“You’re going where for a romantic getaway?” Our friends lean their heads like puzzled puppies as we list all the things to do in Red Deer we have planned.
Their confusion is understandable. Living in Calgary, Alberta a weekend escape for couples often means heading west to the show off, snow-capped Rocky Mountains.
Known for having one of the youngest populations in Canada, Red Deer, Alberta’s third largest city, overflows with family friendly activities. Turns out it’s not only families who love to visit.
With more affordable prices than its big city neighbours Calgary and Edmonton, Red Deer’s popularity as a travel destination is steadily growing.
We have yet to meet anyone, couples or families, who don’t love saving money on travel.
Fun Things To Do In Red Deer
Heritage Ranch – Romance Meets Adventure
Covering more than 200 acres of Red Deer’s urban wilderness, Heritage Ranch serves up western themed hospitality and activities all year long.
Moonlight Sleigh Ride – Cuddling under the blankets, the horse-drawn sleigh glides among a forest of twinkling lights. If summer is more your idea of romance, take a carriage ride through the same beautiful woodlands.
Dinner at Heritage Ranch West Lake Grill – Combining a sleigh ride with a five course meal, chocolates and wine made for an ultimate date night.
The Fallen Chocolate Raspberry Panna Cotta may be the best thing I have ever inhaled. I mean eaten.
Ranch Tracker Game – This summer adventure challenge, much like the TV show Man Tracker, is a hide and seek survivor type game. Capturing four flags prior to being hunted down by the Ranch Tracker is the goal of those who play.
With not a single flag in our possession we are found hiding like giggling elephants beside a log. A future career as fugitives is unlikely based on our performance in the game.
Hike or snowshoe at Waskasoo Park
“Is that an animal?” Hubby calls out on the trail ahead of me. With no interest in posing for photographs, the wild fox scurries across the frozen lake. We are left to watch his footprints on the white expanse.
On the 4 kilometer loop circling Gaetz Lakes in Waskasoo Park, it is hard to imagine we are in the middle of a city.
With over 100 km of trails in Red Deer, there is no lack of urban wilderness to explore. Didn’t bring your snowshoes? No problem you can rent them at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre.
Adventure in mud or snow at Canyon Ski Resort
Play in the Mud – By summer Canyon Ski Resort, Alberta’s largest non mountain ski resort, is home to Mud Hero Alberta. The annual obstacle race of hills, water, mud and challenging terrain left us in serious need of a shower and grinning ear to ear.
Snowboard, Ski or Snow Tube – As we wait for our snowboarding lesson I grow nervous. Should I try snowboarding in my mid fifties? Maybe I am too old. Snow tubing or skiing look more reasonable. Hubby pats my anxious hand.
Under the gentle guidance of instructor Ann, our snowboarding lesson leaves us feeling like kids again. Not only relieved but invigorated learning a new sport. As to age Ann tells us she has recently taught a 70-year-old how to snowboard.
Take in a show
One of the oldest community theatre groups in Canada, Central Alberta Theatre has been entertaining for over 45 years. Completely volunteer led, the organization supports local charities with a portion of ticket proceeds being donated from each production.
Dinner theatres are presented at Red Deer’s Black Night Inn. Our advice is to arrive hungry for a delicious feast.
Water Wonders at Bower Ponds
Winter or summer this popular destination in Waskasoo Park offers multitudes of things to do in Red Deer.
Try a Water Ball – Climb in the large, inflatable sphere through a zippered entrance. Should you need some laughter in your relationship we highly recommend a dose of water ball. If you can’t make it to Red Deer you can laugh by watching our video here.
Ride, cycle or paddle – Red Deer’s inner city parkland offers a huge variety of recreation opportunities with walking and cycling paths, paddle boating and kayaking. Guided cycling tours in and around the city of Red Deer can be booked with Pursuit Adventures.
Skate into a Canadian Postcard – Come winter Bower Ponds in Red Deer transforms into an icy dream. Hubby and I hold hands gliding across surprisingly smooth ice for an outdoor setting. Our rental skates prove to be a better fit than the ones we own at home.
Thrill Seeking at Sylvan Lake
Water loving adventurers will find their paradise near Red Deer at Sylvan Lake with Alberta Flyboard. Hovering above the water on a flyboard will be a story we plan to tell our great-grandchildren. That and the time Grandpa did his imitation of a Canadian superhero with a jetpack!
We’ll drink to the things to do in Red Deer!
As long time beer lovers nothing could have finished off our couples list of things to do in Red Deer better than a cold craft beer. The Troubled Monk Brewery with its intriguing name and award-winning ale is bustling on a Saturday afternoon serving up cheese boards and the latest brew house creations.
Click on our video below to see many of our discoveries of things to do in Red Deer. Which would you like to try?
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We have partnered with Travel Alberta and Tourism Red Deer to bring you this article. All opinions are our own.