Edmonton is one of those cities with a few major attractions that every visitor needs to do, but after that, it gets a little hazy when you’re trying to figure out what to do.
There’s always things to do and things going on in Edmonton. You just need to know where to look.
And that’s what this big list is for! Here are a ton of suggestions on things you can do.
Check em out below:
50 Fun Things To Do In Edmonton
West Edmonton Mall // The number 1 tourist attraction and thing to do in Edmonton is West Edmonton Mall by a long shot. Once the biggest mall in the world (maybe 7th biggest now), WEM has enough things to do to keep you busy for days. It’s phenomenal for individuals and families.
A first time trip to Edmonton without a visit to West Edmonton Mall would be blasphemy!
Here are WEM’s main attractions:
- Shopping: Shopping is what most people do here. You’ll find every type of store here, with most of them being clothing shops. Most stores in WEM are chain brands (big and small) rather than independently owned stores. There are some upscale brands but WEM caters mostly to your average person. You’ll be able to find just about anything here though.
- Galaxyland: Galaxyland is an indoor amusement park in Phase II (middle) of the mall. It’s pretty big for an indoor park, and the indoor rides are actually great. My favorite ride here is the rollercoaster. Many families take their children here. I highly recommend you do the same.
- World Waterpark: The Waterpark is my favorite attraction in WEM. It’s a giant indoor waterpark with lots of great slides and a giant wave pool. It’s like an indoor beach. If you’re only going to do one attraction at WEM, then choose the Waterpark. Like Galaxyland, the Waterpark is an amazing way to spend time with your family.
- Ice Palace: The Ice Palace is an ice rink dead smack in the middle of WEM. You can rent ice skates and skate around during public skating times (which is most of the time). It’s a fun way to spend a few hours away from all the shoppers. You’ll have a lot of spectators which makes it kind of fun too.
- Eating: WEM has 2 food courts on each side of the mall, and Bourbon Street. If you need a quick meal, hit up the food court. If you want to sit down and have a proper lunch or dinner, go to Bourbon Street. Bourbon Street is in Phase III of the mall. It’s filled with popular Canadian eateries like Boston Pizza, Earls, and Hudson’s.
Some other things to do in West Edmonton Mall include mini golfing, virtual golfing, watching a movie at Scotiabank Theatre, and the Envy Nightclub.
If you’re looking for a place to stay, I highly recommend staying at Fantasyland Hotel.
It’s located right in the mall and you have access to food, shopping, entertainment, etc. It’s all right there. And the main bus stop terminal is just outside the mall. You just can’t beat the location and access to public transportation.
I stayed in Fantasyland Hotel before and it’s quite nice. I liked it mostly because it was comfortable and fun (and the location was amazing). I really like their theme rooms. I stayed in a Polynesian theme room and really enjoyed my in-room Polynesian jacuzzi.
Shop, drink, and party on Whyte Avenue // Whyte Avenue and Old Strathcona (right beside Whyte) is probably the most historic area of Edmonton. It’s historic and vintage feel isn’t why it’s popular though. Whyte has many bars, clubs, and shopping retailers located in and around Whyte ave. Edmonton doesn’t have a lot of places to go out at night, however Whyte Avenue is one of two main places for nightlife.
Whyte is also the location for many festivals that happen year round, and the Farmers Market every Sunday is also a big draw. Whyte Avenue is a can’t miss thing to do during your visit to Edmonton.
Whyte Avenue is an excellent place to stay while visiting Edmonton. I would stay here especially if you want an area that has bars and restaurants, and places to go out at night that are within walking distance. The Varscona Hotel specifically is a beauty.
See the Folk Festival // The Folk Festival takes place in Gallagher Park every year on the second week of August. It’s an event Edmontonians love attending. The Folk is an outdoor live concert type of festival. If you’re in Edmonton during this time, you should absolutely attend. Check the Folk Fest event calendar and lineup here.
See the Fringe Festival // The Fringe Festival is also another big draw for Edmontonians. It takes place in August as well (usually after the Folk Festival). It’s an outdoor festival that lasts about 10 days. You’ll find street performers to keep you entertained and food trucks to eat from. There are shows/plays/comedians/etc all throughout the day to attend (these costs money). The Fringe takes place on Whyte, so you’ll also have the usual places to eat around Whyte. Again, if you’re in Edmonton in August, you gotta check out the Fringe. Check their website here for more info.
Walk the river valley // The River Valley is one of Edmonton’s few beautiful things about the city. If you’re outdoorsy and like to go for walks or want to go for a run, there is no better place than the River Valley. The River Valley is enormous. It connects 20 parks and is over 160KM long, which is nice because it makes it easy to access. Check out this link to learn more.
