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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City and Baby Turns Five Today: The End Of A Journey


Today marks five years since I started blogging at CityandBaby.com. I started shortly after my youngest daughter was born. And I’ll let you in on a little secret… my baby is no longer a baby! She started Kindergarden this month – though she still crawls into my arms and says, “I’ll always be your baby, Mommy”.  It’s wonderful. I’m not sad but joyous for all the moments over the last five years. It does being me to a point of reflection on the blog as well. And if you’ll hang with me I’ll tell you what’s next. 

I began blogging in September 2010 for three primary reasons. Because I loved (and continue to love) Edmonton. I think it’s a wonderful place to raise a family. You can read back through all the posts to see why.  I’ve been on CBC radio a number of times sharing Edmonton’s hidden gems and things to do in Edmonton. Talking about Edmonton is my favourite topic and I’ve been lucky to turn that into a full-time job at Make Something Edmonton. I love working with my passionate colleagues and people who are making ideas turn into reality. It feeds my soul daily.

Professionally, as a marketer, my employer in 2009 refused to let me experiment with blogging and social media in order to lead a transition from traditional to new media marketing. I could see that building relationships around a common interest and helping that community is what builds trust and commitment. Corporate speak was gone. Blast you in the face advertising no longer appealing (if it ever was). So, I decided to use CityandBaby.com as my sandbox to play, experiment and do what I felt was the right thing to do. I learned so much and continue to as the realm of marketing communications continues to evolve. The best part really has been connecting and helping people that would have never happened if I didn’t blog.

I also started blogging because I suffered from post-partum depression with my first child, and getting out of the house was one of the ways I coped. I wanted to make it easier for new parents to get out of the house. To provide timely, accurate information so they didn’t have to research ideas. Make it simple, sweet and easy was my motto.

Reflecting back on my journey I wish I wasn’t so shy to publicly discuss how having children changed my brain-chemicals, life, relationships and energy. I think I could have helped parents from this perspective too. But CityandBaby wasn’t about me. It has been about helping to make Edmonton a better place for young families and sharing all the gems to new parents so this new lifestyle wouldn't feel as overwhelming. 

I have loved doing so over the last 5 years.

This leads me to share with you a decision…

This is the last post on City and Baby. The time has come to wrap up this journey and open myself to new things. I know some of you will feel sad. I do too. But I also feel satisfied. It’s been beautiful. I’m not sure what the new adventure looks like yet. Those who know me know that I don’t sit idle for long. I’m curious and caring by nature with a bubbling need to contribute in meaningful ways. I'm excited to see what's next.

If you're interested in learning about my next grand adventure you can follow me on Twitter at @JeniferSchaefer.  

There are so many people I want to thank.

Firstly, my friend and inspiration, Kendall Barber who blogged at CityandDale, and is now the co-founder of Poppy Barley.  She encouraged me to take a leap of faith into the world of blogging and together we learned and encouraged each other. I treasure our first three years tremendously.  

Secondly, Karen Parker and Jason Buzzell who contributed their thoughts and ideas in blog posts they posted on City and Baby. Their posts were loved by the community (especially Jason’s dad perspective) and I enjoyed working with both of them.

My family and friends have also been supportive and (mostly) understanding over the five years as I spent time writing and tweeting City and Baby stuff. I am lucky to have so much love in my life.

To the other bloggers, media, event organizers, public relations agencies, non-profits, companies and other people that I was fortunate to meet and work with collaboratively  - thank you for trusting me.

Thank you to you – my dear readers. I know many of you have been here from the beginning. Loyally reading, commenting, sharing and being part of this great community of Edmonton parents. And to those who have just entered parenthood and are new to the site. Your time is precious. Thank you for spending some of it with me. I can’t start to express my gratitude.

I’d like to leave you with a few thoughts.

Through my journey I have listened and read a lot about parenting styles, opinions, how-tos, wars. It's really an endless, draining list. What I learned is this...   

You are all beautiful people and being the best parents you can be. It can be both amazing and difficult – sometimes at the same time. Parenting and children are all different. What works for one might not work for another. There is no wrong in that. Please be kind to yourself and one another. Respect there is no one size fits all for families. Except for love. Love is for all.

See you out and about Edmonton. 


