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Take Canadian Thanksgiving outside this year – head to a National Park

Happy fall!

Let’s talk turkey ahem, Thanksgiving plans.

If you are like most Canadian families, you have an annual Thanksgiving tradition. Traditions are wonderful of course but fresh new activities can infuse extra excitement into the holiday.

What are you thankful for? For me, its the ability to spend time outside with my family.

That is why one our favourite things to do over Thanksgiving is head outdoors. We usually rent a lakeside cabin somewhere in Saskatchewan, and spend quality time soaking up the beauty of fall by taking long walks around quiet campgrounds and beaches, followed by roasting hotdogs and marshmallows, while sharing laughs and stories around the campfire.

Don’t worry — we still get our turkey fix in too! But we try to make the most of the beautiful season while celebrating Thanksgiving. It makes the holiday so much more fun, especially for the kids.

Boy throwing leaves fall picture Finnigan

Try to get outside this Thanksgiving break. The kids will love a mini getaway!

This year we hope to try something new and finally make it out to Grasslands National Park. It has been on my ‘must  visit’ list for some time now.

Why stay in, when you can go out? Celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving this year outdoors at a National Park.

Hike, bike, heck you can even go bouldering. Perhaps you are a wildlife lover? Looking for a festival or two? Or, maybe a mini getaway is just up your alley? You can find all these things and more in parks across the country.

Here are some ideas of how you can add easily add to your Thanksgiving traditions, or create new ones by visiting one of Canada’s wonderful National Parks.

This list of course, isn’t exhaustive, merely some suggestions to inspire you:

Thanksgiving Weekend & the Fundy Pumpkin Festival in New Brunswick
pumpkin contest_Fundy National Park
Take part in a haunted walk or let your artistic talents shine during Fundy National Park’s Pumpkin Carving Contest.
 Revel in the beauty of Fall in Alberta’s Banff National Park
Banff national Park fall trees yellow

Banff National Park: the perfect place to take a hike over the Thanksgiving weekend. P.S. Bring your camera!

Get up close and personal with the wildlife in Manitoba’s Riding Mountain National Park
plains bison at riding mountain national park

Visit the plains bison of Riding Mountain National Park and keep your eyes peeled for an abundance of other wildlife.

 Put technology to good use during Thanksgiving at Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park
Grasslands National Park Geocaching Saskatchewan

What is more fun then a scavenger hunt? Kids will love looking for geocaches hidden in the West Block of Grasslands National Park.

Try bouldering in Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula National Park
bouldering in Bruce peninsela ontario

Take in the scenic Georgian Bay shoreline while experiencing a new (or perhaps beloved) activity: bouldering.

Add some family fun via cycling along the Gulf Shore Way of Prince Edward Island National Park
Work off that turkey by taking in some fresh air and exercise over the Thanksgiving break.

Work of that turkey by taking in some fresh air and exercise over the Thanksgiving break.

Stay in an oTENTik at La Mauricie National Park
Parks Canada oTENTik

Have you stayed in an oTENTik yet? Not only are they easy, but warm too. They have stoves to keep the family toasty even in the middle of winter! It really is camping made simple.

I would love to hear from you!

What are your favourite places to visit over Thanksgiving?


*Images courtesy of Parks Canada.

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