The top places in Canada you need to visit! (Part 1)

Planning your next vacation but not sure exactly where to go? Don’t rule out Canada just because that’s where you live! With 10 provinces and 3 territories, the country is exploding with amazing sights, events, and activities that are perfect for your next getaway. Below are just a few examples of what you can do and see across Canada.

British Columbia

Coulson Flying Tanker

Tour an airborne firefighter. Tour the Coulson Flying Tankers, the aircrafts responsible for dropping 27,000 kilograms of foam on raging forest fires in the province. These powerful machines were originally built as bombers for long-range missions and patrols, and now reside at Sproat lake in central Vancouver Island. Free tours are available to see the size of the aircrafts up close – the wingspans of the aircrafts are 60 meters – when crew members aren’t putting out flames. Learn more at here.

Feed the sea lions. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Vancouver Aquarium and learn about the sea lions and sea otters. Prepare some of the animals’ favorite meals and get up close while working alongside their trainers. Prices range from $25 to $35, and more information can be found at their website.


Banff Upper Hot Springs

Fossil Safari. North of Brooks, in the Southeast area of the province at Dinosaur Provincial Park, dinosaur teeth and bones are scattered everywhere. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the world’s richest fossil beds due to it once being the edge of an inland sea. Since this safari is very popular, it is recommended to reserve a tour one month ahead. Adult fees are $14, with youth and children less than $8. Family packages are available, with more information over here.

Banff Upper Hot Springs. Slip into the warm and relaxing Banff Upper Hot Springs all year round while taking in amazing views at an altitude of 1,585 meters. The hot springs are fed by 100% natural mineral water that travels over three kilometers into the Earth’s crust to be heated and pressurized before making its way to the surface. The updated, modern facilities are housed in historical buildings that date back to 1932. Adults are $7.30, with youth/seniors at a rate of $6.30 and children under 3 are free! Family packages are also available. Take a look for yourself here.


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Grasslands National Park

Discover Moose Jaw’s Capone Connection. The Tunnels of Moose Jaw is a year-round attraction that entertains (and educates) tourists with two unique productions of Canadian History. Relive Al Capone’s bootlegging days underneath the streets of Moose Jaw in the Chicago Connection tour, and experience the hardships of early Chinese immigrants in the Passage to Fortune tour. Take a trip into the past! Rates and additional information can be found at their website.

Get a vision of the Prairies. Soak in the untouched landscape at Grasslands National Park in the southern end of the province. The national park preserves one of the country’s only regions of undisturbed mixed prairie grassland. During the guided hikes (that are less than $5 a person!) look for Canada’s only black-tailed prairie dog colony and rare pronghorn antelope, burrowing owl and bison. It’s time to explore! More information here.


Tundra Buggy Adventure

Be one with the belugas. Churchill River is a popular spot with over 3,000 belugas settling in during the summer due to the abundance of fish, lack of predators and pollution-free water. Sea North Tours will tow brave snorkelers behind a Zodiac with curious beluga whales hot on their tail! $150 for two hours of unforgettable fun. Find out more here.

Tundra buggy. It’s time to get up close and personal with polar bears! Enjoy a one-day, all-inclusive excursion to Churchill to get friendly with polar bears in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. The full-day Tundra Buggy Adventure is accompanied with lunch and refreshments in polar bear country. Information on rates and adventures can be found at their site.

The Territories

Northern Lights in the Yukon

Golf under the midnight sun in the Northwest Territories. Tee off at midnight during the Yellowknife Golf Club’s Canadian North Midnight Classic and don’t stop golfing until you drop! The holding record of the longest game played is from 1970, when a local man golfed 171 holes in a 33.5-hour marathon. For non-members the price is $125, with the date of the event varying from year to year. Get your golf clubs ready! More information at their website.

View the Northern Lights in the Yukon. Stare in awe at the breathtaking views of the Northern Lights in the Yukon! With multiple itineraries to choose from, you can find the perfect way to take in the green, purple, and red aurora borealis dancing through the sky. From a cozy cabin hideaway to a 3-day fall getaway, experience the Northern Lights in a way that is unique to you. More information regarding the itineraries are available at their site here.

Cruises in the North from Nunavut. One of the best ways to get the most out of Nunavut is to experience its land and culture on a deluxe icebreaker cruise ship tour. With the sailing season starting in July and ending in September, the cruise ship will glide you north of the magnetic pole, through glacial mountains and into the heart of the territory. For more information on the rates and main routes of the ship, visit this website.

5 tips for taking great family photos

Everyone wants to take great pictures of their families, but it doesn’t always turn out as good as we want it to be! A few simple tips can make a big difference in how your photos will turn out and how happy everyone will be with the results.

It gets tricky when a family includes small children! The photographer, usually Mom or Dad, is often shooting a moving target. So think about how you can work with the wiggles. Maybe you would like them all to look at the camera, but this is not always realistic. So here are five tips to get you started having fun with your family photos.

1. Think about some creative poses before you pick up the camera and gather the family. Make a list of poses that you want to try. If one pose doesn’t turn out great, move on to another. One of them will eventually be a winner!

2. Choose some poses that are natural for your family. Do your little ones look like angels when they are hugging each other? Does your son love to hold his teddy bear? Does your daughter dance around the house wearing her ballerina costume? Does your family enjoy playing board games? Do you hold hands and take walks in the woods? Think about what your family is natural at doing and focus on that.

3. Use natural light in natural surroundings. Go outside in the yard and down the street to the park or hiking trail. Take advantage of the trees, grass, sky and flowers this time of the year. Use them as props and pose the family among them.

4. Coordinate colors, but don’t have everyone wear matching outfits. This looks stuffy and outdated. Go with clothing that everyone is comfortable in and natural smiles will ensue.

5. Bring in the family pet. The family dog or cat is likely to create a natural focal point for your subjects and keep the poses fluid and organic.

Be prepared to move with your subjects and catch the looks of delight, amusement, and thoughtfulness on their faces. Someday you will look back with pleasure on the photographs that you have taken with just a little bit of preparation and lots of joy and laughter.