What to Do in Edmonton with Kids

City and Baby is a blog for parents with an urge to get out of the house. We explore all that the Edmonton region has to offer families with kids six and younger. From unique events, fun activities, attractions, baby-friendly businesses to product must-haves, CityandBaby.com is your guide to savouring Edmonton with your little ones in tow.


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Monday
Sep012014

Eats n Beats Westridge Family Party | Sept 13, 2014

Join the Westridge~Wolf Willow~Country Club Community League for an outdoor family event on Saturday, September 13, 2014.

You’ll be entertained by Uptown, a cover band that plays classics from the 70s disco and funk, to today's latest pop and dance hits.

Grab dinner at one of the yummy food trucks: The Local Omnivore, Jimmy Poblano, Keilan's Creamery and Orbit.

A lovely way to wrap up the summer indeed. 

 

Eats n Beats Westridge Family Party (PDF)
September 13, 2014 4:00 – 8:00pm
Westridge Community Rink and grounds.
505 Wolf Willow Road

Wednesday
Aug202014

What To Do With Kids This Weekend In Edmonton | August 23 - 24

Photo from Edmonton Marathon. (http://www.edmontonmarathon.ca)

 

Alberta Open Farm Days What: An opportunity to get to know local farmers and understand where our food comes from. On Saturday, there are a variety of culinary events (fees apply). Then on Sunday,  60 farms across Alberta are opening their gates and hearts to share with you and your kids.

Where: Around Alberta. Check out the map.

When: Saturday, August 23 and Sunday, August 24, 2014.

 

Summer Reading Club: Closing Celebrations
What:
Eureka, you did it! Come celebrate the end of Summer Reading Club.
Where:
Participating Edmonton Public Libraries
When:  
Saturday, August 23. Various times.

 

Kids Fringe
What: A free family-friendly mini-Fringe site with crafts, art exploration and entertainment, with a special tots tent. For shows appropriate for younger audiences check out this listing.  

Where: Old Strathcona. (site map)
When:
August 15 – 24, 2014.

 

Edmonton Marathon
What: This family oriented weekend takes participants on a route overlooking Edmonton's beautiful River Valley and through several of Edmonton's historic and scenic neighbourhoods. Introduce your kids to running through the Kids 1km run/walk on Saturday. On Sunday, there will be the 5km, 10km, 21.1km and Marathon run/walk events.
Where:
 ABC Kids Activities and 1km Run/Walk, Foote Field, South Campus, University of Alberta.

The Sunday events start and end at the Shaw Conference Centre. 

When:  Saturday, August 23 and Sunday, August 24, 2014.

 

International Youth Day 2014
What:
A day to recognize youth efforts to enhance global society and to engage youth in becoming more involved in their communities. Free activities – games, bouncy castles, live music, hay rides, and more.
Where: Castle Downs District Park beside Castle Downs Family YMCA, 153 Avenue & 119 Street.
When: Saturday, August 23, 2014. 11am – 4pm.

 

"Home to Beverly" Centennial Celebrations
What:  12 block parade (pdf route), cultural performances and street concert including Captain Tractor, Ann Vriend, Boogie Patrol and more.
Where:
Bevery Community, performance at 39 St. on 118 Ave.
When:
Saturday, August 23, 2014. Parade at 11am. Performances at 12pm.

* Beverly Centennial Celebrations continue on Sunday with a Picnic in Rundle Park with games and entertainment. 12pm – 4pm.

 

Friends Ukrainian Music Fest
What:
Experience a unique blend of traditional and contemporary Ukrainian-Canadian musician. Concert, workshops, village market and childrens’ activities (wagon rides, jumpy slide, face painting). Arrive early to enjoy the a strawberry and cream pancake breakfast in support of the Village Society.
Where: Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Located 25 mins east of Edmonton along Hwy 16.
When:  Sunday, August 24, 2014.  Doors at 9am.

 

Viva Italia. Viva Edmonton
What: Celebrate and re-engage with community. Live music, kids corner, car show, soccer and bocce tournaments and yummy food.
Where: Giovanni Caboto Park, 9403 109A Avenue NW
When: Sunday, August 24, 2014. 12 – 8pm. 

 

Nature's Ultimate Survivors
What: Learn all about animal adaptations and what resident animals do to survive in the wild. How do animals stay warm? How to they catch their food? How do they see in the dark?
Where: Edmonton Valley Zoo
When: Sunday, August 24, 2014. 12 - 4pm.

Wednesday
Aug132014

What To Do With Kids This Weekend In Edmonton | August 14 - 16

Photo by Julie, Dave & Family via Flickr. 

Edmonton Latin Festival
What: This free family event celebrates Latin heritage and Hispanic culture. Go for live music, dancing, food, arts & crafts.
Where: Sir Winston Churchill Square
When: Saturday, August 16 and Sunday, August 17, 2014.

