Edmonton with Kids
The little ones will squeal with delight while they whirl around West Edmonton Mall's Galaxyland amusement park on board a mini roller coaster or as passengers riding the rails on a real steam engine at Fort Edmonton Park. They may even get a chance to talk with a bona fide conductor if you choose to putter across the High Level Bridge on the High Level Streetcar. Many of the activities in Edmonton for kids are dictated by the weather, so make sure to check the weather forecast before you arrive and pack accordingly.
If your kids are excited about exploring a new city, they probably have a lot of energy to burn, and most likely a short attention span when it comes to fueling up at breakfast. This would be a great time to head over to Café o'Play, a coffeehouse designed so parents can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while the kids play on indoor slides and racetracks in the centre of the café. It is open Monday – Friday from 8AM to 9PM and from 9AM to 5PM on Saturdays. Admission for children over one year is $5 per child and includes free WI-FI for the parents. Food service includes fruit and kid-friendly drinks and snacks as well as healthy entrees. There is even a baby area for your littlest travellers. Genius!
Hours: Mon -Fri 8AM-9PM, Sat 9AM-5PM, Closed SUN
Café o' Play
5667 Riverbend Rd.
Edmonton, AB T6H 4X9
After breakfast, it's time to take playing to a whole new level as you dive head first into the waves at the World Waterpark in West Edmonton Mall. The tropical sun-bathed environment spans over five acres and has tube rentals, a wave pool, more than 40 slides and a number of pools and hot tubs where you can splash away the day. The shallow Dolphin Kiddie Pool is perfect for babies and toddlers, while the braver ones can explore the fun water pipes and buckets in the Caribbean Cove or catch a ride on the Caribbean Cruiser water slide. To stave off the post-swim munchies, stop for a bite at the beachside restaurants alongside the wave pool.
Hours: Mon -Wed 12PM-7PM; Thu11AM-7PM; Fri-Sat 10AM-7PM; Sun 10AM-6PM
8770 170 Street
Edmonton, AB T5T 4V4
It's easy to spend an entire day in the kid-friendly universe that is West Ed. Besides swimming (and shopping at Build a Bear) kids can skate laps at the Olympic-sized rink at the Ice Palace or hit some balls on the course at Professor Wem's Adventure Golf. However if your family is more inclined to head outdoors, make your way over to Fort Edmonton Park, North America's largest interactive historic park located on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. Here you will find costumed interpreters acting out what life was like in Edmonton over the last 150 years. Take a wagon ride down streets made to look like the late 1800's or see what life was like for early fur traders in the Fort. On 1920's Street you will find a midway complete with a working Ferris wheel and old-fashioned wooden-horse carousel. Grownups will dig this place too.
Hours vary, May-September, $11.75 & up
Fort Edmonton Park
PO Box 2359
Edmonton, AB T5J 2R7
If the kids haven't fallen asleep yet, check out the Telus World of Science just west of downtown. Find out what puts the fizz into soda pop in a hands-on experiment where kids can make their own cola. Your little stargazers won't want to leave without seeing the light shows held every day in the Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre. Before calling it a night, take the family out for comfort food at the Blue Plate Diner on 101 Ave. and 104 St. (T5J 0Z9) in the downtown Warehouse District. While this restaurant is not specifically tailored for kids, the retro-diner with bright primary coloured walls is kid-friendly and they serve up a pretty mean mac-n-cheese.
Telus World of Science
11211 – 142 St. Edmonton, AB T5M 4A1