What To Do This September Long Weekend in Edmonton with Kids



My kids started school this week so we’ve been busy with all that excitement and getting back into the routine. But I couldn't leave you hanging so here’s a mini-guide of things happening this weekend. It’s Edmonton so you know there are tons of family-friendly fun happening! Here are a few ideas...

Start the weekend by watching Disney’s Fantasia accompanied by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. It’s a free outdoor event in Churchill Square! (Friday & Saturday)

This week is Race Week in Edmonton. We are hosting some of the world’s elite athletes for two international events: the ITU World and the Tour of Alberta. Get out and cheer on our guests and join in on the CASA Family Ride on Monday. 

It’s the final weekend for the season Alberta Railway Museum and the 1392 Steam Locomotive is running. If your child loves trains, this hands on, volunteer-run museum will delight them.  

You know it’s fall when all the sweet corn related events pop-up. Check out the Corn Festival at Prairie Gardens, the Edmonton Corn Maze, and the hidden gem Kraay Family Farm’s maze near Lacombe.

It’s harvest time at  Fort Edmonton Park. Learn how to preserve foods for the winter, welcome the York Boat’s arrival, watch grain thrashing, enjoy games, storytelling and more.

Reynolds-Alberta Museum is also hosting its Harvest Festival. You can see plowing, threshing and binding demonstrations, along with other displays, such as stooking, grinding grain, flailing, and winnowing.

Also on the outskirts of Edmonton is Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve annual Star Party happening at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park and Elk Island National Park. There are activities happening from 2pm until after the stars come out. 

Happy long weekend! See you out and about.


What To Do This Weekend in Edmonton With Kids | August 21 - 23, 2015


104th Street Al Fresco
What: Head to 104th street early for a pancake breakfast and pick up local goodies from the farmers market. Or go a little later and enjoy DJs, food trucks and extended patios.
104 Street from Jasper Avenue to 102 Avenue.
Saturday, August 22, 2015.


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. Plan your route here.
When: Saturday, August 22 and Sunday, August 23, 2015.


Summer Reading Club: Closing Celebrations 
Eureka, you did it! Come celebrate the end of Summer Reading Club. 
 Participating Edmonton Public Libraries 
Saturday, August 22. Various times.


Kids Fringe 
What: A free family-friendly mini-Fringe site with crafts, art exploration and entertainment, with a special tots tent.
Where: Old Strathcona. (site map) 
ends August 23, 2015.


What the Truck? At Telus Field
Bring a blanket for a picnic in the outfield, and don't forget your glove and baseball for a game of catch in the infield. (no bats) Kids will like the glitter tattoo artist and a DJ will be supplying the soundtrack to your afternoon at the ball field.
 Telus Field, 10233 96 Ave. N.W
Saturday, August 22, 2015.

Tips: Check out the menu in advance and go straight for what you’re craving. The best items usually sell fast.


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. 
  ABC Kids Activities and 1km Run/Walk is located at Foote Field, South Campus, University of Alberta.

  Saturday, August 22 and Sunday, August 23, 2015.


Friends Ukrainian Music Fest
 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 strawberry and cream pancake breakfast in support of the Village Society. Bring lawn chairs for the afternoon concert.
Where: Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Located 25 mins east of Edmonton along Hwy 16.
When:  Sunday, August 23, 2015.  Doors at 9am.


Heroes for Habitat: Explore, Restore, Sustain
Ever wonder what attracts certain species, like bees, birds, and rabbits to your back yard? Learn how to attract and help these creatures. Activities include hands on science experiments, airbrushed tattoos, crafts, and animal encounters.
Where: Edmonton Valley Zoo
When: Sunday, August 23, 2015. 12 - 4pm.


Annual Lebanese Festival
Savour a taste of Lebanon in the heart of Edmonton with Lebanese food, fashion show, kids zone, live bands and belly dancers.
When: Sir Winston Churchill Square
Where: Friday, August 20 – Sunday, August 23, 2015.


What To Do This Weekend in Edmonton With Kids | August 14 - 16, 2015

With the summer days dwindling and back-to-school on the doorstep, I'm feeling anxious to spend as many hours outdoors in t-shirts and shorts exploring our city with my kids. Fortunately, Edmonton's festivals continue this week with Fringe, Latin Festival, Dragonboats and more.