 

18th Annual Dragon Boating Festival
What:
Watch paddlers, a drummer and steerperson paddle their way down the North Saskatchewan River. Festival goers will also enjoy team chants, entertainment, beer gardens and food truck vendors.
Where:
Louise McKinney Riverfront Park  *Parking is beyond limited so park up the hill and walk down. 
When: Friday, August 15 – Sunday, August 17, 2014

 

Kids Fringe
What: A free family-friendly mini-Fringe site with crafts, art exploration and entertainment, with a special tots tent. For shows appropriate for younger audiences check out this listing.  
Where: Old Strathcona. (site map)
When:
August 15 – 24, 2014.

 

What the Truck!?
What:
Dinner in the park! This highly anticipated food truck event pops up around Edmonton bringing together a collection of delicious food on wheels. Choose from 9 trucks’ menus, have an easy picnic in the park then play until dusk.
Where: Borden Park, 7507 Borden Park Road (northwestern part)
When: Saturday, August 16, 2014. 4pm - 8pm 

 

Grove Cruise
What: A three-day automobile focused party. Go for the pancake breakfast, parade, show and shine, inflatables and adrive-in movie showing Turbo.
Where: Spruce Grove, Henry Singer Park and other locations.
When: Friday, August 15 to Sunday, August 17, 2014

 

The Farm and Heritage Carnival
What: This Grain Elevator fundraising event features balloon animals, pony rides, face paining, a petting zoo, balloon twisting, games, corn feast, lego and crafts. Tickets range from $1 - $4.
Where: Spruce Grove, 120 Railway Avenue. (off of HWY 16A)
When: Saturday, August 16, 2014. 12 – 7pm.

 

FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada: Quarterfinal
What:
Canada meets Germany in the Quarterfinal. Let’s get out and cheer our team on! Look for the Me+3 offer on the ticket site which allows you to get 4 seats in a row for the price of three.
Where:
Commonwealth Stadium.
When:
Saturday, August 16, 2014. 6pm.

 

Book Sales!
Two book sales are happening this weekend – Edmonton Public Library and Strathcona County Library. I love these for building up our home library. 

Tuesday
Jul292014

August Long Weekend | What To Do With Kids In Edmonton

 

Mothers Market
What: The Mother's Market is a INDOOR community marketplace for farmers and artisan food and goods producers to showcase their produce/products that is grown, raised or made by them in Edmonton and region.
Where: 10251 109 Street NW.
When:  Fridays (11am – 7pm) Saturday and Sundays (9am – 4pm)

 

Servus Heritage Festival
What: What: A celebration and showcase of Edmonton’s multicultural heritage.  Spend the day in the park and enjoy 60 pavilions serving up delicious ethnic foods, live performances, crafts, artwork and more. Download their app to get all the information in the palm of your hand.
Where: Hawrelak Park.  Plan to arrive by bus, bike or on foot.
When:  August 2 – 4, 2014.

 

Fairy Berry Festival
What: Fairies, pirates, fairy-strawberries, crafts, shortcake, folk music and the corn maze on top of the usual fun on the farm.
Where: Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farm
When: August 2 – 4, 2014

 

How to Train Your Dragon | Reel Family Cinema
What:
Set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons, and based on the book by Cressida Cowell, this action comedy tells the story of Hiccup, a Viking teenager who doesn’t exactly fit in with his tribe’s longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. Hiccup’s world is turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges him and his fellow Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view.
Where: Garneau Theatre. Kids under 12 are free!
When: Saturday, August 2, 2014. 2pm.

 

Edmonton Corn Maze
What: The maze is open for the season! Kids will love the huge jumping pillows, farm animals, climbing the hay bales mountain, grain train and pedal carts.
Where: West of Edmonton in Parkland Country. (map)
When: July 27 – October 20, 2014.

If you’re on a road trip, check out these other mazes around Alberta.

 

One Sunday, Summer Market
What:
Shop 20 vendors at this pop-up market and support Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. Kids activities include a colouring station, scavenger hunt and mini-carnival games. Admission $1 for 13 years of age and older. Proceeds to Stollery.
Where:  Inglewood Community League, 12525 116 Avenue.
When: Sunday, August 3, 2014. 10am – 5pm.

 

San Antonio Scorpions vs. FC Edmonton
What:
 Edmonton takes on the number one team in the NASL standings. Tickets start at $15 for children under 15 and $18 for adults.
Where: Joe Clarke Athletic Grounds, 11000 Stadium Road.
When: Sunday, August 3, 2014. 2pm – 4pm.

 

FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Edmonton

Monday
Jul212014

8 Survival Tips: New Family, But No Family In Edmonton

CityandBaby.com contributor Jason Buzzell shares his learnings about moving to the Edmonton region, becoming a parent and not having family nearby. We know he is not alone - so please share your experience and tips in the comments below! ~Jen 

 

This week marked five years since my wife and I made the big move to Edmonton. Five years! Way back in the spring of 2009, we decided to give the City of Champs a go as a couple as she had completed her Masters Degree and I had received a job offer from the Alberta Motor Association.

