It’s the time of year we’ve been waiting for all winter long – the days are long, the sun is shining, and the BBQ is cooking up summer feasts. There’s so much to do this time of year, but you don’t have to travel for hours to make the most out of summer.
- Festivals: Edmonton is known as Festival City – and rightly so! With so many different festivals to celebrate, the capital city is buzzing with events all summer long.
- New to Edmonton and love outdoors? Then join Outdoor Club Edmonton(free to join+there are free activities), make new friends and explore Edmonton and Alberta together. They organise regular outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, biking, inline skating, canoeing, white water rafting, and caving (+winter activities) in and around Edmonton.
- Snag a ticket for Secret Street Car Shows: All aboard Edmonton’s historic streetcarfor spectacular views from on top of the High Level Bridge. It’s the world’s highest streetcar river crossing, stretching between downtown and the Old Strathcona neighbourhood. If you are lucky, you might be able to get a ticket for a concert held on select evenings aboard this 105-year old streetcar, on the 105-year old bridge over a majestic river, at sunset!
- Boating/Canoeing: Sure, you’ve heard of Pigeon Lake, Wabamun Lake, and the North Saskatchewan River. But there are so many more lakes and waterways in the area to check out! Grab the boat or canoe and visit locations such as Black Nugget Lake, Beaverhill Lake, or Spring Lake and get close to nature. If you want to explore the Sturgeon River and Big Lake of St. Albert, Fusion World Corp. offers kayak rentalat Riel Recreation Park , #2 Rodeo Drive St.Albert.
- Round up your friends for a Sunset Voyageur Canoe Tours:
Paddle and float in a Voyageur Canoe from Laurier Park to Capilano Park on the beautiful North Saskatchewan River. Wildlife sightings are common so bring both camera and binoculars as you float along parkland enjoying the orange and red glow of the sun setting across Edmonton skyline.
- Plan a day trip to Provincial Parks: You don’t need to take off to the mountains to spend some time in Alberta’s breathtaking Provincial Parks. Pigeon Lake Provincial Park, Miquelon Lake Provincial Park, and Wabamun Lake Provincial Park all await you within a short drive of the City of Edmonton.
- Explore River Valley any way you like: This is not your usual city greenspace! Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River Valley, North America’s largest urban parkland, makes it easy to get away in nature without leaving the city. Explore by foot, bike, boat, or segway and discover all this unique space has to offer.
- Tour de l’Alberta/Cycling: Watch as over 1,300 cyclist take part in the different events of this year’s Tour de l’Alberta on July 28 – or take part yourself since all skill levels are welcomed! Then ride that inspiration on some fantastic trails and paths throughout both small towns and big cities in the area.
- Enjoy an Outdoor Movie: Bring bug spray along and lawn chairs along with the popcorn and watch stars in the sky and on the screen at an outdoor movie. Many different towns and cities in the area are screening films in the great outdoors, from Fort Saskatchewan to Devon, Stony Plain to Beaumont. Check out the municipalities’ websites for dates and details.
- Get Lost in Edmonton Corn Maze:
With over 5 km of twists and turns and over 85 decision points over 15 acres of corn, getting lost in the Edmonton Corn Mazeis probably in your future. But no matter if you have a great inner compass or are more directionally-challenged, it’s always a hit. Come late August, sun flowers bloom, giving you an extra reason for a trip to the Maze.
- Go Camping: Whether you’re tenting or parking the RV, there’s nothing like a night under the stars. Visit provincial campgrounds or campgrounds in Elk Island National Park, or smaller privately-owned campground such as Rainbow Valley Campground, nestled in right in the Whitemud Creek of Edmonton.
- Horseback Riding: Saddle up with your inner cowboy and take a lesson or two on horseback – or hit the trails if you already know what you’re doing! Check out Duke’s Ranches and learn from a pro or visit Colchester Farmsfor lessons and trail rides.
- Farm to Fork Dinners: Get a taste of local gourmet. Range Road Gourmet “Farm to Fork” Dinners showcase the best of locally-grown ingredients put together in a carefully designed five-course meal you won’t soon forget.
- Castrol Raceway: From the Monster Truck Throwdown to Motorcycle Track Attack, get the motor revving as you cheer on the favourites at Castrol Racewayall summer long. Get your tickets in advance to make sure you don’t miss the finish line.
