Grande Prairie has a lot to offer families looking to get out and have some fun, especially in the summer. Being a family with young children, it can be hard to find things that are easy to do with everyone. This list features some of our favorite local activities and businesses. The focus is on activities that are easy to do as a family and most of them are free.
1. Hunting for Food Trucks
At the beginning of the summer, we were so eager to get out of the house that we ended up driving to Crooked Creek just for some doughnuts. Now that Crooked Creek has a donut truck, there’s no need for the long drive.
It’s easy enough to find out where trucks are going to be through their social media. It can also be fun to drive around and see which ones you find. Fast Franks is one of our personal favorites. There are lots of other great options like Fry Factory, Curry in a Hurry, and Cool Cat Grilled Cheese.
If you don’t feel like driving around and searching, you can use the Food Trucks of Grande Prairie Facebook page to find out where the trucks are.
2. Walking the Trails
I get that this one doesn’t sound super exciting, but bare with me. With everything closed and working from home, everyone was going a little stir-crazy. Getting out for a little walk became a really great part of our daily routine.
In Grande Prairie, we’re lucky enough to have access to plenty of great trails. The Muskoseepi Park system has an extensive trail network with playgrounds and other activities. There is lots of parking around the reservoir, which is a great little loop to do for a short walk.
There is also a bunch of other trails, like the network around the Dunes area and the Wapiti Nordic Ski Club trails that are great for getting out of the urban environment.
3. Playing Disc Golf
We both love golf, but with a baby it’s pretty impractical. Disc golf is a great family option. Playing on the city’s Thrill Hill Disc Golf course is free and it’s right in Muskoseepi Park. You can just show up and start playing, no green fees or tee times. It’s great if you have a chariot or similar large wheel stroller because most of the course is on grassy and hilly terrain. If for some reason the baby’s not having it, you can easily get on the paved trail and back to your car.
If you’re not sure how to start, check out the Ultimate Beginner’s Guide. You can also connect with the GP Disc Golf Club for events and tips, they may also be able to provide some loaner discs if you just want to try it out. You can also pickup some discs at Ernie’s.
There are a few other courses in the region. Grande Prairie has a second course in South Bear Creek, there is a course in Pouce Coupe and there are two in Dawson Creek.
4. Picnic and Exploring Natural Areas
If you’re looking for a change of scenery, there is an abundance of great outdoor areas just a short drive from the city. Why not pack up a picnic and head somewhere new. Don’t feel like making your own? Let Calabria Deli & Bistro do the work and get one of their luxury picnic baskets.
Kleskun Hills natural area is just outside the city. Kleskun Hills are Alberta’s most northern badlands where you can see the unique landscape and vegetation of northern grasslands. There is also a collection of historical buildings there, a playground and a campground. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon with your family.
Lake Saskatoon Island Park is another great option. There is a large campground and some really nice paved trails. Plenty of spots to get a great view of the lake. You may even spot some trumpeter swans.
There are many other wonderful natural areas just outside the city to get out and explore.
5. Drive-In Movies
Drive-ins are back. Or at least there’s one in Grande Prairie now. Load the family up and head-out for a fun movie night in the comfort of your own vehicle.
Grande Sunset Theatre out at Evergreen Park shows classic movies every weekend. They also help raise money for local charities by donating proceeds to partner organizations that provide volunteers for the movie night.
They are currently announcing movies week to week while they work out a long-term plan. They are planning on hosting more family movie nights later in the season when they are able to show movies earlier.
As a health precaution, they don’t currently have a concession stand. So, bring your own snacks. Try Sticky’s Candy for your nostalgic favourites.
6. Go Berry Picking
Get out with the family and get a little dirt under your fingernails picking your own berry’s. Enjoy a short-ish drive to one of the region’s u-pick berry patches.
Dunvegan Garden Market in Fairview is another terrific option for picking your own fruit. You will also need to call them or checkout their Facebook page to know when they are resting their patch.
7. Splash Park
On a hot summer day, nothing beats cooling off in the water. Splash parks are a great option for families because there easy to get to, free and there are no swimming skills required.
There are two splash parks in Grande Prairie. One is in Muskoseepi Park and the other is in Lion’s Park. During the summer season, they are open from noon until 6:30PM. The locations also feature playgrounds and plenty of space on the grass to spread out and catch some sun or throw a ball around.
8. Art Gallery of Grande Prairie and the Montrose Cultural Center
Grande Prairie has one of the largest free admission art galleries in western Canada. They host a great variety of installations with their permanent collection and varied exhibitions. They also often have displays highlighting local artists.
The art gallery in in the Montrose Cultural Centre with the library. Swing by the Jeffrey’s Café just outside the gallery for a drink or quick snack then enjoy strolling through the gallery.
There is also a great outdoor space called the Mamawe Concourse with plenty of places to sit and enjoy a summer day. Grab a book at the library and enjoy some family reading time.
9. Farmer’s Market and Downtown
The Grande Prairie farmer’s Market hosts a wide variety of local vendors from fresh baked good to home décor. Did we mention the fruit and produce? Stop in, do a little shopping and grab something to eat from one of the food vendors. El Norteno is one of our favourite spots in town to get amazing tacos.
Afterwards, head downtown to check out the public art. Stroll through the back alleys to see the Art in the Alleys project featuring murals by local artists. Ideal for snapping some fun family photos.
Downtown is full of amazing shops. Check out Al’s News the largest private newsstand north of Edmonton. Stocked floor to ceiling with all kinds of treasures and souvenirs and souvenirs. Grab a coffee and a snack at Grande Prairie Coffee Co. Keep an eye out for when Cards Board Game Café reopens to enjoy a huge selection of board games and a fun family friendly atmosphere.
10. Have an Awesome Time at Home with Local Rentals
If you’d prefer to stay home, why not amp things up with a fun rental. There are a few local companies offering rentals that are sure to make staying-in a whole lot more exciting.
How about an outdoor movie on a 15-foot screen? Absolute Entertainment will turn your yard into the perfect outdoor theatre. Just pop the popcorn and let them do the rest!
Shake things up with a Sleepee Teepee Party. Indoor or outdoor, just pick a theme, a package and a date and let them transform your home or yard. It’s not just teepees, it’s décor, polaroid cameras and karaoke machines. Look-out for their collaborations with other local businesses.
Did someone say bouncy castle? Rio Rentals offers a variety of options like inflatable amusement parks, light up toddler cars and bumper balls.
We hope you enjoyed our list and that maybe it inspired you to get out and try something new around Grande Prairie. Do you have some ideas that should be included in our next list, let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org).