Sometimes hitting the road to go camping just isn’t in the cards. Maybe your RV is hibernating for the winter, or you simply want to explore closer to home. And with so many fabulous restaurants and sites to see in Red Deer, why leave?! We’ve put together some of our favourite places to enjoy a staycation right here in town whether you want to see, sip or sup.
There is no shortage of fun and family-friendly things to see and do in Red Deer! In no particular order, here are our favourites.
Heritage Ranch is known as the jewel of Red Deer – and for good reason! This ranch offers an exhilarating experience like Winter Light Sleigh Tours, where you and the kids can enjoy a horse drawn sleigh ride through a 40,000+ holiday light display! Complete with hot chocolate and blankets to stay cozy. Make Heritage Ranch a part of every season’s traditions.
One of our favourite places of quiet and contemplation for your Red Deer staycation, Bower Ponds, is fun no matter the season! The pavilion beside the pond features a fireside room perfect for gatherings with friends or family, a board game cafe for those extra snowy days, and a cafe! If you feel like exploring outside, you can go skating on the rink. No need to bring your own skates – Bower Ponds offers rentals.
Alberta Sports Hall of Fame
For the sports enthusiast in your group, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is a must do! Jam packed with sports action, you can enjoy interactive games including a multi-sport area with virtual baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer. The participant uses real equipment and kicks, shoots, or throws at a virtual screen! If that’s not enough, there are also galleries including the art gallery, hall of fame gallery, ice and snow gallery and the hockey gallery!
Ellis Bird Farm
Tucked away just 30 km northeast of Red Deer is the Ellis Bird Farm. This non-profit organization is also a working farm, established in 1982 to carry on the legacy of local conservationists. Now visitors flock to the farm each year to enjoy bird watching of mountain bluebirds, tree swallows and other types of birds. Enjoy guided tours by the volunteers at the farm, or simply relax at the Ellis Cafe for a cup of tea or lunch.
Canyon Ski Resort
For adventurous families, we highly recommend visiting Canyon Ski Resort during your Red Deer staycation. Only eight minutes east of Red Deer, this is Alberta’s largest non-mountain ski resort and features plenty of fun activities for all ages! You can enjoy snow tubing or beautiful night skiing under the stars! Canyon Ski Resort also features a pro shop on site so you can pick up new equipment to rip down one of their 23 runs. Don’t have your own equipment? Don’t worry! Canyon Ski Resort offers rentals and lessons for the beginner in your group.
Sip and Sup
After a day of exploring our favourite tourist destinations, it’s time to have a little date night with a few pre-dinner cocktails! There are many cozy little spots in Red Deer perfect for a drink.
A Red Deer favourite, Occam’s Razor is a comfortable, casual space for people to enjoy great company, thoughtful food, and fabulous drinks. We personally love the 2 person teapot punches! Served with portions for you and your bestie or partner, they feature unique flavour profiles like the Tailor of Gloucester which is bright and spicy thanks to nutmeg, aromatised wine and passionfruit to name a few ingredients! Relax in their cozy leather chairs and enjoy a few drinks or small sharing plates with your family or friends.
To the Lost
This lounge was founded by three bartenders with a combined experience of over 40 years mixing classics like sidecars, sours and flips. They’re taking their favourite cocktails to the next level by creating their own syrups and tinctures for use in their drinks, since so many people are health conscious and want to know where their ingredients come from. So gather up your fellow staycationers and enjoy a few rounds at To the Lost.
Known for their eats and beats, The Hideout isn’t an elevated experience – but it is a fun one! Plus it’s family-friendly, so your kiddos are welcome to join the adults! The Hideout is known not only for their tasty menu featuring items like prime rib, award-winning wings, and stuffed mushroom caps, but also for their live music! Enjoy a live band almost every night of the week! Just check their calendar to see who’s taking the stage next.
Bo’s Bar and Grill
Located close to downtown Red Deer, Bo’s Bar and Grill is another local favourite. Plenty of sharing plates are on the menu so you can try a few different things during your staycation. We recommend the steak poppers, tuna poke or crab pop tarts if you’re feeling adventurous! If you need a whole meal, their short rib sandwich, butternut squash ravioli or turkey stuffing poutine are all worth ordering. You’re sure to find a new favourite here during your staycation to keep you coming back over and over!
For the non-drinkers, Dose Coffee is the best spot in all of downtown Red Deer. You can visit their downtown Red Deer spot on Gaetz Ave or enjoy views of the Red Deer River from their riverfront location. With cute bistro sets outside during the warmer months you can watch passersby as you sip a handcrafted latte that tastes amazing. Dose also offers take-home bags of beans so you can enjoy sip after sip from the comfort of your own home – plus it counts as a souvenir for your Red Deer staycation! If you’re feeling peckish, they also offer tasty baked goods sure to please even picky eaters.