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Day Trip: CrossIron Mills

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Few things are more Albertan than a day trip to Calgary or, more specifically, the very touristic CrossIron Mills.

Generally, you wouldn’t think of taking an entire day to spend in a mall, but the CrossIron Mills is so much more than that, and with its vast space and over 217 stores, you may not cover everything in one day.

Located just north of Calgary in Rocky View, CrossIron Mills has what is called neighbourhoods, which, according to their website, are in place to celebrate Alberta’s diversity. Though to be fair, the neighbourhoods are probably precisely what you would think they would be and are far from diverse. There is a neighborhood for fashion, resources, fossils, sports, ranch and entertainment. It’s an interesting and unique idea.

Along with this same idea, the CrossIron Mills is divided up into different courts and has a court for fine arts, campfire, rodeo, wind and wildfire. Last, but most definitely not least, it has a massive food hall with a plethora of food options that will make choosing what’s for lunch nearly impossible.

Even if you don’t have anything on your shopping list, exploring the mall and viewing all the different areas is enough reason to go at least once in your life. Further, if you have kids, going through the different neighbourhoods and courts is sure to keep them entertained for hours, and when it no longer does, the variety of snack options will surely make them happy.

A prominent feature is, of course, the Bass Pro Shop. With an indoor fountain, massive fish tank and more, the Bass Pro Shop is a place where you can easily spend hours perusing through outdoor equipment and planning your next great adventure in the Rockies. Whether you like camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, or anything in between, you are sure to find something that piques your interest.

If you’re done shopping and decide you don’t want to explore any longer, then there is always the option to catch a movie at the Cineplex before going home.

As with any shopping centre, the CrossIron Mills tends to be at its busiest on the weekend, so you should plan for longer lines and more people if you are visiting on Saturday or Sunday. This is especially important if you are trying to avoid the general population these days. However, as is to be expected, spending time in a mall and seeing no or few people is nearly impossible, even in a pandemic.

You might ask, “what if I am not a mall person?” Well, that’s OK because as someone who only became an Albertan 14 years ago, I can honestly say that the CrossIron Mills, much like the West Edmonton Mall, is one of those tourist locations that we have and everyone who lives in Alberta should be able to say they have experienced it. However, we should make some distinctions between the two. Although both have attractions, shopping and food at CrossIron
Mills focuses greatly on deals and larger retail selection with unique stores that you may not find at West Edmonton Mall. And, if you’re going to be there surrounded by all those store options, you might as well check off some or all the items on your Christmas list.

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