Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park

Sir Winston Churchill is a park of the Alberta Provincial Parks system. Located in Lac La Biche, it proudly boasts its title of being Alberta’s only island park. We have been wanting to book at this park for quiet sometime, but availability in the park, never seemed to match up with what our availability was. However, this summer we managed to snag a site, so we made it our first stop of the summer.

Being that it is located on an island, this park is fortunate enough to be surrounded by 300 year old forest, untouched by forest fires. It is absolutely beautiful and lush. The campground itself has 72 campsites with power. We found 2 that have the cement pads making them wheelchair accessible. There is also a wheelchair accessible trail that winds through the campground. Other campground amenities include a store, canoe and kayak rentals, boat launch, fire pits, shower/ service center, laundry facility, picnic shelter, amphitheater.  It’s a tad more upscale then the camping we are generally used to, but it was a nice change!

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Campground map

This park also offers comfort camping. They have cabin rentals, and a few comfort camping tipis! I have always wanted to camp in a tipi. New bucket list item for sure!

You can find all information regarding the Provincial Park and reserving camping and comfort camping here Alberta Parks

The beaches around this island are top notch and the beach in the campground absolutely blew me away. I have never seen a life jacket loaner station at a provincial park before, but Sir Winston has one. They have a variety of different sized life jackets to borrow.  Just make sure to rinse and hang it back up when you are done.

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Campers beach in the campground is wheelchair accessible.  I noticed at the store that they do have the beach wheelchair as well. If you aren’t staying in the campground itself, you can check out the day use areas around the island. We took a drive into them and they are beautiful as well. Multiple private areas, with a picnic table and BBQ pit, sandy beaches and a playground. (Also noted that liquor is permitted between certain times in these areas). We didn’t check out this beach, so I am unsure of the accessibility. 

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Accessible beach
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One of the many trails in the park

Hiking around this area is awesome! There are tons of trails winding through the beautiful forest. We decided to use our bikes for the most part. Some of the trails were much easier then others to get around on a bike. However, none of them are overly long, so our kids didn’t tire out too much! We spent a lot of time out on the bikes this trip. It seemed to be a fantastic place to do so. You can find a link to the trail maps here Trail Map

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The path more traveled
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The path less traveled

 

So, how’s the fishing you ask?  We went out a few times, and successfully snagged both ample amounts of walleye and pike ( and even one tiny little perch).

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Just a boy and his fish
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Just a guy and his photo bombing daughter

The thing about this lake is the regulations. You are not allowed to keep ANY walleye or pike. Everything is catch and release. Unless you are awarded a special walleye permit by draw. It is still an excellent fishery. We mainly catch and release, so the regulations don’t really bother us any. I think we were a bit surprised how easily we did catch. We (or maybe just I, as Troy is more educated in the fishing world) assumed that it would be a hard bite if they have such steep regulations on it. Not the case!  You can double check the regulations for this lake here Fishing Regulations – Lac La Biche

fish

 

One of the great things about Alberta Parks are the programs they offer at the campgrounds. Run by Alberta Parks staff, our kids were able to enjoy some of the events in the park. Friday night they tested out their knowledge of space and made some simple bottle rockets. On Sunday they put their super sleuthing to work and completed 3 different CSI crime scene investigations. These programs are great and educational. If a park you are staying at is offering something while you are there, I strongly recommend checking them out! Kudos to the Alberta Parks staff for putting them on!

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Rocket building and space science

What else did we do?

Well we did hit the water of course. The kids went tubing for awhile, Troy was brave enough to go in the 63 degree water to knee board.

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These kids are braver then I

We also did some kayaking.

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Always the fisherman

 

There is a golf course right outside the park itself. We didn’t golf this time, but we were wishing we brought our clubs, because it looked like a fantastic course! You can find more info here Lac La Biche Golf and Country Club

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Lac La Bich Golf and Country Club

 

Our kids are museum junkies. They love going to them. For whatever reason. I suppose there are worse things that they insist we see so its no big deal. We checked out Lac La Biche’s museum and were pleasantly surprised! What a great little place! I recommend stopping in to check them out. You can find info on their operating hours here Lac La Biche Museum and Visitor Center

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Model ship – Lac La Biche Museum

 

Some things to consider:

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Firewood station. All neatly wrapped bundles

Firewood: While there is plenty of it, you do need to buy it at $5.00 a bundle.

Showers:

I’m going to take a minute here and rave. And I mean big big humongous rave.

THE SHOWERS ARE AMAZING! (and FREE)

By campground standards anyways. They were clean and the water stayed warm for our entire shower! This (as some of you probably know) is a rarity to find, and it was amazing.

Ice Cream: HUGE! Like extremely huge, kids bowls and cones were more then enough for us.

Algae: We did encounter blue-green algae at the boat launch. The beach was clear, however be on the lookout and be sure to keep pets away if you do see some.

leaving

I feel there is a ton more to see here. We only scratched the surface. The lake is massive, (7th largest in Alberta to be exact) and with so many little islands to explore. Had the weather been a bit nicer we may have ventured out farther on the boat. There are also other campgrounds in and around Lac La Biche. Lakeland Provincial isn’t far, and Beaver Lake isn’t far down the road. With so much more to see and do, I am sure we will be back again!

Until next time Lac La Biche!

