#1 Gull Lake (free) Sandy Beaches ∙ Boat Launches ∙ Day Use Areas
Lacombe County is home to Alberta’s first provincial park. Aspen Beach Provincial Park was founded in 1932. Today, discover the sandy beaches that first made Gull Lake a popular vacation spot. Aspen Beach Day Use Area has everything you need with a concession, boat launch, change rooms, play area, fire pits and a scenic boardwalk. Sandy Point, Gull Lake’s newest public beach also has a boat launch, change rooms, picnic tables, and a play area. The Lake is a popular boating and year-round fishing destination. Campgrounds, boat launches, public beaches and day-use areas are located around the lake. Stop by the Summer Village for a pancake breakfasts on long weekends from May through September.
#2 Kraay Family Farm ($) Find Your Way in the Maze
The farm’s corn maze is 15 acres in size and features a new design every year. It takes about an hour and a half to run the full corn maze – but if you have little ones, or need an ice cream break, there are a couple of exits at the beginning of each phase. Visit the petting zoo to meet goats, pigs, ducks, bunnies, chickens, sheep and a donkey. Root for your favourite little curly-tail during the farm’s piggy races – twice a day in the summer. Aim and fire the corn blaster or the pumpkin cannon in the fall. All that playing is going to give you a good appetite, so luckily the farm sells ice cream, kettle popcorn, hot dogs, deep-fried pickles, mini-donuts, cotton candy and fresh roasted nuts. Or you can bring a picnic, cook out over a fire pit or rent a BBQ. For Summer and Fall Hours and current admission prices visit kraayfamilyfarm.com
#3 Ellis Bird Farm (free) Birds, Ponds & Butterflies. Oh My!
Ellis Bird Farm has a great nature centre and hundreds of bird houses to see. Come out for an activity and build a birdhouse too! This is a great location to visit with both large and small groups. The Ellis Café is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a delicious lunch or afternoon tea. Food in the Ellis Café is made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients.
#4 Blacksmith Shop, Murals & Museums (free) Discover the Heritage
Home to communities established by pioneers, homesteaders and farmers, the history of the Lacombe Region is intricately tied to its rural roots and agricultural heritage. In 1902, Lacombe was the first town established in the area and within the next twenty years the communities of Blackfalds, Alix, Clive, Mirror, Gull Lake, Bentley and Eckville were to follow. Today, you can visit 6 museums in the region including the Alix Wagon Wheel Museum, Bentley Museum, Mirror Museum, Wadey House (Blackfalds), the Michener House Museum, and the Lacombe Blacksmith Shop – the oldest working blacksmith shop in Alberta!
#5 Up For Some Horsing Around (free; $) Track on 2 Horse Racing & Event Centre and the Flying Cross Ranch
The Track on 2 is a world class racetrack that offers live and international streaming horse races as well as VLTs. Admission and Parking are always free, and the atmosphere is family-friendly! Don’t know anything about horse racing? Not to worry, the staff are very friendly and knowledgeable! Conveniently located adjacent to Hwy 2 west of Lacombe, The Track is also home to an amazing restaurant The Funky Monkey Kitchen + Bar featuring award-winning Chef Pete Sok’s Western Gastro and Asian cuisine. Make sure to try the deep-fried banana split! For more info: 403.789.8244 thetrackon2.com.
To experience life on the Ranch and meet the friendly animals that call Flying Cross Ranch home, take in some of the great events throughout the year like events such as “The Kentucky Derby Party” and “Talk Derby to Me” dinner theatres, Baby Animal Days, and Open Farm Days are just some of the fun activities. For more information visit flyingcrossranch.com.
#6 Taste Local Food and Drink ($) From Farm to Table
Farm fresh products can be purchased at local Farmers’ Markets from May to October on Fridays in Lacombe: 9am – 1pm and Saturdays in Bentley: 2pm-4pm (May long weekend until Sept. long weekend). Pick your own fruit at U picks like Billy Co Junction Gardens or buy ingredients directly from the farm at Brown Eggs and Lamb, Pik-N-Pak, Market on Twelve, and Rangeland Meats. Learn more about local food and farms during Alberta Open Farm Days: In mid August.
Homemade lunches and delicious treats are a staple of local bakeries and cafés in Alix, Bentley, Blackfalds, and Lacombe. If you are searching for unique culinary creations be sure and try Cilantro & Chive, the Funky Monkey Kitchen, Ellis Café, Tollers Bistro and more! Looking to sample a wide assortment of craft beers? Blindman Brewing located in Lacombe offer a wide selection of locally brewed beers and fun special event activities.
#7 Get Outdoors (free; $) Trails, Golf & Geocaching
Walk or Bike the Trans Canada Trail from Lacombe to Blackfalds, start at the Federal Research Station in Lacombe and end at the Abbey Centre in Blackfalds! Stop for a picnic by the Gazebo at Lacombe Lake and take in the lush scenery. For a list of all the great trails in the region check out the Parks & Trails section in the visitor guide.
Located by Gull Lake, Summerland Leisure Park is a great place to practice your putting with an 18-hole Mini Golf Course! Golf courses abound in this area and serious golfers will want to research all the great courses including; Gull Lake Golf Course, Lacombe Golf and Country Club, and the Nursery Golf and Country Club.
#8 Small Town Country Charm Uniquely Western
Bentley is a classic western town conveniently close to Gull Lake – connected by a 4km paved walking/biking trail to the lake. Bentley’s Main Street is lined with quaint shops, restaurants, and the famous Monkey Top Saloon. On the east side of the region, experience the prairie charm of small towns like Alix, Clive and Mirror. Rodeos and Western events in the region include; Eckville Bullarena, Eckville Rodeo & Parade, Tees Rodeo, Alix Days and Rodeo, Bentley Fair and Rodeo.
The festivities include events like; pancake breakfasts, parades, show and shines, sheep riding, bench show, face painting, family entertainment, and all the fun rodeo events like – racing, roping, riding, wild cow milking, a rodeo cabaret, and beer gardens.
#9 Music in the Park (free; $) Free Concerts & Community Market
Music in the Park is a series of free outdoor concerts that take place in conjunction with the Lacombe Community Market every Wednesday (June thru August) at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. Hosted by the Lacombe Performing Arts Association, Music in the Park features a variety of performers each week from 6:30-8:00pm. Food trucks and market vendors line the street next to the park from 4:30-8:30pm.
#10 Summer Festivals & Events (free)
Join the festivities around the region this spring and summer; see parades, live performances and fireworks! Encore Arts Festival, Blackfalds Days, Canada Day, Lacombe Days, Bentley Fair & Rodeo, Alix Days, Eckville rodeos, Open Farm Days, Lacombe Culture & Harvest Festival, Light up the Night, and more.
Visit lacombetourism.com for a full calendar of events.
Explore Lacombe County
Things to do in Lacombe & Lacombe County – Summer
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