Monday, 30 December 2013

Tubing with Kids in Banff: Norquay is Just as Good the Second Time

You know you're doing something right when you go to a tube park and your 9-year-old says he wants to walk up instead of taking the magic carpet.

Last year when we went tubing at Lake Louise, walking up wasn't as big a commitment. But Norquay is hands down the tube park with the most vertical in Banff National Park. It's also steeper. That adds up to a good workout, even for an outdoor dad who's used to hauling his butt up mountains.

The reward was worth it, though. Whether you hurtle down one of the seven runs solo or as three tubers holding onto each others' tubes for dear life, you get a pretty wild ride. At the end of each run at least one of us walked away with a face that felt frozen into place by the rush of winter air we'd just blasted through.

After a couple walks up the hill, the magic carpet proved to be a valuable addition to the tube park since the first time we went to Norquay in search of tubing fun a couple years ago. Exercise and active kids are good, and so is just focusing on the fun of an activity without feeling like you have to maximize its fitness value. This was one of those days, and when my 13-year-old asked if we could take the magic carpet I didn't complain. You'd be amazed at how sitting on a tube and letting gravity pull you to the bottom can leave you breathless.

Also in tubing's favor: it costs less than skiing and has zero learning curve. Even for a skiing family like us, sometimes it's nice to leave the skis and boots and poles at home (not the helmets, even though they aren't required) and hit the slopes sans all the stuff.

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