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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

April's Events and Activities


Spring is in the air and the town of Banff is full of life! So, with the endless activities and events going on around the area this month we thought we’d put together a guide for our fabulous guests.

The Whyte Museum

40th Anniversary of the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide
Join authors Brian Patton and Bart Robinson at the Whyte Museum to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide. This opportunity to talk with the authors and relive old friendships coincides with the release of the 9th edition of Canada's original hiking guidebook and the official opening of the exhibit "A Retrospective of Canadian Rockies' Trail Guides."

So make sure to experience this amazing event on April 30th, from 7pm till 9pm

White Mountain: A Tribute to Phil Michaud
This exhibition is a tribute to artist Phil Michaud (1938 – 2010). Phil lived and painted in Banff from 1964 to 2001.The exhibition documents the journey of an artist from the prairies, through the foothills, to the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, and features Phil’s last body of work “White Mountain.”

This is surely a not to miss exhibition, showing at the Whyte Museum from April 9th to June 5th.

Michael Cameron and Karen Maiolo Artist Talk
Local contemporary artists Michael Cameron and Karen Maiolo will walk you through their exhibit Reckonings. This exhibition features mostly landscapes, and examines a decade of what Banff has meant to them. They will share insight into their work, their unique styles, and their inspiration from 2- 4 pm on April 10th.

Spring Skiing
There is plenty of action going on the Banff Lake Louise area’s ski hills with many experts claiming we’ve experienced the best snow in years!

Cardboard Box Downhill Derby
Date: April 9
Time: 2:00am - 4:00am
Get creative with cardboard for the annual Cardboard Box Downhill Derby at Mount Norquay. Using only cardboard, string, tape, and glue prove your cardboard carpentry by building the fastest sled in town! Prizes will be given for top three times and three Best Designs. Get your teams of 1-4 people together and challenge your neighbors and friends out-design, out-wit, and out-sled your creation.

Easter Bunny Visits the Resort
The Easter bunny will make his annual appearance at Lake Louise over the Easter long weekend. He never fails to have a basketful of chocolate eggs so be sure to come and spend a day or three out at Lake Louise!

Volkswagen Spring Episode
Date: April 30
Time: 9:00am - 11:59pm
The Canadian Rockies final farewell party to the 2010/2011 winter season will be hosted at The Lake Louise Ski Area. Festivities include FREE LIVE CONCERTS, DJs, bbq’s, kids zone and lots more. Expect to see tons of on hill entertainment including the 3rd annual Shop Showdown. Book yourself in now as you won’t want to miss it!

The Banff Center
Never one to disappoint, this April The Banff Center will be playing host to a range of exhibitions, musicians and artists to entertain and delight the masses.

One of the most engaging, family acts is the ‘Motus O Dance Theatre: Circus Terrifico’ which tells the story of three enigmatic circus performers who try to board the train to their next show but find their tickets have vanished. It takes every trick in the book, a Conductor’s help and an impromptu show to raise the money for new tickets. The performance is recommended for Ages 5 and older.

Families can also participate in the pre-performance ‘craftroom’ to make their own crafts before the show!

The Motus O Dance will perform Saturday, April 9th at 4pm.

For a list of other fantastic events taking place at the Banff center this April click here!

So make sure to visit Banff this April and take part in these amazing spring events and activities!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Introducing the Douglas Fir Resort's 'Pet of the Month' Competition


The Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets prides itself on providing Banff’s finest family accommodation, and with 55 years of experience we have come to understand our guest’s pets are often cherished members of their family too! So we would love for you to introduce us to your furry family members by entering our ‘Pet of the Month’ photo competition where winners go in the running to win an amazing prize!

Send in a photo of your pampered pet to go in the running to win a two-night mountain getaway to Banff’s finest family accommodation, Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets.

How does it work? Every month we will select a winning photo which will automatically go in the running to win the Douglas Fir Resort’s ‘Pet of the Year’ competition. The lucky winner of our ‘Pet of the Year’ photo comptetion receives the grand-prize of a two-night getaway at our magical hotel!

How to Enter
Email your photos (as a file attachment, please - no URLs) to our pet friendly email:

Want to know when we've posted the month’s winners? Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter by clicking here. You’ll be first find out the winners and hear about great specials and packages at the resort!

