Checking out the new Royal Alberta Museum (photo: Cooper & O'Hara)

Indoor Family Fun: Ideas for Staving Off the Late-Winter Blues

By AMA Staff

With the tempestuous weather of late winter and early spring, now’s the time to enjoy some guilt-free indoor family fun in Alberta.

Seven years in the making, the Royal Alberta Museum’s new downtown Edmonton location opened this past October—and instantly became a must-visit attraction. Exploring the province’s natural and human history, the expanded galleries showcase more than 5,000 unique artifacts, from dazzling gems to ancient animals to bygone agricultural equipment. Indigenous perspectives and stories are also interwoven throughout. (Métis and Indigenous guests are admitted to the museum for free). And for younger Albertans, an interactive Children’s Gallery offers play-based learning opportunities, including a dig pit for dino lovers and a makerspace where aspiring engineers can build machines, towers and more. Starting April 18, the RAM hosts Vikings: Beyond the Legend, an exhibition featuring “Thor’s hammer,” coins, jewellery and three Viking warships.

Calgary just christened a new cultural hub too: its Central Library, relocated and expanded in the city’s burgeoning East Village. The graceful, light-filled landmark now holds 450,000 books and other media, plus a performance hall, dedicated children’s library, café and all sorts of public art—to foster community connections and lifelong learning.

Alberta’s historic museums are well worth exploring

Keep young minds engaged from March 25 to 29

Telus World of Science—Edmonton: Smitten by STEM? Four day camps, tailored to different age groups, explore the varieties of scientific experience.

Theatre A Go-Go: Calgary kids get expressive at this year’s Dr. Seuss-themed drama camp, which culminates in a performance of If I Ran the Zoo.

Absolute Baseball Academy: Young players are coached on hitting, fielding and more at full- and half-day indoor training camps.

Whoever said that rainy days were for binging on Netflix clearly wasn’t a ninja warrior. Gyms across Alberta—like Cor.Fit and InjaNation in Calgary, and City Fit Shop in Edmonton—have challenging obstacle courses for fitness fanatics who’d rather swing from rings than spend time on the treadmill. Here are a few common course features.

Indoor family fun ninja warrior gymnasium
illustrations: Remie Geoffroi

How to beat bad-weather boredom with kids

• Food colouring added to cookie dough makes a vibrant treat. Kids can help mix it.

• Build a cozy pillow fort. Remember: thicker couch cushions work best for walls.

• Help them with creative projects, like writing and acting out a play, or making their own magazine.

• Search online for science experiments that use household items. Everyone loves making marshmallow catapults and clouds in jars!

• Give budding artists a memorable canvas by letting them paint your face.

Six ways to kickstart your workout

Older kids can get in tune at the National Music Centre’s Studio Bell, which hosts a weekly after-school Jam Club for teens. The free drop-in program helps singers, songwriters and musicians polish their craft and meet talented peers. You don’t even need an instrument: High-quality gear is available for use at the studio.