Edmonton is one of the entertainment capitals of the world. Lovingly called the Gateway to the North, this massive city is home to a range of activities that keep locals and tourists alike entertained throughout the year. Even with Candian winters, the activities in the Edmonton community manage to provide fun and excitement for all ages. It's no wonder that individuals from all over the world consider moving into Edmonton's new construction homes and lake houses to explore all the sights and sounds of this marvellous city. Read on to discover some of the many fun things to do in Edmonton.
Edmonton Outdoor Adventures
Several outdoor activities are available in every season. Whether one enjoys a simple stroll through a park or more exciting and adrenaline-pumping activities, there's something for everyone in Edmonton.
Popular Edmonton Parks
- Elk Island National Park
- Gallagher Park
- North Saskatchewan River
River Valley Parks is the largest urban park system in all of Canada. With over 160 kilometres of trails and 20 major parks, the River Valley Parks system is perfect for Edmontonians to find their favourite park near their home. Of the parks in Edmonton, local favourites include Elk Island National Park, Edmonton's River Valley, and Gallagher Park. There's also the North Saskatchewan River, which is perfect for canoeing and boating.
In addition to parks, there are over 40 acres of off-leash dog parks, allowing owners and their dogs to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Visiting dog parks is also the perfect way to make new friends along the way.
Edmonton Water Recreation Destinations
- North Saskatchewan River
- Hermitage Park Stocked Pond
- World Waterpark
The beaches in Edmonton are situated along the North Saskatchewan River. Visitors can be seen swimming, motor boating, sailing, rowing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting during the summer months.
Fishing in the North Saskatchewan River is also permitted within the city limits. An Alberta Sport Fishing License is required to fish in the river. Anglers can expect to catch burbot, goldeye, lake sturgeon, mountain whitefish, northern pike, sauger, sucker, and walleye. Visitors can also catch fish in the Hermitage Park Stocked Pond.
This list would be remiss if it didn't mention World Waterpark. The waterpark opened in 1986 and is the largest indoor waterpark in the world. It features the world's largest indoor wave pool and over 15 unique water slides. There are also hot tubs and children's areas. The waterpark is situated inside of West Edmonton Mall and is prepared to hold more than 3,000 guests at a time.
Hiking & Biking Trails
Popular Edmonton Trails
- Mill Creek Ravine Trail
- Mctaggart Sanctuary Path
- North Saskatchewan River Loop Trail
Edmonton is home to over 160 kilometres of multi-use trails open year-round. When snow accumulates to 2.5 centimetres, the trails are cleared to ensure everyone can safely enjoy their stroll or bike ride.
There are several amazing trails in Edmonton, but this guide will cover just a few. The Mill Creek Ravine Trail loop is an easy 10.6-kilometre trail that takes around three hours to complete. Both paved and unpaved surfaces can be found along the trail. After the initial 5.3 kilometres of the Mill Creek Ravine Trail, hikers can take many interconnecting trails to access the riverfront.
Mactaggart Sanctuary Path is another favourite and rated as a moderate 2.3-kilometre trail. There's minimal elevation gain, but it's incredibly rugged. Hikers can expect to walk over numerous roots and rocks. Some trail areas are permanently muddy, so visitors should be prepared with a change of shoes when they reach their vehicle.
As one can see, there are numerous outdoor activities in Edmonton. Whether one enjoys getting outside during the summer or winter, there's an activity waiting to entertain visitors.
Edmonton Shopping Destinations
- West Edmonton Mall
- Edmonton City Centre
- Southgate Centre
Shopping is a must when visiting Edmonton. At the top of the list is the world-famous West Edmonton Mall. With 5.3 million square feet of floor space, 800+ stores, 100+ dining venues, and several hotels within the mall, anyone who lives or visits Edmonton can literally spend days just exploring the mall itself. Multiple entertainment facilities are available, including the world's largest waterpark and an aquarium. The West Edmonton Mall is the city's most popular tourist attraction, with over 30 million annual visitors.
Edmonton City Centre is the downtown neighbourhood's destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Visitors can enjoy underground parking, which is perfect during a Candian winter. An escape room and movie theatre are also available. Visitors can expect international brands and local boutiques.
Southgate Centre is Edmonton's premier fashion destination. Visitors can request stylist appointments and be dressed to the nines in the latest trends. Over 165 stores are available featuring the world's most popular and luxurious brands.
Popular Edmonton Restaurants
- RGE RD
Dining out is a must-do activity in Edmonton. With thousands of restaurants, it isn't easy to choose just a handful to feature. First is Biera, which spins an average beer garden into a luxurious journey through Belgian cuisine and beverages. Simple ingredients and creative plates are a standard. Only the best ingredients can make their way into the kitchen. Expect dishes like fermented beer honey, radishes with crispy chicken skins, and kohlrabi rolls.
