Road Trips from Calgary

Road Trips from Calgary

Plan your road trip from Calgary to Nature’s Getaway Mountain Resort!

Looking for awesome? You’ll find it all along the way on your road trip from Calgary to Nature’s Getaway Mountain Resort in Nordegg, Alberta.

Before you get to Nature’s Getaway

There’s lots to see and do on the way. Begin your adventure the minute you start your car because the journey should be an integral part of the best road trip from Calgary you’ve ever had.

Experience Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary!

Why not take the longer route? Head to Cochrane on Highway 1A, northwest out of Calgary. Just past Cochrane, you can stop at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary. Take a guided tour and experience close encounters with wolfdogs (they look just like wolves)! You might even be lucky enough to have one eat a treat from your hand. It’s worth the stop!

Go Rafting!

Leaving Cochrane and just before Kananaskis, get ready to see Alberta from the water line. Time for a thrilling ride on the Kananaskis River with Chinook Rafting! Exciting, whitewater fun for all ages 5 to 95 years. Spend two hours on the water on this rafting adventure (rated at level easy). This memory you’ll retell over and over again. Remember to book ahead.

Have you ever thought about going “into” the Rockies?

Why not go spelunking and head into one of Canada’s longest caves? Just outside Canmore is the best adventure ever, complete with ancient pictographs, 7000 year old bones, and beautiful cave formations. Rain or shine, gear up and come on a tour into Rat’s Nest Cave with Canmore Cave Tours.

When planning your 3-day trip from Calgary, do you want to try something cool? I mean hot?

Check out Canada’s first national park: Banff’s Cave and Basin National Historic Site. Check out the large cave full of hot mineral water complete with a very strong sulphur smell. At this historic site, there’s so much to see and do, but the Banff Springs Snails are certainly an unexpected delight. After you’ve finished exploring this awesome natural cave, go outside and swim in the be autiful, emerald-coloured pool. Slow down and enjoy this serene place with picturesque views.

If you want to soak up nature, then walk the trail to Lake Agnes Tea House.

The trailhead starts along the Lake Louise lakeshore and consists of a well-groomed trail that ends at a popular lunch spot. There are some stairs but all ages can tackle this 2-3 hour (3.5 km one way) hike to Agnes Lake. This hike is rated as “easy” due to the hike’s length and the 400-meter climb. If possible, arrive before 9:00 am as there’s limited parking.

Why not experience Alberta’s pristine mountain wilderness on the back of a horse?

Brewster Adventures near Lake Louise offers an extraordinary way to see the Rockies! Book in advance to make this part of your 3-day road trip from Calgary.

Leave fear behind. See Alberta from the sky!

Just outside of Innisfail is Alberta Skydive Central. This team of professionals are ready and waiting to introduce you to the experience of Tandem Skydiving. Call ahead and book an experience of a lifetime! Get your feet off the ground and wow all your senses. It’s a surreal kind of magic to fly through the air. Push yourself to the limit. Book your best weekend trip from Calgary! Take the jump!

Looking for an unusual piece of Albertan history?

How about a house tour with a side of poetry? Have you ever heard of Stephansson House Provincial Historic Site west of Red Deer? In 1889 an Icelandic man named Stephan Stephansson brought his family to Alberta and eventually became known as “the poet of the Rocky Mountains.” Touring through his house is like being transported back to the 1920s. No electricity, an old record player, a cast iron stove … it’s like walking into history.

Tired of the Rat Race? Take the slow road to Nordegg.

Try wandering up Highway 22 (Cowboy Trail) up to Rocky Mountain House. This two-lane road is definitely off the beaten path. Bobbing and weaving among farms and ranches is a wonderful way to see rural Alberta. You’ll slow down and feel more relaxed as you journey to your best weekend ever at Nature’s Getaway in Nordegg. Once you get to Rocky Mountain House make sure to stop by Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site. Learn about the history of fur trading in this area and immerse yourself in the legendary stories of Indigenous Peoples. Check out the website so you don’t miss an event, tour or trail. It’s an interesting cultural hot spot. At Rocky Mountain House you’re going to take Highway 11 (David Thompson Highway) west towards Nordegg. This route is the most scenic part of your road trip from Calgary so make sure to travel during daylight hours and leave time to stop for photos along the way. Some even stop off at the many rivers and lakes for a quick fishing trip.

Your best weekend trip is only a short drive to Nordegg but make sure to allow for lots of stops. Whether it’s to look at the scenery, take photos, have a picnic lunch, check out historical sites, or take a hike.

Once in Nordegg, plan to visit Brazeau Collieries Mine National Heritage Site.

Established in 1909, Brazeau Collieries is one of Canada’s largest industrial heritage sites and has many structures still standing. This Discovery Centre is home to guided mine tours and an Interpretive/Exhibit Centre. Kids love it here. Check their website for hours of operation. Abraham Lake is one of those places you just have to stop at and take photos.

Visit Abraham Lake!

You may have seen it if you approached Nordegg from the west. It’s a strikingly teal coloured lake called Abraham Lake. In the winter it freezes crystal clear and you can see frozen methane bubbles dotting its surface. You can expect rock climbing, wilderness canoe trips, whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, and more!

Whether you’re on your way to Nature’s Getaway Mountain Resort in Nordegg, or heading home after a perfect 3 day weekend, plan to incorporate one of these many adventures. Some are relaxing, some are thrilling, but all will make you glad you came. Create great memories. Have the best road trip ever!

Abraham Lake Ice Bubbles

Abraham Lake Ice Bubbles

Do you have a bucket list? Is it full of things like “see the Mona Lisa” and “go to the Grand Canyon”?

Here is a new bucket list item for you to discover:

The Ice Bubbles at Abraham Lake!

