We’ve been exploring Alberta to check out the family friendly attractions that are right in our own backyard. Grande Prairie is about a 7 hour drive from Calgary or 4.5 hours from Edmonton. If you find yourself travelling up North with the kids, here are some ideas to make your stay a great one.
Things to Do
Before planning our trip I had no idea that Grande Prairie was a dinosaur area. An entire dinosaur bone bed was found in the Pipestone Creek area just to the East.
This new museum isn’t as big as the Tyrell Museum in Drumheller but it is excellent for kids. It is full of interactive features that your kids will love. For a small additional cost you can also add on a National Geographic film and they have a great dinosaur themed playground that anyone can access just outside.
Pipestone Creek Park
The museum offers tours of the Pipestone Creek dinosaur bone bed. Pipestone Creek also has a campground complete with a dinosaur themed playground.
This is one of the things we missed that I really wish we had been able to do. The Eastlink centre has a huge indoor dinosaur themed water park. In addition to two swimming pools, it has a flowrider where you can try to surf, a large splash park, an awesome wading pool, family hot tub, lazy river, two water slides, a log walk and more! Best of all a family day pass is only $23.50 (2016)!
This beautiful park runs through the centre of Grande Prairie and has all kinds of fun things for families including museums, playgrounds and a splash park.
Kleskun Hill Park
Kleskun Hill Park is located 20 minutes East of Grande Prairie. The badlands in the park has been described as a mini version of Drumheller. Dinosaur bones have been found on ‘Dinosaur Hill’ and there is also a small Heritage Park area.
In addition to the dinosaur museum, Grande Prairie has a couple of other kid friendly museums located in Muskoseepi Park.
Grande Prairie Museum and Historical Village
It was super wet on our visit so the historical village was closed due to slippery boardwalks but the museum was worth a stop all on its own. Admission is free and the museum is well done and beautifully set up. They have some scavenger hunts the kids can do to earn a small prize while you go through the museum too.
The Heritage Discovery Centre
The Heritage Discovery Centre is located in the basement of the tourism office on the Northern side of Muskoseepi Park. It is great place to stretch your legs and use the bathroom if you are passing by. There is a great view of the park just outside too. It also has free admission and a scavenger hunt for the kids.
Grande Prairie has some really cool playgrounds too like the one below in Avondale. Stay tuned for a list of Grande Prairie’s best playgrounds.
Where to Eat
Looking for some local options? Here are some great places that your family will love.
Crooked Creek Donuts
Located between Valleyview and and Grande Prairie along highway 43
I had heard a couple recommendations for the donuts from the Crooked Creek General Store so I made sure we stopped on our way to Grande Prairie. I was still not prepared for just how amazing these donuts were. Honestly, one of the best things I have ever eaten.
If you get a chance to stop in, absolutely do it. They only offer cinnamon sugar and vanilla glaze but sell dozens and dozens of donuts all day long. We stopped in late in the day and still got fresh donuts that were still warm from the oven.
In addition to bread and baked goods, this Grande Prairie original has a cafe with lots of seating where you can order soup, sandwiches and paninis.
Not only can you get great coffee at this locally owned coffee shop, you can also get very popular soup made on site, fresh made sandwiches and baked goods.
Cards Board Game Cafe
As you might expect, at Cards Board Game Cafe, you pay a small charge and get access to their huge collection of board games. What you might not expect is their fantastic made in store food. Their service isn’t the quickest but with so many games to keep you occupied you probably won’t notice.
Where to Stay
During our visit to Grande Prairie we stayed at Service Plus Inns and Suites – Grande Prairie. We stayed in a room that had two double beds and a pull out couch as well as a little kitchenette with a mini fridge and microwave which was perfect for our family of 5.
The free hot breakfast buffet was a great start to our day and playing in the pool (which has a waterslide!) was a great way to end our day. In addition to the friendly service and family friendly features, we were also able to catch a lot of pokemon right from our hotel room using their free wifi!
Disclosure: In order to facilitate these reviews, we were provided with accommodation in Grande Prairie by Service Plus Inns and Suites.
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