You and your family have plenty of options for summer fun around Edmonton. If you’re planning a family day trip for this summer, consider the huge variety of options available right in your backyard. The counties surround Edmonton, and beyond, are filled with things to see, things to do, and things in which you can immerse yourselves.
Your family has options for recreational, educational, entertaining, and/or scenic day trips in all directions from Edmonton.
Big Alberta Items
The northeast corner surrounding Edmonton is filled with giant roadside attractions that kids will love to see. Some of these are the largest in the world of their kind and are located near cool local businesses or visitor centres.
- Smoky Lake Pumpkins
- Vegreville Pysanka
- Mundare Sausage
- Glendon Perogy
- Vilna Mushrooms
- Sangudo Sundial
- St. Albert Badminton Racket
- Andrew Mallard Duck
Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village
Learn about Alberta’s Ukrainian pioneer history through this immersive Heritage Centre just off the Trans Canada. The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Centre is a living history museum with costumed interpreters acting out the pioneer life! There are several historical buildings to explore, a new summer feature exhibit, and places to grab a meal or snack.
Address: Hwy 16 East, Lamont County
Cost: Family (2 Adults & Youths to a maximum of 8 people): $40
Adult (18-64): $15
Senior (65+): $13
Youth (7-17): $10
Child (0-6): Free
Extreme Sports Parks (Skateboarding, Rollerblading, BMX, Motocross)
For those looking for adventure or for those looking to sharpen their skills as a family, there are a few places within a short drive of Edmonton with skate parks which welcome skateboards, scooters, BMX bikes, and rollerblades. For motorized extreme sports, head to BUMP: Barry’s Ultra Motorsports Park where you can rent ATVs, UTVs, or dirt bikes for the day.
- Bob Foster Extreme Sports Park: 10621 – 107 St., Morinville
- Legal Skatepark: 812 51 Ave., Legal
- Woodlands Skate Park: 165 Sturgeon Rd., St. Albert
- BUMP: 57218, Range Rd 14, Busby
Take a drive to this beach town with the whole family and bring the floaties! The shallow beach is great for a lazy float, but you can also rent paddle boards or paddle boats, have lunch on the main strip of Lakeshore Drive, try out the inflatable obstacle course AquaSplash, or have a picnic in the lakefront park.
Thunder Lake Provincial Park
This Alberta Park has a beautiful beach close enough to home for many Albertans in the north that you could make a daytrip out of it. Come for a picnic, volleyball or frisbee, and just relaxing in the sun. There is plenty to explore on foot during your stay, and a path which takes you from the beach to the campsites.
Jurassic Forest, just outside of Gibbons, takes you way back in time along a boardwalk path from which you can spot creatures and dinosaurs in the forest. The impressive animatronics are hidden in the forest, so it is up to you and your family to ensure you spot them all. At the park’s entrance you can play mini golf, play in the park, and have a snack.
Address: 23210 Township Road 564 #2, Gibbons
Cost: Child (3-12): $10
Youth (13-17): $12
Senior (60+): $12
Family of 4 (2 adults & 2 children): $45
Putting Horse Ranch
If you’re looking for a place to get the kids interested in golf, or for easy family fun, try the Putting Horse Ranch in Spruce Grove. You and your family can put the greens and dine afterward, go for a horseback ride, or leave your house early so you can partake in all three.
Address: 53312 Range Rd. 272, Spruce Grove
Cost: Varies depending on the activity
Elk Island National Park
There are a few ways you can spend the day as a family at Elk Island National Park which is only a 30-minute to 60-minute drive from Edmonton. On your way in or out, watch out of your car windows for bison snoozing on the side of the road. Once in the park, there are several trails which take you through forests and wetlands, a boat rental house for canoes and kayaks, and cycling trails. The Park is also under the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve so it is worth it to stay into the night to see the stars.
Cost: Adult: $7.90
Senior: $ 6.90
St. Albert Botanic Park
This Park just north of Edmonton is home to many gorgeous gardens which are separated by the Entrance, the East Park, the West Park, and their Trial Garden. Along your walks you’ll encounter various trees and shrubs, a garden dedicated to shade, roses and lilies of all kinds, dahlias, peonies, and so much more.
Address: 265 Sturgeon Road, St Albert
Discovery Canyon Park
Head to Red Deer for a paradise-like lazy float through a shallow a natural creek. Discovery Canyon, operated by the Riverbend Golf & Recreation Club in Red Deer, offers the floating as well as a beach, boardwalk path, wading pool, and playground.
Address: 3800 River Bend Drive, Red Deer County
Half-Moon Lake Resort
The Half Moon Lake Resort is somewhere you can come and enjoy all sorts of amenities and activities like a relaxing paddle, mini golf or beach volleyball, nature walks, or relaxing on the sand.
Address: 21524 Township Rd 520, Sherwood Park
Strathcona Wilderness Centre
There are a few reasons which make Strathcona Wilderness Centre a great family-daytrip from Edmonton. First, there are numerous scenic places to picnic. Second is the area’s Biodiversity Trail, which is an easy enough and educational walk for young kids. And, you have the chance to show your kids some disc golf, an extreme way to play frisbee!