Abraham Lake is such a beautiful lake. It’s renowned for its astounding teal colour. During the summer many day-trippers love to hike the hills to get a better view and take photos, while others love to kayak the lake and have a water-level experience. Either way, it’s always a lovely stop. And most notably, the winter season is visitors’ favourite time to come because of the frozen bubbles!

A Bit of History on Abraham Lake…

Abraham Lake, an artificial lake, came into being in 1972 when the Bighorn Dam was built on the North Saskatchewan River. Originally constructed by the Calgary Power Company, this beautiful, glacial lake is Alberta’s largest reservoir. And it has an unusual phenomenon. What is the draw to Abraham Lake? Methane bubbles. In the winter this clear, teal water freezes and in the ice you can see stacks of bubbles. It’s amazing to see. You won’t regret stopping by.

The Best Time to Visit Abraham Lake

The best time to visit the Abraham Lake Bubbles is in the winter is mid-January to mid-February. The ice bubbles are visible into March and April but the ice surface isn’t as clear and so may affect your viewing experience. Also, ice bubble visibility varies depending on the weather so check the website and, while you’re there, read their safety guide. In the safety guide section, you will find the ice condition updates. They also have some great tips on what gear to bring and how to be safe while exploring the Abraham Lake ice bubbles. Do consider renting ice cleats and signing up for a guided tour as this makes for a more enjoyable visit. 

Is it easy to get to the Abraham Lake ice bubbles?

Yes! Access is from the David Thompson Highway, just 35km west of Nordegg which makes it the perfect place to stop for a visit. Abraham Lake Ice Bubbles viewpoint with the safest access is between the Ice Bubbles Parking Lot and Cline Creek because of its gently sloping shoreline. 

There are a few companies in Nordegg who will take you around the lake and introduce you to the awesome, teal, frozen waterfall known as Crescent Falls. They also help to keep you safe and teach you what to look out for and avoid. Often tours include a professional guide, a picnic lunch, ice cleats, and transportation from Nordegg. Hiring a guide is worth it.

What causes the ice bubbles in Abraham Lake?

It’s vegetation that has been submerged. As it decomposes it releases methane bubbles. In the winter as the lake ice thickens, the bubbles get caught in the ice at varying levels creating stacks of bubbles. Couple that with the white horizontal cracks in the ice and the deep blue colour of the ice around the bubbles and you get gorgeous photos. Clear winter days with blue skies and bright sunshine. It truly is a beautiful place. You can even take photos at night on the lake just remember to bring a light. This is a must-stop for photo enthusiasts.

So whether you are looking for a quick winter stop where you can have lunch and see some methane bubbles in the ice, or you want an awesome day trip with a guide, Abraham Lake methane bubbles are a great addition to your bucket list. If you’re wanting to embark on a full-day experience, plan to stay at Nature’s Getaway. The fully appointed, modern cabins, complete with hot tubs, are a great way to end the perfect day.

Plan to stay the weekend and take in some other great adventures around Nordegg.

Are you into winter hikes or fat tire biking? Try one of the many trails which offer stunning views of Abraham Lake and the surrounding mountains. There’s something about traipsing along a winter trail unmarked by footprints that heals your soul. The sunshine on your face, the fluffy pure white snow, the clean, crisp air… it is a winter paradise.

Bring your snowshoes or cross-country skis and enjoy the sparkling terrain, brilliant blue skies, and bird calls. Nature is all around you. You’ll come across deer and mountain goats feeding along the trails amongst the pines. Climb a frozen waterfall. Gain elevation and take a heli sightseeing tour. Try a heli snowshoe and ice bubble adventure tour towards the Cline River valley. Nordegg has it all… majestic mountains, stunning glaciers, and awesome lakes.

This winter, why not put Abraham Lakes’ ice bubbles on your bucket list and come to Nature’s Getaway – the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate? We hope to see you this winter.

Micro Wedding Venues

Micro Wedding Venues

 So, you said “YES” and are ready to start planning for the wedding of your dreams. But there’s much to ‘DO’ before the “I DO” happens. It’s fun to dream about the big day but when it comes to making the magic come to life, it takes a lot of time and planning. Are you feeling overwhelmed already? Maybe paring back can help you achieve some of those “must haves”. Consider this, fewer guests means you can reallocate money to other items. Micro wedding venues can allow you to afford quality items. Your money will go further and it will be easier to get the magical wedding you’ve always wanted.

Location, location, location! Planning a micro wedding (50 people or less) allows for more options. Micro wedding venues are smaller spaces which means you can choose unusual places to exchange your vows. The problem that most people run into when choosing a venue is that often it’s booked years in advance. But if you are planning a micro wedding there’s often a side room, garden or outdoor space available. Still, you should book your venue as soon as possible.

Choosing Micro Wedding Venues

Some people have in mind the exact place they want to get married and so they are limited to the dates available at that place. Some have a date in mind and so have to find a venue with that date open. Some have a theme in mind and so want a venue that speaks to that theme. All of these things will limit your options.

If you’re not sure of your theme then you’ll have to do some research before choosing your venue. Start with a vision board. Collect images that appeal to you. Pinterest is great for this. Then, when looking at the collection, look for items that are similar and make note of them. It may be a dominant colour or the repetition of a certain flower, or that all the images are outside, or rustic. And maybe you are lucky enough to find that one image that encompasses exactly the look you are wanting to achieve. This is an important step in determining your wedding location even though it doesn’t seem to be. But it is. It will help you decide if a beach is the perfect location, or a barn, or a forest. And once you’ve done that you can start looking for your venue.

Here are a Couple of Great Micro Wedding Venue Ideas and their Themes.

