Thinking of visiting Drumheller with kids? It’s a really fun trip for young ones and doesn’t require a ton of time. Drumheller is an easy stop while traveling through Calgary, Edmonton or the Canadian Rockies.
I had been eager to head to Drumheller for quite a few years, but wanted to wait until the boys were old enough to have an appreciation for dinosaurs. At the age of nearly four and six, they were totally into these prehistoric creatures and eager to see them up close!
We booked two nights at one of the few hotels in town, the Super 8, and arrived around dinner time. The rooms were clean and they had an indoor pool with a waterslide, which our kids loved. They offered a free breakfast of cereal, bagels, muffins and oatmeal. I would call this place no frills, but it was comfortable enough.
We headed out early to see the Hoodoos, a natural formation of sandstone pillars, and arrived just before 9am on a weekday. The sky was blue and we had the place all to ourselves! The Drumheller Hoodoos are free to visit and provide walking trails and many photo opportunities. Our kids loved running around the winding trails and marveling at the tall pillars. There are signs around to provide you with information on how they formed, but you don’t need to read them to admire their beauty. Don’t miss this spot!
Royal Tyrrell Museum
Visiting this museum was the main reason for our stop in Drumheller. The Badlands of Alberta have provided more dinosaur fossils than just about anywhere else in the world. Filled with dino skeletons of all shapes and sizes, your whole family will be blown away when you stand next to these historical and fearsome creatures!
Also covered at the Royal Tyrrell Museum is the history of the earth (from a scientific perspective), plants and underwater prehistoric life, as well as reptiles and theropods. A highlight for me was looking into the lab where scientist could be seen working on the latest fossils and research. If your kids are young, don’t plan on spending more than 1-2 hours here. We got through it fairly quickly because the kids didn’t care about the facts.
Horseshoe & Horsethief Canyon
We’ve never had the chance to see the Grand Canyon, so these massive canyons located just outside of Drumheller were a sight to behold! There isn’t much to do here unless you plan to book helicoptor tours or hike, but it’s worth the five minute stop for photos.
Worlds Largest Dinosaur
This is a surprisingly fun activity for the littles! Standing 86 feet high, you can climb to the head of this T-Rex and enjoy the views of the whole town. Warning, there are a lot of stairs and you are charged for entry, but it really is worth the experience. They’ve painted the insides to reflect a prehistoric world and it’s fun to get photos with giant teeth behind you at the top.
There are a few other tourist attractions offered in town, but they weren’t highly rated and labeled as ‘tourist traps.’ There are lots of shops selling fossil style trinkets and just about everything Dinosaur related you can imagine, but we opted to stick with the most popular sights and found ourselves done by early afternoon. My recommendation? You don’t actually need to stay the night in Drumheller. Base yourself in Calgary and plan a day trip through the Badlands to experience all the Dino fun.
Drumheller with kids is absolutely worth doing once in your lifetime, but it can easily be seen in six to eight hours.