Alberta’s capital city of Edmonton is known for its rugged and beautiful outdoors: more parkland per capita than any other city in North America. Besides outdoor activities, there is also plenty of other kinds of fun and culture in Edmonton. Here are some of our favorite things to do with kids in Edmonton.
Jurassic Forest and Learning Centre. (www.jurassicforest.com) This educational and fun facility teaches the whole family about the forest and paleontology, which is especially important to Alberta, one of the biggest dinosaur fossil “hot spots” in the world. Situated on a forty acre plot of old-growth, natural forest, the Centre has kilometers of trails, featuring life-size, animatronic dinosaurs at every turn! In the facility’s center you will find displays, concessions, and a gift shop.
Telus World of Science Edmonton. (www.telusworldofscience/edmonton) Similar to its sister facility in Calgary, the Telus World of Science in Edmonton aims to make science as fun and interesting as possible for all ages. This facility has five huge, interactive galleries, each with its own scientific focus. Younger kids will love Discoveryland, where they can play in the water, sand and dirt while building and constructing.
Valley Zoo. (www.valleyzoo.ca) This facility is home to over a hundred endangered species, both native and exotic. You can see tigers, zebras, red pandas, elephants, and much more, plus tons of interactive activities for kids. The little guys will love the train, carousel, and paddleboats.
Devonian Botanic Garden. These beautiful gardens and indoor displays of local and exotic plants, flowers, and butterflies are found in Devon, just thirty minutes outside of Edmonton. Enjoy the Japanese garden, browse the gift shop, and take an interactive tour or course.
John Janzen Nature Centre. Found next to the Fort Edmonton Park, this recently-renovated exhibition takes its visitors through interactive exhibits, programs, and special events designed to promote nature awareness in an urban setting. The Tegler Discovery Zone recreated local wildlife and habitats in the form of an indoor play area, where the kids can climb and crawl through play structures. You can also watch the wildlife and take a self-guided tour on the trails, which encompass four kilometers through the river valley.
Art Gallery of Alberta. (www.youraga.ca) Not so fast, this isn’t your grandmother’s art museum! The Art Gallery of Alberta does a great job of fostering interest in the arts in kids through fun and hands-on exhibits and activities, such as their BMO World of Creativity, which has periodic themes, such as “Play on Architecture.” There are also Tours for Tots every Wednesday morning.
West Edmonton Mall. (www.westedmontonmall.com) Surprise, surprise: the largest shopping center in North America is located in Edmonton! This megalithic complex of shops, restaurants, and attractions will keep you and the kids occupied for days. The ice rink, two miniature golf courses, bumper boats, bowling, billiards, underground aquarium, World Waterpark, and Galaxyland (the biggest indoor amusement park in the world) all call the West Edmonton Mall home. Besides that, you should check out Toddler Time, the ultimate play date experience! Kids five and under can exhaust themselves at the Galaxy Kids Playpark (a play area complete with slides, ball pits, and caves) or at the World Waterpark, all while the parents look on in bemusement.
Fort Edmonton Park. (www.fortedmontonpark.ca) Fort Edmonton is located just outside of Edmonton, and it is home to countless living historical exhibits that both educate and entertain. Fort Edmonton Park teaches visitors about four distinct historical periods in Alberta history between 1846 and 1929, complete with authentic period costumes and buildings. There is a working steam train, you can play frontier games and learn old ways to make bread and more. There is an antique Midway, even a beautiful old carousel. It’s fantastic fun for everyone, with unique events year-round.
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