Things to do in Edmonton, Canada
Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta Province in Canada. Edmonton is located on the North Saskatchewan River. It is surrounded by Alberta’s central region. The city has the population of 932,546 as of 2016. That is why it is considered as the second-largest city in Alberta and the fifth largest city in Canada. Edmonton is only North America’s northernmost city that has the population over one million. The resident people of Edmonton are known as the Edmontonian.It is considered as the gateway to the North because of many large-scale projects in North. Edmonton city has a humid continental climate in which they experience a lot of snow falling. Edmonton is considered as the cultural center of Alberta. The Edmonton hosts year-round different cultural festivals that are why it is often known as the nickname Canada’s Festival City. Edmonton is famous for its river valley park system and North America’s largest shopping mall West Edmonton Mall. It offers many outdoor recreational activities as well as the festivals. Check out the best Things to do in Edmonton, Canada here.
#1 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Visit the Alberta Legislature Building
The Alberta Legislature Building is the conference place of the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council of Edmonton located in Edmonton central. It has the Beaux-Arts architecture which dates back to 1911.It was built here in Edmonton because of its position in Alberta province as a Capital. Free tours are available for visitors and they can enjoy guided tours through this popular building where well-informed Heritage Interpreters share the political history and culture of Alberta into their daily routine of the Legislative Assembly. The tour reveals the deep look into the architecture of this building and the duties, traditions, and popular ceremonies that takes place here.
There are few paddling pools outside to cool off in during the summer. Also, skating rinks along the walkways offer skating in the winter season and light up with a lot of Christmas lights during the Christmas season. The grounds of Alberta Legislature Building are a beautiful area to relax and calm yourself at any time of the year. These grounds are patrolled at night for visitor security.
#2 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – A Trip to the North Saskatchewan River Valley
Known as one of Edmonton’s greatest attractions, the North Saskatchewan River Valley park system provides a natural environment for all-season recreational activities and relaxation. The river valley is considered the longest area of urban parkland in North America. It is spread on 7,400 hectares which is 22 times the size of New York’s Central Park so to speak. It has several golf courses, over 22 parklands, and over 160 kilometers of well-maintained multipurpose trails that can be used for walking, running, jogging, cycling, and cross-country skiing.
Several major attractions of Edmonton are located along the North Saskatchewan River valley such as Fort Edmonton Park, the Muttart Conservatory, and the Valley Zoo.
#3 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Visit the Art Gallery of Alberta
This Art Gallery of Alberta was formerly known as the Edmonton Art Gallery. It was founded in 1924 and since then, it has been an oldest cultural institution in the region and is dedicated to the displays and preservation of art and visual culture. This extensive facility discovers all forms of art including historical, classic, contemporary, local, and international. All objects are displayed in the gallery. The gallery hosts a unique collection of 6000 objects, Canadian and international pieces. The gallery brings in traveling exhibitions on regular basis.
This Art Gallery of Alberta organizes many public programs for people on Alberta Culture days.
Credit: Mack Male
#4 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Wonder at the Muttart Conservatory
The Muttart Conservatory is a great landmark of Edmonton. It is basically an innovative botanical garden. The architecture of this building is a four glass pyramids rising out of the river valley that just seem so perfect. On the inside, they have three distinct climate zones that represent biomes and the fourth one is for a seasonal display of many creative exhibitions. All of these zones are filled with several hundred plant varieties around the world. Their goal is to lead the way in plant science in Canada. This recognized conservatory of botanical gardens cultivates and preserves one of Canada’s largest botanical collections and wishes to share, educate, and inspire the people about botany and the science of plants in Edmonton, Canada.
This Muttart Conservatory hosts a few events throughout the year which includes live music and dancing concerts, arts and crafts programs, fine art exhibitions, handcrafting exhibitions, and community workshops and training classes. They have an associated restaurant here named as Culina Muttart. It offers an unforgettable dining experience here.
#5 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Get Yourself Amused in TELUS World of Science
It is the Edmonton’s largest science museum. TELUS World of Science has a unique architectural design building and it houses a planetarium, an IMAX Laser 4K Projector theatre, and many science exhibits. TELUS World of Science is all about science and their purpose is to encourage and educate visitors about the world of science and technology. They want more people to know the important roles science and technology have been playing in today’s world.
The TELUS World of Science offers a variety of programs, camps, and workshops to teach the kids about Science.
#6 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Visit the Royal Alberta Museum
The Royal Alberta Museum represents the history of Alberta through many paintings, sculptures, and statue. Notable exhibits here include the Wild Alberta, Natural History Gallery, and the Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture. The Royal Alberta Museum was formerly known as the Provincial Museum of Alberta until Queen Elizabeth in 2005 visited this Museum and bestowed her royal benefaction on the museum. So then, this museum was renamed to the Royal Alberta Museum in 2005. This large museum is devoted to natural history, and it has many collections of exhibits and displays showcasing the natural history, entomology, wildlife, and arachnology. The museum has a total collection of over 10,000,000 art objects which are displayed in three permanent galleries of this museum. The Galleries are named as the Wild Alberta, Natural History, and the Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture. This Royal Alberta Museum features rotating galleries too that house traveling exhibits and curated collections from around the world.
