Here are 50+ free things to do in Edmonton and area this Summer
Enjoy the coolest summer activities for kids with our ultimate guide to the best free fun this summer. These awesome free things to do will keep your family busy throughout the city’s sunniest season. There’s so much to do when it’s warm in Edmonton and area — including seeing movies under the stars, checking out top-notch fairs and festivals and exploring the best outdoor spaces and summer events for kids.
1. Sign up for Kids Bowl Free Program
Each year, the Kids Bowl Free program kicks off. This fantastic nationwide is program designed to give youth a constructive way to beat the heat. Sign your kids up to bowl two FREE games every day all summer long at their local bowling alley. Various dates all summer long.
2. Visit an Outdoor Pool
Visit and outdoor pool – admission to the outdoor pools in the city are free for 2018 meaning you can grab a picnic from home and bring it to the pool. Get there early to get the best spot (and swim without the crowds).
3. Skate at the Pop-up Roller Rink
Visit the Roller rink. Through the month of July, there’s a pop-up roller rink at Southgate Centre. On Tuesdays, it’s only $2 for fifteen minutes in the roller rink, and this price includes skates and everything else you need to enjoy it. It’s not free, but it’s pretty close!
4. Watch an Outdoor Movie
See a free outdoor movie – find the full list of outdoor movie screenings in Edmonton by following this event page and summer 2018 Edmonton outdoor movie guide.
5. Kick off K-Days with a Parade and Pancake Breakfast | July 20, 2018
It’s a part of K-Days that’s as important as the fair itself—a tradition that has brought millions of smiles to children and adults alike over the past generations. Every year the K-Days Parade sets the 10-day event in motion with beautiful floats, giant balloons, amazing performers, loveable mascots and real life animals.
6. Explore Family Nature Nights
Family Nature Nights are designed to promote positive experiences for youth and their families with nature, science and urban wilderness. Programming is designed for 4-12 year olds, but nature lovers of all ages are welcome! To guarantee a spot, please register before the event starts.
Upcoming dates: July 11, 18, 25 and August 1, 8, and 15
7. Explore Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary
The Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary features 4 km of trails, most of which are stroller friendly, leading you on an adventure through boarded walkways and forested paths. Easily accessible for young children and an interactive walk with lookout points over the marsh, it’s just a half-hour outside Edmonton.
8. Visit the ‘Intentional Beach’ at Sand on Whyte | Until July 9, 2018
Visit “The Intentional Beach” at Boardwalk Sand on Whyte. Be amazed by the sand sculptures created by Canadian sand carving artists that tells our river city story!
9. Fill Your cup During Free Slurpee Day | July 11, 2018
Get up early and get a treat at your local 7Eleven Store, on Free Slurpee Day. It’s your chance to take the kids for a treat, without reaching for your wallet – just make sure to get to the store early enough to take advantage of the offer.
10. Grab a Tube and Head out to Discovery Canyon
Just ninety minutes from Edmonton, Discovery Park is a free attraction will quickly become a road trip favourite, as kids can wade in the water, play in the sand, and tube down the kid-friendly course, near Red Deer. You can make the activity free by bringing your own tube, and a picnic lunch!
11. Catch a Show at the Edmonton Street Performer’s Festival | July 10-15
In addition to the performances at the Edmonton Street Performer’s Festival, come for Kids’ World! Kids’ World offers performances, activities and interactive playtime catered specifically to our young and young at heart patrons. Kids’ World is open from 11:30 am – 5:30 pm daily (3 pm on the last day).
12. Celebrate ‘Parks Day’ at Elk Island Park | July 21, 2018
Celebrate the outdoors by learning new ways to explore and create memories at Elk Island National Park. Exploring by canoe, camping under star-filled skies, and outdoor living are all traditions that have been part of Canada’s legacy. Come embrace these timeless traditions by learning how to navigate a canoe or gain outdoor adventure skills at a “Learn to Camp” workshop.
13. Build a Fishing Game at Home Depot Kids Workshop
If you are looking for a fun activity to do with the family, weve got a great workshop for kids that will teach them about building. Kids can learn how to build their very own fishing game out of wood. Register for upcoming monthly workshops, here.
14. Movie Magic and Federal Building Fountains
Spend an evening running through the colored fountains outside of the federal building at dusk. Don’t forget the glow sticks! Through the summer it’s indoors, but there is a free monthly movie with popcorn and refreshments as part of Thursdays to be Discovered.
15. Search for a Geocache
Download the Geocaching app and go treasure hunting in your own community. Use our handy guide to getting started with Geocaching to kick off your adventure. The app is simple to use, but does come with a paid version. If Geocaching is something that you think your kids may be interested in, it’s well worth the cost to download.