Rustic Forest
Imagine walking barefoot through soft, green grass to the edge of a waterfall, carrying a brightly coloured bunch of wildflowers. The wreath of flowers in your hair holds back your loose tresses as you walk under white paper doves hung overhead. During the ceremony a small bird sings a song and during your vows a butterfly floats by. After the ceremony you all go back to your cabins to change into more casual clothes and then reconvene at the lake to eat a gourmet dinner on wooden tables while stings of fairy lights hang above in the trees. Later you gather around a camp fire or play games on the lawn.

Mad Hatter Wedding in a Garden
Tea parties don’t have to be stuffy and boring, they can be outrageous and lots of fun. Imagine you’re wearing a dress with a full skirt covered in layers of tulle. Does it seem normal? Expected? It’s not and you know it for under all that tulle is a brightly coloured, striped petticoat. Hinting at your rebellious nature, as you begin to walk down the aisle, people can see the hint of stripes at the hem of your dress and the bright pink tips of your shoes! The bridle music starts to play and all heads turn to look at you which makes you smile for your guests have gladly taken to heart your theme and have worn the most outlandish hats! After the vows, you settle in to a lavish tea party. Sitting at mis-matched tables and chairs your guests enjoy the most decadent cakes while above them are flying books, tea pots, bird cages and empty picture frames. After a game of croquet, the perfect wind up to the perfect day is a food truck, glow-in-the-dark cocktails and dancing under the stars.

When Choosing a Micro Wedding Venue You Must go see it if you can.

Looking at a venue online is helpful but you must go to the actual site and see if it matches your expectations. Why not plan a little weekend getaway with your honey and stay there for a couple of days? You can explore the area and this will help to convince you you’ve made the right choice. Pro tip: go in the same season you are planning to get married. This enables you to see if it’s winding, cold, hot or if there are loud noises or bugs. All of these things could impact your big day so always go see the venue.

The Best Micro Wedding Venues are Often the Simplest.

One of my favourite weddings was the modern cabins in the woods wedding. I loved the smell of pine trees, the sound of cawing crows and the rustle of a cool summer breeze. Watching my friends get married amongst these smells and sounds created a memory that’s easily triggered causing my mind to wander back to that beautiful day when the most important thing for the couple was being surrounded by the people they loved. Pine trees always take my mind back to those gorgeous cabins and that perfect, simple wedding.

When searching for micro wedding ceremony venues, because you have fewer guests, you can have the ceremony at the same place as the reception. Having everything in one location makes things so much simpler. From set up to tear down and the transportation of decorations, food and people. If you can also stay there the weekend of the wedding, that’s even better. So when considering a micro wedding venue, consider choosing one place for both the ceremony and the reception, one that meets all your needs.

…More Unique Micro Wedding Venue Ideas.

The study of an old manor house, high up in the mountains looking down over a lake, hot springs resort, a glass greenhouse, a little chapel on a private estate, in a teepee, on a yacht, in a park, at a tourist attraction, in a lake (yes, actually in the lake). Let’s face it, with fewer people in attendance, you can get married almost anywhere so let your imagination run wild.

Here’s a List of things to Consider when Choosing Micro Wedding Venues:

  • What is your budget?
  • If you want a specific date, what venues are available?
  • If you want a specific venue, what number of guests can they accommodate?
  • How accessible is your preferred location?
  • Have you read any testimonials?
  • Does the venue suit your theme?
  • Does the venue have accommodations for you and your guests?
  • Can the venue accommodate both your ceremony and reception?
  • What amenities do they have?
  • Is there catering available?
  • Can my caterer use the kitchen/BBQ?
  • Can I bring my own alcohol?
  • What kinds of chairs, tables and linens do they have?
  • Do they offer set up and clean up services?
  • Is there a place to store the wedding cake and flowers?
  • Are there microphones/sound systems/speakers?
  • What happens if it rains?
  • Is public transportation near by?
  • Can guests park over night?

To sum it up, remember to plan in advance, visit the venue, and be creative. Once you’ve chosen your theme and your venue is selected, there’s still a ton to do but now you can focus on fun tasks like cake tasting, choosing chocolates and buying the perfect dress. With your date locked down you’ll feel like things are finally starting to happen. These are wonderful times. Enjoy the process of planning for your perfect wedding day. Congratulations.