#7 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Try the High-Level Bridge Streetcar in Edmonton
Go to the Edmonton Radial Railroad Society and get soaked in history. There you can find the High-Level Bridge Streetcar which is an important component of the city’s heritage. These Streetcars were first introduced to Edmonton in 1908, and the city became popular for its streetcar rides. These streetcars were used to go over the North Saskatchewan River which was one of the highest river crossings by a streetcar in the world back in that time.
#8 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Go to the Old Strathcona Neighborhood
Old Strathcona is an old and charming neighborhood of Edmonton. It is located on the south side of Edmonton that is a home to eclectic artisans, performing artists, and other colorful characters of the city. It has the largest theater district in Edmonton and this Old Strathcona neighborhood is quite famous for hosting many festivals. This area also featuring a rich heritage and history of Edmonton through beautiful architectures of antique and vintage stores, animated buskers, and horse-drawn sleigh rides. There is also an Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market which sells fresh fruits and vegetables. There are shops of home décor, art crafts, and even jewelry. We suggest you visit this neighborhood for sure.
#9 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Shop at the West Edmonton Mall
This is known as the largest shopping and entertainment destination in North America. It is a one-stop shop for your shopping, eating, relaxing, playing and for many more activities. The West Edmonton Mall is not an average mall in Edmonton. It occupies the area of 490,000 square meters on which the mall is located. This mall has over 800 stores and services including top-notch brands and retails shops. It is said that over 32 million people come to the mall on annual basis. Some come here to shop, while the others visit the mall for its many attractions.
West Edmonton Mall offers theme amusement parks, a large water park, indoor skating rink, a miniature golf course, and four movie theatre complexes. The park also features a variety of restaurants and cafés serving all types of food and drinks.
Let’s have a look at the popular attractions in West Edmonton Mall.
Galaxyland: It was previously known as Fantasyland and is considered as the world’s largest indoor amusement park. It is located inside of the West Edmonton Shopping Mall. This park features more than 24 exciting rides including The Mindbender, one of the tallest roller coasters in the world, a mammoth 12-story indoor tower ride, and other rides of Rockin’ Rocket, Drop of Doom, the Sonic Storm, and the Lazer Maze. It features a long themed playing area for children of all ages and many games options like bumper and paddleboats, harbor cruises, and balloon rides. There are also several tamer rides and games to enjoy too.
World Waterpark: The World Waterpark is a family-friendly themed water park located in the West Edmonton Shopping Mall and considered as the second-largest indoor water park in the world. This waterpark has the largest indoor wave pool in North America. Other features of this park include an 83-foot high water slides known as the Twister and the Cyclone along with a variety of small, midway, and large advanced slides for all ages of kids and adults.
Other highlighted attractions of this park include the Tsunami which is a sheet wave surf simulator for flow-boarding and body boarding, a world’s largest permanent zip line, and two big relaxing hot tubs.
Visitors can also enjoy refreshing drinks at one of two bars and light meals at the many cafes and restaurants located inside the West Edmonton Mall.
#10 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Stroll Around at the Fort Edmonton Park
This park is a living history as you walk around. It is known as the living history museum of Canada. It is spread through 64 hectares along with the Edmonton’s river valley. The Fort Edmonton Park is wooded park area which is named after the first lasting European post in this exact area. People can join the costumed historical interpreters at the Fort Edmonton Park for any questions regarding this setting and try to see the life back in the day when this place was a fort in four sections. The 1846 Fort, 1885 street, 1905 street, and the 1920 street era. The visitors can explore the several sections on a fully functional steam train that travels around the park. The people who come to the park can also use horse-drawn carriages, automobiles, and streetcars, to go around the park as they represent the old era.
#11 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Visit the Hawrelak Park
One of the most popular river valley parks is the Hawrelak Park. It is located at west of Groat Road near the University of Alberta. It features a large pond and a summer home to a different variety of ducks and geese. Several Edmonton festivals also held at this very site including Symphony Under the Sky and Shakespeare in the Park. In the winter season, this is a popular venue choice for locals to do outdoor ice skating and cross-country skiing.
#12 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Visit the many Arts Theatres
Edmonton city has a vibrant and local cultural performing arts community with some accomplishments in live theatre and live music. The central area of Edmonton has the Francis Winspear Centre for Music, the Citadel Theatre and a new concert hall with stellar sound quality. So if you love live performances or theater must go there. The South Central area of Edmonton has the theatre district area with a number of spots including the Jubilee Auditorium and Jubilation’s and Mayfield.
