outing with lunch at the Delta in the fireside room.  We topped off the visit with a trip to the Village playground and headed home blissfully tired and happy.  These are the kinds of days we love. 

Fun in the Snow at Wedge Pond - located 10km down the road from Kananaskis Village

Cross country skiing at Ribbon Creek
I always encourage families to check out Kananaskis Village when they are looking for someplace close to Calgary for a day of playing in the mountains.  There is literally nothing you can not do at the Village.  From downhill skiing at the Nakiska Ski Hill to cross country skiing at Ribbon Creek, every member of the family can find something at their speed.  Don't ski?  It doesn't matter.  A winter hike to Troll Falls is an absolute must-do when in the area followed by a thrilling ride down the Village toboggan hill.  Add ice skating on the Village pond and you'll have more than enough to keep you occupied for a weekend.

Troll Falls Hike, Ribbon Creek
The Village Toboggan Hill
In case you're thinking there's even the slightest chance your family could get bored at Kananaskis Village, I didn't mention the Village hockey rink yet and I believe I did say there was an outdoor playground.  Add some fun in the snow climbing on the frozen waterfall beside the skating pond or playing in snow caves found all over the sports field.  The paved Village Rim Trail also makes for a pleasant stroll and we brought our son's balance bike with us on the weekend in case we found a free half hour to take a ride - which sadly, we didn't.

The Village Skating Pond

Fitting in a quick game of hockey at Kananaskis Village
Kananaskis Village is your ultimate one-stop destination.  Within 10km of the Village you will find enough options to keep you playing, exploring, and living the outdoor mountain dream for a good week - or more. We honestly tried to fit everything in to one short weekend but it got to be a tad overwhelming in the end.  I kind of wish we would have taken some time to just sit by the fireplace in the Delta Lodge reading newspapers and enjoying some gourmet coffee and pastries from the resort deli.  Next time!

The Resort Swimming Pool
We were blessed this past weekend to also enjoy some additional Lodge amenities that day-users have to miss.  The swimming pool and outdoor hot tub at the Delta just may have been the highlight of our whole trip!  Our son could have easily spent the whole day in the pool - and judging by the amount of families I saw in the hot tub I'd say our child wasn't alone in his opinion that the Delta's swimming facilities rock!  Resort users get unlimited access to the spa, gym, swimming pool, and hot tub - which is half indoor and half outdoor, connected by plastic flaps that you swim under to access the outside pool. 

The Delta's Outdoor Hot Tub
Other great highlights of actually staying at the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis rather than making a day trip out to the Village:
  • Enjoying the peace and quiet of the Village at night when all the day users have gone home
  • Staying for dinner at the family-friendly Big Horn Lounge (best nachos ever)
  • Morning breakfast or brunch at the Fireweed Grill - followed by swimming to burn off the hundreds of calories you just consumed (and children under 7 eat free off the children's menu at the Grill both day and night)
  • Access to the Children's Creative Centre - an indoor playground complete with climbing wall and slide, games, books, movies, and toys (and it opens at 7am for those children who wake up at 6am!)
  • Nature walks, seasonal-themed crafts, guided hikes, family-friendly activities like Snow Golf and Baseball, and campfires complete with baked apples or  banana boats - just a few of the many activities on the resort calendar available to guests of the Lodge
  • Access to the pool opens at 6am!  - again, perfect for those early bird children
  • Babysitting on site for parents who want to go have a couple quiet drinks in the lounge after the children have gone to bed (note:  additional cost involved) 
  • Fido  gets to come with you!  - yes, you don't have to leave your beloved pets at home.  They even get their own little welcome gift at check-in
  • The Guest Activities Staff will help make your stay memorable in every way from setting you up with day passes for skiing at Nakiska to arranging sleigh rides, horseback riding tours, and personalized guided snowshoe or ski tours. (additional costs involved)

A site that day users of the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis never see

 Overall, I only have one complaint about staying at the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis.  Honestly, there is just too much to do!  You'd have to stay a week to do everything!  It's a little bit like a Kananaskis version of Disney Land.  Fortunately, the staff at the Delta Lodge would be quite happy to help you with an extended stay and our night in one of the family loft suites was almost as comfortable as being in my own home.  In fact, I kind of wanted to move in permanently.  I wonder if the Lodge could help me with that...

For more information on staying at the lodge, visit their website by following the previous link.  Located only an hour from Calgary in the heart of Kananaskis, the Delta Lodge is the perfect destination for a one-stop do everything winter vacation.  With Easter coming, the Delta Lodge is also the ideal place to bring the family for a long weekend getaway close to home.  Contact the lodge directly to find out about special activities, packages, and additional family-fun programming for Spring Break.

Where will you spend your Spring Break?

Disclaimer:  The Delta Lodge at Kananaskis graciously sponsored my family's trip this past weekend.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
Disclaimer:  Holiday on Horseback  graciously sponsored my trip. As always opinions and endorsements are entirely my own. - See more at:
Disclaimer:  Holiday on Horseback  graciously sponsored my trip. As always opinions and endorsements are entirely my own. - See more at:

Disclaimer:  Holiday on Horseback  graciously sponsored my trip. As always opinions and endorsements are entirely my own. - See more at:
Disclaimer:  Holiday on Horseback  graciously sponsored my trip. As always opinions and endorsements are entirely my own. - See more at:


  1. Looks like a great trip! I love Troll Falls, one of my favourite winter day-hikes. I really need to take the kids out there!

  2. Its winter and i am so excited to make
    ice climbing
    through these mountains.