Whether planning a day outside on the 155 km of trails in the river valley, or deciding to spend the afternoon at West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton has something to keep everyone in the family happy! Don’t forget to pick up the Edmonton Attractions Pass, the essential sightseeing tool for visitors to take in the best of Edmonton’s attractions.
EXPERIENCE 1: Start off with a visit to the TELUS World of Science that has six exhibit galleries and two theatres (including an IMAX™), and is home to Canada’s largest planetarium. Your next stop should be at the Edmonton Valley Zoo to visit the tigers, red pandas and zebras, and experience first-hand some of the world’s greatest creatures with interpretative animal presentations. Next, keep your brain engaged at the Royal Alberta Museum, where you can meet some unusual insects in the Bug Room or explore Wild Alberta to learn about animals and fossils.
EXPERIENCE 2: Spend your day at the world’s largest indoor amusement park — West Edmonton Mall! With more than 800 stores and over 100 eating establishments, you’ll never want to leave. Splash in the waves at the five-acre World Waterpark or get vertical with the Mindbender roller coaster at Galaxyland. There’s also the Ice Palace, an NHL-sized rink in the middle of the mall, or you can take yourself to new heights on the three-level ropes course at Ropes Quest.
EXPERIENCE 3: Your adventure begins with the four pyramids that accent the Edmonton skyline, the Muttart Conservatory. Tour fauna from arid, tropical and temperate climates or check out what the feature pyramid has on display. Continue your adventure with a step back in time at Fort Edmonton Park, where you can try your hand living life as an early pioneer. Take a ride in an antique vehicle, take aim at the shooting gallery or stay the night in the iconic Selkirk Hotel! The Capitol Theatre also offers a beautiful re-creation of the circa 1929 original and is a great venue for live theatre and events.
Step Back In Time
From dinosaurs to trading posts, Alberta has one of the most culturally diverse and extraordinary histories in the world. With a seemingly endless list of museums and historical sites, the Edmonton area is the ideal place to take a journey back in time.
EXPERIENCE 1: Let it fly with the Reynolds-Alberta Museum and their collection of 88 vintage aircraft — the second largest collection in Canada. You can even see vintage cars and trucks, including the one-of-a-kind Duesenberg Phaeton Royale Model J! Next, head to the Alberta Aviation Museum, displaying over 50 aircraft, where you can learn about the incredible progress of flight technology over the past century. While you’re there, check out the 90-year-old Vickers Viking IV, it is a true spectacle of how far aviation has advanced.
EXPERIENCE 2: Start your day’s history lesson with a visit to Fort Edmonton Park. Nestled in 64 hectares of wooded parkland along the river valley, the Fort allows you to experience four historical time periods between 1846 and 1929. Then head just outside the city to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, an award-winning open-air museum that retells the story of how Ukrainian immigrants settled in this region between 1892 and 1930. Over 30 historic structures have been relocated to the museum and they are staffed by costumed role-players who re-enact the routines and activities of that time period.
EXPERIENCE 3: One of Canada’s most popular museums, the Royal Alberta Museum certainly warrants a visit. The museum offers a full range of exhibitions and activities for every age group and you can regularly find some of the finest cultural and natural history collections across the country. A top historical stop in Edmonton, the Alberta Legislature and grounds are one of the best ways to learn about the province’s political history. Enjoy interactive tours, beautiful gardens, wading pools, seasonal lights and skating in the winter. Open 362 days a year, you can experience 23 hectares of parkland and monuments and a number of special events.
Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a casual outdoors person, Edmonton offers a bounty of options. It doesn’t matter if it is summer or winter, snow or sunshine, you’ll have a list long enough to keep you busy for days.
EXPERIENCE 1: With 150km of trails, Edmonton’s river valley has endless paths to explore. Enjoy walks, bike rides, jet boating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or even a Segway Tour with River Valley Adventure Co. Afterwards, head out to Elk Island National Park, second only to Africa’s famed Serengeti for wildlife viewing opportunities. Continue enjoying the outdoors at the Devonian Botanic Garden, a spectacular 190 acre visual display made up of manicured gardens including the picturesque Kurimoto Japanese garden. Not limited to the warm months, the garden has events throughout the winter as well!
EXPERIENCE 2: The Edmonton region is home to more than 84 golf courses, and with mid-summer daylight lasting close to 17 hours, you can squeeze at least a couple of rounds in! During the winter, Edmonton boasts three local ski hills — Rabbit Hill, Snow Valley, Edmonton Ski Club — that let you shred some powder without leaving the city limits. Alternatively, there are dozens of local skating rinks including at the beautifully-adorned City Hall. Once the snow melts, the ice rink becomes a refreshing wading pool surrounded by rose gardens and fountains. Venture into the building for a behind-the-scenes tour and history lesson on the city.
EXPERIENCE 3: If you’re looking for some adrenaline fuelled action, why not consider jumping out of plane… with a parachute of course! You can try a Solo or Tandem first jump with Eden North Parachute School and learn to fly like the birds. If you like the heights but prefer to stay strapped in, consider E-Z Air Helicopter Tours where you can fly to a remote island on the North Saskatchewan River and enjoy a picnic. You can also try Windship Aviation for a hot air balloon flight from March to December. If you’d rather stay close to land, try one of Edmonton’s fishing excursions, such as Get Hooked Fishing Adventures.
Forever celebrating arts and culture, the choices in Edmonton from the Downtown Arts District to 124th Street to Whyte Avenue, will keep you endlessly entertained!
EXPERIENCE 1: Begin your cultural renaissance with the one-of-a-kind self-guided Gallery Walk on 124th Street. Founded in 1981 to promote art and artists, with a special focus on Canadian talent, the galleries are all within walking distance of each other. Nine galleries feature everything from Canadian Aboriginal Art to unique, hand-crafted jewellery. Next, open your mind with the awe-inspiring Art Gallery of Alberta. Located in the heart of Edmonton’s Downtown Arts District, the 85,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility is a premier presentation venue for galleries and works from all over the globe.
EXPERIENCE 2: Start your day with a free guided tour of the majestic Alberta Legislature, the iconic building that is the seat of Alberta’s government. While downtown, why not stop by the impressive Winspear Centre, home to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra who recently performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. You can also visit the Citadel Theatre for a captivating stage performance or hilarious comedy show. Make sure to plan a stop at one of Canada’s best museums, the Royal Alberta Museum with exhibits like the Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture.
EXPERIENCE 3: Make your way down to Old Strathcona, one of Canada’s top-five neighbourhoods. Here you’ll find a rich history with eight theatre companies operating out of four iconic theatres like the Varscona and Walterdale Playhouse. You can see the nationally-renowned improvised show, Die-Nasty or take a stroll down the bustling streets to see work from local artists, shop in unique boutiques, or dine at an amazing restaurant like Packrat Louie or Murrieta’s. If you’re around on a Saturday, stop by the Strathcona Farmers’ Market, open year-round, for some exceptional fresh and home-grown delights.