- Do an Edmonton Cocktail Tour: Journey through the hotspots of downtown Edmonton, walking from one bar to the next with this tour. Discover passionate bartenders creating their own twist on classic drinks that help to make this scene flourish.
- Float the North Saskatchewan River: Take advantage of the fact that the North Saskatchewan runs right through the capital region! Companies such as Pembina River Tubing and Devon’s River Lifestyle Co. can help you float down the water on inner tubes along different stretches of the river. (Places to Go Tubing in Alberta)
- Do a jungle gym at Snow Valley Aerial Park: Embrace your inner child by climbing through the most extreme tree house mixed with a giant jungle gym – but keep things adult by going on Thirsty Thursdayswhere alcoholic beverages are available on the patio. This “tower of obstacles” is the first of its kind in Canada and only third in North America.
- Reap the benefits of a delicious harvest without having to remember to keep things watered and weeded at a U-Pick garden. The haul is deliciously sweet at gardens such as Saskatoon Valley Orchards or Stevens Strawberries.
- Go Hiking: Whether you keep close to civilization in Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River Valley or strike out on a backcountry trail at a Provincial Park, heading out into the wilderness on foot is a great way to see what summer in Alberta is really all about. Make sure to bring the camera for great views and possible animal sightings (and make sure to bring the bug spray for possible mosquito sightings…).
- Stargazing: You may have to stay up a little later enjoying the longer summer days, but warmer evenings make for easierstargazing. The Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preservejust east of Edmonton is a great place to point out constellations and watch for falling stars without the city lights drowning them out.
- Elk Island National Park: A National Park just 35 minutes east of Edmonton? Absolutely! Camp, picnic, canoe, or hike – do it all at Elk Island National Park. Best of all, you can often see the herds of elk and bison that call the park home. In case you dont have a car, this year, Parks Canada has introduced free return bus transportation to Elk Island National Park from Edmonton.
- Take in a Game: It’s time to cheer for the home team! From the Eskimos to the Prospects, there is a team to root for no matter your favourite sport. Or, take a spot on the sidelines of one of the many minor league games taking place throughout the surrounding communities.
- Take a dip at Edmonton’s Outdoor Pools: What could cool you off better on a hot summer day than diving into a refreshing outdoor pool? Edmonton has plenty to choose from, including Mill Creek, Queen Elizabeth, and the Borden Natural Swimming Pool – the first of its kind in Canada – for outdoor swimming without worrying about encountering any seaweed.
- Get hooked on this summer favourite activity! Whether you’re river side or lake bound, throw in a line to see if you can catch local fish such as walleye, northern pike, sturgeon, goldeye, and more. Who can claim the biggest catch?
- Do you have what it takes to take to the sky? Find out with a Discovery Flightthrough the Edmonton Flying Club. Tour the sky and even take a chance at flying it yourself (under careful watch!).
- Take a walking ghost tour in the summer so the only chill you get will be down your spine from the spooky stories and sights. Legends tell of many haunted sites, but tours such as those through Edmonton Ghost Tours will show you the highlights.
- Insta-Worthy Pics: What better light than natural and what better background than a summer day? Find the perfect Instagram shot to showcase your awesome summer wherever you go! Go on a n art tour for a great picture wall!#nofilterneeded
- Paintball: The world’s largest paintball company, Delta Force Paintball, has an outdoor arena just outside Sherwood Park. Battle it out with friend and foe in a set right out of the movies.
- Outdoor Concerts: From the moment the first note comes across the open air and hits you, you’ll realize there’s nothing like an outdoor concert. From events such as the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony Under the Skyand Outdoor Music Festivals to buskers along busy avenues, there is always a chance to take in the musical talents of others.
- Pack a Picnic: Stay in the city, head to the country, or visit a nearby municipality to experience small town charm – but before you leave home, pack up a picnic basket. The locations for the perfect summer picnic are limited only by your imagination, so make it a challenge to find the best spot.
- K-Days: Thrilling rides, delicious treats, one-of-a-kind shopping, and some of the world’s best bands – you’ll find it all at K-Days. The 10-day event is a favourite of Edmontonians, and it’s not hard to see why!
- West Edmonton Mall: Unfortunately, summer doesn’t necessarily mean hot sunny days all season long…but there’s no shortage of things to do on rainy days! Head to West Edmonton Mallfor shopping, restaurants, and incredible entertainment – including an amusement park and water park – all under one roof.