16. See a Porcupine Up Close with NatureKids BioBlitz | July 29
Nature Kids is hosting the next BioBlitz in the Morinville area on Sunday July 29th! This event is a special one as we are going to have a presentation with a LIVE PORCUPINE! Join us and our special guests to learn about Wild Rose the educational porcupine and count the birds, bugs, and pond critters in Cardiff Park.
17. Visit a Fire Station Open House
Community residents will have the opportunity to meet the firefighters and fire prevention officers in their community, check out the fire trucks and learn important fire safety information in order to ensure their families are fire safe. Upcoming Dates: July 28, August 25, September 22. Find the next Edmonton fire station open house, here.
18. Get Free Admission to the Art Gallery of Alberta
On Tuesday and Wednesday nights between 5 p.m. and 8 pm, you can visit the Art Gallery of Alberta, for free. Part of an initiative to provide access to more people, increase attendance, reach new audiences and provide ongoing visitor experiences, it’s something else that parents can add to the list of ‘free things to do with the kids’ and ‘free experiences in Edmonton for families’ when you’re wondering how to spend an evening.
19. Visit the Bike Obstacle Course at Voyageur Park
Just a half-hour outside the city, Voyageur Park is home to a fantastic, kid-friendly bike obstacle course and skills park that will have children jumping, and trying something new on two wheels. Here’s what you need to know before you go and how to get there.
20. Use the Edible Fruit Trees Map to go Fruit-picking
Use this map to search for, and find, the fruit trees that are planted throughout the city of Edmonton. There are multiple types of berries and fruits located on the map, allowing you start in your local neighbourhood and search outward.
21. Finish the Playground Passport
Explore new playgrounds for a chance to win with the ‘Passport to Adventure‘. You can find the printable calendar, there, prompting you to visit new playgrounds, in a new part of the city, and share your own It’s a fun, passport activity for the summer. Print yours today! You could win the $1,000 grand prize from sharing your summer adventures on Instagram!
22. Visit a New Spray Park
Pack a snack and visit a new spray park. Use this list of the best spray parks in Edmonton area, to find a new adventure and cool off during a hot summer day in Edmonton and area.
23. Go to ‘Summer Play Day’ at Broadmoor Lake | July 18, 2018
Bring your kids to Broadmoor Lake on July 18, 2018 for ‘Everybody Gets to Play’ Summer Play Day. Activities for the day include: edible art, Gallery at 501 Zone, Science Zone, Gardening activities, sport ball and more.
24. Pop by the Springfree Trampoline Pop-up for a Jump
All month long at the pop-up Springfree at West Edmonton Mall, you can pop-by and see the difference that Springfree makes in Trampoline Jumping. Make sure you get on the list to stay tuned about upcoming promotions.
25. Swim for $2 on Tuesdays at Kinsmen Leisure Centre
Swim for only $2 on Tuesdays between 1:30 and 4:00 pm at Kinsmen Leisure Centre in Sherwood Park. There’s a fun waterslide, a great small toddler pool and a cheap way to cool off during the summer months. Not free, but incredibly cheap.
26. Watch Jumanji in the Park | August 4, 2018
Movies begin at dusk. Remember to bring a chair, blanket or sleeping bag, as well as bug spray. Please remember there is no smoking in City parks and dogs are prohibited on City parkland, so please leave your pooch at home.
27. Visit the Green Shack
Stop by a local playground and take part in programming for children, at multiple park locations through the city, all summer long. You can visit the Green Shack website to learn more and find the schedule.
28. Drop in for a Toddler Playgroup
From outdoor stay and play to fun, exploring classes for infants and toddlers, there are playgroups all summer long for children and parents.
29. Servus Credit Union Free IMAX Movie Nights
During the summer, there are free movie screenings at the IMAX theatre, sponsored by Servus Credit Inion. Features this summer include Living in the Ages of Airplines and Born to be Wild.
30. Find the Hidden Swing in the River Valley
Tucked away in the River Valley is a swing, on the shoreline, is a swing that is just as a delight to find – as it is to look for it. Here’s a hint: start in Dawson Park.
31. The Epcor Riverfest | August 11 & 12
EPCOR RiverFest is a celebration of our North Saskatchewan River and the River Valley park system. Each location features a different variety of outdoor activities all geared up to help get you active in our river valley and on the North Saskatchewan River.
32. The Edmonton Riverboat Festival
The Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival, held every third weekend in August is normally at the beautiful Louise McKinney Riverfront Park. This year (2018) due to construction, the Festival will be held at Telford Lake in Leduc. Admission is free and everyone is welcome to attend!
33. Experience a Dinosaur Party at the Edmonton Public Library
Come dressed as your favourite dinosaur and join the dino fun with music and activities that celebrate these prehistoric giants! See this, and more programming you can take part in for free at the Edmonton Public Library website.
