Summer is now upon us and I wanted to share some of our family’s favorite day trips in and around the Edmonton area. I love that there are so many great family friendly attractions just a short drive from our own house to get out and enjoy. Pack a cooler of snacks, some good walking shoes, and get ready for a fun adventure!
1. Walk Amongst the Dinosaurs at Jurassic Forest
The life sized animatronic dinosaurs tucked amongst the natural setting outside Gibbons, Alberta are exciting for kids and adults alike. As you walk along the paths at Jurassic Forest, the dinosaurs come to life, roaring and moving from within the trees. For kids, there is also a great dinosaur themed playground and a fun mini golf course near the entrance.
Don’t Miss: Discovering hidden bones under the playground sand, just like a real paleotologist!
2. All Aboard Alberta Prairie Railway
I think there are very few young kids who don’t love trains so I knew spending an entire day on a train would be right up my kids alley. We rode the Teddy Bear Express a few years back and there was no shortage of fun and entertainment both on the train and at our lunch stop in the village of Big Valley. For the older kids, hop aboard one of the Alberta Prairie Railway tours that include a fun staged train robbery!
Don’t Miss: Taking a walk around Big Valley to see the quaint shops and museums.
3. Go back in time at Fort Edmonton Park
Trains. A midway. Pony rides. What’s not to like? I was surprised just how much there was for the kids to do the first time I started taking them to Fort Edmonton Park several years ago. My daughter was still in a baby carrier then, and our annual trips have just gotten better as we are able to do and see more. My kids both love seeing the farm animals scattered in pens throughout the park, and the Fort area is full of fun old buildings to get lost in and explore.
Don’t miss: Riding the steam engine.
4. Spend a Day on the Farm at Prairie Gardens
If you are looking for a fun farm atmosphere, Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farm has you covered. Located just outside Bon Accord, this family friendly farm offers the chance to see and pet live farm animals, take a ride on a tractor driven train, explore greenhouses and take a pedal tractor for a spin. Come fall, it is the perfect place to pick out you Halloween pumpkin, explore a haunted house and get lost in a corn maze.
Don’t miss: Panning for gemstones in the Lost Lemon Gem Mine.
5. Get Lost in the Kraay Family Farm Corn Maze
The Kraay Family Farm near Lacombe has been one of my favorite daytrips to date. The large farm has plenty of open space for the kids to run and explore with so much to do beyond the corn maze. My kids loved seeing the animals, playing the dinosaur themed mini golf course, digging in the corn bins and riding the pedal carts.
Don’t Miss: Jumping on the giant inflatable pillows.
6. Get Wild at The Edmonton Valley Zoo
You can’t go wrong with the zoo and young kids. The Edmonton Valley Zoo is ever evolving and every time we visit there seems to be something new and exciting to see and do. The selection of animals is good and it is a nice sized zoo for my young kids to be able to get through in a day.
Don’t Miss: Seeing local celebrity Lucy the Elephant.
7. Ride the Trolley
The High Level Bridge Streetcar is an adventure all in itself, but it is easy to make a day of it by taking a short walk to cool off in the Alberta Legislature Pool or spending some time at the other side enjoying a sweet treat and some window shopping on Whyte Avenue.
Don’t Miss: The beautiful views of the valley as you cross the North Saskatchewan river.
8. Discover the U of A Botanic Garden
Formerly the Devonian Gardens, the University of Alberta Botanic Garden, just outside Devon, plays hosts to a wide variety of plant and flower gardens in a serene setting. The gardens are easy to get to from Edmonton and are a wonderful place to stroll and discover on a summer day. My 5 year old really enjoyed the sensory garden where we could smell, taste and feel a variety of plants and she loved watching the koi in the large pond of the Kurimoto Japanese Garden.
Don’t Miss: The magnificently colored butterflies and tropical plants in the indoor showhouses.