I had heard positive things about the campgrounds at Aspen Beach Provincial Park, so when I saw availability there for late-May I booked us a site near the water, at Brewers Campground. I was hoping the weather would be warm enough for swimming, or at least wading! One never knows what May will be like in Alberta, so it’s always a bit of a gamble.
We arrived at around 3:30pm on Friday and found our site. It was a bit underwhelming at first glance. Kind of sloped and weird, also super close to the neighbours (basically on top of each other). However we were basically a stones throw from the beach, which was the main reason we were there, so that was perfect. It was raining off and on, so we set up the tents as quickly as we could between showers, and then spent some time waiting it out.
Eventually it seemed safe to go outside again. We had some dinner, and took a walk down to check out the beach.
It was a little windy, but we had a fire anyway, because CAMPING! and made s’mores for dessert.
Katrin was pretty wired from such a big day. I was hoping she would be exhausted and go to sleep without much fuss, but she had other ideas. Also she HATED the camping sleep sack we had for her (she loathes not having her legs free) so I had to abandon that and eventually call in reinforcements. Mike came to bed and she immediately snuggled down between us and went to sleep immediately, because of course she did. I attempted to sneak her into her own bed after a while, which resulted in her waking up shrieking, so scrap that plan as well. I ended up sleeping on her bed and Mike was basically on the ground between the sleeping pad and the door. She stayed mostly settled after that, so at least one of us got some sleep. Tenting with a toddler is…an experience to be sure.
She woke up bright eyed and bushy-tailed the next morning (Mike and I were slightly less enthused, but coffee helped). We had breakfast sandwiches, made from pillsbury biscuits (the kind in the tube) cooked in our camping waffle iron. They worked out so well! Definitely a win.
After breakfast we decided to go down to the beach and check out the water. I hadn’t anticipated Katrin getting wet, so I left her in her wee woollies. In hindsight I probably should have known better, ha ha!
It started off innocently enough. Just a little wading to see if the water was cold…
The water was nice! The sun was shining. Lots of things to check out. Inevitably, just walking in the water was not adequate.
She had a ball, but it was still pretty early in the day so it didn’t take too long before she decided maybe it was a little chilly. We realized I hadn’t packed any towels. Oops!
We got back to camp and cleaned her off, changed her into clothes, and set off for Lacombe to buy some cheap beach towels and sand toys. Katrin fell asleep immediately, which was great because it was her nap time anyway. She stayed sleeping while we acquired said towels, sand toys, and even stopped for ice cream on the way back. We couldn’t let her sleep through that part though!
Everyone changed into their swimsuits and we went back to the beach for the afternoon. It was a great time, and Katrin discovered how much fun it is to smash sand castles!
The beach is so ideal for little ones because it stays shallow far far out into the lake. The water is clean and warm, and the beach is maintained nicely. Highly recommend this location if you have toddlers or younger kids.
Once everyone was thoroughly played out and hungry, we went back to our site. Katrin was so full of sand I had to give her a quick bath in our collapsible camp sink before we got her into clothes again! I really shouldn’t have bothered because she’s obsessed with sand and immediately got dirty again, digging around in the camp site.
We had smokies and pizza sandwiches for supper, as is tradition on camping trips (front country anyway, not carrying a pie iron into the wild, LOL)
We spent the remainder of the day enjoying our camp fire and relaxing. Bringing our hammock was one of the better ideas I’ve had (this orange one is actually the second one we’ve purchased because we love them!)
Katrin was a bit less wild during bed time on the second night, but only marginally. Mike volunteered to try and get her to settle so that I could stay up by the fire for a while, but she was having none of that. Oh well! Sometimes it’s just important that everyone get some sleep.
Sunday was time to head home. We had cinnamon roll waffles for breakfast, which were awesome! Definitely making those again. Katrin rolled around in the dirt a bunch, so eventually everyone headed down to the beach while I got our stuff packed up and reorganized the truck. It was so beautiful and hot out! Since we didn’t have a huge rush to get out of there, it was nice to have time to play in the water again before we had to go.
I think we will definitely stay at Brewers again. Hopefully a different site next time. I didn’t love being surrounded by RV’s running generators or how close together the sites were, but the beach makes it worthwhile. Especially for our little water baby!