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Friday, July 29, 2011

Relax in the Rockies


Recreation Grounds, Banff

Wow, this weekend looks to be a spectacular one, with clear skies, summer sun and temperatures in the mid 20’s.

With all the activities you could do in Banff National Park, sometimes it’s nice to simply kick back, relax, and enjoy your time in the mountains. Here are our top tips for a lazy Saturday in the Rockies.

Morning - Start your day with a breakfast just the way you and your family like it, in your suite with your personal, fully stocked kitchen and breakfast package if you so choose. If you don’t fancy making something yourself there are some great places downtown such as Mellisa's!

Mid Morning – Catch the Roam Bus (complimentary for Douglas Fir Resort guests) into Banff. It’s a great time to take a stroll around the shops when it’s not too busy. Local Tip: There is some great stores one street over from Banff Avenue on Bear St.

Lunch Time – Take a pick from all the restaurants in town, or pack a picnic and a Frisbee and head down to Central Park. Amazing views, lots of grass, picnic tables and restrooms. Want someone to cook for you, we recommend the Mexican Magpie and Stump or the Maple Leaf!

Afternoon – A stroll over the bridge to the recreational grounds (towards the Buffalo Nation Museum) and you’ll find kiddies playgrounds, tennis courts, baseball and soccer fields. Perfect for some family fun and burning off some energy.

Evening – Stroll along the Bow River and stop to take it all in along the way with various benches and lookout points. Or if the kids are still bustling with energy, our giant indoor waterslides (open till 9:30pm) will soon have them tuckered out!

We’re relaxed just thinking about it. Take time out of your busy schedule to enjoy the surroundings that Banff has to offer.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dragon Boat Festival in Banff


Another staple in the Banff summer calendar is the Dragon Boat Race, held at the beautiful Lake Minnewanka. A fantastic event for all the family for a day by the lake watching brightly adorned, 40ft Chinese dragon boats majestically cut their way through the pristine waters of Lake Minnewanka

Dragons have long been revered by Chinese cultures as the ruler of rivers and seas and there are many legends of the Stoney First Nations people calling Lake Minnewanka the “Lake of the Evil Water Spirits” because of a mysterious creature believed to have resided in the lake.

Schedule of Events
Friday, August 12
Practice sessions available
Time: 12:30pm - 4:00pm
Location: Lake Minnewanka

Saturday, August 13
Banff National Park Dragon Boat Races
Time: 9:00am - 3:00pm
Location: Lake Minnewanka

Cultural Performances sponsored by Cascade Plaza
Time:3:00pm - 6:00pm
Location: Banff Ave Square

Sunday, August 14
Banff National Park Dragon Boat Races
Time: 9:00am - 3:00pm
Location: Lake Minnewanka

For more information on what to bring and where to go, visit this handy FAQ page by clicking here

If you're coming down for the weekend, why not check out Banff's Finest Family Accommodation

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Top 8 Family Friendly Picnic Areas


Cascade Ponds

One of the greatest qualities about summer is picnics. Time when you can kick back, lap up some sunshine and take in the view. So we have compiled your perfect picnic list for places in and around Banff where you and the family can enjoy an afternoon relaxing before heading back to your hotel for the evening. If you’re staying with us, chances are you already have the groceries for it from your in-room kitchens.

Pack the cooler, grab a blanket and head out to these great spots!

  • Close to Home
Banff Recreation Grounds
Banff Townsite,
18 tables, toilets, 2 kitchen shelters

Cascade Gardens
Banff Townsite

  • Banff's Back Yard
Cascade Ponds
10 km from Banff
Lake Minnewanka Road
60 tables, flush toilets, kitchen shelter, fireplaces

Lake Minnewanka

10 km from Banff
Lake Minnewanka Road
35 tables, flush toilets, 3 kitchen shelters, 2 fire rings, 6 fireplaces

Upper Bankhead

11km from Banff
Lake Minnewanka Road
25 tables, toilets, kitchen shelter, fireplaces

Johnston Canyon

25km from Banff
Bow Valley Parkway
2 tables, toilets

Johnson Lake

14km from Banff
Lake Minnewanka Road
16 tables, toilets, 3 fire rings

  • Towards Lake Louise
 Muleshoe12km from Banff
Bow Valley Parkway
10 tables, toilets

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy Parks Day – July 16th


This Saturday will see celebrations for Canada’s national Parks Day. Here to commemorate the great work Parks Canada carry out in maintaining our beautiful land and raising awareness of what they do.

This year is extra special as Parks Canada will also be celebrating their centennial! An impressive achievement to say the least and one which they can be proud of  through going from strength to strength every year to ensure our most national treasures are protected and preserved.

Activities and entertainment will be held at the Banff Park Museum (located in Central Park) from 11:30am-5pm with outdoor music from the Swillbillies, theatre performances, Buffalo Nations Luxton Museums drumming and circle dancing, exhibits, birthday cake (of course) and much more.

A great selection of interactive booths for children and adults will be set up for the day so there are lots to keep everyone busy. Not to mention the new addition of Banff Heritage Tourism's paddle crafting tent where you can yes….craft your very own paddle!

The weather is set to be sunny for the weekend, perfect to stop by and celebrate with us!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Did you know...Facts You May Not Know About Banff


With over 4 million visitors to Banff National Park every year, its easy to brush over some of our most fundamental facts about the area. So here are some fun facts that you may or may not have known about Banff National Park.

  • 4,537 feet or 1,383 meters elevation makes Banff the highest town in Canada! It literally sits head and shoulders, or crests and peaks, above the rest of the country.

  • The name “Banff” is derived from Banffshire, Scotland, the birthplace of two of the original directors of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Even with Scottish heritage, don’t expect to see any haggis running around on the mountains….

  • 1885 is when Banff National Park became Canada’s first National Park. This was due to the discovery of the natural hot springs.

  • 1,000 glaciers can be found in Banff National Park. Ice picks at the ready!

  • 45 to 120 million years old is the age of the mountains in Banff National Park. They look good for their age, don’t you think?

  • 69 is the number of species of animals found in the park. The most common? Elk.

  • 22 degrees is the average summer temperature (72 Fahrenheit)

  • -30 degrees is a common low during winter. Still sunbathing weather, right?

  • 700 years is how old some Douglas Fir trees are in Banff National Park. We had to include a Douglas Fir tree fact, or two…

  • 623km is the length of the beautiful Bow River, who waters ultimately travel all the way to Hudson’s Bay. It gets its name from the Cree Indians who made their bows from the Douglas Fir trees which grew along its banks.

Have a Banff fact? Feel free to share on our Facebook page! 

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pet of the Year Competition – Our Winner for June!


Our Pet of the Year Competition is going strong and we never get tired of seeing your pets. From small and fluffy to large and lovely, we have seen numerous dogs, a couple of rabbits and even the odd pony!

Our winner for June is Luna! A cheeky Siberian Husky who loves running in the snow during winter and knows how to keep cool in the summer. Seen here kicking back on her camp chair, Luna knows what relaxing is all about. Although Luna may steal your seat, her owner quite rightly says, “Who could resist those beautiful eyes’.

Congratulations to Luna for winning the June round! She now goes into the grand prize draw at the end of the year for a chance to win a 2 night stay with us!

Keep sending in your photos of your pets (all types welcome!) to for your chance to win. We will announce July’s winner in the first week of August.

Happy snapping!

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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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