Finding the right picnic spot in Camrose all comes down to what the perfect picnic means to you. First and foremost, a picnic is nothing without an enjoyable meal. And whether you’d prefer to create your own meals from scratch or take them premade and to-go, Camrose offers several options for market shopping, local dining, and farm-to-table foods.
Now you just need your site! Throughout the city are expansive greenspaces and parklands, with other natural areas just a short drive out of city limits. This means you have your pick of relaxing lakeside, riverside, on the water, or in the heart of town.
But maybe a back-up plan couldn’t hurt. Just in case the weather turns on your picnic plans, you and your family can choose from several indoor activities around town- safe from the rain or snow (you never know!).
Creating a Camrose Picnic
All the fresh produce you’d need for salads and vegetable trays can be found at either the Camrose Saturday Farmers’ Market (open year-round) or Downtown Market (June to September)- these are also great places to pick up dessert with your choice of several homemade sweets. If you’re heading to one of the picnic parks with a firepit then you might be in the market for something to grill: Wild West Meats has your meal covered with burgers, sausages, chops, and steaks (all grass-fed and free-range).
Ready to eat
Your picnic might not be pre-planned. Sometimes those are the best: a quick pause to enjoy a good meal with family or a loved one in a scenic spot. For the spur of the moment picnics, you can choose from several local cafes offering shareables, handhelds, hot or cold drinks, and more desserts.
Finger foods and warm drinks might do for a quick picnic, but for larger meals, you can add appetizers, sandwiches, and more convenient dishes from local eateries like The Burough, FIKA Coffeehouse, or The Lefse House.
Perfect Picnic Parks in Camrose
Nature Conservation Center
As a popular day-use area, the Conservation Centre provides your picnic essentials like firepits, picnic tables, playgrounds, and washrooms. But what makes this area so special for a family picnic are the surrounding natural beauty, gazebos for shelter, a pond you can explore by canoe or kayak, and nature trails from which you can watch for several species of birds and other wildlife.
Tillicum Beach Park
You can camp at Tillicum Beach or plan your day around a lakeside picnic. There is a playground near the beach, as well as washrooms, and a southwest facing pier where you can end your day with sunset views. Tillicum Beach is on Driedmeat Lake which allows for non-motorized boats- if you’d prefer a picnic on the water.
Mirror Lake Park
Camrose’s city centre park on Mirror Lake represents one of the earliest conservation efforts in the area. It has worked, as the urban park is home to several bird species and wildlife to watch for. It is also home to the Bill Fowler Visitor Information Centre where you can take in some local art and history. The Info Centre is on the south side of the park near the Mirror Lake Bridge surrounded by ample grassy areas for your picnic blankets.
Jubilee Park is listed as one of the more popular picnic spots in Camrose as it has everything you would need for the day: firepits, picnic tables and shelters, washrooms, and a large playground. Jubilee is at the south tip of Mirror Lake Park with trails that lead north and around the lake, and which lead south to Rotary Park.
Stoney Creek (Four Seasons Rotary Park, Stoney Creek Centre, Creekview Park, and Camrose ski Club)
Between 44th Avenue and Camrose city limits you can find many entry points into the extensive path and park network through the Stoney Creek Valley. There is ample space here to lay out a blanket and enjoy the fall colours or spring blooms while dining with your family. These Park systems through the Valley are volunteer-run and -maintained and are a further look into the city’s conservation efforts. This parkland is not only great picnic real estate, but also a bustling wildlife habitat (keep your eyes peeled!).
More picnic areas!
That’s not all for picnic inspiration around Camrose. With so many urban parks, trails, and conservation efforts, you have your pick of many other areas: Rudy Swanson Recreation Park, Camrose Spray Park, or the Camrose Heritage Railway Museum (museum open by appointment only September – May; grounds are always open).
Plans to Save for a Rainy Day
All rain, all day? No problem! For a day of family fun sheltered from the rain, Camrose offers a few places to keep everyone entertained, or fed.
The Fox and Fable Book & Game Café has a huge selection of board and card games to play while you wine or dine or could be a cozy place to read and relax.
Catch a flick! The Magic Lantern Duggan Cinemas play the newest releases each week.
Camrose’s Public Library is continuously hosting indoor events for children, teens, adults, and seniors, and they’re all free!