RGE RD features classic Albertan cuisine with a down-home vibe in the restaurant. Known for being farmer-friendly, all of the ingredients are locally sourced. The menu celebrates small-scale producers and sustainably raised, high-quality livestock. Notable dishes include bacon and beef liver paté, borscht sausage, and Scotch egg served with chervil aioli.
Bündok is located downtown and features an inventive menu worth checking out. The dishes celebrate the local area and the people who frequent the restaurant. The space is small yet inviting. Popular dishes include beef carpaccio with grilled onion, puffed wild rice, and sea bream Crudo with Thai basil.
Arts & Culture in Edmonton
Edmonton is a city that fully embraces and encourages its arts and culture scene. From museums and art galleries to dance and theatre, one is sure to find a variety of shows and exhibitions to view in Edmonton.
Popular Edmonton Museums
- Royal Alberta Museum
- Neon Sign Museum
- TELUS World of Science
The Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) is the largest museum throughout Western Canada. RAM focuses on collecting and preserving arts and objects from Alberta's past, current, and future generations. With 13 curatorial programs and several permanent exhibits, one can learn about local history.
The Neon Sign Museum is a fun museum featuring neon signs from old or demolished buildings. The neon signs are revived to their former glory and placed on display. This outdoor museum started with just eight signs and now has 20 glowing installations on the 4th Street Promenade.
TELUS World of Science hopes to inspire discovery and celebrate science with every guest who comes through its doors. The permanent and rotating exhibits are sure to teach visitors of all ages something new with each visit.
Popular Edmonton Art Galleries
- Art Gallery of Alberta
- University of Alberta Museums
- Women's Art Museum of Canada
The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) was founded in 1924 and continues to acquire works of art from all eras of time. Currently, the AGA has over 6,000 pieces for the public to view, including 1,500 photographs and 800 artistic artifacts.
The University of Alberta Museums hosts exhibitions of its collections. Past exhibitions have featured the Mactaggart Art Collection of East Asian art, Inuit art, an exploration of sustainable fashion, a display of printmaking spanning six centuries, and more.
The Women's Art Museum of Canada began in 2006 and features works of art created by women throughout Canada. The artwork is focused on educating the public about the historical impact of women artists, whom the museum feels are under-represented in other collections across the nation.
Dance & Theatre
Edmonton Dance & Theatre Opportunities
- Citadel Theatre
- Mayfield Dinner Theatre
- Edmonton Symphony
Citadel Theatre is a non-profit theatre that performs local and national productions. The live performances whisk audience members off to new worlds during the one- to two-hour performances.
Mayfield Dinner Theatre offers fantastic dining and memorable performances. Musicals are brought to life as the performers meander throughout the restaurant, allowing guests to get an up-close view.
The Edmonton Symphony features more than 50 musicians from around the world. The roster comes together to create resounding performances for the community to enjoy. The orchestra has even performed in the prestigious Carnegie Hall.
Edmonton truly doesn't disappoint when it comes to arts and culture. The variety of permanent collections and limited-time events allow residents to plan multiple visits to the city to view exceptional artworks and performances.
Edmonton Nightlife Destinations
- Bar Clementine
- Black Dog Freehouse
- Blues on Whyte
Nightlife is a given in one of the world's largest cities. Bar Clementine is an upscale bar featuring a brilliant menu of cocktails. Guests are entertained as their bartenders perfectly make their drinks while utilizing a few tricks. The wine is made in-house, which is a must-try for anyone wanting to tantalize their palette.
Black Dog Freehouse is a traditional pub that's spread across three floors. Local artists and singers perform live for patrons on the weekend, and each level features weekly DJs. Spend Happy Hour on its incredible rooftop patio overlooking Whyte Street.
Blues on Whyte is a legendary pub known for producing some of the best nightlife. The live performances are known worldwide. The sports bar and games area feature TVs, pool tables, and arcade machines. Craft beer, cocktails, and more are available for guests to enjoy.
Discover Edmonton Today
When deciding what to do in Edmonton, there may be too many options for most to choose from. However, this means residents need to make more weekend plans, and tourists need to schedule another vacation to return soon. For those considering calling Edmonton home, it's a no-brainer! The city, culture, shopping, dining, and activities are unmatched by nearly every other city on the planet. Edmonton truly offers it all with many excellent neighbourhoods. What's not to love about this area?
If you're looking to make your home in Edmonton, contact Terry Paranych Real Estate Group with Edmonton Homes at (780) 665-4888 to get in touch with an Edmonton real estate agent and discover your ideal Edmonton home today.
By Justin Havre