Since having fun together is the best way to make this a Kenny-and-Dolly-style Christmas to remember – let’s just get started already. Here are some terrific ways to have fun with your family during the holidays, just a few minutes West of Edmonton.
Cookies party in Parkland County
Bring your little cookie monsters to the Woodbend Hall for crafts for kids on Dec 14 from 2 – 4 pm ($7, register with Helen: 780-470-0696). And stay for the Woodbend Hall baking exchange at 4 pm. Pack up five dozen of your best recipe (in sixes, plus some for sampling) and come home with five dozen different treats. The hall is at Winterburn Road (215 St) and Woodbend Road (9 Ave SW).
Skating at Central Park
Spruce Grove’s Central Park is all lit up for the season and the oval rink winds through the twinkling trees – the perfect spot for a family skating party. If you’re here when the log cabin concession is open (afternoons and Saturday til 8) buy warm drinks and hot dogs. Or bring a thermos of hot chocolate and let mom show off her mad bonfire making skills at the fire pit.
The Kurimoto Japanese Garden at the Devonian will be all lit up this weekend with thousands of lanterns. We have really little ones, so might go right as the light fades at 5 to see the lights, drink hot cider, listen to the strolling carollers and cuddle up around the bonfires. (But one day, we will all be awake past 7 pm.)
Swimming at Tri-Leisure
Kids and dad will have fun splashing around in the TransAlta Tri-Leisure Centre’s big aquatic centre, while mom sits quietly soaking in the hot tub – ahh, that sounds nice. There’s a play area, waterslide, hot tub and steam room. They have an indoor playroom for climbing and running (in case they’re not quite played out yet) and a drop-in indoor skating rink. The next toonie swim is Dec 27 from 6 – 10 pm.
Mom-daughter shopping date
I know this is a great idea because my mom and I just did this and it was really fun. First take a turn around the new gallery exhibit by Erin Schwab at the Multicultural Heritage Centre. The intricate drawings of curvy, knotted tree roots is called Migrating Colony: Offshoot and it runs Nov 27 – Jan 14, 2014.
Then go downstairs to the Homesteader’s Kitchen for pie – the pecan is nice and gooey and their pumpkin is one of the best (trust me, I’m an expert). Then head out to browse the 1910 Oppertshauser House and general store for local goodies and gift ideas. You can keep going too – Stony’s charming and walkable downtown is close and full of cool independent little shops (do not miss the Urban Homesteading Store).
Every year Stony Plain hosts a family New Year’s Eve festival at Heritage Park. Come to the park from 6 – 9 pm on Dec 31 for live entertainment, hot dogs, popcorn and hot chocolate, horse-drawn wagon rides, games and crafts, skating, a turn around the Pioneer Museum and fireworks.