Procrastination on summer adventures got you down; Wondering how you will beat the heat along with keeping the kids engaged and smiling?
Rumour has it that spots are filling up fast to many summer camps and others being entirely booked already! Don’t sweat it. We’ve got you covered with several suggestions that will make you look like a superparent that swooped in and saved the day. Best of all – after spending time chasing after the littles all summer, you might need a small dose of reprieve, and we’ve got just the suggestion for that too.
Inflation is real, and we are all watching the bottom line, especially as cost-of-living expenses and gas prices rise. Combat the extra cost of living by enjoying free activities with family and friends.
Strathcona Science Park Trail (Haunted Forest Trail) is an interpretive route that travels the entire park. Easy to follow, kid-friendly, and a bit of a spooky element with a bunch of abandoned buildings and an old boardwalk. This trail is in the river valley next to Sunridge Ski Area. It is a perfect place to bring a homemade scavenger hunt!
Not feeling up to walking the trails and braving mosquitos? Load up on sunscreen and discover some of the community parks. Some of our favourites include:
Rocketship Park, 122 Street and 112 Avenue, in Edmonton. You might have guessed, but this entire park is space-themed and has the most fantastic rocket and climbers!
Baturyn Park on 105 Street and 172 Avenue is one that even older children will enjoy, especially with its musical merry-go-round, mega rope climbers and even an obstacle course.
Calder Community Playground/ St. Edmund School – both parks are across the field, meaning endless joy! These two parks are sand free, boasting a rubber base for little ones prone to falls, curly slides and even an obstacle course to complete. Are the kids craving water elements at the park? A perfect mix at Rio Terrace, 155 Street and 76 avenues might be just the place for you.
Rio Terrace has a great playground with separate areas for toddlers and big kids, along with a spray park with spraying bugs, flowers, and frogs. Covered picnic shelters and natural shade from mature trees might sweeten this location during a heat wave.
Are you searching for a low-key afternoon to sit and watch the world go by? Pack a picnic! Lovely scenic locations and the potential to find an ice cream truck during the day. Bring your favourite blanket, a soccer ball or a card game to coast through an afternoon with loved ones. Google some of these locations to check out their unbeatable views and locations: Walterdale Hill, Sir Wilfred Laurier Park, William Hawrelak Park, Legislature grounds, High-level bridge streetcar, Government house park, and Constable Ezio Faraone, to name a few. Depending on where you are travelling from – many of these locations have excellent local eats within walking distance if packing a picnic isn’t your thing. Speaking of excellent views, have you watched the sunset recently? We can’t think of a dreamier way to end a picnic than watching the sunset with a breathtaking view of Edmonton’s River Valley.
In the summer, Edmonton is a festival city with many options for all personalities. Long-standing festivals such as the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival, Taste of Edmonton, K-Days, and Heritage Festival are a few that most Edmontonians’ s refer to around the summer months. We love the Works Art & Design Festival, which transforms downtown for 13 days, showcasing visual art, various performers, and more. This festival attracts artists, designers, and people from around the world to witness large-scale walkable art, photo opportunities, and workshops. Best of all, it is North America’s largest free outdoor festival dedicated to art.
Do you have a selfie king or queen in the house? Imagine an entire location dedicated to selfies! Sid’s Selfie world provides unique and exciting photo opportunities for the public to take pictures. Located in Old Strathcona with over 2000 sqft, dedicated to having fun with selfies. Best of all, you can even host birthdays here! The sets include but are not limited to a police lineup, a bathtub full of gold coins, a Paris backdrop, Neon, the beach and even a giant donut at the Old Strathcona Treats festival back in February 2022.
Feeling like making the trip out of the city? What about Whitecourt? Under 2 hours from the city, you can find Rotary Park. It is referred to as the “gem” of the community. It is free, family-friendly and offers entertainment for all in attendance. This location does not disappoint – public washrooms, concession, playground featuring Alberta’s tallest outdoor play structure, a splash park and river slides featuring two man-made creeks with a series of pools and drops for tubing and play. Both have a shallow basin and beach at the end. Don’t forget to bring your own floaties; there is an air filling station on site.
Feeling extra adventurous after the day at Rotary Park? While in Whitecourt, you must see Hard Luck Canyon! A quick walk to the bridge that overlooks the canyon offers views of a waterfall! The canyon is quite scenic and does not disappoint. An excellent spot for family photos, having a nice walk or dipping toes in the cool shallow water. This location is a great learning tool for children studying Alberta rocks if you want to add an educational element to your experience.
At last, after all the fun of the summer holidays, one may need some relaxation. Taking time to recoup and reset is essential, and what better way to do so than by joining in on Forest Therapy with Wild Calm Forest. Enjoy a guided walk that helps slow you down, and connect with your senses and surroundings. Is forest therapy for you? Feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, or experiencing racing thoughts? Suffering from depression or anxiety? Want to lower blood pressure or improve your immune system? Perhaps you just want to unwind with like-minded people. Forest Therapy can help! Studies have shown a reduction in stress hormones, improvement of mood and more!
With all the fun in the sun, we wish you a safe and happy summer holiday!