 25 Ideas to make your Micro Wedding Special

  1. Fun Selfies – Polaroids are a wonderful and relatively inexpensive way for people to take photos at your wedding. Go retro.
  2. Hand Written Invitations or Wedding Announcements – With fewer guests on your list, it’s much easier to send handwritten invitations with beautiful hand lettering, rather than printing hundreds. Or, you might even skip the formal invitations and opt to call each of your guests instead.
  3. A Restaurant as a Venue – Fewer people on the guest list means the world is your oyster when it comes to choosing a nontraditional venue, and a restaurant may be the perfect fit.
  4. Backyard Wedding – Consider using the backyard of your family house for a cozy venue.
  5. AirBNB Wedding Venue – Choosing an Airbnb venue may be the perfect fit for your needs.
  6. Find a Small Space in a Large Venue – Traditional venues are full of unexpected spaces that are perfect for smaller celebrations.
  7. Be Thoughtful with Activities – As you’re determining the details and activities, decide what is important to you and your partner and skip the things that don’t matter.
  8. Invest in Your Photographer – A fantastic photographer is a great investment, no matter how many guests will be in attendance, but a smaller guest list may mean more opportunities to capture sentimental moments.
  9. Add Memorable Details – A smaller wedding means that you can go all in on the details.
  10. Splurge on Dinner – If you’re not feeding a huge crowd, you have more room for a detailed menu. Whether you’re wishing for a seven-course meal with expert wine pairings, an elaborate buffet, or a fun food truck on-site, the options are infinite with a smaller wedding.
  11. Personalize Place Cards – Place cards offer so much opportunity for customization, and with a smaller guest list there are fewer to make or buy. Opt for a personalized touch with calligraphed place cards for each guest. Make them even more special by writing on something that ties into the theme of your wedding.
  12. Go Bold with Florals – You may find that you have more room in your floral budget than you thought. Why not go big with statement arrangements?
  13. Use Hand Written Menus –  If you’re hoping to add a special handwritten touch to your tablescape for dinner, doing menus on your own is a beautiful idea.
  14. Add Sweet Touches – Who says you can’t add hand-painted touches just because? Little embellishments like personalized macarons will make every guest feel so special.
  15. Plan for a Small Cake – With fewer guests, you’ll need less cake. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have the dessert of your dreams. Chat with your baker about sticking with the tiered approach if that’s what you love.
  16. Get Married at Home – Plan an intimate backyard wedding on a warm fall or summer night. Use our backyard wedding ideas to transform your yard into a dream wedding venue! You could even have a food truck pull up to the backyard for a unique catering experience, set up lawn games for an interactive event, or gather around a fire pit later in the evening.
  17. Be Creative – If you’re planning a small, unique wedding, a brunch wedding might be the perfect choice for you! Rather than host a nighttime wedding with dinner served, get married in the morning and host brunch instead. Everyone loves brunch food, and this creative wedding idea will set your big day apart from other weddings! Small weddings offer more options in terms of food service style, so you can create a brunch wedding that is uniquely yours.
  18. Choose a Unique Venue – A smaller wedding means that you have more options venue-wise. Smaller groups can fit into more diverse venues, so get creative! You don’t have to exchange vows at a traditional venue, so consider any space that you enjoy and that can fit your guest list!
  19. Dine at One Large Table – Wherever you host your small wedding, a shorter guest list makes it possible to hold a family-style dinner! Whether you all share one large meal or you get individual dishes, consider bringing out a long table where everyone can sit together. If you love the family angle, consider using family recipes and comfort food as one of your food options.
  20. Go Low Key – Lavish weddings can get expensive, from gourmet catering to elaborate floral displays and ornate wedding venues. If an extravagant wedding sounds too stuffy for your tastes, opt for a casual small wedding! Serve up comfort foods or finger foods like pizza, sandwiches, or even barbecue favourites like burgers, hot dogs, and ribs.
  21. Cut the Wedding Party – One of the most popular small wedding ideas is to go without a wedding party. If your guest list is small enough, then all of your guests are VIPs. Bridesmaids and groomsmen can add expenses to a wedding, so going without an official bridal party and grooms party can also help you cut down your wedding budget.
  22. Splurge on Special Details – A small wedding helps you save money in various ways, so you may have some extra spending money. Allocate your budget where it matters most, and don’t be afraid to splurge on something you love for your wedding day.
  23. Make it a Whole Weekend – With a smaller guest list, you can include everyone in events like the rehearsal dinner or even an after wedding day brunch. Whether you have a destination wedding or keep it local, consider inviting your guests to a full weekend’s worth of events.
  24. Have an Outdoor Reception – A part of your small wedding plans is the reception. Take it outdoors and you’ll be sure to get the most stunning backdrop.
  25. Have a Dancefloor Flip-Flop Station – If you opt for a dancefloor, create a flip-flop station for guests in case they want to kick off their formal shoes. Better yet, have the flip-flops personalized as a take-home gift for your guests.

Small Wedding Ideas To Stand Out

One of the greatest things about a small wedding is that there are no rules. You can set up everything to your heart’s content and add surprises tucked into every nook. Intimate things like personalized blankets for keepsakes and handy if you are having an evening outdoor wedding.

