There are so many great things to love about Fort Edmonton Park. A visit to Fort Edmonton Park is a must-do item on our yearly Summer Bucket List and after taking the kids for the past 4 years, I think I have gotten it down to a bit of an art. I have come to know which attractions in the park will keep the kids entertained and happy, and how to make the best use of our day at this great City of Edmonton attraction.
1. Ride the Rails
Where else can you ride a train right in the middle of the city? One of the main features of Fort Edmonton is a full scale authentic steam train that winds its way around the entire park.
The train departs from the front entrance of the park and takes you through the forests and right back in time to the 1846 fur traders Fort. Depending on the train schedule, we have also begun our walking tour at the front of the park and ended our day with a train ride back to the front entrance.
Similarly, there is a trolley car that runs through the heart of 1905 Street and 1920 Street. Unfortunately they do not allow strollers, so we have not yet tried to ride this attraction but it is something to try for this year!
2. Take a Pony Ride
For my animal-loving kids, the highlight of the trip is the wide variety of farm animals to see and interact with. From sheeps, goats and pigs in pens, to the stray chickens and cats wandering the streets, there is no shortage of furry and feathered farm friends.
And we can’t forget the horses. There are horses of every shape and size ready to give pony rides or pull you through 1885 street on a large (and bumpy) wooden carriage.
3. Take a Swing at the Playground
A stop at the playground is a no brainer with kids. The playground is conveniently located about halfway through the park so I usually bring lunch to enjoy at the picnic tables while the kids run off some energy on the playground equipment.
The equipment is a bit dated, but the kids don’t seem to notice or care. They are happy to run through the sand and try out the swings, slides, teeter-totters and jungle gyms.
4. Go On a Carnival Ride
When I was in my second year of university I spent a summer baking cookies at Fort Edmonton park. That was quite a few years back now and at that point the 1920’s midway was just in the planning stages. It is such a fun addition to the Park, and having kids now makes me appreciate the vision and execution that much more.
Rides on the midway include a beautifully restored carousel, a ferris wheel, swings, a fun house and some neat hand cranked rides for young children. My son is already talking about how he can’t wait to do the fun house again this year!
For more midway fun, kids can also try their hand at one of the carnival games. The fishing game is a lot trickier then one would think and the kids love the little prizes they win!
5. Enjoy a Sweet Treat
There are small stores and vendors located throughout Fort Edmonton Park selling food and souvenirs. I usually pack a picnic lunch for us to enjoy at the park, but I also budget for a sweet treat from the bakery or a small bag of hard candy from McDougall’s General store – the raspberry flavor are my favourite!
On a hot summer day, there is also nothing better then a cold ice cream. My kids will never say no to an ice cream and is a good incentive to get the kids through the park when they get tired and start dragging their feet.
There is so much to take in at Fort Edmonton that you definitely want to plan to spend the better part of the day there. Going with young kids requires a slower pace and means you might not be able to take in all the historical buildings, but you will still have a very full and fun day discovering the past.
Have you been to Fort Edmonton? What are some of your favorites?