See you out and about!


Edmonton Kids Fringe
What: A free family-friendly space with interactive plays, crafts, workshops (like stiltwalking, drumming), story tent and games lead by the KidsFringe Youth Troupe. Outside the kids area, there are tons of buskers to keep you entertained too. (Bring a twoonie or two to support the artists)
 Old Strathcona (KidsFringe is along 104 Street between 85 and 86 Avenues)
Friday, August 14 – Sunday, August 23


Edmonton International Youth Day Event
What: International Youth Day is an awareness day designated by the United Nations to bring about awareness to cultural and legal issues surrounding youth. In Edmonton, you can celebrate with games, bouncy castles, face painting, food and a live DJ at this FREE family-friendly event. 
Castle Downs Skate Park, 11510 153 Ave NW (by YMCA)
When: Saturday, August 15, 2015. 11am – 4pm


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 15 and Sunday, August 16, 2015.


18th Annual Dragon Boating Festival
Watch paddlers, a drummer and steerperson paddle their way down the North Saskatchewan River. Festival goers will enjoy team chants, entertainment, beer gardens and food truck vendors.
Louise McKinney Riverfront Park.
When: Friday, August 14 – Sunday, August 16, 2015

Tip: Park at Canada Place and go through the Shaw Conference Centre. Admire Curtis Comeau’s Off the Menu photo exhibit enroute on the assembly level. Then head down to Louise McKinney over the convenient bridge from the Conference Centre.


Farm & Heritage Carnival
 A Spruce Grove Agricultural Society event features balloon animals, pony rides, face paining, a petting zoo, balloon twisting, games, corn feast, lego and crafts. Tickets range from $1 - $4.
 Spruce Grove, 120 Railway Avenue. (off of HWY 16A)
 Saturday, August 15, 2015. 12 – 7pm.


Grove Cruise
What: A three-day automobile focused party. Go for the pancake breakfast, parade, show and shine, and inflatables.
Where: Spruce Grove, Henry Singer Park and other locations. 
When: Friday, August 14 to Sunday, August 16, 2015


Books 2 Buy
Edmonton Public Library’s famous book, DVD and CD sale is back this weekend. Hardcover books and DVDs are $2. Paperbacks, kids' books and CDs are $1It is a perfect opportunity to stock up your personal library.
Stanley A. Milner Library - Lower Level, 7 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Friday, August 14 (9am - 8pm).
Saturday, August 15 (9am - 5pm). Sunday, August 16 (1pm - 3pm).

Strathcona County Library is also having their book sale this weekend.


Monster Truck Throwdown
What: Watch the monsters do battle in two huge shows. Fans will get a chance to get up close and personal with the larger than life marvels and meet their favourite drivers in the FREE pit party before the show!
Castrol Raceway
Saturday, August 15th at 7pm and Sunday, August 16th at 2pm.


Walterdale Block Party
John Walter would have been 165 years old this August. Celebrate with cake, lemonade, old fashioned games, crafts, music and magic (1:30 – 2:30).
John Walter Museum, 9180 Walterdale Hill
 Sunday, August 16, 2015. 1pm – 4pm.


I’ve Outgrown It Sale
What:  Pick up clothes, gear and other items for a great deal.
Admission: $1 per adult or a food bank donation
Ellerslie Road Baptist Church, 10603 Ellerslie Road SW
Saturday, August 15, 2015. 9am – 12pm.


Family Treat: Movies On The Square


With only one-month left of summer and our lovely warm weather, why not treat the kids to an evening outing?  Especially one that won’t break the bank.

The City of Edmonton and Direct Energy are presenting a FREE outdoor movie series every Tuesday night in August on Churchill Square. Bring lawn chairs, snacks and enjoy the family-friendly film on a 3-story high inflatable screen.

We think it's worth while staying up a bit late for this family-friendly downtown experience.

Family Movies Line-up

August 4: Jurassic Park

August 11: Cinderella

August 18: Big Hero 6

August 25: To be determined

The pre-show entertainment starts at 7pm and the movie begin at dusk.

Note: Severe weather conditions may result in the cancellation of this event. Call 311 for the most up-to-date event info.