  • Have Some Modernity – Take casual to the next level by incorporating geodes, tassels, and neon signs for some modernity.
  • Doughnuts Cake – Be creative with your cake and go small but present it on a tiered cake stand with a cascade of doughnuts, macarons, and flowers. SO fun, so pretty!
  • Arrange Chairs in a Refreshing Way – Ditch tradition and refreshingly arrange chairs so that everyone can have a bird’s eye view. Take advantage of the small number of attendees by giving everyone the best seat in the house! All the chairs could be in a circle with you in the middle so everyone has a great view.
  • Give your Guests a “Reception-in-a-bag” – You can have as many as 50 guests at your wedding ceremony as of June 2020, but receptions are still a maximum of 10 guests. So when you have to say goodbye to some of your party after you say “I do”, you can send them home with a creative adult gift bag. Think of items like a bottle of wedding wine, two portions of wedding cake, and a small flower arrangement.
  • Use Custom Artwork for Invitations – Hiring an artist to create custom artwork for your invitations takes it to a new level of personalization. You could have them recreate an illustration of your venue or perhaps an engagement photo of the couple. Consider setting the intimate wedding feel from the start by sending a handwritten invite on beautiful stationary to your guests. You can add a touch of formality with a custom wax seal, too.
  • Create Ultra-Deluxe Place Cards – Think of extravagant place settings that are beyond paper. Oyster shell trimmed with gold? Carved wood slice? Custom mirror with calligraphy? The sky is the limit.
  • Use Soft Lighting to Create Intimacy – With a small guest list, the bright lights of a big hall can illuminate the space and kill the mood. Use an assortment of lighting to create intimate spaces for your guests to relax and dine. Think lamps, fairy lights, Edison lights, lanterns, glowing orbs, tea lights, chandeliers, and tapered candles.
  • Use Lush Table Garlands – Your dinner guests with be safely spaced out at the table leaving extra room. Don’t leave it looking empty – it’s the perfect opportunity for lush table garlands. Having the garlands trail beyond the table also adds some extravagance to your rustic garden dinner.
  • Use Vintage China and SilverUpgrading your china and silverware is a simple way to add more elegance to your table. Some families have china or silverware that has been in the family for generations, adding a sentimental touch too.
  • Experiment with Creative Table Layouts – Five sweetheart tables for your 10 guests? One large round table that seats everyone? A large, elegant banquet table weaving through a garden setting? The space is yours to create a unique layout for your guests. Just make sure they can always access food, drink, and conversation. Extra-large tables can add a feeling of grandeur, especially with fewer people all dining together at magnificent table settings. Round or U-shaped tables are classic wedding planner choices for creating an intimate “across the table” feel.
  • Be Creative with your Flower Arrangements – Make a flower arrangement for each table setting. Typically you’d make a centrepiece for every table, but since there may only be one or two you could make a small floral arrangement for each guest. It could be used to hold the place card or menu, a boutonnière or corsage for your guests to wear, or as a thank you gift. Dine under an overheard floral arrangement.Moss, trailing greens, lush florals, and soft fairy lights can hang overhead as you and your guests make conversation and enjoy dinner. Not only is it trendy, but it also helps to fill the space. Just remember whatever type of centrepiece you choose, it can’t block guests from seeing one another.
  • Add a Chandelier to your Ceremony or Reception – Nothing says elegance like a chandelier. Some venues will even offer this as an upgrade, but it makes an excellent focal point and can be adorned with delicate greens and florals for a summer night’s dream feel.
  • Bring the Outdoors Inside with Greenery – Another idea for filling out the room! Large plants and trees not only help to take up space, but they also create a magical atmosphere.
  • Try a Multi-Room Venue – Estates and private homes with multiple rooms are an ideal choice for smaller weddings because the rooms are not as large and easily filled. Also, your guests can move from one room to the other as the wedding progresses. Ceremony in the garden, cocktails in the library, dinner in the dining room, and dancing under the stars on the patio.
  • Replace the DJ with a Band – Instead of crowd-pleasers and group dance numbers, have a pianist, instrumental trio, or a small band serenade your wedding and set the mood from ceremony to dinner to dancing.
  • Plan Conversation Starters and Games for After Dinner – After dinner, retire to your lounge area and keep the conversation and drinks flowing with some silly wedding games. Make them more interactive, for example if you want to play the shoe game, have guests write down their guesses as they go and the person who gets the most right wins!
  • Get Creative with Special Dances – You may not have enough guests to do a “single ladies” dance or others, but you can still have special dances! For example, have each song associated with a memory that all (or most) of your guests will remember: Mom and Dad’s wedding song, Bride and friends’ favourite song in college.
  • Ditch the Photo Booth for more Photography – With a limited number of guests, an excellent photographer will have ample opportunity to take photos of you with all of your guests. Many of our smaller weddings take time to tour the grounds together and make use of a wide variety of backdrops.
  • Personal Thank-You Gift – The small number of guests you have at your wedding will be your closest family and friends that you know so well. You can pick a personal thank-you gift that you know they will love.

If you are searching for the perfect small wedding venue, your search is over.

Intimate Rustic Weddings or Elopements at Nature’s Getaway

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Family Reunion Ideas

Family Reunion Ideas

Family Reunion Ideas for your Stay at Nature’s Getaway

There are so many fun family reunions ideas! It’s not just a time to get together with loved ones you haven’t seen for years, it’s time to create great memories you’ll talk about for a life time. Nature’s Getaway is the perfect spot for a family reunion. We have a variety of cabins nestled in a spectacular wilderness and a wonderful cook house where incredible feasts can be created, families can eat together and play games. Gather at the cook house. Unwind, relaxing and laugh. This is the ideal spot to host your small group of close friends and family.

If your family has spread out over Canada (or around the world), it’s easy to come together at Nature’s Getaway as we are just a short distance from Calgary’s international airport (YYC). Plan for a leisurely, scenic drive as you’ll be frequently stopping to take photos on the way. Once you arrive in this quiet paradise, you can start to recharge away from the bustle of every day life.

Looking for great family reunions ideas?

An Awards Ceremony is a blast!

Plan ahead and dig into your family history to discover interesting stories and then make fun awards to give to that family member. The real fun is when you give the award to the recipient as they get to give a thank you speech which includes an explanation of why they are getting the award. Did you know your aunt won a beauty contest? Did you know you cousin is a bull rider? So many unusual and funny stories will be told. It really is a fantastic way to get to know each other better and have some laughs.

Another variation on this is a Family Trivia game.

Come up with a bunch of questions like: “Who won a car racing in 1977?” or “Who has visited 52 countries including Russia and Iceland?” You can have an award for the person or for the table which gets the most correct answers. The award you give can be a silly award like an old sneaker painted gold, or an old, broken household item like an coffee maker. And the next time you have a family reunion they can award someone else that same award and pass it on. It can be passed on for years to come.

Looking for more family reunion game ideas? Do you want to go exploring? How about a Scavenger Hunt through the forest? Or a Bingo Hike through the woods? We are situated in a spectacular wilderness which is such a pleasure to wander through. Kids will love to search for squirrels, deer foot prints, mushrooms and wild flowers. They can collect photos of their experiences in nature throughout the their stay.

Here are some great event ideas.

Plan a Family Talent Show night.

It’s a hoot! Have you ever seen your great aunt do a hula dance? Did you know that grandpa is a stand-up comedian? Don’t forget to take pictures or record a video of these hidden talents. This event will provide hours of laughter. A variation on this idea is Joke Night or Karaoke Night. Step into the spotlight!

Another wonderful idea is Family Story Time.

Kids and adults alike will enjoy the retelling of stories which might be forgotten if not retold. And it’s so much better to hear it directly from the person who actually experienced the event.

One story will remind someone of another which will lead to hours of interesting stories while you roast marshmallows a round a camp fire. And it might even spark a family member to write a memoir to preserve your family history.

Create new memories with a Photo Booth.