Have dinner at La Ronde // The La Ronde is likely Edmonton’s most elegant restaurant. It’s a restaurant at the top of the Chateau Lacombe restaurant. What makes this restaurant unique is that it rotates, so you get to see panoramic views of Edmonton as you dine. It’s a great place to take your significant other (I took my girlfriend here once). Reserve a table before sunset and have dinner while the sun sets. Click here to learn more.
Visit Fort Edmonton // There’s always something going on in Fort Edmonton Park year round. Shows, food trucks, riding a train, and the park itself are just a few things you can do here. This is another great place to spend time with your family.
Picnic at Hawrelak Park // Hawrelek park is a good sized green space to chill out on a sunny day. It’s a great place to spend the afternoon throwing frisbee’s around and roasting hot dogs and hamburgers.
Carnival at Klondike Days // K-Days is an enormous event in Edmonton. It draws an incredible amount of visitors yearly. K-Days is a carnival that runs through Canada and it usually hits Edmonton in July. It’s an amazing opportunity to go on rides, eat corndogs, and play games you can’t win. There are also free shows throughout the day as well as paid ones. K-days is located at Northlands.
In the Agricom (inside Northlands) you’ll find vendors selling all kinds of stuff, from massage chairs to cookware. It’s a great place to stroll around.
K-days is a yearly event in Edmonton and I highly recommend you visit if you’re in Edmonton in July. It’s a bit pricy. I think just getting into the carnival grounds costs around $20. Playing games and eating food can dig deep into your pockets quickly. But it’s a super fun time and great for families.
Have a coffee at Tim Hortons // If you’re new to Canada then you MUST try a coffee at Tim Horton’s. Timmies is Canada’s coffee treasure, and you’ll only find a Timmies in Canada. Whenever people leave Canada and finally come back, they always Facebook status post about finally drinking a Timmies again. There might be a few outside of Canada but you get the point!
I also really really recommend you try a timbit! It’s a golfball sized donut. Order 20 and share or eat them all yourself! Like Starbucks, you’ll find a Timmies all over the place in Edmonton.
Visit Edmonton’s Valley zoo // I’m not gonna lie I’ve never been to Edmonton’s Zoo. I hear it’s not bad. I mean, it’s obviously not going to be as good as San Diego’s zoo, or even Calgary’s. It’s not the first thing I would do in Edmonton. But if you like animals and have done a lot of the main things already, then a visit to the zoo is in order!
Watch an Oilers game // Watching the Edmonton Oilers play hockey is an excellent thing to do. Their new arena built in 2016 is mind boggling gorgeous inside and out. A lot of people have never seen a hockey game before, so if that’s you, then make your first experience with the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton are some of the most passionate hockey fans you’ll ever meet, and the Oilers have sold out every game for years.
Tickets to an Oilers game are fairly expensive. The food is astronomically expensive. Parking is expensive. But you know what, it’s all about the experience right!
Visit Rundle Park // Rundle Park is a popular place on the east side of Edmonton to picnic and bbq with friends and family. There are a bunch of fun things to do in Rundle Park as well. In the summer, the funnest thing to do in paddle boat in the man made lake. There is also a playground here for children. In the winter, ice skating, tobboganing, and cross country skiing are other fun things to do here.
Visit Edmonton’s best cafe’s for a cup of coffee // There are a ton of great coffee shops in Edmonton. They are located all over the city. Check this blog post to learn more about Edmonton’s best independent coffee shops.
Stroll around Edmonton’s City Centre // Edmonton’s city center is a nice and pleasant area to stroll around. It’s fairly small and you can cover most of it within an hour. It’s more of a place to chill out in slowly. The city center is right in downtown Edmonton. You’ll find City Hall here, Chinatown nearby, Rogers arena, and Churchill Square here.
Check out what’s happening in Churchill Square here.
There are various events that take place in Churchill Square throughout the year. One of my favorite food festivals that takes place in Edmonton is A Taste of Edmonton, which is when food trucks from local restaurants congregate in Churchill Square and sell you food day and night. This event happens in late July typically.
Visit the Alberta Aviation Museum // As you might expect, this museum is all about teaching you about aviation and the history of flying.
Watch an Eskimos game // The Edmonton Eskimos is Edmonton’s football team. Though it’s not the NFL, it’s still an entertaining time. You might be surprised how competitive it is! I love it because it’s a cheap way to get entertained for an evening. Games take place on weekends typically. If you’re here during a game, come cheer on the green and gold!
Ski at Snow Valley // Edmonton has a small ski hill called Snow Valley. It’s nothing special. It’s a great place to ski/snowboard if you’re new or learning. Or a way to spend an evening with your family. There are bigger hills outside of the city.
