I have travelled with my kids since they were infants, taking them from one end of the continent to the other in a series of marathon road trips that have exposed them to all sorts of people, places and experiences.
On a recent road trip, I realized that they had become travellers. They easily coped with long hours in the car, helped seek out interesting restaurants and knew the difference between a good and a bad hotel.
We tend to visit a lot of museums and historical sites on these trips, all teaching moments that bring some of the things they learn in the classroom to life, assuming some of this stuff is ever even taught in schools.
When spring break comes or summer vacation, travel is a great way to keep learning, not just for the kids, but for the grown-ups, too.
The folks at Booking.com (which bills themselves as the world’s #1 accommodation website) have pulled a list of what they believe are the top accommodations in Canada for an unforgettable and educational outdoor field trip during March break or whenever school is out.
Here is their list, in their own words:
Hotel-Musee Premiere Nations, Quebec
Take your kids on a history lesson they’ll never forget at Hôtel-Musée Premières. This boutique hotel draws inspiration from Quebec’s First Nations people and resembles traditional Iroquois longhouse. On site, discover the rich history of the Aboriginal community at the Huron-Wendat Museum where you’ll learn about local plant life and examine authentic artifacts and art. The hotel offers several exciting packages that include winter activities like skiing, snowmobiling and dogsledding however, the standout is the snowshoeing package. On this excursion, guests are taken back in time to 1850 and get to participate in a caribou hunting expedition. Wrap up the evening by the campfire or with a drink from the ice bar at La Traite, (the hotel’s restaurant) while the kids sip on a hot cup of cocoa.
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Alberta
This luxury mountain resort, located in Jasper National Park, is surrounded by majestic trees offering stunning panoramic views of the Rockies. On-site you can enjoy a wide variety of winter activities like ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing and even curling. If you’re looking to explore and discover the natural landscape, rent a fat-tire bike (one of Canada’s fastest growing winter sports) and ride along the marked trails. The whole family can enjoy a unique scavenger hunt across this property that uses clues and GPS technology to help locate hidden hieroglyphs around the resort. After an active day outdoors, kick back by the fire pit and make your own s’mores or relax at the luxurious Fairmont Spa.
Yourte au Domaine O Naturel, Quebec
Have you ever even heard of a yurt let alone stayed in one? Traditionally yurts were used by nomads in Central Asia as their living quarters but today these modern re-creations are fully equipped with all of the living essentials including wood heating and electricity, refrigerators, electric stoves and beds. If you’re looking for a unique experience, stay at the Yurts at Youtre au Domain O Naturel where you and your family can become one with nature in a 20 foot yurt. This resort offers all sorts of winter activities to keep the kids busy including skiing, dogsledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and Quad ATVing.
Big Bar Guest Ranch, British Columbia
If you’re seeking a relaxed and cozy environment look no further than the historical Big Bar Guest Ranch. Situated on the hills of the Southern Cariboo in Clinton, this accommodation offers several activities during the winter months. Guests can have a go at ice fishing or get active ice skating and cross-country skiing. For those looking to explore the area, grab some snow-shoes and discover the majestic wintery trails.
Rimrock Resort Hotel, Alberta
Situated on Sulphur Mountain in Banff National Park, expect comfort, luxury and a truly extraordinary experience at this resort. Take in Banff’s natural beauty on unique excursions like a horse drawn sleigh ride along the scenic Bow Public Ride or while being pulled by a group of huskies on a dog sled. For those seeking more adventure, try a snowmobile tour in Kicking Horse Valley or plan a day of heli-skiing in these magnificent mountains. Just moments away from the resort, relax and rejuvenate at the natural Banff Upper Hot Springs or take a spectacular ride on the Banff gondola. The concierge team at this hotel can help plan all the details to ensure you have the perfect itinerary during your stay.