Canadian Winter Weekend Getaway Ideas for Families

Pack your bags, grab your kids and head out for a winter weekend away to Drumheller, Ottawa, Vancouver Island or Squamish


Travelling with the family can be easy and inexpensive. Here are a few places where you can spend a memorable weekend without making elaborate travel plans.

Drumheller, Alberta

If your kids can’t stop talking about T-Rexes, then Drumheller is the place to go. What better place to learn about dinosaurs than where they used to roam?

Drive through the badlands by Drumheller Valley, about one and a half hours outside of Calgary, to see unique landscape and Hoodoos, then visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum to explore Canada’s largest collection of dinosaur fossils, watch videos about fossils and the scientists who uncover them and make a fossil replica to take home.

Ottawa, Ontario

There’s plenty to see in the nation’s capital in the winter, including Winterlude, one of Canada’s biggest celebrations of winter. But if a quiet, outdoorsy getaway with the clan is what you’re looking for, Gatineau Park is a prime spot for winter camping. Depending on your comfort level, you can choose to stay in tents, yurts or cabins. Ski or snowshoe during the day, then relax by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa in hand at night.

Best of all, you won’t have to worry about bugs.

Vancouver Island, B.C.


Winter storm watching in Tofino. Photo by D-Stanley on Flickr.

If, unlike most people, you’d rather head toward severe weather than away from it, then winter-storm watching on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in Ucluelet and Tofino is perfect for you. Watch in awe as 10-metre waves from the Pacific Ocean crash against the rocky shore. You don’t need to pay for admission or a tour. All you need is a cozy oceanfront hotel room and you’re all set.

Squamish, B.C.

Whistler is an incredibly popular destination that is sure to be packed, so spend the weekend in Squamish instead. Your family can visit the Squamish Winter Farmers’ Markets for local food products and crafts, learn about life as a copper miner at the Britannia Mine Museum, enjoy some skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing, and maybe even see bald eagles soar above.

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