It can be a simple set up. Or you could find a Polaroid camera, some film and let people take “selfies”. Be sure to bring markers so they can write message on the photos. After you can create a digital photo album to email to everyone. At the same time why not make a family directory so everyone can keep in touch after the reunion.

Rediscover old memories with a “Who am I?” contest.

Prior to arriving at the family reunion ask people to send you their baby photos. At the family reunion you can create a wall of photos and number them. Then people can try and put a name to the pictures. Another version of this idea is to gather around a campfire and read off facts about a family member and see how quickly someone can guess who it is.

Other family activities to consider are Movie Night, Board Game Night, Dress-Up Dance Party, and Family Olympics.

Some are easier to plan then others but all of them are loads of fun. And don’t forget to leave some down time so you can soak in a hot tub, look at the stars and relax. Sometimes those unplanned hours are the best opportunities to reconnect with each other.

If your family likes to get outside and do something, there’s lots to do around Nordegg. There’s lakes full of fish, rock faces to be scaled, white water rivers to raft, trails to hike, mountains to bike, and the famous Abraham Lake with it’s frozen methane bubbles in the winter. Plan for day trips to the Icefield Parkway or the check out the Brazeau Collieries Mine National Heritage Site. Stretch your legs and take a tour … or walk, or hike, or bike. Regardless of the season, there skiing and snowshoeing too. It’s time to get back to nature and recharge.

Looking for fun food ideas for your family reunion?

How about a bake off or a cake decorating contest? You can decorate cup cakes and then after you’ve judged them and awarded a winner, you get to eat them. Yum! Or make ice cream the old way with a hand cranked ice cream maker. Everyone can take part in the process. Or get the men involved in a BBQ rib contest. Don’t forget about grandma’s famous potato salad! Why not have a pot luck dinner where everyone makes a favourite dish and exchanges recipes. Then you can create a family recipe book.

Here’s some family reunion cake ideas because you don’t want to forget about birthdays or anniversaries. If someone has a birthday during your reunion make sure to have a funny cake for them. It can be decorated around a memory, hilarious story or maybe you decorate the cake to look like them. Let your creativity run wild and create some edible fun!

Are you a family of book worms? How about planning a book exchange?

You could make a it a surprise book exchange and wrap the books ahead of time so no one knows what they are getting. Or if you are a creative family, plan a crafting afternoon. The final results can be shown at dinner that evening. Or work together to create a family tree using photos. Remember to include photos of those who are unable to join you at the reunion.

Those are just a few fun ideas for you to consider when planning your family reunion. And don’t forget that we are here to help you with your plans. We really hope to see you and your extended family soon. Whether you want to relax and rejuvenate, get back to nature, play games of just have some fun. Nature’s Getaway awaits you with starry night skies, camp fires, and quiet natural surroundings. Get back in touch with each other and with nature. Reunite at Nature’s Getaway.


Alberta’s 10 Tourism Development Zones

Alberta’s 10 Tourism Development Zones

There’s lots to do here! What are you looking for? Adventure? Relaxation? History? Arts and Culture?

We have it all in Alberta’s Ten Tourism Development Zones.

Whether you are a visitor or a resident, when you come to visit Nature’s Getaway we encourage you to also stop by our neighbours. Why not take the roads less traveled and wander your way here. Take the time to enjoy your journey and try something new along the way.

If you’re heading out of Calgary to come and see us, take a little dip in your trip and head southwest to Bragg Creek’s Bakery & Café in Bragg Creek just 40 minutes outside of Calgary on highway 8. It’s a lovely drive through beautiful country side on winding roads ending in the quaint hamlet of Bragg Creek where you must stop for a coffee and pastry in the cutest bakery ever! And make sure to stock up for the road trip ahead. Trust me, there is no better road trip snacks then this!

Rustle up an adventure on horseback and ride the old Cowboy Trail.

From Calgary you can drive along the Foothills on the Cowboy Trail, some 700km north on highway 22. Along this historical route you can take in a pow-wow, a rodeo or get on the back of a horse and ride the trails through our rugged mountains. Imagine our ancestors coming across the prairies and seeing the Rockies for the first time. Ride back into history on the back of a horse as you experience our pristine wilderness as a cowboy.

Bring your lunch to the Pioneer Village at the Sundre Museum where you can stroll back in time. Soak up the beauty of our gardens, investigate the historical houses, check out the farm machinery and sit on a wagon. And to learn more about Albertan history, come to the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site. Fur traders, cowboys, and the Hudson’s Bay Co. traders and mapmakers. There’s so much to see and do, the kids will love it here! Bring your cowboy hat. It’s time to saddle up!

Raise a glass. Did you know that has a page on craft breweries and distilleries?

Why not plan to stop by for a different kind of culinary adventure and taste a new brew? Famous for is barley, wheat and water, Alberta has more then 170 places you can visit. Try a trip to Blindman Brewing in Red Deer, Snake Lake Taproom at Sylvan Lake (they have live music) or Belly Hop Brewing north of Red Deer. There’s tons of taprooms all over Alberta.

If you’re driving down to Nordegg from Edmonton go down highway 2 and then head west on 53 and swing by the Hawk Tail Brewery in Rimbey for scrumptious food and lovely ales. Such a great place! Such good food! Don’t forget about Sunday brunch. And if you’d like to try something totally different on highway 22 south of Draton Valley is the Grey Owl Meadery where you can taste a flight of wine made fr om honey sourced from wild flowers and clover. You’ll be surprised. It’s not what you think.

So go ahead and grab a pint of your favourite bevy and make sure to bring some to Nature’s Getaway. There’s nothing better then sitting under the stars, listening to the crickets and sipping your favourite elixir.