- The Batting Cages: Step up to the plate and show off your skills at The Batting Cages. Grab your mitt and test your pitching at the radar target, swing at a fast one, and top it off with a cold beer.
- Urban Pedal Tours: Alberta’s No. 1 party bike tours is a totally unique experience for you and all your friends. Meet new people, make new memories, and explore the best local taprooms from a 15-person U-shaped bike. Grab a frosty one in a whole new way.
- Brewery Tours:
Get in the spirit of things with a tour of local distilleries. Explore on your own and create your own tour, or sign up with Alberta Craft Tours and let them show you around. You’ll be surprised at how fast the craft distillery scene is growing.
- Edmonton Air Show: Taking place out of the Vegreville Airport, this August event really puts the excitement in the air. Get dazzled by extraordinary pilots performing snap rolls, tailslides, knife-edge passes, and more. Get tickets early to watch it all from the beer gardens.
- Run a Marathon: Scratch one off your bucket list and run a marathon this summer! Different events such as Color Me Rad andEdmonton Marathon make it easy with different events for all skill levels. Just don’t forget to stretch!
- Hit the Beach: The great thing about so many lakes in the capital region means it’s never too far of a trip to hit the beach! They may not be the white sands of the Caribbean, but it’s enough for sandcastles and soaking up some rays. Alberta Beach, Ma-Me-O Beach – Pigeon Lake, Seba Beach – Wabamun Lake, Sylvan Lake Beach, Aspen Beach – Gull Lake are all great places a day in the sun.
- Food Trucks: There’s just something about the open air that makes food taste so good. And with the ever-growing food truck scene, the diversity of food to eat in the great outdoors seems unending. Check out the Street Food App to see where you can find quirky and delicious local trucks.
- Walk Whyte Ave: Whether you’re killing time for an hour or spending the day, the time will fly by when you take to Whyte Ave, in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona. Shopping, entertainment, restaurants, and night life are all waiting for you.
- Aga Khan Garden/University of Alberta Garden:
A stunning 97 hectares in Parkland County, this garden has been a favourite of visitors from around the world with cultivated gardens, indoor greenhouses, and natural areas. On Thursday nights, there is special programming for adults making it a perfect venue for a date night! If you are interested in Yoga, escape the city for an evening and come for a 60 minute deep restorative yoga class with live music by Gatsby and Sebastian Bolessa, surrounded by nature and beauty in the Aga Khan Garden.
- Find Your Favourite Patio:Alberta knows how to take advantage of summer weather – and we certainly do so when it comes to patio season. Restaurants from bustling downtown Edmonton to small town Alberta all embrace eating in the open air, so no matter where you go, you can take advantage of the patio.
- Discover 4th Street Promenade : Deep in the heart of downtown, the community offers sophistication as an ever-changing destination for tourists and local alike.
- Travel back in time to an era of pioneers and settlers as costumed interpreters playing the part of early immigrants bring history to life at Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. Check out their summer workshops, such as Ukrainian cooking classes, to really get into the feel of things.
- Board for brunch, dinner, or a sunset cruise through Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River Valley on the newly-restored Edmonton Riverboat. This attraction is a favourite for a leisurely time in the heart of the city.
- Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary: Find the Sanctuaryjust 33 km southwest of Edmonton’s city centre, and while you’re there, maybe you’ll find moose, foxes, or porcupine! Stroll the boardwalk or hike the trails to get close to nature in the parkland, marsh, or forest.
- Farmers’ Markets: Summer is all about fresh, locally-grown food hitting the plates. Meet the farmers and vendors who grow it themselves at different markets. Some local favourites include St. Albert’s Farmers’ Market, Seba Beach Farmers’ Market, and Edmonton’s original: Callingwood Market.
- Tee Off: The Alberta landscape is dotted with gorgeous golf courses, and the capital region is no different. From Cougar Creek Golf Resort in Parkland County to Beaumont’s Eagle Rock Golf Course, City run Victoria Golf Course in Edmonton, and many more, you have lots of options to tee up.
- Explore 124 Street: Lining 124 Street are a unique group of businesses and stores that create a shopping community you won’t want to miss. Visit coffee shops, boutiques, art galleries, and shops that make this area an exciting neighbourhood to explore and discover what makes it oh-so-Edmonton.
- Join for a Food Bike Tour:Bike around the city sampling popular menu items while getting a behind the scenes look from Edmonton’s top chefs burning off calories, sight seeing and meeting new people.
More Fun in Edmonton