 

Have you been to Sir Winston Churchill?  Got any extra information to share with us?  Leave a comment or send us an email!

Exploring the World Waterpark In Edmonton Alberta.

Last Christmas we got our kids some tickets to go to the World Waterpark in West Edmonton Mall. A few months ago, we FINALLY got to use them! Here is our day at the waterpark.

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We had originally planned to go to the park on a Saturday. After doing some reading and research, I got a little apprehensive about how busy the park would be on a weekend. (My husbands words: Could you imagine all those little nose pickers running around? Thousands of them! Yelling and screaming with joy! I just want to go on a slide) I didn’t want crowds, I didn’t want the kids to have to wait in line for 20 minutes to get on a slide, and I didn’t want to mowed down by an endless barrage of tubes in the wave pool. I also discovered that this particular Saturday was the day before the Grey Cup, which was being held in Edmonton, so we decided to pull the kids from school for the day and head up on Monday instead. That decision was entirely worth it! We beat the crowds, full of mostly joyful little nose pickers!! Lol.

Tickets:

We lucked out and decided to order our tickets through redeeming our air miles. You can order 2 tickets for admission to the park for 495 air miles, so we ordered 6 tickets total. Only word of caution here is that they do have expiry dates! We ordered ours last christmas, and they were set to expire Dec 1 2018. Also be sure to order them way ahead of when you plan to go as they do ship them to your home. If you need to purchase tickets directly from the store you can do so here: World Waterpark Tickets are not cheap by any means. If we wouldn’t have redeemed our air miles, just to get in the door for our family of 5 would have been around $200.

Cabanas:

This was a difficult choice for us. I had read about the private cabana rentals that the park offers. These are placed at various locations throughout the park and offer a private place to sit, eat and take a break if needed. Initially we didn’t think they were worth the price tag, BUT after some reading we decided to book a Palm Cove Cabana for $125. Let me tell you, it was worth every penny! The cabanas come with a locked box to store all your things, so we didn’t have to rent a locker in the family change room. Everything fit in our bench (lockbox). The cabana had curtains to close for privacy if you need it, and a place to sit and eat. There was also a semi- private bathroom 10 feet away so you didn’t have to run all the way back to the change rooms. They provide you with a lock & key for the lockbox bench as well. There is a $100 deposit (cash, debit, credit) for the Cabana which you get back when you return the key at the end of your day. The costs of the different cabanas run from $90 to $200 a day. You can reserve them online here: Cabanas

Things to do:
SLIDES

The park offers some fantastic attractions. Slides range from beginner to extreme. Beginner slides are generally aimed at those under 48″ tall. Caribbean cove is an excellent place for the little ones. There are three slides attached to the structure and a stand alone slide called the Caribbean Cruiser. There is also a splash pad for the littles kids to play on. Next up are the 2 intermediate slides. One of these (Sideboarding) is an interactive video game type slide that you ride down on a board and try to score some points. Next are 3 advanced slides. And finally 4 extreme slides (for the biggest adrenaline junkies in your crew).


Blue Thunder Wave Pool

The park also offers a massive wave pool. The waves run in intervals and you can catch the biggest ones (4.5 feet) at the deep end of the pool. Tubes are allowed in the wave pool and things can get a bit crazy when the waves are going and tubes are flying at you from every direction, so take caution with little one if you’re out to catch some waves.

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FLOWRIDER

FlowRider is a simulated surfing attraction (Troy’s favorite). This can be rather extreme so there is height restrictions. You can do bodyboarding (laying down) or flowboarding (standing up). You need to fill out waivers for this one. The cost isn’t cheap. 3 consecutive rides is $10. This means that once you fall, it counts as one ride. Half an hour of ride time is $15. Though you have to circulate with other riders who are on the ride at the same time, so your half hour isn’t all board time. Other options are an hour for $19 and all day for $40. The height restrictions are there for safety purposes. Both our boys were tall enough to try it out, however they just weren’t strong enough to stay up. They did refund our money for them since they only went once each.

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Old Men with thinning hair can do it too!

SkyFlyer Zipline:

The zipline flies you across the wave pool. There are weight minimums and maximums to follow. This, of course, has extra associated costs as well. The prices fluctuate for weekdays/ weekends and holidays. My boys were both heavy enough to go on, so they teamed up with dad and the three of them went. Double check the prices here: SkyFlyer Zipline and don’t forget to grab your photos from the booth afterwards.

Other info worth knowing ↓↓↓↓↓

There are a few different snack shacks to buy food from. Basics such as pizza and corn dogs, chips and nachos. You can load cash onto your waterpark bracelet to save you from carrying your debit card around. There are several coca- cola drink fountains around the park. These are FREE and offer a variety of different drink options (including water). There is a rental shack to rent tubes from, they also offer free life jackets for the kiddos so you don’t have to bring your own.

All in all I would say we had an amazing time at the World Water Park. The kids have been asking to go again, since the moment we left, so that must count for something.

Would I go back? I would, however, it is still difficult for me to digest the ticket costs for our family. By the time we travel two and half hours, get in, eat, and do ALL the activities, well that leaves a pretty massive dent in the wallet. Perhaps we can save up those airmiles again and make another trip!

Have you made a trip to the World Waterpark?  Leave a comment below and let us know how your day went!

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