By Where Writers
Too cold outside? Need a break from skiing? There’s another frontier to discover in the Canadian Rockies: the great indoors. Wind down or rope up with these favourite indoor activities in Canmore, Banff and Jasper.
By Where Writers
There are loads of things to do in Banff and Jasper national parks in the winter. Take a break from the ski hills to discover snowshoeing tours, ice walks, dogsledding, tobogganing and the best spots for a cozy fire pit picnic.
Sep. 13, 2016
By Naomi Witherick
Enormous vehicles roved in the distance, large notched tires gripping the icy ground. White clouds hung low in the air, veiling the giant grey mountains behind them. Their misty edges touched the horizon, blurring the line between the sky and the frozen white ground.
This could have been another planet. But I was right here in the Canadian Rockies on the Glacier Adventure and Skywalk tour at the Athabasca Glacier.
Walking on the icy surface of the Athabasca Glacier.
Best New Summer Attractions Awards 2013: A shot of Calgary’s winner
Each year, the editors of Where from across Canada release their picks for the summer’s most anticipated attractions. Winners of the Best New Summer Attractions Awards could be brand new, significantly improved, or celebrating major milestones. From graceful sports temples to rich explorations of science and history, this year’s coast-to-coast list offers a set of thrilling diversions for travellers planning their summer vacations in Canada.
See the winners of the Best New Summer Attractions Awards for 2013 »
- <h2>Ken Spencer Science Park</h2><br /> No green thumb? No problem. The new Ken Spencer Science Park at <a href="http://www.where.ca/listings/vancouver/entertainment/attractions/science-world-at-telus-world-of-science-wh/">Science World</a> takes a playful approach to teaching kids (and adults, too) about sustainability and food security. Learn all about city farming while visiting Milky, Downie and Gourd in the chicken coop. See different types of gardens, such as vertical, raised and scent. Most importantly, discover the path that food takes from the ground to the table. Such fascinating stuff might make farmers of each of us.<br /> <br /> <em>• Ken Spencer Science Park, Telus World of Science, 1455 Quebec St., Vancouver, 604-443-7440, <a href="http://www.scienceworld.ca" target="_blank">scienceworld.ca</a></em><br /><br /> <em>• <a href="http://www.where.ca/listings/vancouver/entertainment/attractions/science-world-at-telus-world-of-science-wh/">Map and reviews</a></em>
- Best New Attraction in Vancouver
- Best New Summer Attractions Awards 2013: Vancouver
- <h2>Legoland Discovery Centre</h2><br /> Open since March, this family-friendly destination is the first of its kind in Canada featuring the popular build-a-brick toy. Visit the spectacular Miniland, which recreates iconic Toronto landmarks like the CN Tower, Casa Loma and the Royal Ontario Museum in Lego form. Build and test your own vehicle on a ramp or a speed track, or defy the laws of gravity at the earthquake tables. Interactive fun can be had on two rides, experience the 4D cinema with a film starring mini figure characters, or learn how Lego is made at the factory.<br /> <br /> <em>• Legoland Discovery Centre, 1 Bass Pro Mills Dr., Vaughan, 1-855-356-2150, <a href="http://www.legolanddiscoverycentre.ca/toronto/" target="_blank">legolanddiscoverycentre.ca/</a></em><br /><br /> <em>• <a href="http://www.where.ca/listings/toronto/attractions/educational-institutions/legoland-discovery-centre/">Map and reviews</a></em>
- Best New Attraction in Toronto
- Best New Summer Attractions Awards 2013: Toronto
- <h2>Diefenbunker</h2><br /> <br /> Sitting just west of Ottawa, the Diefenbunker provides rare insight into a world that once was. This once-secret bunker, which opened in 1959, was built to protect the prime minister and government leaders in the event of a nuclear attack during the Cold War. Named after former prime minister John Diefenbaker, this unique museum does a wonderful job of presenting the prevailing thoughts and fears of the Cold War era in an extremely entertaining and thought-provoking manner.<br /> <br /> <em>• Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, 3911 Carp Rd., Carp, <a href="http://www.diefenbunker.ca/" target="_blank">diefenbunker.ca</a></em><br /><br /> <em>• <a href="http://www.where.ca/listings/ottawa/galleries-museums/museums/diefenbunker-canada-s-cold-war-museum-wh/">Map and reviews</a></em>
- Best New Attraction in Ottawa
- Best New Summer Attractions Awards 2013: Ottawa
- <h2>Investors Group Field</h2><br /> <br /> This new Canadian Football League stadium is situated on the lush Fort Garry campus of the University of Manitoba. The structure's fluid form and gorgeous architecture has quickly established the field as a point of civic pride. Comfortable seating for 33,500 cheering football fans, paired with the stadium's noise-amplifying waved canopies and sunken bowl seating have created an even larger role for the 13th player on both U of M Bisons Football and the Winnipeg Blue Bomber squads. Spectators will also savour concessions that range from fresh sushi and gelato to bison burgers and local bratwurst.<br /> <br /> <em>• Investors Group Field, 315 Chancellor Matheson Rd., Winnipeg, <a href="http://www.investorsgroupfield.ca/" target="_blank">investorsgroupfield.ca</a></em><br />