The Rules
• Contest is open to adults over the age of 18.
• The contest opens at 1st of every month and closes down the last day of each month at 5:00 p.m. (MST).
• Entries must be sent via email - no more than two images can be submitted per a month.
• By submitting photos to the contest, contestants verify that they are the photographer AND copyright holder for each photo submitted. You may not submit photos that you have paid another professional to take.
• Contestants are to include your dog's name in the email and a little about them (what they like to do, what their favorite dog treat and/or dog toy is, how they became a part of your family), as well as contestant’s own name and state or province of residence.
• Judging is done by Douglas Fir Resort team and will happen on the first Thursday of each month. The Grand prize winner will be announced in the first week of January. Winners will be notified via email.
• By entering, contestants agree to allow the use of the image for any and all uses related to the Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets.
• The yearly winner must organize their prize with the Douglas Fir Resort’s Sales Manager.

A special note for our furry guests: We pay special attention to our pet friendly rooms. Therefore, there is a pet charge of $25.00 per day per dog (all taxes included), to cover additional cleaning charges.
The Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets donates 5% of all pet fees to the Bow Valley SPCA.

For more on our pet policy click here!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Affordable Family Fun in Banff


The renovation of the Banff Recreation Center (near the Banff entrance by the train station) has been in progress since May 2009, and as of this month the town’s activities, sports and social hub is finally complete! Among the many new and fabulous features, the redevelopment of the recreation center includes the addition of a new curling rink and a second NHL sized ice arena.

With drop in rates at $2 for children and $4 for adults, the Banff Recreation Center’s new ice area is the place for “fast affordable fun”. To make the most of this fantastic new addition why not pop in during the rink’s public open hours:

Tuesday 1:30 – 3 p.m
Wednesday Noon – 1:30 p.m
Friday 1:30 – 3 p.m.

Fan of the outdoors? Buzzing with energy and excitement, the Banff recreation grounds (located on the other side of the Bow River) are a fantastic place to relax as a family and have fun when visiting the bustling town of Banff on vacation. In the summer months take advantage of the ground’s 3 ball diamonds, rugby/soccer field, playgrounds as well as the basketball and tennis courts. What I love most about the grounds is that there are three shelters as well as multiple picnic areas, perfect for enjoying the fresh alpine air and mountain scenery while you have a low-key lunch!

For the more adventurous at heart there is also a skate park located off of Cave Avenue and Sundance Road. The park is available for free riding in the spring, summer and fall months, weather permitting during daylight hours. However, if you have coordination levels similar to myself, we strongly suggest helmets and safety equipment.

So pop into the newly improved Banff Recreation Center or Banff Recreation Grounds during your next stay in town and enjoy some fantastic, affordable family time!

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Come, Stay & Play!


Why do I love working at the Douglas Fir Resort? Because of the warm, welcoming feeling when you arrive. Because it feels like a home away from home for guests and staff alike. But most of all, I love working at the Douglas Fir Resort because it takes me back to my youth.

With an office located on-route to our playzone, I am often privileged to hear the laughter and giggles of our ‘little’ guests, gushing with excitement –for a child, there are few things more fun than shimmying up and down a giant Fir tree!

The Douglas Fir Resort’s giant indoor playzone is a new interactive structure, measuring over two storeys in height and 36 feet in length. Being Western Canada's largest hotel indoor playground, the playzone is a bit hit with the kids and Mom and Dad too!

So come, relax and read the newspaper while the kids climb, slide and explore at the Douglas Fir Resort’s magical playzone.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Early Bird Summer Special


It’s true what they say the “early bird get the worm,” or in this case, great summer discounts at the Douglas Fir Resort and Chalet!.

Book 60 days in advance for stays between June 1st and August 31st, 2011 and receive our special ‘early bird’ discount which includes:
Up to 25% off Sunday through Thursday night stays*
Up to 20% off Friday and Saturday night stays*

*Subject to availability.  Some restrictions may apply.

Nestled in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the Douglas Fir Resort is the ideal location for a summer vacation. Imagine waking up to breathtaking views of snow capped mountains, the smell of freshly brewed coffee and sizzling bacon and egg breakfast, cooked just the way you like it in the comfort of your own room. Ensure to advantage of our fully-equipped kitchen and one of our most popular packages – the ‘Bed and Cook Your Own Breakfast' package – to avoid the hassle of venturing into bustling down-town Banff for breakfast!

Being Banff’s finest family accommodation, the Douglas Fir Resort boasts plenty of activities for both the little and the big kids right here on the hotel grounds. For the little ones we offer a multi-level indoor ‘Play-Zone’ – being over 2 storeys in height and 36 feet in length, it is Western Canada's largest hotel indoor playground!! And for family fun, enjoy our two indoor waterslides as well as our heated swimming pool and whirl pool.