#13 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Try Winter Activities in Edmonton
In the winter season, people in Edmonton city embrace it with many winter activities. One of these activities is skating on the slopes of hard snow. It is to be noted here that they also train their dogs here and pull them around along with doing ski. It is almost like the dog-sledding but it is called as the skijoring. People also try to make castles from the icicles.
#14 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Visit the Old Farmers Market at St. Albert
The old farmers market is located in the northwest of Edmonton. The surrounded community share deep French-Canadian roots here. It is also a city’s popular farmers market in Edmonton.
#15 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Try ski in Edmonton
Edmonton has 3 small ski hills near the city which including Sunridge Ski Area, Edmonton Ski, and Snow Valley. Natural and artificial snow covers these slopes from early winter to early spring. It offers city skiers a perfect and easy way to learn, enjoy with families, and get prepped for the big Rocky Mountain ski opportunities in Jasper and Banff National Parks.
#16 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Ride Bicycles in Edmonton
The Edmonton city has long trails for walking, running, and for cycling. This city is bicycle friendly and a lot of people use bicycles here on these trails. Try riding bicycles here on these trails and discover some routes to nearby parks.
#17 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Play Golf in Edmonton
Golf is played almost in every city of Canada. You can find more than 70 golf courses located only in the Edmonton region of Alberta. It is observed that Albertans are keen to golf. The Alberta’s sunny summers, a large number of golf courses, and relatively low prices than the other cities make it the popular game among the locals. The Edmonton operates three public golf courses within the city area, including Canada’s oldest municipal golf course Victoria (central), Riverside (South). Both of these golf courses are located near to the downtown area.
#18 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Catch a Hockey Game
Edmonton is home to many professional sports teams which includes Edmonton Oilers of hockey, Edmonton Eskimos team of the Canadian Football League, and the Edmonton Energy of the International Basketball League. The Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League are the most recognized team here. They have won five Stanley Cups that makes Edmonton locals so proud. To watch their game get your ticket for Rexall Place known as the Northlands Coliseum.
Edmonton is also home to the Edmonton Eskimos team of the Canadian Football League. The Eskimos have won 13 Grey Cups and make the Edmonton proud. You can watch their game too. Be sure to buy the tickets in advance as the good seats are always booked in advance.
#19 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Enjoy Festivals in Edmonton
Edmonton is considered as the cultural bug city. It is often named as the festival city of Canada. The summer season brings many festivals in Edmonton more than 30 so to speak. With easy access to Canada’s most impressive mountain parks, The Banff and Jasper just 3.5-hr drive away, many people come here to enjoy. Edmonton has fun activities year-round which make it a popular destination for tourism. You can expect some kind of festival every weekend during the summer months at any place in Edmonton. Most of the time, they are located in the central region either around Whyte Ave or in front of City Hall or downtown at the Legislature grounds.
Annually it hosts the largest Fringe Festival in North America every summer. Other festivals include Edmonton International Street Performer’s Festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Works Art & Design Festival, Farm fair, Whyte Ave Artwalk, Canoe Fest, Symphony Under the Sky, November’s Canadian Finals Rodeo, K-Days and many more. Edmonton promotes other cultures too by enjoying the festivals of Edmonton Cariwest and Edmonton Pride Festival in Old Strathcona. Edmonton attracts more than 500,000 people every year to these festivals.
#20 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Go to the Jasper National Park
Alberta is home to great natural National Parks, the Banff and the Jasper National Park. Jasper is considered as One of the top places for skiing in Alberta, which is 365 kilometers to the west of the Edmonton city. The Jasper National Park sits within the Canadian Rocky Mountains and it is mostly accessed via Edmonton. Jasper has stunning views and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
#21 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Elk Island National Park
This beautiful Island Park is home to the smallest and the largest mammals in North America. The species here include the pygmy shrew and the wood bison. Along with mammals, you can find the mule deer, porcupines, lynxes, and coyote. The birds here include red-necked grebes, blue herons, double-crested cormorants, American bitterns and red-tailed hawks. This is not large but it has beautiful scenery. The park is located just 35 kilometers east of the Edmonton city. It occupies the area of 194 square feet.
#22 of 22 Things to do in Edmonton, Canada – Enjoy Nightlife and Dinner at Edmonton
There are a plenty of restaurants and spots to dine in Edmonton city. The Central Edmonton is the popular place to enjoy eating in the city. You can find authentic Italian, French, Continental, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, and Portuguese cuisines here with pure finesse. The South Central of Edmonton is famous for Indian, Korean, and Tex-Max food. This area is cheap too.
The Edmonton area has seven big casinos which include Casino Yellowhead, Bacarrat Casino, Palace Casino, Casino Edmonton, St Albert Casino, Marriott Enoch Resort & Casino, and Celebration’s Casino. If you are into gambling then try your luck here.