- <small>(Photo: chronic creative)</small>
- Best New Attraction in Winnipeg
- Best New Summer Attractions Awards 2013: Winnipeg
- (Photo: chronic creative)
- <h2>Heritage Park Historical Village</h2><br /> <br /> Billed as Canada’s largest living history museum, Heritage Park Historical Village has substantially upped its size and appeal while maintaining its idyllic charm. Costumed townsfolk populate this authentic pioneer railway town, which features vintage attractions such as an ice cream parlour, blacksmith shop, aboriginal encampment and antique midway. Visitors can circle the park on a working steam locomotive, cruise scenic Glenmore Reservoir on a paddlewheeler or hop a horse-drawn wagon. As well, the park’s summer cultural events lineup has been impressively boosted. A recent facility expansion is open year round and features the antique autos of Gasoline Alley Museum and the free-access restaurants and boutiques of Haskayne Mercantile Block.<br /> <br /> <em>• Heritage Park Historical Village, 1900 Heritage Dr. S.W., Calgary, 403-268-8500, <a href="http://www.heritagepark.ca/" target="_blank">heritagepark.ca</a></em><br /><br /> <em>• <a href="http://www.where.ca/listings/calgary/attractions/attractions/heritage-park-historical-village-wh/">Map and reviews</a></em>
- <small>(Photo: Heritage Park Historical Village)</small>
- Best New Attraction in Calgary
- Best New Summer Attractions Awards 2013: Calgary
- (Photo: Heritage Park Historical Village)
- <h2>The Robert Bateman Centre</h2><br /> The Robert Bateman Centre has opened as one of Victoria’s premier attractions, overlooking the Inner Harbour alongside the <a href="http://www.where.ca/listings/victoria/activities-tours/attractions/royal-bc-museum-wh/">Royal BC Museum</a>, <a href="http://www.where.ca/listings/victoria/dining/tea/the-fairmont-empress-wh/">Fairmont Empress</a> and BC Legislature. Located in the historic former Steamship Terminal, the centre exhibits the largest collection of Bateman’s work ever assembled for the public. Visitors are invited to explore their relationship with the environment through the art, but also through leading-edge technology, including a tablet and smart phone apps that scans QR codes next to each piece of art to reveal further information, videos and facts about each piece within the collection.<br /> <br /> <em>• Robert Bateman Centre, 470 Belleville St, Victoria, 250-940-3630, <a href="http://www.batemancentre.org/" target="_blank">batemancentre.org</a></em>
- <small>(Photo: Robert Bareman Centre)</small>
- Best New Attraction in Victoria
- Best New Summer Attractions Awards 2013: Victoria
- (Photo: Robert Bareman Centre)
- <h2>Extraordinary Exhibits</h2><br /> This popular, world-class space and science centre recently added a $7-million, 16,000-square-foot expansion to provide a much-needed venue to accommodate and draw travelling exhibitions. The new space has already attracted blockbuster exhibitions like <a href="http://www.starwarsidentities.com/" target="_blank">Star Wars™ Identities: The Exhibition</a> and <a href="http://www.bodyworlds.com/en.html" target="_blank">Body Worlds: The Cycle of Life</a> (pictured).<br /> <br /> <em>• Exhibit Gallery, Telus World of Science, 11211-142 St., Edmonton, 780-451-3344, <a href="http://www.telusworldofscienceedmonton.com/" target="_blank">telusworldofscienceedmonton.com</a><br /> • <a href="http://www.where.ca/listings/edmonton/attractions/attractions/telus-world-of-science-edmonton-wh/">Map and reviews</a></em>
- <small>(Photo: Telus World of Science)</small>
- Best New Attraction in Edmonton
- Best New Summer Attractions Awards 2013: Edmonton
- (Photo: Telus World of Science)
- <h2>Cave and Basin National Historic Site</h2><br /> The Cave and Basin has been a crowd-pleaser ever since railway workers stumbled upon these springs and subterranean chamber in 1885. Indeed, its popularity lead to the creation of Banff, Canada’s first national park. Now, after a two-year $13.8 million renewal, it sports a four-screen presentation on Canada’s national parks and historic sites; Story Hall (with uncovered vaulted ceiling) interpretive exhibits; Galletly Building café and events theatre; the Welcome Centre gift store and orientation displays; and enhanced Cave lighting. Marsh Boardwalk and hot springs Discovery Trail retain their longstanding allure, while new programs broaden the appeal of this iconic attraction.<br /> <br /> <em>• Cave and Basin National Historic Site, 311 Cave Ave., Banff, 403-762-1566, <a href="www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/ab/caveandbasin/index.aspx" target="_blank">website</a></em>
- <small>(Photo: Parks Canada)</small>
- Best New Attraction in the Canadian Rockies
- Best New Summer Attractions Awards 2013: Canadian Rockies
- (Photo: Parks Canada)