Looking to explore the outdoors? Located on peaceful Tunnel Mountain, the Douglas Fir Resort is close to some extraordinary hiking trails including a trail to the Surprise Corner Viewpoint (3km, 1 hour to hike) as well as the Hoodoos Interpretive Trail (4.6km, 1.5 hours to hike). For a more family-friendly hiking excursion why not try the Fenland Trail which is a 2km loop (45 km to hike) which winds through a white spruce forest, along the banks of Forty Mile Creek. It's a favorite spot wildlife and nature discovery, year round.

So remember, when it comes to summer fun at the Douglas Fir Resort, the early bird gets the worm!

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Top Travel Tips for Parents


As Banff’s finest family accommodation, we understand that traveling with children can be quite daunting. Because of this we have put together a list of ‘best travel tips’ to help to ensure that your entire holiday –from leaving your front doorstep – runs smoothly.

Don’t forget to bring
-Definitely don't forget the baby wipes! Baby wipes are invaluable when traveling and have a variety of uses - you can clean hands, faces, toilet seats, almost anything with them. On a hot day you can even wipe your face and neck with them to cool down a bit.

-Pack a holiday bag for each child to keep them entertained. In the bag, the child can store activities plus any additional treasures they collect along the way. Family holidays are all about creating precious memories that last a lifetime!

-When packing extra clothes in the diaper bag, pack each set in individual zip lock bags so that when you need them, you don’t need to search through the bag for the shirt, the trousers, socks and so on.

Snacking smart
-Kids use up their energy really quickly even when they’re just sitting in the car. So have some healthy snacks like fruits, raw vegetables, biscuits and also include some treats like lollies to keep them going before you stop for a break.

-Have pasta/carbohydrates to fill children up so they nap if the journey is very long and you need a break!

On the road
-A GPS is a must! GPS, which stands for Global Positioning System, is made up of a group of satellites. These satellites communicate with your GPS navigation device to pinpoint your location. Your position is then overlaid with digital mapping and navigation information stored within your GPS receiver. Once your device knows your location, it's able to plan driving directions for you, suggest a route around traffic congestion, find a nearby gas station, or even direct you straight to the Douglas Fir Resort!

-Two way radios are highly recommended if you are taking two vehicles and extremely useful even if you are not. They are able to provide you peace of mind when you are apart and can come in handy in emergencies too.

-Books and stories on tape allow for kids to learn and be entertained while those miles whiz by. Another idea is to download audio books or a movie to your iPod which you can either connect to your car’s audio system or let you child enjoy on their own when you’re looking for a bit of quiet time. Moreover, these can come in especially handy when driving out the range of radio signals!

-Before departure, make photocopies of your route, and let each child pick a pit stop that appeals to them along the way. It doesn’t matter if their selection is a museum, tourist attraction, or the World’s Largest Ball of Twine; they’ll be anticipating it with excitement, making the miles fly by!

-Finally, always ensure that you depart at the right time. If you kids nap, use their schedules to your advantage. For example, if you've got a long car ride, see if you can't leave an hour or so before their nap time. Most kids can entertain themselves for a little while so that buys you some time right there. Once they fall asleep around their normal nap time, you just bought yourself an hour or two of bliss on the way to your destination.

Getting the most out of your flight.
-Do a little pre-planning. To check out the layout of your flight and pick the seats best suited to you and your family you can either check out the airline’s website (the ‘select your seat’ option is usually available when booking online) otherwise check out

- For the airlines that still serve food, most have Children's meals. They tend to include more kid friendly options and often come with toys or stickers.

- Some airlines have special boarding for families with small children. If that's an option for you, consider using it, especially if there is only one grown-up. However, another suggestion is to board separately when flying in groups – for example send Dad onto the plane first with as much luggage as he can carry while Mom, Grandma and whoever is in the boarding area wait until the last minute to board the plane. This way your kids can run around and burn energy before having to be seated for hours.

At your destination
-Bring a pack n’ play for baby to sleep in and play in safely in hotels – one that has wheels and collapses to carry around and travel with easily.

-Holidaying with older children can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, so to keep kids from becoming bored include them as much as you can when making your holiday plans. By simply asking their opinion about which museum, landmark or restaurant they’d be interested in visiting at your travel destination can get them more excited and motivated about the holiday. Also, giving them a job like writing the postcards to send to friends and family helps to relieve any boredom factor that might set in.