Go fishing. Put on your waders and step into Alberta’s pristine waters full of trout! In our wild waters and calm, grass covered shorelines is lurking your next huge fish story.

Learn the secrets of our many lakes. Rustle up a bull trout, wrestle a cutthroat, or hook an elusive brown. There’s an abundance of biodiversity in our rivers and streams. Spend a leisurely day floating and trolling. On your way to Nature’s Getaway, from whatever direction you are coming, we are surrounded by stupendous fishing opportunities. Bring your rod and flies. Come catch the big one!

Want to learn more about Indigenous Peoples, their food, culture and dance?

You should plan to attend a powwow. Anyone can attend although there are a few rules or appropriate behaviours you should be familiar with. For example, honour the elders. If an elder is beside you it is appropriate to offer them your seat. What NOT to wear: halter tops, shorts and bare feet are not appropriate. Do not walk through the middle of the circle but instead walk around it. Do not refer to Indigenous regalia as ‘costume’. Ask a dancer for permission before touching their regalia or taking photos.

Remember to always be respectful and ask questions if you are unsure. Pay attention to the master of ceremonies. He will be giving you directions that are important such as when to stand and when to sit. If you feel uncertain, educate yourself ahead of time. There are powwows in Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Red Deer and many other places in Alberta. More information can be found at Attend a powwow and learn about the ancient heritage of Indigenous Peoples.

Paddle, raft, float. Saskatchewan River is so pretty and so is Abraham Lake but these waters are for more advanced paddlers so plan ahead to see if you have the appropriate skill level and correct equipment.

Or consider traversing the beautiful waters of Abraham Lake on a guided tour. If you are a novice paddler you can grab a canoe and experience the quiet tranquility of floating past wildflowers and pine forests on Fish Lake or Goldeye Lake. There’s no better way to submersing in nature then getting out on the water. We invite you to come explore our lakes and rivers.

Go take a hike.

Do you want to hike up to the most beautiful vista you will ever see? Less then an hour drive southwest of Nordegg in the Kootenay Plains Ecological Reserve you can start on a 11km hike up the Tuff Puff trail. Wandering through ponderosa pines and wildflower ladened pathways, this five hour hike takes you up to the spiky summit of Tuff Puff mountain. Take a photo standing on the red striped ground as proof you made it to the top! High above the valley you’re rewarded with breathtaking views of the teal waters of Abraham Lake. Even though this is considered a challenging trail, you won’t regret you hiked the Tuff Puff. And there are many, many trails around Nordegg so bring your boots and let us introduce you to your next great adventure!

Get stoked! Surrounded by a network of trails, Nordegg is a mountain biker’s paradise! Not far from Nordegg is David Thompson Country which boasts epic trails. Baseline Mountain just southwest of Rocky Mountain in Clearwater County has a dozen biking trails. And there’s tons of trails around Crimson Lake Provincial Park and Shunda Lake, most of which are rated easy to intermediate. There’s even a bike track in Nordegg at West Fraser Outdoor Discovery Park for the youngsters. If you prefer fat tires then you’re in luck as the trails are open year round so get out there and enjoy the crisp winter air. Nature’s Getaway is the perfect jumping off point for anyone on two tires.

If you’re looking for something to do during the winter months, Nature’s Getaway is a snow lovers delight.

Around Nordegg our many trails are used all year around, including during the winter. Plan a snowshoe or winter hike and explore our forests, frozen water falls and magical landscapes. Close by are guided tours, pole and ice cleat rentals, and heli snowshoeing adventures. We have something for all levels. The more popular are Crescent Falls, Coral Creek Canyon and Cline River Canyon trails. Which snowshoeing trail is the longest? That would be Ram Lookout trail at almost 15kms. If you’re not jazzed about winter hiking, bring your gear and play hockey on Abraham Lake. Taking photos on frozen Abraham Lake is very popular with our winter guests as it’s famous for it’s frozen methane bubbles. They are super cool! So whether you’re playing, snowshoeing or hiking, after a great day out in the snow, Nature’s Getaway has a hot tub waiting for you.

We are proud Albertans and love every unique inch of this vast and diverse province we live in. Come visit the Nordegg. See our grand skies. Ride the cowboy trails. Converse with nature. Come to Nature’s Getaway. We’re waiting for you.

Road Trips from Edmonton to Nature’s Getaway

Road Trips from Edmonton to Nature’s Getaway

Nature’s Getaway is the Perfect Destination for Road Trips from Edmonton

Your Guide to The Perfect Trip from Edmonton

Road trips from Edmonton to Nordegg can be filled with adventure! Have you ever petted a bison? Stood under a derrick or milked a cow? Maybe it’s time you plan for a totally different kind of trip when arranging your next best weekend trip from Edmonton. Alberta is full of all kinds of unique experiences from farm tours to day hikes, white water rafting and horseback riding. Travel back in time, relax, learn, make, walk, ride… there’s an adventure for everyone.

What’s a derrick? Know anything about the Devonian period? Curious about what I’m talking about? A team of seismologists, commissioned by Imperial Oil, surveyed Central Alberta in 1946. After drilling 133 dry wells they struck oil in Leduc. The Canadian Energy Museum is a fun stop full of interesting exhibits retelling the beginnings of the energy sector in Canada. Learn about Alberta’s energy history, its people, places, science, challenges, and innovations. They even have guided tours. Check out this important part of Alberta’s history.


There are plenty of activities to choose from near Edmonton and Nordegg.

Ever heard about Alberta Open Farm Days?

If you’re planning your road trip from Edmonton to Nordegg in the summertime, you may want to check it out. It’s a collaborative two-day event each year where you can go visit a farm and find out more about where your food comes from.

Meet local farmers and learn how they make/grow their products. Taste some honey, buy berries and pet cute baby animals. The kids will love this pit stop. Plan ahead by going to and make to visit one of the over 130 participating farms. You don’t want to miss this fun, educational side trip.