Address: 52535 Range Road 212, Ardrossan
U-Pick Farms & Orchards
Take your pick from a ton of U-Pick services for a family day of exploring local farms and orchards.
Pembina River Tubing
This relaxing float takes you gently through the Pembina River’s tall cliff faces and valley. IT starts at the Pembina River Tubing Company in Entwistle, from where you can book your parking spot and/or a raft. The float ends at the “third bridge” outside the Pembina River Provincial Park.
Address: 53217 Range Rd 74 A, Entwistle
Cost: $10 to $28
Edmonton Corn Maze
The Edmonton Corn Maze opens its doors July 27, 2021. This is an excellent place to stock up on farm-fresh foods and offers u-pick sunflowers by mid-August. There are new activities to check out this year like pedal karts and the Corn Cob Express.
Address: 26171 Garden Valley Road, Spruce Grove
Cost: $10.50 to $15
Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area
Come out for a hike, wildlife viewing and birdwatching, or for a scenic place to take photos. Bunchberry Meadows is made up of 260-hectares of old growth forests, meadows, and wetlands, and attracts a variety of wildlife. You could see a moose, beaver, northern flying squirrel, porcupines, salamanders, or weasels.
Address: 1B5, Range Rd 261, Spruce Grove
Country Picnic at Somerset Farms
The picnics special at Somerset Farms provide a quaint country setting, access to firewood, and a selection of yard games to add to your afternoon. There are five areas available for rent, limited to 10 people/site. Within the farm are multi-use trails to explore, farm animals to see, and plenty of scenic photo opportunities.
Address: 1423 Township Rd 514, Parkland County
Cost: $50 – one firepit (wood and 2 hot dog roasting sticks included)
Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area
There are numerous easy and low-intensity trail loops within the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot PRA that are perfect for young ones. This is also a great spot for wildlife viewing and birdwatching, picnics, equestrian riding, and biking.
Address: Range Road 210, Beaver County
Metis Crossing Cultural Centre
South of Smoky Lake is a culturally and historically prominent area that was home fur trades, indigenous settlements, rail travel, wagon travel, and more. The Metis Crossing Interpretive Centre is a celebration of the Metis history of the region and offers some immersive experiences as well as overnight camping.
Address: 17339 Victoria Trail, Smoky Lake
Cost: Adults: $ 15.00
Senior & Youth & Student: $10.00
2 parents and up to 4 children: $45.00
Aspen Beach Provincial Park (Gull Lake)
This provincial park beach has it all: a large sandy beach, clear water, boat launches, concession, hiking trails, and nearby convenience stores. Many of the stores on the way in sell all the necessities too, like floaties, beach toys, towels, and sunscreen. The scenic and expansive lake is also a popular spot for powerboating and all the fun sports which come with powered boats like tubing and wakeboarding.
Address: Lacombe County
Lazy Float on Long Lake
The quiet and beautiful Long Lake Provincial Park Day-use area is a summer paradise hidden in the valley. This long, narrow, and relatively shallow lake is a wonderful lazy float spot. The large sandy beach turns into forested and grassy areas with picnic tables, shade, fire pits, and washrooms/change areas. You can paddle along the shoreline and see beavers hard at work on their dams or try and make it to the other end of the lake.
Address: Range Rd 191A, Ellscott
Grain Elevator Museums
A reminiscent of Alberta’s golden agricultural past, these distinctive wooden structures that once dotted Alberta’s skyline teach valuable history lessons and about how a vibrant community grew around a grain elevator.
- St. Albert Grain Elevator Museum, 4 Meadowview Dr, St. Albert
- Spruce Grove Grain Elevator Museum, 120 Railway Ave, Spruce Grove
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Not only is this a great place to bring kids for some outdoor adventure, the Indigenous-owned and operated Rural Rivers offers FREE kayak and canoe rentals to Indigenous youth under 25 years old. The Riel Recreation Park route is near St. Albert and is a great way for kids to learn.
Address: 26105 Meadowview Drive Sturgeon County
Visit Alberta’s Smaller Towns
Within a short drive from Edmonton are multiple small towns that host their own unique and fun experiences.
- St. Paul, northeast of Edmonton, is home to the famous Alien Landing Pad, excellent dining, and plenty of local art to see. (~2 hours one-way)
- There are also three different Alberta towns with their own Mural Walks, with 20-30 murals to see: Stony Plain (10 min-1 hr) Legal, and Lacombe.
- Vegreville, directly east of Edmonton, is a great place to take in Alberta’s history, and is home to the world’s largest Pysanka. (~1.5 hrs)
Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site
There are several educational Indigenous programs to experience with your family at this historic site. Interpretive programs include Bannock-making, a tools and weapons tutorial, blacksmithing, capote-making, a dream catcher workshop, Drum and Song, Hides to Heels – Moccasin-making, Metis crafts, and traditional games.
Address: Site 127 Comp 6 RR4, Rocky Mountain House
Cost: Adult: $ 7.90
Senior: $ 6.60
By: Bernadette Gallagher