Fall fun at the Kraay Family Farm

Things To Do in Alberta: Fall 2017

By AMA Staff

The theme of this year’s corn maze at Kraay Family Farm near Lacombe is Canada 150. Expect to get lost in a 15-acre maple leaf. There’s plenty of farmtastic fun with over 40 different attractions and amenities, including a pumpkin patch, a giant jumping pillow, a petting zoo, mini-golf and more.

There’s no place better than Edmonton’s river valley to see the fall colours. Scoot around on North America’s largest urban parkland on a Seway. Never been on a Segway? Not to worry: The 90-minute guided tour begins with a training session to help you get your bearings on the trendy two-wheeler. Book it through AMA.

Drive the North Dinosaur Trail (Highway 838) outside of Drumheller and you may come across a quirk of history. For more than 100 years, the road has spanned the Red Deer River not with a bridge, but the Bleriot Ferry. Named for Andre Bleriot, who built the 105-metre crossing’s first timber raft, it’s now a free-to-use cable-towed deck for up to 13 mid-size cars. This artifact of a bygone era is not alone: Alberta has seven such ferries that operate from late April to early November. And while you’re in the area, why not spend some time at the Royal Tyrrell Museum? AMA members save 10% on admission.

Thanksgiving weekend offers your last chance this year to delight in a bygone era at Heritage Park Historical Village. Feel like Laura Ingalls as you enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride, take a trip on the thundering steam train or fill your senses with the aroma of pumpkin baking at the Livingstone House and the Ranch, the Ranch House and the Rectory. Book your Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings now—before tickets sell out.

Travel back 200 years at this fall’s Pride and Prejudice Ball. Costumes are mandatory; think full-length gowns and long white gloves for ladies, and a tailcoat, vest and cravat for gentlemen. Once you’re gussied up in Regency-era garb, an elegant evening awaits at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald in Edmonton. Sip a sweet and frothy (and period-appropriate) syllabub, listen to live music, join an English country dance and learn to play card games from the 19th century. Costume rentals and dance lessons are available before the ball, but note that, true to the time period, cellphones and cameras are prohibited. Sept. 30

What began as a friendly neighbourhood pumpkin-growing competition some 30 years ago in Smoky Lake has become one of the province’s biggest harvest events. Visitors now descend on the self-proclaimed Pumpkin Capital of Alberta every October for its Great White North Pumpkin Weigh-Off and Fair. The family-friendly gathering features Ukrainian food, a farmers’ market, live entertainment, a show and shine, petting zoo and, of course, very plump pumpkins. Will the current record—a 1,470.5-pound pumpkin grown in 2015—be squashed? Find out at the weigh-off, then head to the giant pumpkin drop to witness an oversized squash crush an old car. Oct. 7

Hop on the Train of Terror, the newest attraction at Mossleigh’s Aspen Crossing, for chills and thrills. During this adults-only spook session, meander through a pair of rail cars turned into a haunted maze filled with creepy crawlies, freaky phantoms and horrific sights. If you make it to the other side, you can toast your triumph over terror at a Halloween party with food and beverages. If you’re looking for something slightly less terrifying, check out the facility’s permanent attractions: a historic 1887 rail dining car, retrofitted caboose cabins and a campground, plus multiple themed train excursions. Oct. 6–31

things to do in alberta fall 2017 pixar buzz lightyear
Buzz Lightyear and more at The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition (photo: Michael Malyszko)

The newest exhibition at TELUS World of Science–Edmonton takes visitors to the intersection of art and technology—where Pixar films like Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., and Cars were made. At The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition, discover how animators and effects artists helped to bring Lightning McQueen, WALL•E and Buzz Lightyear to the big screen using science, engineering, math and cutting-edge tech, with more than 40 interactive elements for movie fans of all ages. To Jan. 7 

AMA Members save 10% on regular admission to the exhibition, including Science Centre access for the day—a savings of almost $10 for two adults and two children

A diner in the eastern Alberta village of Czar is making its mark on the foodie landscape thanks to its menu of burgers made with exotic (farmed) meats. A few years ago, the owners of the Fireside Grill began grilling kangaroo and crocodile burgers. They were well received, and so the offerings expanded. Now, in addition to classics like beef, chicken and veggie burgers, adventurous eaters can sample a variety of unusual patties, including camel, turtle, water buffalo and wild boar—plus the aforementioned kangaroo, which remains one of the most popular menu items. Open Wed.–Sat., 4908 45th St., 780-857-2282