Last updated: March 20th, 2020
Located less than an hour southeast of Calgary in Mossleigh, Alberta, Aspen Crossing offers guests the chance to experience a train ride through the beautiful Alberta prairies while enjoying themed excursions, delicious food, music, and more. It’s become a very popular day-trip getaway for Calgarians and has quickly become a major tourist destination in Southern Alberta.
Fun Things To Do in Calgary
Since Aspen Crossing is located just 45 minutes from Calgary, it has become a very popular fun thing to do for Calgarians and those visiting the city. After all, it offers the chance to escape the city and be immersed in the prairie landscapes that Alberta is known for.
12 Different Train Excursions
Aspen Crossing has 12 different themed train excursions available throughout the year, including Champagne Brunch, Sunday Special, Dinner Theatre, Prairie Tour, High Tea, Twilight Tour, Ales on Rails, Wine & Cheese, Circus Train, and Meals in the Field (There’s also a Canada Day version on July 1st). In addition, they offer the Train of Terror for Halloween and their incredibly popular Aspen Crossing Polar Express, which happens around the Christmas holidays. This is one of the top things to do in Calgary with kids during the winter months. You can see the full Aspen Crossing schedule here.
Champagne Brunch Train Ride
While all the tours looked tempting, we joined them for one of their Champagne Brunch tours. We arrived an hour early so that we could see everything else they offer before the train ride began. After all, Aspen Crossing offers much more than a scenic train excursion. They also have a garden centre, an escape room, a gift shop, two restaurants, and even a campground, which offers tent camping, RV camping, and three truly unique and beautiful train caboose rooms.
As the departure time approached, we all gathered around to listen to the conductor talk about Alberta’s history and about the train we’d be riding that day. I noticed that the ages of those going on the train varied a lot. I saw young couples enjoying a date, young families with kids, and seniors as well. After the talk, we all boarded the train and were shown to our reserved tables. The waitresses quickly came around to give everyone coffee, tea, and water, before the train began to go down the track. There were about 7 rail cars in total, and they’re all beautiful in their own way. My favourite rail car was the Milo car, as it had such a retro feel to it. However, I also loved the Saloon car, which is where the bar is, as well as the open car, which is a great place to go for views of the surrounding landscapes. Then again, the candy caboose is great as well. Who doesn’t love candy!?
Once the train was in motion, we began the buffet. What an incredible brunch. Much better than most buffets we’ve had. We had waffles, chicken, omelets, meatballs, perogies, bacon, greek salad, caesar salad, hashbrowns, and more. Then there was the dessert, which consisted of macaroons, cheesecake bites, various cakes, and fruit. I especially loved the meatballs, perogies, and the waffles, which I paired with the fried chicken and syrup. So good!
Oh, and let’s not forget the champagne! Cheers!
Each train ride is about 2 hours or more, taking passengers through prairie farmland, as well as the town of Mossleigh and past some historical grain elevators. Passengers can walk around the various rail cars while admiring the views passing them by. There’s also live music, including a banjo and a guitar. Then, there’s the train robbery, which adds some entertainment to the experience. As you can imagine, the kids really love it. As the train stops, bandits get on and kidnap the marshall. They then ask for money, which is given to local charities. Once they get off the train, the marshall and the “train police” start a gun battle to retrieve the money.
Much More Than Train Rides – Unique Things To Do in Calgary
As mentioned at the beginning, there’s much more to Aspen Crossing than the train ride. In fact, it started off as a tree farm and still remains a place where people can buy plants and flowers. However, now they offer much more, including two restaurants, one of which is housed inside an 1887 Pullman rail car that was once used as Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s campaign rail car during the mid-1950s. After that, it was used as Edmonton’s famous Side Track café, which hosted various musicians such as Sarah MacLachlan, The Barenaked Ladies, Blue Rodeo, and K.D. Lang. Now, it’s here, serving up a new menu each season along with a beautiful patio in the summer months. There’s also the century-old Bergquist House, which offers both a tavern as well as an escape room!
Aspen Crossing Campground
When we were there, the 85-site campground looked close to full. It’s very popular with travellers and with people seeking a fully-serviced campground that offers a slice of wilderness along with modern comforts such as restaurants and a unique train ride. There are also three group shelters to accommodate corporate bookings, family reunions, or any other group gathering. Other amenities include laundry facilities, modern showers, flushing toilets, group camping, fully serviced sites, sani-dump stations. Plus, the kids love running out to greet the train going by!
Aspen Crossing Caboose Cabins
Plus, for those seeking a truly unique experience, they offer three different Caboose Cabins. It’s your chance to sleep in a vintage railcar while the interior design provides the luxury of a modern hotel. You even get your own deck right outside for lounging in the sun as well as a fire pit, perfect for late-night marshmallow roasting and creating new memories with friends, family or even colleagues.
Talk about a “glamping” experience.
Things To Do in Calgary
While Aspen Crossing is very popular with Calgarians and those visiting Canada’s third-biggest city, it’s also perfect for those looking for things to do in Okotoks, Lethbridge, or any of the other towns around the area. Whether you’re travelling across the province or just visiting Calgary, Aspen Crossing is a great place for the whole family. Whether you’re looking to just jump on the train for a scenic ride or partake in something like the Champagne Brunch, they have something for everyone.
Have you been? Would you love to go? Let us know in the comments below!
For more things to do in the area, check out:
Rochelle Watt says
Thank you Matt for a great story! We enjoyed your visit with us here at Aspen Crossing and sharing all the fun things to do, just an hour out of Calgary!
We look forward to seeing you again!
Matthew G. Bailey says
Thanks for having us! Would love to do it again one day