Finally, don’t forget to relax, have fun and create amazing memories for you and your family to remember for years to come!

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Magical March


March has crept up on us once again, bringing with it bright blue skies and longer days – both sure signs that Spring is on its way! To celebrate this magical time of year we at the Douglas Fir Resort have composed a list of some of the great activities and events going on in the bustling town of Banff this month. Enjoy!

Banff’s Best Powder
Banff is experiencing its best snow conditions in 5 years, starting off 2011 with 167 cms of fresh snow in January alone! So ensure to make the most of this fabulous snow by enjoying some of the event’s on Banff’s close ski hills.

March 11th, 18th and 25th at Lake Louise:
Torchlight Dinner and Ski
The fun begins when you ride the last gondola of the day on the Grizzly Gondola to enjoy an après ski party with appetizers at Whitehorn Lodge located at mid-mountain. Once the party has started you will be escorted down a freshly groomed run to a full buffet dinner and live entertainment in the Sitzmark Lounge. An optional bus service back to your Lake Louise or Banff Hotel is available.

March 19th at Lake Louise:
Volcom Peanut Butter and Rail Jam Volcom Stone’s amateur snowboard contest series. There are four divisions: 15 and under, 16 and over, Girls and Open (pro-am). This is a free event on a first come first serve basis, boasting tons of cash, prizes and food.

March 25th at Mt. Norquay:
Last Friday Night Skiing Enjoy the final session of Friday night skiing, including a fully-lit terrain park. Night skiing is FREE for tri-area lift ticket, Big3 Season Pass and Mt. Norquay Season Pass holders.

Wild Flour Bakery
Wild Flour Bakery, located in the Bison Courtyard is now hosting monthly craft nights run by local artists Tiffany Teske and Sheena Miller. These craft nights are a fabulous way to get in touch with your creative side while indulging in the bakery’s many tasty treats on offer -including my favorites, organic coffee and the vegan dark chocolate cake.

This Friday, March 11th, the Craft Café (at the Wild Flour Bakery) will be focusing on the art of origami and decorating chopsticks – how inventive! At $12 a person this is a fun and affordable way to get artistic either by yourself, with a friend or even with the entire family – plus you get to take your creations home with you too. Pop in around 7pm to join the fun!

The Banff Center
Continuing to inspire creativity and feed our souls through art, music, theatre and film, the Banff Center is hosting a wide variety of events throughout March. Some of our favorites include performances by Autorickshaw and pianist Anthony de Mare, as well as the Reel Time Film Series.

What I am most looking forward to is the appearance of influential folk musician, Bruce Cockburn. As a guitarist, he is considered among the world's best, with The New York Times recently calling Cockburn a "virtuoso on guitar."

This year Cockburn returns to the spotlight with his first studio recording in five years, Small Source of Comfort - a very acoustic, very rhythmic, and highly evocative collection of songs featuring stunning performances from violin player extraordinaire Jenny Scheinman and long time collaborators Gary Craig, Jon Dymond, and producer Colin Linden.

Bruce Cockburn performs on March 31st, at the Eric Harvie Theatre.

For more information on events and artists check out The Banff Center website.

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day with the Classics
I can’t wait for these groups to come to town! This St Patrick’s Day at the Cornerstone Theatre, legendary music groups ‘The Platters’ and ‘The Ink Spots’ will be celebrating the day with musical flare.

The Platters were one of the top vocal groups rocking the 1950’s, in fact they were one of the first doo-wop groups inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At their St Patrick’s Day performance The Platters will perform some of their great chart tipping hits like ‘Only You,’ ‘The Great Pretender,’ and ‘Twilight Time.’

‘The Ink Spots’ story spans over six decades and includes more than eight chart hits and performances! They have been called living legends of American music and "the most imitated entertainers in show business."

Surely the performance of these two fabulous super groups is not to miss event! To purchase tickets email

So come and stay at the Douglas Fir Resort this March, and enjoy all of the magic that Banff has to offer!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Attention Calgary Residents: Shakin’ things up at Banff’s Finest Family Accommodation


Douglas Fir Resort and Shakers Fun Centre have joined forces to create more family fun for our Calgary guests!

The new partnership between Banff’s finest family accommodation and Calgary’s largest year ‘round entertainment centre will provide more fun for Calgary families. For the entire month of April, Calgary families staying at the Douglas Fir Resort will receive free entrance (for a family of four) to their local Shakers Fun Centre, over a $100 value!

