With COVID-19 limiting the amount of travel southern Albertans are taking part in, smaller day trips have become a popular option to get out of the house.
Fort Whoop-Up opened at the beginning of July, with a slightly different take than previous years. Instead of self-guided tours, they are offering interpreter-led visits.
Tours involve one staff member and up to 10 visitors, who pay a $10 admission.
Darren Martins, executive director of Fort Whoop-Up and the Galt Museum, said this provides a more immersive experience.
“We’re providing a much more intimate experience and one where there’s a relationship that’s built between the group and the interpreter,” he said.
Unlike Fort Whoop-Up, the Fort Museum of the North West Mounted Police in Fort MacLeod, Alta., is only doing self-led tours of the facility.
“Tours are not going on right now just because the group sizes and the social distancing in our galleries are a little bit too difficult,” said executive director Sandi Davis.
Tate Matson, a sergeant for the fort’s traditional musical ride, said they’ve had to adapt the performance this year.
Lower attendance due to COVID-19 means they sometimes perform without an audience — something that doesn’t bother Matson.
“I’ve got a brand-new horse to ride so it’s really good practice for them,” he said.
Other educational museums and attractions currently open in Lethbridge include:
Around southern Alberta, some attractions currently open include:
- Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation: Coaldale
- Heritage Acres Farm Museum: Cardston
- Remington Carriage Museum: Cardston
- Frank Slide Interpretive Centre: Crowsnest Pass
- The Fort Museum of the NWMP and First Nations Interpretive Centre: Fort MacLeod
According to their websites, the following places are not currently open:
- Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
- Devil’s Coulee Dinosaur and Heritage Museum: Warner
- Gem of the West Museum: Coaldale
“Southern Alberta, and Canada in general, has a lot of unique, beautiful places that people all over the world come for their holidays,” said Davis.
“It’s nice to let people know what is in their own backyard.”