By HANNA DEEVES
Sometimes it isn’t enough to give your loved ones something that fits under the tree. If what you’re looking for this holiday season is to give memories instead of objects, check out these experience gifts.
Explore Banff in a whole new way by strapping on some snowshoes and taking a guided tour with Banff Adventures around areas such as Sunshine Village, Marble Canyon, and Lake Louise. Enjoy the incredible winter scenery of frozen mountains and lakes, and stop along the way to warm up with some hot chocolate or dip some maple syrup in snow. Equipment is supplied and there are options for every experience level.
Bison Courtyard: 211 Bear St, Banff, 403-762-4554. banffadventures.com
Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh! Moose Mountain Horseback Adventures will take you on a horse-drawn sleigh ride through a winter wonderland around Bragg Creek, a hamlet giving you a little small town magic just outside of Calgary. After your ride, stick around for pond hockey and an open fire on the lake. Bring whatever snacks you wish to roast. And if you have a bigger party, opt for one of the wagon rides instead.
13 km south of Bragg Creek, 403-949-3329. packtrips.ca
Mush! If being pulled by adorable huskies is more your speed, then you’ll love the Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours. See your breath hang in the frosty air as you glide through a majestic landscape of sparkling snow. Sit back and enjoy the ride while one of the instructors drives for you, or get hands on and learn how to drive the sled yourself. These lovable pooches are raised like family, so your family will fit right in as well.
109 – 829 10 St, Canmore, 403-978-4369. snowyowltours.com
Want the ultimate way to experience the beauty of the Rocky Mountains? Try a bird’s eye view. Send your loved one on a ride high in the sky over Banff with Alpine Helicopter, which takes off right at the base of the famous Three Sisters Peaks and flies over Banff National Park, showcasing stunning vistas of craggy peaks, deep forests, and glacial lakes. Or if you want to keep it more local, go for a ride above Calgary and see Canada Olympic Park, McMahon Stadium, downtown, Stampede Park and Heritage Park from a completely different perspective with Mountain View Helicopters.