Kid-friendly restaurants, outstanding shopping venues and an array of exciting family activities make Edmonton a great destination for a wholesome weekend getaway. Alberta’s capital also runs a full calendar of family-themed events (such as the Festival of Trees and Silver Skate Festival) so there’s plenty to see and do throughout the year, too.

Here’s a quick heads up on some of the many great things for you and your kids to do in Edmonton:

2 World Waterpark
Splash around all day at the indoor pool and waterpark in West Edmonton Mall. Credit: Getty Images.

Swim in a tropical paradise and find magic at the Disney Store

Boasting the world’s largest wave pool and no fewer than 21 unique attractions, the humongous World Waterpark at West Edmonton Mall can keep up to 3,000 visitors happy all day long. Besides the thrilling flumes and water slides, there’s Caribbean Cove, an interactive water play structure designed for little ones which includes small slides, climbing ladders, sprayers and a massive water-tipping bucket. There’s also the Caribbean Cruiser, an exciting yet not-too-invigorating slide for parents and tots to ride together. Don’t forget about Flowrider either: Nothing spells family fun like this amazing surfing simulator which is just as much fun to watch as it is to try.

3 Disney Store Interior
Step into the world of your favourite movies at the Disney Store in Edmonton. Credit: Getty Images.

More of a mini theme park than a shop, the Disney Store, also in the cavernous West Edmonton Mall, will keep your little ones enchanted for hours. In addition to all the merchandise you’d expect to see filling the shelves, this magically over-the-top shop boasts a theatre and a kiddies’ play area. You can take an animation class or enjoy story readings, costume parades and seemingly impromptu song-and-dance numbers. Get there early to witness the cheery opening ceremony each morning.

5 Fringe Festival
See buskers and street acts at Edmonton Fringe Theatre. Credit: 36th Annual Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival. Image by Marc J Chalifoux Photography.

Shop for unique treasures and take a kid-friendly journey of scientific proportions

With its heritage buildings, busker-lined streets, weekly farmer’s market and large antique mall, the historic shopping district of Old Strathcona is as friendly as it is charming. Take a stroll through the lively thoroughfare that is Whyte Avenue or ride on the High Level Bridge Streetcar for a respite from the crowd. Visit in mid-August to experience the infectious frivolity of the Edmonton Fringe Festival.

4 Telus World Of Science Photo Credit  Telus World Of Science Edmonton
Play in the many fantastical exhibits at the Telus World of Science. Credit: TELUS World of Science – Edmonton.

Looking for even more captivating kid’s activities in Edmonton? Head to the Telus World of Science to discover fascinating exhibits to wow even the most easily distracted children! This highly regarded learning centre in Coronation Park delights people of all ages with immersive attractions like the POPnologist exhibition exploring the intersection of science and pop culture (opens Feb 9th) or the creative play area Discoveryland. Other highlights include hypnotic planetarium shows in the Star Theatre, interactive live science demonstrations and peering through the observatory’s telescopes to explore the night sky.

1 Duchess Bake Shop
Forks at the ready. Credit: Sarah Hervieux/​Duchess Bake Shop.

Get your fill with some truly neat eats

An Edmonton institution, the Duchess Bake Shop on 107 Avenue is so popular that there’s often a queue outside the store. The reason this cozy little bakery-cum-patisserie, with its marble tables, fancy Victorian chairs and antique cupboards, is so revered is simple – the tarts, cakes, cookies and croissants offered here are drop-dead gorgeous and equally delicious. Don’t pass up the chance to pick up some sublime lemon meringue cakes. Your kids will love them.

7 Soda Jerks
A drink for everyone at Soda Jerks. © 2012 Melissa Lomax Speelman/​Getty Images.

If your children don’t feel like munching on baked goods, how about rounding out your family day by paying a visit to a restaurant where they can create their own burger with a choice of over 50 toppings (including chocolate-covered bacon!)? That’s what you get from Soda Jerks, an Alberta-based restaurant chain where fun meals and an elaborate soda selection tickles taste buds and fills tummies. There are five locations in and around Edmonton, so you’re never far away from one of the city’s best family restaurants.

Choice Hotels in Edmonton