June 26-July 2
There’s something for everyone at the 76th annual Ponoka Stampede. There are plenty of rodeo competitions (from barrel racing to team roping), and kids will enjoy rodeo entertainer Crash Cooper’s comedy routine. Families can make the most of it by pitching a tent at the on-site campground.
Prices vary. Stampede Grounds, Ponoka. 403-783-3120; ponokastampede.com
Canada’s top rodeo turns a century old! Your little cowgirls and cowboys will be entertained by the Youth Livestock Show, rodeo, chuckwagon races, SuperDogs show, live animal exhibits and so on. If they’re seeking more adventure and thrills, they can hop on one of the 26 rides in the Kids’ Midway, sign up for the Kids’ Pedal Tractor Pull or shake to a musical show on the Buckaroos stage. Check out our Travel Planner at todaysparent.com/stampede.
$8-$16; Children 6 and under free. Stampede Park, Calgary. 403-261-0101; calgarystampede.com
Calgary Folk Music Festival
The best of folk music (think Chris Isaak, Beirut and Shad) lands in the West. It’s the fest’s family area, though, where little folks unleash their creative spirits as they play instruments, decorate puppets, jump in the inflatable bouncers or have their faces painted.
$55 and up; Children 12 and under free. Prince's Island Park, Calgary. calgaryfolkfest.com
To celebrate the end of Alberta’s yummy strawberry season, Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farm is throwing a whimsical party themed with everything fairy and pirate, as well as with fairy-berry-delicious treats. Children will relish the magic while riding the mini tractors, climbing the straw bale fort, hula hooping, getting crafty or playing a medieval game. Even sweeter: Kids who come dressed as pirates and fairies get in free.
Admission $10; activity fees vary. Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farm, 56311 Lily Lake Rd., Bon Accord. 780-921-2272; prairiegardens.org
Jasper Heritage Rodeo
It’s time to kick up some western family fun while you raise the barn dust by dancing the day away. When you’re not showing off your duds, you won’t want to miss the professional cowboys rope, ride and race against time. Kids are invited to the L’il Britches corral for horseback riding, games, face painting and barbecued fare.
$12 and up; Children under 4 free; Family Night (AUG. 17) $52 for 2 adults and 2 children. Jasper Activity Centre, 303 Pyramid Ave., and other nearby locations, Jasper. www.jasperheritagerodeo.com
Canmore Highland Games
Young and old embody the Celtic spirit as they compete in Highland dances. Or your crew might prefer the heavy sports contests, in which well-muscled challengers putt stones, throw hammers and toss cabers. Browse the marketplace for traditional piping supplies, Highland dresses, food and toys.
$7 and up; Children under 6 free. Centennial Park in Canmore (intersection of 6th St. at 6th Ave.). 403-678-9454 canmorehighlandgames.ca