We visited Alberta with the assistance of Travel Alberta, and this post is supported by IHG.
As always, all opinions are my own.
I can’t believe how long it’s been since our road trip across Alberta. We have family there and the last stop of our journey was Edmonton for a most beautiful occasion: my sister-in-law’s wedding. Her special day was the reason we were bringing the kids out West in the first place, and what better excuse to see the beautiful province that my husband is from?!
In the span of seven days we explored Calgary, Drumheller and the dinosaur museum, and Banff, Lake Louise and the Columbia Icefields. Finishing up our trip in the city where daddy was born was a bonus. Connecting with family is one of our key inspirations for travel.
If you’re considering visiting Edmonton with a toddler, the city is relaxed, family-friendly, and there is a great variety of IHG hotels in Edmonton to suit every family’s needs and budget.
Visiting Edmonton with a Toddler: What to Do
West Edmonton Mall
Until 2004, West Edmonton Mall was the largest mall in the world, and it’s still the largest one in North America. In case you’re thinking a mall isn’t exactly a great tourist attraction to visit with a toddler, hear me out.
Of course there are stores–more than 800 shops and services, in fact. But, there’s also a waterpark, and an amusement park (with a roller coaster and a full toddler section). Hungry: There’s 100 dining venues, and mini-golf. Yes, there’s a skating rink. And don’t miss the aquarium, and the Crystal Labyrinth, which is a maze-like hall of mirrors.
Let’s face it; no matter the season, Edmonton doesn’t always have the best weather, so having so much to do indoors under the guise of a mall is a great option for getting out and about with a toddler in tow.
For more info, check out Globe Guide’s thoughts on visiting West Edmonton Mall.
Jurassic Forest & Learning Centre
Pretty much anything with the word “Jurassic” in the name is bound to be a hit with dinosaur-loving tots the world over, and Jurassic Forest is no exception.
If you’re visiting Edmonton with a toddler, and you’re not quite ready for the big boys down at Tyrrell in Drumheller, this park, set in an old-growth forest, features animatronic dinosaurs and other activities for kids to interact and engage with prehistoric creatures that are indigenous to the Edmonton area. There’s even mini-golf and a dig site.
Capping off our trip with a lovely family event at Edmonton’s Muttart Conservatory put a blissful and serene cherry on our road trip cake – even if it did mean a painfully EARLY trip to the airport the next morning. This is a spot we likely would have given a pass to if not for the wedding. I’m grateful we had the opportunity to visit and explore this Edmontonian treasure.
The four glass pyramids that make up the Muttart Conservatory are unmistakeable as they jut out of Edmonton‘s river valley. Inside is a peaceful (and warm!) escape into the world’s flora. They house and cultivate one of Canada’s largest botanical collections. There are three being permanent and one feature biome that changes frequently throughout the year.
Muttart Conservatory is a wonderful place for a taste of nature that’s not dependent on the weather, and it’s a safe place to let your toddler “off-leash” to wander (within arm’s reach, of course!) amongst the beautiful flowers and foilage.
Visiting Edmonton with a Toddler: Where to Stay
When visiting Edmonton with a toddler, deciding where to stay should be based on where you figure you’ll spend the most time.
There are Edmonton hotels located in pretty much every neighbourhood, so even though it’s fast and easy to get around the city you’ll have the option of staying close to where you want to be.
Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about
Edmonton with a baby or toddler at TripAdvisor
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I really must get to Alberta one of these days! Edmonton looks like a great city to visit. I’ve always been interested in checking out the West Edmonton Mall. I’ve never heard of Muttart Conservatory. Thanks for sharing the info. Love IHG hotels. I stayed in a great one in Winnipeg (twice) in the last few years. I have great memories of staying with Holiday Inn as a kid traveling with my parents.
Looks like you’re family had some great fun in my hometown. When you’re toddler’s a little older you should come back and see Fort Edmonton Park. It’s an outdoor historic museum that shows how Edmonton looked from its early years as a Fort up to the 1920s. They have costumed inerpretters, plus a penny arcade and an old fashion candy store.
Thanks for the tip, Alouise!
Sounds like a great trip-and makes me want to see more of Alberta!
I was in Calgary last summer but I’ve never been to Edmonton. It looks like a fun city to visit with kids in particular the Jurassic Forest. I know my kids would love that!
They would! It’s so great 🙂