Two years later, we had a baby boy named Mason and moved into the Edmonton city limits. She was teaching essentially full-time and I moved to the University of Alberta, working in their new Digital Strategy unit. We needed to be closer to the core so we found a rental in the Capilano (Gold Bar area) where we’ve now been for 2 ½ years.

It hasn’t been easy. We don’t have any close family nearby (typical of many new Edmontonian families - you're not alone!), and many of our friends either don’t have kids or have multiple kids themselves - thus babysitters, having time and getting out of the house are at an all-time low.

Here’s what I’ve learned as a family of a 1- to 3-year-old living in Edmonton with no family around:

Get involved in the Community League

This is really all over the place depending on what neighborhood you live in. Some current members are really active while some leagues seem almost dormant. The latter ones really are looking for someone like you to maybe step up. They won’t tell you or ask you to, but I do think it’s important to take a lead if you are seriously thinking you want to meet new people and define your neighborhood the way you want. If your community league is already active, be sure to attend and introduce yourself. It may seem cliquey at first, but as Edmontonians, we need people to engage us. Old-school Edmontonians are friendly, but only after you break the ice.

Do your own 'thang'

One of the best ideas I’ve seen of this is a co-worker of mine who started his own block party essentially on a large crescent in a mature area of west-central Edmonton. One cold winter day he kicked out the fire pit to the street and his kids started building a snowman, he had a couple beers and people started coming over to see what was going on. A few years later, his wife has turned it into a thrice-annual event that is planned out now with the whole neighborhood. You never know what impromptu “own thang” could lead to if you take the lead.

Travelling home

I don’t want you to lose touch with your family or never go home, but if all your savings and vacation time is spent heading home, you’re likely missing out on all the great things and people Edmonton could offer. It’s really difficult with a small child to meet people and if you are often gone or are saving up to get out of town, it makes it really difficult to meet people and build a new life here. Don’t be afraid to take a staycation one summer and plan an outing with some people you’ve met at work or know through the community league or neighborhood. Again, you might have to take the lead.

Neighborhoods

Some neighborhoods skew older. Some seem chalk full of kids. Either way, again, you may need to take charge if it’s important for you to know and see your neighbors. With winter eight months of the year and people becoming more and more constrained to their TVs and high-fenced backyards, just because you move to a newer suburb or a mature area with lots of families, doesn’t mean they’ll be right over to say hi. Introduce yourself. Go to the park and chat. Show up to board meetings and read the community paper. Even in some of the “older” neighborhoods that don’t seem to have a lot of families, there’s a small but mighty group in the same boat as you - you just may not have found each other yet.

Work-life balance

This one is tough because if you survey many of us, the reason we arrived here was for work. But if you’re like us, once you’re here with a child and family, there’s a lot to love about Edmonton. Don’t get caught up in burning the midnight oil every single week and weekend. If you don’t look up from the gig, your big paycheque and sore back will be little solace for not making any friends and having the family miss the joys of their past home. I still like to think even if you work long hours, most businesses in Edmonton let you enjoy your family and make new friends along the way by taking a few days off. Do it! You won't regret it.

Clubs (Mom’s groups)

My friend is a new papa, and his girlfriend was was leary of mom’s groups. But no matter what the age or demographic, there are more positives than negatives. As with any group, the dynamics of a couple bad apples can seem frustrating, but in the end, from what I hear and in my wife’s case, there are always a few other moms you can really bond with.

Some go back to work. Some don’t. Some have family nearby. Many don’t. We are still occasionally going to Oil Kings games or staying in touch a bit with some of the mom’s group. Again though, it will be up to you to stay in touch as people get busy, and sometimes need ideas for things to do.

There's also many formal and informal clubs or teams where you can meet other parents. Whether it's one spouse or other other going out to play ball, or just going out to eat. Share a sitter, watch each other's spouses teams or just bring the kids to the park. It's all an opportunity to have contact outside of that small world of either work or home that seems to be dominating life right now.

Getting stood up, change of plans

Whether it’s a Canadian thing, or Edmonton thing, or just a sign of the times, people won’t give you no for an answer. But then they’ll find ways to get out of doing stuff. You just need to accept that this will happen. People with families or those with set routines have things and excuses that come up continually. You can’t let that get to you. Sure, some may not like hanging out with you - though they’ll never tell you that - but there’s almost 1 million other people in this city that may.

A good friend of mine just told me the other day, “The best friends it seems are the ones that when you haven’t seen them for a while, they don’t ask, ‘Where have you been?’ or ‘Why don’t you ever see us or do anything with us anymore?’ They just pick up right from where you left off.” Those are the people you want to hang out with and be your friends.

It gets better

If you think you’re bored now, then you may want to enjoy it. Once junior hits school and joins sports, dance or piano, all bets are off. He or she will get friends. Birthday parties will come. Your life that you thought you knew, is forever changed. New friends will be forged through your little grade schooler, and Edmonton will be home for many years to come. It really is a great place, and it only gets better as they grow up and make new friends themselves. Friends that will last a lifetime.

 

Now it's your turn. New to Edmonton? Is your family outside the city? How have you coped with being away from family as new parents?