All guests staying at Douglas Fir Resort (with a valid Calgary address) in the month of April will receive one pass per person to Shaker’s Fun Centre in Calgary (valid until December 31, 2011), up to a maximum of 4 per room! This offer is valid on new bookings only made directly through the Douglas Fir Resort as of March 01, 2011 and is valid for Calgary residents only.

We are very happy to be offering our Calgary guests this free added value to one of their local family friendly activity providers.

Douglas Fir Resort has long been a family favorite for Calgarians making the quick trip to Banff because of our unique list of family friendly amenities. In 1985 we opened up our now famous indoor water park and in 2006 we opened our very popular Playzone. The giant indoor play ground offers two storeys of entertainment including three speed slides and a huge climbing tree trunk. Shakers Fun Centre has been open for fun since August 2006 and is Calgary’s largest year-round family entertainment centre! Shakers attractions include: Two go kart tracks, 18 Hole miniature golf course, 2600 Square foot Laser Tag arena, 20 Foot climbing tower, Huge indoor playground for people under 54” tall and over 70 arcade and redemption games with a fabulous prize wall.

To receive your free passes when booking over the phone, just ask your reservation agent for your “Free Family Fun Passes” or when booking online, type in the comments box “Free Family Fun Passes”. Bookings can be made by using our Calgary direct number 403-264-2563 or by booking online at

Banff’s family-friendly accommodation just got friendlier! Don’t miss out on the fun!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Summer adventure starts at the Douglas Fir Resort


Summer vacations in Banff are not complete until you enjoy the rush of rafting, so to ensure our guests have an exhilarating summer vacation, the Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets has recently introduced an incredible new package. Experience a little adventure in Banff with this Family River Rafting package where the kids eat, sleep and raft free!

Start your day with breakfast cooked just the way you like it in the comfort of your own room before going on a family rafting adventure on the family friendly Kananaskis River. After an exciting day indulge at one of Banff’s favorite restaurants with a $40 dinner voucher!

Starting from just $275 per a night, the package includes:
-Two night’s accommodation in the condo of your choice
-One “Cook Your Own Breakfast” grocery kit delivered to your room fridge.
-One $40 dinner voucher to one of Banff’s favorite restaurants
-Rafting on the family friendly Kananaskis River for 2 Adults and up to 2 children.

What a deal!

Want to know more about this amazing rafting adventure?
Winding through the picturesque landscape of Kananaskis Country, the Kananaskis River is a great whitewater experience for families or as a group outing. The river tour is rated as Grade 2 to 3 and is an excellent experience for adventurous groups, families and friends. The Kananaskis River offers wonderful mountain scenery, excitement and natural history.

Itinerary and highlights:
-Scenic views of the front range Rocky Mountains
-Class II & III family friendly rapids
-Professional photos of your boat available for purchase at the river base

Your tour includes:
-River time: 1.5 - 2 hours
--Professional River Guide with each boat - who will explain and demonstrate paddle, safety and emergency techniques
-All safety equipment: wetsuits, lifejacket, helmet, rainjacket, wetsuit booties and gloves
-Dryland safety instruction
-Practice paddling on the river before the waves
-Refreshments and snacks to charge up on after your tour

Remember to bring:
-Swimsuit - have it on under your clothes prior to your trip for added convenience
-A towel and a bag - to hold your personal belongings whilst you’re out on the river
-A warm fleece or wool sweater - to wear on the river (no cotton), it will get wet.
-A toque/beanie/wooly hat - on cold days for under your helmet, it will get wet.
-Clothes suitable for the day - all your personal belongings will be left in your vehicle or in your personal bag while you are rafting.
-Contact lenses - are OK if you are comfortable swimming in them.
-Sunscreen - great on a hot day, avoid putting it above or near your eyes.
-Medical Concerns - please bring any medication you may need and inform your guide of any medical condition.

-Cameras - do not bring your camera on the raft unless it is waterproof. Same day action photo CDs and disposable waterproof cameras are for sale at reasonable prices
-Glasses or sunglasses - are not recommended unless secured by eyeglass holders or retainers.
-Valuables - best left behind in your hotel or car.

So inject some adrenaline into your summer vacation with a family rafting trip.
For more Information click here!

Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets

Tunnel Mountain Road
P.O. Box 1228
Banff, Alberta T1L 1B2 Canada

For reservations call toll free:
Toll free fax: 1-800-267-8774
Calgary Direct Line: 264-2563
Phone: (403) 762-5591
Fax: (403) 762-8774

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