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Five Things to do Around Alberta This Week - Part V

“How is it possible that school is almost out?” As parents we say that every summer but over the last year and a half, the kids have been in school, then out of school, then in school again only to be out of school once more – and even more so if their cohort had a case of COVID-19.
16 HSG - Five Things to Do Around Alberta This Week Part 5
Abraham Lake – Theresa Muth Photography

Now, with so much “family bonding” time at home this year, you may be thinking, we need to get of the house! You’re in luck because you can start those summertime adventures right now before the summer break even begins. With things opening up and beautiful weather on the way, get started on those summertime activities with these family-fun ideas:

Alberta Legislature Grounds, Edmonton

Sprawling under the dome and the magnificent architecture of the Alberta Legislature Building is a beautiful park-like setting in the city. Bring a picnic and enjoy the grounds where you’ll find fountains and cultural monuments to explore and photograph. Depending on restrictions you may even be able to take a free guided tour of the Building. The grounds are beautiful in the summer and the perfect no-cost way to pass a lazy afternoon.

of Cabbages & Kings, Canmore

If your travels take you to Canmore, stop in at of Cabbages & Kings. Here, two generations of potters have been making beautiful clay pieces since the 1970s. It started with John Borrowman, and now he is joined by his daughter Katie. You’ll find inspired one-of-a-kind pieces made by hand in this charming pottery studio. Go as a family to find a new table centerpiece, set of mugs, and more.

Purist Adventures, Nordegg/David Thompson Country

Exploring the back country is fun and rewarding – but what if you don’t have wilderness hiking experience, or a friend to share the trails with you? That’s where Purist Adventures comes in. This company provides guided tours so you can enjoy the Nordegg and David Thompson Country region safely. Small groups allow for a leisurely pace so you can literally stop and smell the flowers. A variety of summer tour options gets you to the area’s waterfalls, lakes, canyons, and even rafting. Purist takes care of the transportation, equipment, and lunch so all you have to do is pay the fee, show up, and enjoy.

The Calgary Tower, Calgary

You just can’t beat a good view, and few urban views in Alberta are as dramatic as what you get with the Calgary Tower. At the top of the tower you’ll be 191 metres above the downtown core, enjoying a 360 degree unobstructed view.  Feeling brave? Step onto the glass floor and see the city beneath your feet. The tower includes a multimedia tour that helps explain the city’s past, present and future.

The Francis the Pig Monument, Red Deer

Red Deer has lots of accommodations, dining, and attractions to enjoy. Whether you’re making a day or overnight trip of it, or passing through the city on your cross-province adventure, take a moment to honour Francis the Pig.

The what now?

In 1990 a hog, impersonally called KH27, took a look at the goings on in the slaughterhouse where he was headed to kill floor and said, wow! No thank you. KH27 became ham on the lam after he jumped a 1.2 metre wall, snuck through the plant, nosed open a door, and went on the run. The daring escape made the news and the name Francis was affectionally prescribed to the plucky porker. As tales of Francis’ exploits grew (a coyote fight may or may not have been part of his journey) pleas grew from concerned citizens and animal activists to reward the pig’s bravery with a long and non-slaughtered life. That was, if they could catch him.

After weeks of the fugitive life, hunter Al Marshal shot Francis with a tranquilizer dart – which did nothing. It took three darts to the rump to slow Francis down enough to be caught. Although he was relocated to an animal sanctuary, Francis passed in December. His final adventure was over the rainbow bridge.

Daring! Courage! Defiance! This pig had it all. Therefore it’s only right that his likeness is forever immortalized as statue in Red Deer. Stop by and pay your respects. You may want to check out a vegan restaurant for lunch after.

Nerissa McNaughton is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the Hot Summer Guide advertising feature. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.

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