Fun Things to do in Edmonton – According to a Local

Muttart Conservatory Pyramid Botanic Gardens at Night

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If you are planning on visiting Edmonton or are an Edmontonian and want a list of fun things to do in Edmonton, you are in the right place!

Edmonton, the capital city of Alberta, is a great city in every season. With several different festivals, Edmonton attractions for a day out with the family, or must-do activities for an afternoon out with friends.

What to do in Edmonton for Fun

Royal Alberta Museum

A bison rolling in the dirt in a museum display at the Royal Alberta Museum
Bison rolling in the dirt at the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton

The new Royal Alberta Museum is amazing and the top of the list of fun things to do in Edmonton. The museum moved to its new location in 2018 and has quickly become an Edmonton favourite.

 The new museum is bigger and better than ever. Royal Alberta Museum is now the largest in Western Canada and offers over 2.5 million objects.

If you are a Canadian history lover, interested in First Nations history, into archaeology and paleontology, a lover of bugs or looking for a day to spend with the family – the Royal Alberta Museum has something for everyone.

Sensory Inclusion: The museum offers sensory rooms and special events that help visitors with sensory needs.

With the constant addition of temporary exhibits, a visit to the Royal Alberta Museum will always offer something fresh for repeat visitors!

The new location adds the Royal Alberta Museum to the growing list of downtown Edmonton tourist attractions.

Bonus: If you love podcasts, RAM also has a podcast called Intangible Alberta! I loved the Halloween special which featured three stories on some rather spooky items in the RAM collection!

Address: 9810-103a Avenue NW

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 5 pm

Website: Royal Alberta Museum

Fort Edmonton Park

If you are a lover of all things related to history, add a trip to Fort Edmonton Park on your fun things to do in Edmonton in the summer list.

Take a train back in time to 1846, 1885, 1905 or 1920 Alberta and experience what life was like with the help of character actors wandering through the historic buildings.

The park is currently under a massive renovation due to open in May of 2021. Don’t let that stop you from attending one of the events that the park throws such as burlesque shows and the ever-spooky Halloween event Dark.

Address: 7000-143 Street NW

Website: Fort Edmonton Park

Muttart Conservatory

Three pyramids made of glass, two lit up blue and the middle smaller pyramid is lit up green.
The Muttart Conservatory Pyramids change colours at night

The pyramid-shaped greenhouses are a beautiful and colourful staple in the Edmonton skyline. The four pyramids, which change colours every few minutes, can be spotted from downtown Edmonton.

A visit to the conservatory offers a chance to visit four different climates! The botanical pyramids allow you to visit Arid, Temperate and Tropical climates and plants. The fourth pyramid offers a feature that changes throughout the year.

The Muttart Conservatory can be explored on your own, or you can join one of the several guided tours that occur in the pyramids in 20-minute intervals. The guided tours are free to join and offer a ton of extra information!

Looking for romantic things to do in Edmonton Alberta? The Muttart Conservatory offers child-free date nights during the Muttart Conservatory Light Walk.

The glass pyramids of the Muttart Conservatory are also the perfect backdrop to your Instagram photos! The platform offers the picture-perfect background of colourful pyramids to make everyone like your photo. Another great place to admire the Muttart Conservatory pyramids are from the hill in Gallagher Park.

The Muttart Conservatory is undergoing renovations and will reopen in early 2021.

Address: 9626 – 96a Street NW

Website: Muttart Conservatory

University of Alberta Botanic Garden

A brown, orange and white butterfly sitting on a red flower surrounded by green leaves. Fun things to do in Edmonton.
Hang out with the butterflies at the University of Alberta Botanic Gardens

The botanic gardens are a must-see in Edmonton. Located southwest of Edmonton, the 240-acre botanic gardens feature the Kurimoto Japanese Garden, the ever-popular Aga Khan Gardens, and the Indigenous Garden.

The gardens are also full of vegetables and fruit trees and full of flowers such as roses, lilies and peonies. Be sure to pack your walking shoes, but if your legs get tired you can hop aboard the Bee Line hop-on-hop-off buses that drive throughout the park.

A lot of people love the Aga Khan Gardens, but my favourite part of the University of Alberta Botanic Garden? The greenhouse right near the entrance, it will feel like stepping onto a lush tropical island, complete with butterflies making you feel like a Disney princess.

If you are looking for what to do in Edmonton in the winter, the University of Alberta Botanic Gardens holds a very popular event called Luminaria.

Address: 51227 AB-60, Spruce Grove

Hours: 10 am – 6 pm (Summer) 10-5 (Autumn)

Website: University of Alberta Botanic Garden

Walk the Trails of Edmonton’s River Valley

With over 150km of trails, the North Saskatchewan River Valley is a great spot to go for a walk, hike, or take a picnic in the woods.

