The best in family fun: Alberta

Ponoka StampedeJune 26-July 2There’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

Photo courtesy of Canmore Highland Games.

Ponoka Stampede
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

Calgary Stampede
July 6-15

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
July 26-29

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

Fairy-Berry Festival
August 4-6

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
August 15-18

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
September 2

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