A Hudson’s Bay Fort in Fort Edmonton Park // © 2011 Fort Edmonton Park
High tea at the Hotel Selkirk in Fort Edmonton Park // © 2011 Fort Edmonton Park
West Edmonton Mall is the number-one tourist attraction in Edmonton, but Alberta’s capital city has much more to offer than the attractions and shops found inside its famous mall. Edmonton is a vibrant city with a thriving arts scene, wonderful historical resources, excellent museums and galleries and an abundance of urban parkland.
Visitors to Edmonton should definitely see the mall, but they should also explore beyond it. Here are a few other family-friendly attractions and activities to recommend to your clients on their next visit to the capital city of Alberta.Find a Festival
With 30 well-established annual festivals throughout the year, Edmonton has an exciting festival scene that is worth planning a holiday around. Some of the most popular family-friendly festivals include the International Children’s Festival (May 31- June 4), the International Street Performers’ Festival (July 8 -17), Capital Ex (July 22-31) and the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival (Aug 11-21). Agents can find a complete listing of festivals online.
Edmonton Economic Development Corporationwww.edmonton.com/for-visitors/festival-calendarFort Edmonton Park
Exploring history is fun at Fort Edmonton Park — Canada’s largest living history museum — where guests can experience four different time periods between 1846 and 1929. Kids particularly enjoy the 1920’s-style midway rides, the steam train, the real fort and the Indian tepees. For extra fun, you may wish to arrange an overnight stay for your clients at the Hotel Selkirk, a restored 1920’s hotel. There are no televisions in the rooms, but exploring the park when the other visitors leave provides its own memories. Another unforgettable experience is the Selkirk’s high tea service, which takes place on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons during July and August and is suitable for the entire family.
Fort Edmonton Parkwww.fortedmontonpark.caGet Educated
Alberta’s capital city has some world-class museums and attractions, many with excellent children’s interpretive programs. Three of the most family-friendly attractions include Telus World of Science Edmonton, the Royal Alberta Museum and the Art Gallery of Alberta. These indoor attractions make particularly good rainy day activities, too.
Art Gallery of Albertawww.youraga.ca
The Royal Alberta Museumwww.royalalbertamuseum.ca
Telus World of Science Edmontonwww.edmontonscience.comRide the River Valley
Rent a Segway or a bicycle and explore the longest stretch of urban parkland in North America. Edmonton’s River Valley Park encompasses 22 parks and more than 90 miles of trails over 18,000 acres of land along the North Saskatchewan River. This unique urban parkland is a pleasure to explore on foot, via Segway or by bicycle — especially during the summer months when daylight lasts longer.
Edmonton River Valleywww.edmontonrivervalley.com
Soak Up the Sun at the “Ledge”
On hot summer days, it can be difficult to find a place to lay your blanket because the grounds at the Alberta Legislature are so popular with locals. The walking paths, fountains, flowers and park-like settings overlooking the North Saskatchewan River make for popular picnic spots in Edmonton. You can take a guided tour of the inside of the historic legislature building or just walk around the beautiful grounds. Kids will want to bring their bathing suits to enjoy splashing through the free wading pools.