Day Trips: Guide to Tubing the Pembina River with Kids

Pembina River Tubing is open for the season (currently: weekends). Located in Entwhistle, about an hour from Edmonton, it’s one of those day trips you’re going to want to try at least once during the summer season.

What’s it cost? Tube rentals vary between $17 and $24, but if you’re going to make the trip as easy as possible, take advantage of the tube rental and shuttle service ($24-30). This allows you to secure your belongings in your own vehicle, or take advantage of their securing, and get shuttled to and from the river tubing beginning and end. Costco had an amazing two pack of tubes for $26 that we picked up this year, to reduce the cost – and they’re comfortable and a great size for kids (plus, they’ve got the mesh bottom in them)

The walk from the Pembina River tubing area to the river where you’re going to put in tubing is short, around five minutes, along a wooded path. You’re going to eaten alive on this short walk if you’re not wearing mosquito repellent.

Tips for Tubing the Pembina River (with Kids)

  • Make sure to wear sandals (not flip flops) or water shoes, it’s going to make it easier when you’re getting in and out
  • Wear sunscreen, you’re going to spend hours floating on the river, lather it on
  • Life jackets are recommended, and available for rental, but you can bring your own (if you have it)
  • Bring a friend, and park in the designated areas, to avoid paying the shuttle fees. One friend parks at the beginning, the other at the end – you see where I’m going with this.
  • Use this guide to figure out how long it’s going to take to float, and to make sure that the river is going to be high enough so you’re not having to constantly stand up and walk
  • If you’re bringing your own tube, it’s only $1 to inflate it, so don’t worry about doing this at home.
  • Before or after the tubing experience, there are playgrounds, day use areas and picnic sites where you can stop, and enjoy the full day trip from Edmonton to Pembina river.
  • To save money, bring your own tube, but make sure the tube is going to last through the entire float – you don’t want to be doubling up along the way.
  • Tube ties can be used to tie kids to parents, but skip them when the float time is 3 hours+, then it’s going to cause you to go way too slowly down the river

The tubing experience is recommended for children 5+. Will the kids get bored? We recommend going when the water levels are a little higher, making the tubing experience a little faster. Along the way, there is lots to look at and see, so the kids we took (7, 8) weren’t bored, but we did bring along things like water guns, to allow them to ‘play’ while we tubed.

Don’t forget to bring lots of water, and snacks. Glass bottles are not allowed, and you are tubing usually for at least two hours, so you’re going to want to make sure that you keep yourself (and the kids) hydrated on the water.

Plan your next day trip: Get directions to get to Pembina River Tubing.

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