Would your canine pal like to have a bit of a run? Time to stretch your legs?

Just before you arrive in Nordegg you should stop at Beaverdam Provincial Recreation Area where you can picnic, swim, boat, hike, fish or just sit and gaze at the beautiful blue water. After your quick stop it’s only 5km to Nature’s Getaway; the most relaxing overnight trip from Edmonton that you could ever plan.

Float! Do you like to go paddleboarding or kayaking?

Fish Lake Provincial Recreation Area on Shunda Lake has a dock and on a calm day it’s a great place for a quick paddle along the grassy shoreline. As well there’s hiking trails in this area and it’s only a short hop from along the way on your road trip from Edmonton to Nordegg.

Celebrating the Spirit of the Machine on your next Edmonton road trip.

Heading south from Edmonton on highway 2A visit the international award-winning Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin. They house over 500 vehicles, 130 aircraft, and 5,000 pieces of agricultural and industrial equipment. Do you love cars? Come by and see a 1928 Auto Red Bug Buckboard, a 1909 White Model O Touring and a 1978 Marathon C300 (not all their artifacts are on display).

They have motorcycles, buses, bicycles, farm equipment, trucks, ATV’s, snow vehicles and aircraft. And they house the largest publicly accessible collection of trade literature in North America. You could spend hours wandering through these fabulous displays. Touch history. Wander to Wetaskiwin for a visit.

Want to stop by a gorgeous sandy beach and grab some rays on your way to your weekend trip from Edmonton?

Head west on the Yellowhead to Wabamun Lake Provincial Park and bring your paddleboard. You’ll be glad that you took the time to stop and discover this best kept secret. Sun, beach, lake, boat launch, volleyball and shaded picnic tables. Need I say more? Check out for more information.

Swim, fish or hike.

When planning your road trip from Edmonton, consider stopping at Crimson Lake Provincial Park just 14kms northwest of Rocky Mountain House. There’s lots of amenities including a large, clean, sandy beach where you can swim, paddle, power boat, wind surf and 10km of trails to explore via foot or bike.

Throughout the summer they have educational interpretive programs in the park. The interpretive programs offered include Art in the Park, Music in the Park, a Wildflower/Edible Plant Walk as well as other fun activities to do.

During the winter there are well groomed trails for fat bikes, cross-country skiing, winter hiking and snowshoeing. Or bring your skates and check out the two skating rinks. You can even play hockey or go ice fishing. So take time to stop, catch a few rays and relax before continuing on to your final destination at Nature’s Getaway.

Hit the slopes.

Grab your board or skis and head to the picturesque hills of Medicine Lodge Ski Hill just off highway 12 near Bentley. They have 11 runs (various skill levels), t-bar, beginners lift, concession store and a rental shop. This hill is run by volunteers and is only a 1.5 hour drive from Nordegg. See their website for a map of the hill and their prices. After a few runs continue on to Nature’s Getaway for a hot tub under the stars.


When planning your quick trip from Edmonton, an out-of-the-way place to stretch your legs and have a picnic lunch is Graves Wildlife Sanctuary Trail at Pigeon lake. Explore the easy 3.7km woodsy trail which takes about an hour to traverse. This well groomed trail is an easy walk through beautiful wildflowers, dotted with benches along the way. Keep your eyes open for wildlife. And as a side note, this is a great place to fish so bring your gear!

Stop and cast a rod on your road trip from Edmonton

Take in some fishing on peaceful Twin Lakes. 65 km north of Manning on highway 35, Twin Lakes Provincial Recreation Area has trout stocked lakes which are restricted to non-motorized boats or boats with electric motors. You can get a fishing license in Rocky Mountain House (always be educated on fishing regulations and restrictions).

Another lake just 13km outside of Nordegg is at the Harlech Provincial Recreation Area where you will find one of the best places to fish in Allberta: Shunda Creek. There’s also a stocked trout pond where the kids can learn how to fish. There is a cooking shelter as well as a water pump, toilets and fire pits. Plan to stop for a bit and see if you can hook some supper. Bring your catch to Nature’s Getaway where you can cook a scrumptious meal in our outdoor cook house. Then spend your evening relaxing in a hot tub under our starry skies listening to the whispering pines. It’s time to unwind!

Adventure Farm West of Devon

Are the kids getting antsy sitting in the back seat? Want to get them outside and away from their screens? When planning road trips from Edmonton to Nordegg, swing by Sassy G’s Adventure Farm west of Devon. It’s an educational farm and viewing zoo, basically largest farm-themed adventure park in Alberta. Look for the purple flags and stop in for unique outdoor farm activities, giggles and games.

Tee up! There’s plenty of golf along the road from Edmonton to Nordegg

Are you interested in doing nine? Want to try a different course? There’s tons of golf course between Edmonton and Nordegg. Lakewood Golf Resort, by Sylvan Lake, is a beautiful course complete with Pro Shop, cart rentals, on-course licensed cart service, licensed restaurant (with a lovely patio), and take-out breakfast and dinner menus. It’s just under a two hour drive to Nordegg from Sylvan Lake so you have time to golf, order a take-out dinner and drive to Nature’s Getaway where you can enjoy your meal in our beautifully appointed cabins. It’s the perfect start to your best weekend trip from Edmonton.

So whether you’re interested in golfing, skiing, museums, fishing, hiking or biking, the route from Edmonton to Nordegg is riddle with lots of adventures. You can’t fit it all into one trip but Nordegg is so close to Edmonton you can visit many times during the year and take a different route each time. Nature’s Getaway is a quiet place for you to unwind, rejuvenate and bask in each of the four seasons. There’s something for everyone. Once you discover our natural paradise, you’ll come back again and again.

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