All new Banff Gondola Summit Experience
Imagine the wide smiles of your high fliers as they take the eight-minute ride on the Banff Gondola to the summit of Sulphur Mountain. Eyes will be wide as well when they arrive at the beautifully renovated facility on the mountaintop, 2,281 m (7,486 ft) above the town of Banff. It’s been completely reimagined, redesigned and rebuilt to show off the mind-bending 360 degree views of the Bow Valley and six surrounding mountain ranges. The Sulphur Mountain Boardwalk offers several scenic hiking trails and great opportunities for spotting wildlife. Bonus points for the new multisensory theatre inside the building, where guests feel like they’re soaring like an eagle over the Rockies. The new interpretive centre is filled with engaging interactive exhibits. All this activity is bound to work up an appetite so make your gift extra special with a meal at the glass-walled Sky Bistro, featuring an all-Canadian menu using locally sourced meats and produce. Hint: they have some pretty good deals on, now through the end of April.
Marmot’s great escape
The powder hounds on your list will love this one – Marmot Basin is offering half-price lift tickets every day throughout the 2016-17 season with the purchase of a Marmot Escape Card. Twenty minutes from the Jasper townsite, the ski resort boasts the highest base elevation of all Canadian ski areas. How can you go wrong with 86 runs on four mountain faces with 914 m (3,000 ft) of vertical drop? This is a gift that just keeps on giving – all season long. No blackouts. No kidding. Lots of other good deals, too, like discounts on rentals and lessons and a great way to avoid the ticket line. Check it out.
Johnston Canyon in a whole new light
…as in the light of the silvery moon, when you and your sweetheart embark on a magical evening ice walk in Banff National Park. After a day of wandering the town and enjoying a lovely meal, head back to your hotel where Discover Banff Tours will transport you to Johnston Canyon. All you need is your winter outerwear and warm boots. A certified guide will outfit you with ice cleats hiking poles and headlamps. Follow along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls as your guide’s powerful flashlight and your own headlamps reveal the jaw-dropping beauty of iridescent frozen waterfalls and the gorge below. Warm up with hot chocolate and maple cookies as you learn about the unusual geology of the canyon. Up the magic factor on the way back by turning out your headlamps!
Experience Alberta’s History Annual Pass
What better way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of this great country than with a pass to some of Alberta’s most fascinating historic sites and museums? Why not plan some visitations in the coming year to places like the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump near Fort Macleod and Frank Slide Interpretive Centre in the Crowsnest Pass? The pass is good for 19 different sites around the province. Best of all, for the twelve months the pass is valid you can go back to any of them as many times as you like – for special events or when friends come to visit. Can we say road trip(s)?
Dreams of summer at Calaway Park
Can’t wait for summer to get here? Plan ahead and get an early bird season’s pass to Calaway Park – the whole family will thank you for it. Do it before New Year’s Day and you’ll save a bundle. Located on the western edge of Calgary, this is the largest outdoor family amusement park in western Canada. There’s so much to see and do! It’s not just about the dozens of amazing rides and attractions. Add in live shows and street performers and five restaurants to treat the tastebuds. Free parking too. This is one gift that won’t be returned.
Plan to set up camp and stay a few days this summer. Calaway’s RV and tent campground makes for a great base of operations as you explore other adventures in Calgary, starting with nearby Winsport and all of the fun things to do at Canada Olympic Park.
The Alberta sky’s the limit
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting experiences as gifts. For more ideas visit travelalberta.com.