See a Symphony at the Winspear Center // The Edmonton Orchestra is AMAZING. I attended a symphony once and I was just blown away. If you’re into this type of stuff, I think you will be blown away too. The Winspear Center is also a very beautiful and classy place itself. There’s no better place to spend an evening enjoying Classical music than here.
Visit the Alberta Legislature building & grounds // The most beautiful building in Edmonton is the Alberta Legislature building. The grounds around the building are well kept and nice too. The water fountains in front of the building is also a gorgeous area. This is a phenomenal place to take photos. If you happen to be here during Canada Day (July 1), go to the Legislature because fireworks takes place here.
Gamble at River Cree casino // The River Cree casino is a bit of a unique casino because it’s technically not part of Edmonton. It is in Enoch, a place in West Edmonton (about 10 minute drive from West Edmonton Mall). Enoch is a native reserve and they have their own rules. Edmonton banned smoking in Casino’s but you are allowed to smoke in River Cree because it’s not part of Edmonton. Non the less, many people come here to gamble. There are also restaurants and entertainment/shows here.
The popular Marriott Hotel is also located right here.
Science it up at Telus World of Science // This science center has been a long time mainstay in Edmonton. It’s an amazing place to learn all thing science. They have specific exhibits throughout the year. A phenomenal place to take your kids out to. Check their website to see what’s going on.
Visit the Muttart Conservatory // If the Legislature was the most beautiful place to visit in Edmonton, then the Muttart Conservatory is a close second. If you’ve seen pictures of Edmonton on a postcard, you’ve probably seen one with the 3 glass pyramids on one. That the Muttart! This is a fantastic place to take photos and there are a few things to do around this area as well. Check here.
See art at the Royal Alberta Museum // The Royal Alberta Museum is a newly built museum in the Arts district of Edmonton. It’s a beautiful building inside and out, and is also the largest museum in Western Canada. Easily the best museum in Edmonton, so if that’s your thing, then pay it a visit!
Visit a corn maze // Ever been lost in a corn maze? If not, then you should! Only available during Halloween time, the Edmonton corn maze is a fun place to spend an evening getting lost in corn. It’s actually surprisingly fun.
Watch a concert at Rogers Place // The newly built multi purpose Rogers Place is not only home to the Edmonton Oilers, but also many other events like concerts from big stars. Rogers Place is located in downtown Edmonton. Check out what’s playing here.
Attend the Heritage Festival // The Heritage Festival takes place on the first weekend of every August. It’s a HUGE deal in Edmonton. It’s an outdoor food event featuring 100+ countries. Basically, you wander around and line up at a Countries booth. And then buy food with tickets you’ve purchased already. Different foods costs different amounts of tickets. Heritage days is an incredibly popular event for Edmontonians to attend. If you’re in Edmonton during this time you need to visit as well!
Country it up at Cook County // Cook County is the best bar for Country fans. It’s a place to go at night. You’ll see mostly younger people here but oldies come too but not really. It’s located just off Whyte Avenue. So if it’s not really your scene, you can hop on to the next bar.
Play ice hockey on an outdoor rink // If you happen to be in Edmonton during winter, then you gotta experience ice skating on an outdoor rink!
See the High Level Bridge light up at night // You can see the bridge from many spots, but driving across it or even walking across it is a delight. It lights up in many colors at night. Though it doesn’t sparkle and shine like an Eiffel Tower, It’s still really pretty. It’s a cheap fun thing to see in Edmonton.
Be entertained at a Dinner Theatre // Check out a dinner theater if you’re looking for more than just eating. One of the best dinner theatre in Canada is the Mayfield Dinner Theatre (they said it not me!)
Test your brain with an Escape Room // I’m not sure how popular Escape Rooms are in the world, but they’re pretty popular in Edmonton. If you have 3-4 people with you total, try out an escape room. If you don’t know what they are, they are these rooms where you have a time limit to escape. You uncover clues and figure your way out. It’s pretty fun but mind numbing! There a bunch of Escape rooms located all over Edmonton. Google for them.
Play games at the Rec Room // The Rec Room is a giant arcade located in Edmonton South Common. It’s also a great place to grab food and watch an event, like an Oilers game. You can drink alcohol while you walk around and play games which is pretty cool. South Common is a popular place to go shopping, and a Cineplex Theatre is here too. It’s a good alternative to West Edmonton Mall. You’ll need a car to get here.
Visit the John Janzen Nature Center // This is a nature center that teaches you about nature within an Urban setting. It’s also the gateway to the River Valley. It’s a nice place to be when it’s nice out, as hiking and walking around is a lot of fun here.
