#Edmonton – our amazing trip to this family vacation hotspot!

by Nadine on April 3, 2013

Our family recently travelled to Edmonton for a fun little family getaway – and I was super impressed at how family friendly this city is! We had a great time there, and want to share our experience and also some money saving tips for it too!

We spent 2 days at West Edmonton mall – wish we could have had 1 or 2 more days – next time will be spending more time there for sure! Our first day we walked around and shopped – make sure to wear some comfy shoes! I thought the mall would be more complicated to figure out, but once you get the hang of it it’s very easy, and the maps they provide everywhere are also pretty handy!!

We checked out Marine Life which was amazing! You can pet sting rays and all kinds of sea creatures, you can check out some cute penguins and learn a lot about all kinds of animals in a fun, interactive way. We ended up having to go back in several times, as the kiddo just couldn’t get enough of it! They even offer all kinds of spring break programs etc. for kids which sounded like would be so fun.

penguins There are presentations throughout the day and it’s really done well to keep kids interested, and teach them a lot while having fun. Teaches them about not only the animals there, but how to help protect the environment for them which I really liked.

It’s a fun environment too, since you sort of go underground for it – really sets the mood for it! We got to watch sharks swimming around, and people in scuba gear feeding giant turtles carrots for snack time.

I was super jealous seeing the school classes there – what a great field trip! Love that the kids can really get involved, and how respectful they were of the rules, and the creatures.

Another great thing that they have several times a day is the Sea Lions Rock show – make sure to check this one out if you’re at the mall!

Amazing to see such a big creature doing tricks and having fun – and seeing the love between them and their trainer! I was really surprised at what they could do, and seeing them in person really makes you sea lionappreciate how amazing they are. The show is really well done – and there are some really amazing routines they do. Crazy to see how much sea lions can eat! Our whole family really enjoyed the show, we sat in the front row and it was awesome to get to be so close to such an amazing animal!

Not as close as our daughter got though – this picture is not a fake, it’s just a picture of a picture! At the end of the show you can actually get your picture taken with a sea lion. You can get the kiss on the head like our kiddo did, or just have it beside you if you’re a little more fearful. So many people have looked at this picture and thought it was a fake sea lion she just posed beside! She had the wet slimy head after to prove it – one of those memories none of us will ever forget. It’s not every day you can get a kiss from a sea lion. 🙂

 

Our favourite activity was the amazing waterpark! I had heard you had to claim your seats early, so we lined up a few minutes before it opened. We were quickly in, and they have some really nice changerooms for families – big common area with lockers, and then lots of small rooms for the whole family to go get in their bathing suits. And yes, claim your chair right away! There are a lot of loungechairs and they go quickly, so make that your first stop. You can actually rent a cabana for the day – when we go back we will be doing that for sure – you get your own little private area to leave your stuff, and make your homebase while you are there. We had a blast on the slides – my most memorable moment is going on the slide by the wavepool. We quickly got in line for it – another tip is go early, we were there Saturday morning and there was barely any lineups for the first few hours! This slide looked just like a lazy river, all of us on our own tubes, and then a slide at the end. I went first, kiddo in the middle and husband at the back – imagine my surprise when I got to the slide part and it was complete darkness! Our kiddo is scared of slides etc. so I wasn’t surprised to hear her shrieking behind me a few seconds later. The best moment though was turning back to see her come out of the slide and having an enormous grin on her face – she finally got the “fun scared” feeling of rides and waterslides! We went back several times, and after that she was super comfortable on all the other slides like a champ.

waterOne thing I’d recommend is getting a waterproof camera, even just a disposable one. I really regret missing all those great pics we could have got – including the several hours we spent in the wave pool! We just couldn’t get enough of it – and when that foghorn goes off to announce the waves coming – I wanted to bottle that excitement!

Here we all are in the wave pool – and there’s a waterslide behind us. Kiddo drew this picture for a school project. She hasn’t stopped talking about the wave pool and waterslides – and begging to go back!

My tip for all these fun activities is to check your airmiles – you can get passes for galaxyland and the waterpark! Or pick up an Entertainment book, there are buy one get one free’s for a lot of them too. I really like how there are lockers everywhere in the mall, and some are big enough for purchases and all your family’s stuff – well worth the $7 or $8 not to carry stuff around. And there are no keys, you just pick a 6 digit password – we did the start of our phone # so was super easy for all of us to go back to put more away and take stuff out.

telus We also visited the Telus World of Science – we had so much fun there too. Their exhibits are amazing, and super interactive. All kinds of things about the human body – even a room of gross stuff which was a big hit with the kiddo. Things to smell, touch, hear and do – I can’t recommend it enough. There was stuff there for every age group too – my husband and I really liked the Space exhibit, all kinds of neat real space stuff.

There’s even a real robot – the Robo Thespian. This was so neat to see in real life, he talked to us, showed us his muscles, told jokes – it was like being in the future.

An easy place to spend an entire day, and there’s a nice café in there too. Super kid friendly too, easy to navigate and a lot of fun for everyone. Lots to learn, to see, to do, to touch – they really got it right.

We were told to check out Soda Jerks while we were there, and I’m passing on the tip. Such a cool restaurant, great atmosphere and amazing food. Their claim to fame is their giant soda collection – I was just happy to get to have my fave Pop Shoppe lime ricky! The kids menu was super fun too, kiddo had 2 mini corn dogs, and for dessert it was mini donuts! Hubby had a burger which he’s still raving about, and I had deep fried pickles and mac and cheese bites which was so different and fun – not things I’d normally order but super glad I did! And there’s even a bogof in the Entertainment book for it!

We had a blast in Edmonton and will be going back for sure! Check them out for your next family holiday – you won’t regret it, and you won’t have any time to be bored.

 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

barb April 4, 2013 at 7:52 AM

Thanks for the review Nadine. I was thinking of taking a trip there myself. So… after your hotel experience would you recommend trying the theme rooms at the hotel attached to the mall? Did you use any coupons and if so, where did you get them from? Did you drive or use public transportation to get around? Thanks again!

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Nadine April 4, 2013 at 7:56 AM

I would definitely do the rooms at the mall – when I phoned airmiles after they told me I could have booked that 🙁 Didn’t tell me first time! Not sure if it’s for theme rooms. If your using airmiles, get them to give you a choice of a few, and really research them all – you can map it out to see the route to your activities too. I ordered the Edmonton entertainment book for around $20 and there were tons of coupons in there for the mall activities, and other stuff around the city – plus $20 off at safeway which you can use here. We drove in the city, it wasn’t too complicated and we were never really in a big rush so took our time.
If going with kids, make sure to leave enough time to do it all. That was our biggest problem, but at least guarantees we will be back 🙂 And have fun!

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Catia April 4, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Great review!!

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Janelle April 8, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Thanks for the review. We are going there this summer!

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Nadine April 8, 2013 at 9:32 PM

Have fun! It was great! I just wish we had the time to stay a few more days 🙂

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