Monday, March 18, 2019

5 Reasons to Spend Spring Break at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park

My child has less than a week of school left before spring break begins for ten glorious days, and I'm very excited for the free time that we'll have to spend together as a family. I'd be lying though if I said I was fully prepared, or that I wasn't scrambling for a few more activities to fill those days.

Spring break stay-cation fun at WinSport's Canada Olympic Park in Calgary

Fortunately, WinSport has us totally covered for spring break staycation fun at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, and they even offer day camps for those that still need to go to work while the kids are off school (myself included for at least a couple days.)

5 Reasons to Spend Spring Break at WinSport's Canada Olympic Park 

1. PD / Holiday Camps (with single day registration available)

"PD Day Camps provide new and avid skiers the chance to get outside and practice their skills. PD Day Camps are available throughout the school year and week-long camps are available over Spring Break by booking a camp each day of the week." (quoted directly from the WinSport website)

What I love most is that you can register your child for as many days of camp as you need childcare for (or for as many days as you can afford.)

The camps are booked per day and it comes to $99.99 per day of camp.
Camps can be booked on the Friday, March 22nd and through the whole week from March 25th - March 29th.

Parents can register children for a day of camp in a variety of levels from level 2 (beginner) all the way up to to level 5/6 (all mountain) and level 7 (which is an intro to freestyle)

There are also three options for camps (skiing, snowboarding, and hockey.)

Please visit the WinSport website for full information or to register your child for camp.

Register the kids for a day camp at Canada Olympic Park and watch them learn a new skill or two!

2. It's a great opportunity to try something NEW (adults too!)

I will never forget the day I first skied down the 22 foot super halfpipe at WinSport last spring with my 9 year old son. My son and I were riding up the chair with a couple young boys who told us how much fun they were having skiing the halfpipe. They assured me it was easy, and that we should try it. - and so we did!

Skiing down the 22 foot halfpipe at WinSport's Canada Olympic Park 

We followed them down (something I recommend doing if you aren't sure how to actually access the top of the halfpipe, just follow any group of teens off the Legacy Chairlift) and I'll admit that it was a bit intimidating looking down from the top. Once I dropped in though, I realized two things. One, you don't have to get air or ski up on the sides of the halfpipe. Two, you can just ski straight down the middle (it feels like you're dropping down a big canyon) and it's plenty wide for doing turns.

Skiing down the super halfpipe at WinSport's Canada Olympic Park is fun (even for adults!)

Just a few of the NEW things you can try at WinSport this spring:

  • For beginners, take an intro skiing or snowboarding lesson! Nothing fancy, not saying you have to jump into the halfpipe, just sign yourself or your family up for some lessons and give it a try!

  • If you're a skier, sign up for a snowboarding lesson. If you snowboard, sign up for a ski lesson. Who knows, you might like it!

  • If you're an intermediate level skier or snowboarder, try the halfpipes (there is a 12 foot beginner halfpipe at the bottom of the hill that everybody can practice in first - and trust me, it's not very scary.)

  • If you can confidently ski or ride a steep groomed black run, try skiing or snowboarding down the Junior Slopestyle Line through the West  Terrain Park. You don't have to actually hit the jumps! Just ski/ride up and over the big bumps and enjoy the thrill of dropping off the top of each one (It's quite exhilarating!!) - and this is located right beside the 22 foot halfpipe so you can devote an hour to trying both from the top of the Legacy Chair.

  • Spend some time in the Progression Park at the bottom of the hill (there's a magic carpet to take you to the top) and try out a few easy boxes. Or encourage the kids to try them while you watch from the bottom. (I personally haven't worked up to this one yet!)

  • Work your way up to steep groomed black runs by skiing or snowboarding the Alpine Pitch off the top of the '88 Express Chairlift. It always gives my heart a bit of a jolt when I first drop down the steep pitch, but I love it and do several laps down here every time I visit the hill.

  • Try out the beginner moguls at the bottom of the Alpine Pitch (just above the beginner area.) There's a very small area of bumps, and it's convenient if you're skiing or snowboarding with kids who want to try them (even if you don't!) I follow beside on the main run while my son skis them - and we each get a unique ending to our run down from the Express Chairlift.

You can see a map of the ski hill here if you want to learn more about the different features you can try on the hill.

Practicing on the moguls at WinSport's Canada Olympic Park 

3. WinSport's Canada Olympic Park is more than just a ski hill!

Family tubing

You don't have to ski (or snowboard.) Visit WinSport for a few hours and go tubing with your family. It's gentle on the joints, you don't have to spin (the attendants will ask, but just say no if you don't like carnival rides,) and sometimes you can even ride down together with your kids (if the track isn't sliding too fast.)

And note I say WITH your family. Adults, don't pass this one up. It's fun!! And like I said, it's gentle on the joints. (I personally gave up regular sledding a long time ago!)

If you're interested in tubing, you can check out the schedule and pricing here.

Winter bobsleigh, luge, or skeleton

Yes, just like the ones in the Olympics! - and I personally tried the luge which was a lot of fun, and is an activity children can try as well if they are over the age of 8.

If you want more information, follow this link for Winter Activities at WinSport.

Tubing with your children is a LOT of fun at WinSport's Canada Olympic Park 

4. There are several cool events happening at WinSport this month

WinSport closes for the season on March 31st, but there are several cool events happening over the next two weeks.

Servus Ski Wednesday - March 20th 

Ski for just $12 between 3-9pm on March 20th.

Snowboard Nationals and Junior Nationals - March 18th - 24th 

If you have kids who snowboard, there's no better way to inspire them than by watching some incredible athletes as they show off their skills at WinSport this month. Athletes will be training/competing in slopestyle, halfpipe, and big air. (and often you can watch just by going up the Legacy Chairlift.)

Freestyle Alberta Freestyle Ski Championships - March 28th - 31st

Here's another opportunity to take the family to WinSport for the day and to watch some incredible athletes showing off their skills, this time in skiing.

Sun's Out, Guns Out Rail Jam on closing day at WinSport - March 31st 

This is one you can actually register the kids for!

The schedule is as follows:

Grom age 10 and under: 10 a.m.-noon
Men’s skiing: Noon-1 p.m.
Women’s skiing: 1 p.m.-2 p.m.
Men’s snowboard: 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Women’s snowboard: 3 p.m.-4 p.m.

If you want to register, follow this link.

If you just want to show up and be a spectator, you don't have to do anything other than show up, ski or ride, and have a fun day at the hill.

Information on all events can be found here. 

Take your kids to WinSport to watch real athletes show them how it's done in the super halfpipe

5. Spring Season Passes! 

You can buy a spring season pass for your youth or teens and send them to the hill every day over spring break. Each pass costs $179.99 + GST which pays for itself in roughly 6 times (for youth) or 4 times (for adults.)

And while it's perhaps a little bit late in the season to buy these (since the hill closes on the 31st,) it would still be worth it if you had teens who needed something to do over spring break.

- and it's worth remembering for next year!! I myself had no idea that WinSport had spring season passes. 

Spend your spring break at WinSport's Canada Olympic Park with your family

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored, but my family has partnered with WinSport this winter and has received benefits including free skiing. As always, all opinions are my own.

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