34. Take Part in a Popsicle Party
Throughout the summer, at various parks in Sherwood Park, Parent Link will host popsicle parties with popsicles, fun and play. See which events are coming up next using the Strathcona County events page.
35. Visit the Summer Petting Zoo at West Edmonton Mall
Come meet our furry friends from Finnegan Farms at our free Petting Zoo! Located on Level One, Phase I by the Whale. You’ll find the petting zoo there Mondays to Fridays 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Sundays Noon to 6 p.m.
36. Take a Free ‘Start Your Own Business’ Camp
Success has no boundaries. This free four-session camp series helps students ages 8 to 12 turn their passion into a great entrepreneurial business idea. Participants get guidance developing their ideas into a robust business plan and a polished pitch ready to share with the world.
Each two-hour session takes students through a series of engaging, hands-on group activities to introduce key business concepts and more. Find out more information at Microsoft Online.
37. See a $2.99 Movie
Not free, but nearly – there are two screenings a week for the Cineplex Family Favourites to gives you access to two movies, every week, for only $2.99/screening. There are new movies playing every week – and you can get full access to the details at www.cineplex.com.
38. Road Trip to the River Slides
Make your way to Whitecourt and bring your own tubes for the River Slides at Whitecourt Rotary Park. The kids will enjoy it – and it’s a tubing course that’s short enough for small children, but deep enough for adults to be able to tube down as well. Plus, there’s a great playground and spray park for when you’re finished the tubing adventure.
39. Put your name on the Happy Wall
Throughout the rest of 2018, you can visit Churchill square and put your name in big letters on the Happy Wall. It’s one of those moments that your kid is going to think they’re famous, with their name on the big boards. Write your own message, it’s so much fun seeing it come to life in rainbow colours.
40. Visit the University of Alberta Observatory
Get starstruck at The University of Alberta Observatory. It’s located on the roof of the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS), the science faculty’s shiny new building. Open between 12-1 through the week, you can take in the beauty of the cosmos for free.
41. Visit the Sherwood Park Natural Area
Visit the popular, loop around trail at Sherwood Park Natural Area that are easy enough for a rugged stroller, or young children to traverse, and catch frogs in the marsh as you point out wildlife and birds along the trail.
42. Explore the Trails at John Janzen
Plan your visit to John Janzen and you can even borrow a GPS unit that can be used to find the many Geocaches in the area. Included in the affordable price of admission are nature and trail walks, all season long, if you’re searching for affordable fun for the family.
43. Free Kids Summer Camp at the Apple Store
Kids ages 8 to 12 can expand their digital creativity through hands-on projects at Apple. Campers choose one of three tracks, then spend 90 minutes a day for three days at a local Apple Store immersed in their chosen subject.
44. Hogwarts Party at EPL
Magic is in the air at the Edmonton Public Library. All summer long there are programming that will delight kids, and it’s completely free – from book clubs, to dance parties and even Hogwart’s parties that are inspired by magic. Check the EPL website for programming.
45. Free LEGO Building
Visit the Lego Store (but make sure you sign up the month before) for the FREE Lego build on the 15th of the month. Kids who sign up for the program will take home a free mini build in the month’s theme.
46. Makebreak Events at Michaels Stores
On Saturdays, there are great opportunities to craft as a family at your local Michaels stores. Find your local store and take part in a workshop where you’ll learn something new and can bring th supplies with you. For example, for the the-dye t-shirt workshops, you have to bring the shirt and the rest of the supplies are included. It’s a cheap way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
47. Pop up Street Hockey at Northlands
Are you searching for something to entertain your older kids? Maybe a place to play street hockey or basketball? There’s a pop-up space at Northlands this summer as part of the YEG Youth Initiative.
48. Ride on the Riverboat
The Edmonton Riverboat is back in business and children six and under are free. Though you have to pay for the parents to enjoy this cruise, you can bring the kids with you (under six) and it won’t cost you a thing. That makes it a little easier on the wallet, right? The experience is fun and our kids had a blast when we had the chance to ride it!
49. Try Fishing for Free
Fishing is an easy and enjoyable way for family and friends to connect with some of Alberta’s greatest natural resources – our lakes, rivers, streams and the fish that live in them. During Alberta’s twice-yearly Family Fishing Weekends, no fishing is licence required. Albertans and visitors are invited to give fishing a try on waterbodies with open fishing seasons (not in national parks). Keep in mind that fishing regulations still apply. Alberta Family Fishing Weekends – no fishing licence required and happens annually during the Family Day long weekend in February and in the second weekend of July.
50. Storytime with a Mermaid
Climb aboard the Santa Maria for Storytime with a Mermaid, and other events at West Edmonton Mall, all summer long. There;s plenty to do and see, and the storytime is nearly free, with a $2 cost per person. The mermaid is incredible, your kids are going to love it.