It’s time to go outside
Organize your next play date in a fun new space
You and your mom buddies have your favourite parks and playgrounds to meet up and get the kids outside (and running off some of that endless energy). How about a change of scene this week? Head just 20 minutes west in Stony Plain and Parkland County and you’ll find a whole bunch of new places to explore.
Here are three new ideas for your next play dates – play in the water, investigate cool old buildings and run with the chickens on a farm.
Wade in the shallow Pembina
Cost: Free! Except for the firewood and gas to get there, access to the beach and park are free
Pack up your water wings, sunscreen and a picnic lunch and drive an hour west to reach the day-use area at Pembina River Provincial Park.
Kids can wade into the cool crystal water and play along the pebble beach, while moms chat and get snacks ready at the picnic tables. The beach is at its best later in the summer when the flow is slow and shallow.
There’s also a big playground onsite and washroom facilities – and if you really want to impress, show the ladies how you can build a rip-roaring fire for roasting marshmallows.
Explore pioneer buildings
Cost: Admission is by donation, full lunch $8-$10 (less for kids)
The Stony Plain & Parkland Pioneer Museum is a treasure of old artifacts and buildings. Kids will love running along the plank boardwalk (it’s kind of like a track) and visiting the old barn, white wooden church, one-room school-house, sawmill and blacksmith shop.
The facility is all wheelchair and stroller accessible too, so you can bring the big chariot to lug all your gear around.
By the time you’re done poking around, you’ll be very hungry. So head to the pioneer teahouse for homemade lunch. You can get a full meal (more than you could eat really) with soup, sandwich, pie and a drink for about $10. Kids love the grilled ham and cheese and of course the pie with ice cream.
The museum is open every day and the teahouse is open on Fridays and Saturdays.
Eat your way through the fields
Cost: Activities on the farm are free, buckets are $2 (unless you bring your own) and fruit and veg prices depend on time of year and availability
If your house is anything like mine and you just can’t keep enough berries in the house, meet your moms and their berry-monsters at Happy Acres U-Pick, five minutes south of Spruce Grove.
This is a 7-acre chemical-free farm where you can pick veggies and fruits (including kid faves like cherries, raspberries and strawberries), meet the farm animals (and a cockatoo), play in the playhouse and playground and bounce bounce bounce on the trampoline.
You can also buy farm-fresh eggs and honey in the store. Open Wednesdays to Sundays and picking begins each year in late June.