School’s out for summer! And with that, some of you may be wondering how you’ll fill your extra hours together as a family. I know family outings can get expensive, so I’ve compiled a list of some of my own family’s top things to do over these summer months, that won’t break the bank. Here, in no particular order, are my
Top 13 Free (or low cost) Family-Friendly Things to to in Edmonton this Summer
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- Outdoor pools
The City claims their outdoor pools are a perfect place to cool off over the hot summer days, and I agree. From the City’s page: “Visit any of the City’s outdoor swimming pools and have a whale of a time splashing, socializing with friends and family or simply relaxing for the day. The City manages a total of 5 outdoor swimming pool complexes including the newly refurbished and first of its kind in Canada, Borden Natural Swimming Pool.” BONUS: access to the outdoor pools is FREE this summer! Pro tip: go on a weekday, as early as possible to avoid some of those long lines. Don’t forget the sunblock!
- Edmonton Prospects Baseball Game
There are two July afternoon games (July 15 and 29 at 2:05PM; see the full summer schedule here.) so you can still get the kids to bed on time! Kids 5 and under are free, tickets for kids 6–12 start at just $10 and adult tickets start at $18. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon in the sun enjoying baseball concession and the occasional heckler (I’ve heard hotdogs at baseball games taste better than regular hot dogs. As a vegetarian, I can’t vouch for this, but my source is extremely reliable). Don’t forget the sunblock!
- Spray Parks
Find a listing of all the City spray parks here. Chances are, you’ve already visited your neighbourhood park, so why not explore the city and try a new location? Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it. This is a great place for free play, to keep cool and meet some new friends.
- Telus World of Science
While at the top end of admission prices in this list, if you invest in a family membership, it pays for itself within just a couple of visits. We have chosen to have a family membership here for the past few years, and have never regretted it. The kids love the Discover Zone kids area, and we’re looking forward to checking out Down to the Bone, Dinosaurs Unearthed. It’s the perfect place to spend a day at if there’s a summer storm, or if it’s just too dang hot out. Plus you get discounts on admission to the IMAX theatre. Find out all TWOSE has to offer on their website.
- Cineplex Movies Family Favourites
Speaking of movies, we are big fans of the family favourites at Cineplex. Usually on Saturday mornings at 11am, they’ve added Wednesday morning showtimes for July and August! With $2.99 admission prices, you can’t go wrong. A portion of the proceeds goes towards supporting WE Charity. Get details and listings here.
- Summer Starts at EPL
Running from June 23 – August 25, this program “offers games, prizes and activities to encourage kids to read, create and explore during the summer months”. We’ve registered and are starting our reading log. There are awesome weekly and grand prize draws for reaching your goals. You can register for the program any time throughout the summer. We’re already planning which events we’re going to participate in. Get details on what’s happening at your branch here. Don’t forget to check out EPL’s podcast around summer reads for both kids and adults.
- Art Gallery of St. Albert
AGSA has a pile of community programs for all ages. Check out a collaborative art making series of 3 classes with your 3–5 year olds, or if you’d like to jump into a Saturday class, there’s Preschool Picasso for kids 3–5 and Artventures for your 6–12 year olds; both scheduled for the 3rd Saturday of each month. Pre-registration is required. Be sure to check out their current exhibition while you’re there.
- Arts and Heritage St. Albert
Arts and Heritage St. Albert has a big list of Canada Day events at their heritage sites (helloooo homemade ice-cream!), Food Trucks with beer gardens on August 31, ArtWalk, St. Albert Historic Walking Tours, Harvest Festival, as well as drop in and community programs at their heritage sites and the Musée Héritage Museum. Check out the Summer Events brochure here.
- Monthly Mini Model Build at the LEGO Store
Kids 6–14 can build their own free mini model at the LEGO store and take it home when they’re done! Register online to secure a slot. Registration for the August build opens July 15. Visit the LEGO website for details. July dates: July 3 and 4.
- The River Valley
Explore the River Valley on bike or by foot. With both our kiddos on two-wheelers now, we’re anxious to get out on more trails. The paved trails around Rundle Park are great. Bikes are not required though; Rundle Park has playgrounds for the kiddos, paddle boat rentals and more.
- Cats on your Mats: Family Cat Yoga at the Humane Society
It’s the puuuurfect opportunity for the whole family to stretch, practice their cat pose and snuggle with some shelter kitties. I’m not sure if downward facing dog will be allowed, and chaos might erupt if anyone tries pigeon pose, but fun is sure to be had by all. And now that you’ve seen my punny side, pounce on over to the Humane Society page to register for their upcoming classes on July 21 or August 25. These sell out fast.
- 4Cats Art Studio
Book an art party, or take your kids (ages2–15) to art classes or camps. With a tonne of options for mediums and skill levels, you’re sure to find something for yourself your your budding artist. Find the studio closest to you, along with a complete listing of what’s available on the 4Cats Art Studio website.
- Viva Clay Works
Visit Viva Clay works just off Whyte Ave on Saturdays for pottery classes for kids and teens. Kids classes start at 11am ($19), Teen classes start at 1pm ($25). Supplies are included. Visit their website for details.
Make these summer memories last with a fun and stress-free family portrait session that even dad will enjoy. I’d love to capture these fleeting summer family moments of you together. Get in touch with me to find out how I’ll be able to provide you with portraits of your family where your personality and the connections you have to one another really shine through.
Do you have any favourite family activities around the City that you’re looking forward to? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
Get an interactive PDF download to reference later!
BONUS: You’ll get a gift valued at $100.