To make things more exciting, download the Commonwealth Walkway interactive app and try to find the golden key.

The walk is about 10km and is one of the most fun things to do in Edmonton. You will get fresh air and you learn so much about Edmonton’s River Valley and history.

Not sure which trail to pick? Check out the River Valley trail maps and start in your favourite area of the city.

Explore Edmonton with a Segway Tour

Want to continue exploring Edmonton in style? Book a tour with River Valley Adventure Co. and take one of the winter or summer tours through the River Valley or Legislature.

You will get to see stunning views of Edmonton while speeding past people struggling to walk up the hilly trails. It has to be one of the best things to do in Edmonton!

Book a tour with River Valley Adventure Co. here

Find some Ghosts at Edmonton’s Most Haunted Locations

Take a ghost tour with Edmonton Ghost Tours. With tours that go through Edmonton’s hip and historic Whyte Avenue or through the University & Garneau area.

Follow ghost tour guide (and owner!) Nadine around as she uses her incredible storytelling skills to tell you the spooky tales behind Edmonton’s history. You’ll never look at Edmonton’s historic buildings the same again!

Book a tour with Edmonton Ghost Tours here

Do Everything at West Edmonton Mall

As much as I would rather not have a mall on a list of the most fun things to do in Edmonton – here it is. The mall, which at one point was the world’s biggest mall, is actually incredibly fun.

You could easily spend an entire day and never get bored. Check out a movie at the Scotia Bank Theatre, go on a mini-golf adventure, or spend the day riding amusement park rides at Galaxyland.

None of those interest you? How about spending a day sliding down waterslides at the World Waterpark, go ice skating at the Ice Palace or hop aboard the Santa Maria and pretend you are sailing the high seas.

If all else fails, go shopping and eat lunch with the hamburger man at the food court. I love the bronze hamburger man statue – he is fantastic. He is waiting for you to join him at the food court closest to Galaxyland.

Address: 8882-170 Street NW

Website: West Edmonton Mall

Escape the World with Virtual Reality

Dark rooms with blue lights lining the walls. VR display and computer set up to play virtual reality games. One of the fun things to do in Edmonton.
The VR rooms at The Rec Room in Edmonton

Edmonton has an abundance of really great virtual reality centres – including at the very fun arcade The Rec Room. Although the Rec Room is the perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon. My favourite VR location is Breakout VR just off of Whyte Avenue.

You can play alone venturing through dark tunnels avoiding zombies or trying out the life of a convenience store employee.

Want to play with friends? They have multiplayer games that allow you to shoot arrows at bad guys while chatting with your pals through the headset.

Visit the Rec Room

Visit Breakout VR

Drink Coffee with Cats

Okay, the cats probably won’t be sipping an espresso, but you can hang out with them while you do.

You can have the ultimate tea party (because they also serve tea)! The Cat Café on Whyte is one of the cool places to go in Edmonton.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend the afternoon playing with cats? It’s kid-friendly and the perfect place to get your daily dose of cat.

Address: 10111 82 Ave NW

Hours: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm (Fridays & Saturdays they are open until 10:00 pm)

Website: Cat Cafe on Whyte

Attend One of Edmonton’s Many Festivals

The Fringe Theatre Adventures grounds in Edmonton on Whyte Avenue.
Edmonton’s Festivals are the most fun things to do in Edmonton!

You don’t have to limit yourself to just one festival – Edmonton has over 75 annual festivals! Why not try them all?

There is a festival for everyone – celebrate cultural diversity at the Heritage Festival. Check out the ice sculptures at the Silver Skate Festival. Or literally take a taste of Edmonton at the Taste of Edmonton Festival!

My personal favourite festival is the Fringe! You can spend the day eating green onion cakes, watching buskers or checking out your favourite theatre production! It will really make you fall in love with Edmonton.

Challenge your Friends at a Board Game Café

Bookshelf lined with board games at Edmontons Hexagon Board Game Cafe. One of the most fun things to do in Edmonton.
Hexagon Board Game Cafe has a ton of board games for you to play with your friends

Edmonton has an abundance of board game cafes; my personal favourite is the Hexagon Board Game Café on Whyte Avenue.

The café is clean, has great food and a well-stocked section of great board games. The most important thing? The board games are well taken care of – all the pieces and parts will be in the box when you go to play!

Bring your friends and play a badass game of Connect 4! Or you could pick something a bit more challenging.

Address: 10750 82 Ave NW

The Hexagon Board Game Café Hours: 9:00 am – 11:00 pm (Open until 1:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays)

Website: The Hexagon Board Game Cafe

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