Play games at a board game cafe // If you’ve done a lot of the touristy things then hit up a board game cafe. There are a bunch located around the city.
Laugh your face off at the Comic Strip // The Comic Strip is located on Bourbon Street in West Edmonton Mall. It’s a stand up comedy club. Sometimes decently famous people have shows here. It’s a thing you could do for an evening when your in West Edmonton Mall.
Movie night at a Cinema // Sometimes a good movie is the best way to spend a night. West Edmonton Mall has the Scotiabank theatre, which is where most tourists probably go to watch a movie. But if you want a more unique movie experience, check out the Windermere Theatre in the South Side of Edmonton. You can order alcohol and get restaurant like service while you watch a movie.
Watch an Oil Kings game // The Oil Kings is Edmonton’s Junior hockey team. These (mostly) undrafted players play hockey at Rogers Place as well. Tickets are MUCH cheaper ($20 or so for the best tickets). Oil Kings games are excellent value for families. I always see tons and tons of families at Oil Kings Games. The hockey is still very entertaining too.
Play golf // There are many golf courses and driving ranges around Edmonton. Here is a list of golf courses run by the city of Edmonton.
Watch a show at the Jubilee Auditorium // The Jubilee is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a great live theatre experience. They have all kinds of shows playing. Shows specifically for children and adults, and all ages shows too. You can find anything from a ballet to a Cinderella play. The Jubilee is located very close to the University of Alberta and a LRT (train) is right there too.
Go Go Karting // If you’re feeling 2 fast 2 furious, race a Go Kart against your friends or random people. Just don’t let a kid beat you.
Throw an axe // Axe throwing has become a thing! It’s probably popular all over North America and not unique to Edmonton. But if you’ve never done it and need something to do, try it out. It’s pretty fun.
Visit Elk Island National park // Elk Island is roughly 40 minutes east of Edmonton. As you might have imagined, you’ll find Elk here. It’s more of a place to hike around and see the Elk. Also a great place for photographs. I would say don’t go here unless you’re a nature person. Or if you’ve done most of the main things in Edmonton already, then Elk Island is something different.
Visit Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village // If you’re interested in learning about Ukrainian settlement in Alberta during the late 1800 early 1900, then this open air museum is your ticket.
See the Rutherford House // The Rutherford House is the home of the first Premiere of Alberta, Alexander Cameron Rutherford. So if you wanna check out his house, you can. Obviously it’s not the biggest tourist thing to do, but it’s a part of Alberta’s culture and history. If that’s your thing, then this could be a cool place to check out.
Visit the Alberta Railway Museum // A museum dedicated to the history of railway (specifically in Alberta). The coolest part of this attraction is that you can ride a train!
Gamble at Grand Villa Casino // The Grand Villa Casino is a newly built casino that is adjacent to Rogers Place. It’s a small casino but nice and upscale. It doesn’t have the Vegas grandness but it can hold its own. I wouldn’t visit here just for the casino, but if you’re in the downtown area or you’re going to an event in Rogers Place, then checking out the casino isn’t a bad idea.
Visit Jasper Avenue // Jasper Avenue is one of Edmonton’s best strip of land. You’ll find your way here somehow during your visit to Edmonton. It’s located in Edmonton’s downtown area. Here you’ll find many places to eat, Edmonton’s City Center mall, and bars and clubs for late night fun.
You’ll also find random little cute stores, some of Edmonton’s finest cafe’s, banks, and lots of people in and around Jasper Ave. It’s a big part of Edmonton’s downtown core.
If you want to stay in the center of Edmonton, then there’s no better place than staying somewhere in Downtown/Jasper Ave. It’s a great place to be during the day or night. A LOT of Edmonton’s main attractions are located around the downtown/Jasper Ave area. A ton of high rises are currently being developed in this area, which speaks volumes to how popular of a place to stay it is.
Click here to find hotels in downtown Edmonton (pick a hotel as close as you can to Jasper Ave and you’re golden).
And that’s it!
I hope you enjoyed this list of 50 things to do in Edmonton (there’s more than 50 actually!)
I think overall Edmonton is a decent city with things to do. I don’t think most people think of Edmonton as a tourist destination in Canada, perhaps maybe escaping to Banff or visiting Jasper is what comes to mind more, but Edmonton has a lot to offer for everyone.
Nearby (a 3 hour drive) is Alberta’s other big city, Calgary, and it’s a destination worth a few days exploring too.
There are a lot of events happening year round, and Edmonton has a lot of festivals in the summer time.
I hope this list gives you a lot of ideas on what to do in Edmonton. You could easily fill up weeks of activities here.
If you have any questions about the list or have a suggestion, or just have a comment, please leave one below in the comment section. I love hearing from people who read my stuff!