Family fun in Alberta in 48 hours or less

Family fun in Alberta in 48 hours or less

Discover Jarvis Bay Provincial Park

A Family Adventure Guide

Credit: Travel Alberta / Colin Way

Jarvis Bay Provincial Park, located on the eastern shores of Sylvan Lake, offers a delightful mix of natural beauty and recreational activities suitable for families of all ages. Whether you’re camping with small children or exploring with older kids, Jarvis Bay provides a variety of experiences to make your family trip memorable.

Camping at Jarvis Bay Provincial Park

Campground Features:

RV Access: The campground has 168 sites, many of which are RV-friendly with power hookups. The sites are spacious and provide easy access for larger vehicles.

Amenities: The campground offers amenities such as flush toilets, showers, potable water, and a dump station for RVs. There are also fire pits and picnic tables at each site.

Dining Options Near Jarvis Bay

While the park itself does not have dining facilities, the town of Sylvan Lake is just a short drive away and offers a variety of family-friendly dining options. Here are a few recommendations:

Bukwildz: A fun, casual spot offering burgers, pizzas, and other comfort foods. Features an Ankle Biters menus.  Address: 4715 Lakeshore Drive, Sylvan Lake

Lokal Kitchen: A great place for breakfast and brunch, featuring local ingredients.  A kid’s menu is available. Address: 4923 33 Street, Sylvan Lake

Bamboo Hut Southeast Asian Cuisine: Offers a variety of Asian dishes, perfect for a family dinner. Address: 5052 46 Street, Sylvan Lake.

Credit: Travel Alberta / Curtis Comeau

Activities for Families with Small Children

Sylvan Lake Beach:

Description: Just a few minutes from the park, Sylvan Lake Beach is perfect for young kids to splash around in the shallow waters and build sandcastles. Pack a picnic and enjoy a relaxing day by the water.


There is a playground within the park, offering slides, swings, and other fun equipment for small children to enjoy.

Nature Walks:

Take a leisurely stroll along the park’s easy walking paths. These are suitable for strollers and little legs, allowing the family to explore the natural surroundings without too much exertion.

Credit: Travel Alberta / Curtis Comeau

Activities for Families with Older Children

Kayaking and Canoeing:

Older kids and teenagers can enjoy kayaking or canoeing on Sylvan Lake. Rentals are available nearby from SunSport Recreational, The Launch, Nomads or Castaway Fishing Adventures

Hiking Trails:

Jarvis Bay Loop Trail:

Length: Approximately 2 km

Difficulty: Easy

Suitable For: All ages, including young children, with supervision.

This loop offers a scenic walk through the park with views of the lake and opportunities for bird watching.

Sylvan Lake Provincial Park Trail:

Length: Varies

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Suitable For: Older children and teenagers.

Located in the nearby Sylvan Lake Provincial Park, these trails provide longer hikes with beautiful lake views and forested paths.


Bring your bikes and enjoy the various biking trails around the park and the nearby town of Sylvan Lake.  Helmets are a must, and make sure to check trail maps for suitable routes.


Sylvan Lake is a popular spot for fishing. Kids can try their hand at catching fish from the shore or from a boat. Ensure you have the appropriate fishing licenses and gear.

Tips for Visiting Jarvis Bay Provincial Park

Book Early: Campgrounds can fill up quickly, especially during peak season. Make reservations in advance.

Pack Accordingly: Bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen. The weather can change rapidly, so pack layers and rain gear.

Wildlife Safety: Teach children about local wildlife and the importance of not feeding animals. Always store food securely.

Emergency Contacts: Know the location of the nearest medical facility and keep emergency contact numbers handy.

Jarvis Bay Provincial Park offers a fantastic escape into nature with activities suitable for all ages. Whether you’re splashing in the lake, hiking the trails, or simply relaxing at your campsite, it’s the perfect destination for a family adventure.

Time lapse of Northern lights at Sylvan Lake. Credit: Alberta Parks