Summer has a bad rap for being expensive. We’re parents, we get it, it can be – if you let it. That’s why we’ve created this guide of free summer in Edmonton, your way to get out, without the twenty dollar admission costs, or the expensive add-ons, and enjoy everything there is to offer in Edmonton while creating summer memories with your kids.
50+ Things to do in Edmonton this Summer that Won’t Cost you a Dime
Pop up Play in Strathcona County
There’s even popsicles! Through the pop-up play events all summer long with Strathcona County, you can stop by and enjoy guided play with leaders, and there’s even treats and popsicles!
Upcoming dates: every week during the summer
Find the Swing in the River Valley
Well, there’s more than one – but there’s one popular one that’s the easiest to find, and access with a quick path from the road. I know it can be tricky to find, but here’s our hint: start at the stairs near Concordia and use the bridge in the photo as a bearing to where the swing is located. Happy Hunting! Even if you don’t find it – the whole area is great for exploring around there.
Splash at the Outdoor Pools
The outdoor pools are free again this year. Pack a lunch from home, and don’t forget the treats so you can avoid buying popsicles and freezies at the pool. Head there early to get the best spot and beat the crowds.
Backyard Fun at Emerald Hills | Friday Afternoons
You can spend an afternoon playing, fun, free, leisure games such as Ladder Golf, Giant Jenga, Washer Toss, Kerplunk and much more!
Find a Jungle Oasis at a Local Greenhouse
Our kids love walking through the jungle oasis’ at the local greenhouses. They’re able to find plants they never knew existed, and learn something new while we cool off from the hot summer sun. It’s a great chance to get outside, and there are often inexpensive plants that can be purchased if you find something that you can take home and transplant into your garden! Our kids love Greenland Garden Centre and the ever changing displays!
Explore the Edible Planters at Broadmoor Lake
New this summer, there are edible planters at the playground at Broadmoor Lake, in Sherwood Park. From strawberries to peppers, and herbs – even edible flowers. You can munch on the herbs, or pick a small serving to go with dinner if you haven’t planted a garden at home this year!
Sign up for the 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.
Free Nature Programming with 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 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 and August 7
Get Free Slurpees on the 7th and 11th of the Month
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. There’s also free Slurpees on the 7th and 11th of the month for rewards members (the app is free to download on your phone and comes with a bonus free slurpee!)
Summer Play Day at Broadmoor Lake
Play Days provide children free and active play options that appeal to all of their senses. Each activity celebrates getting back to the basics – digging in the sand, building forts, playing games; the kind of activities that come naturally to kids!
Upcoming dates: July 10, August 14
Hunt 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.
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 20, August 10
Kids Day Active Playday
Kids Day provides children with free and active play activities to promote movement based learning and fun, for a free, outdoor event for families.
Upcoming Dates: July 17, July 31, August 7, August 21
Pack up the Bikes and Head to a Local Bike Obstacle Course
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.
Road Trip: Whitecourt 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. You’ll have to pay for fuel to get there, but pack drinks, snacks, lunch and tubes to make it a free day except for fuel!
Take a FREE Kids 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.
Experience the Street Performer’s Festival
Upcoming Date: We’re doing it again… in the gazebo… but this time, for 10 days, higher and with more balls! Catch all your favourite Street Performers in Old Strathcona.
Upcoming Date: July 5-14.
Enjoy an afternoon of family-fun including bouncy castles, obstacle courses, face-painting, and more! PLUS, Manning Town Centre will be giving away FREE ICE CREAM while supplies last!
Upcoming date: July 13
Go to a Splash Party
Splash Party is happening on Sunday, July 14, 2019. The fun starts at 11 a.m.! So bring your towel, water bottle and sunscreen and we will provide the fun. Everyone is also welcome to join us for a BBQ at noon. Enjoy a hotdog, chips and beverage on us
Upcoming Date: July 14
Dive into the world of kayaking, canoeing, and stand up paddleboarding. We’ve got lots on deck, and everyone’s welcome. Join in to meet paddlers, demo anything that floats, and learn new skills at a clinic.
Upcoming Date: July 14
Watch Dumbo in the Park
Come enjoy a movie in the park. Grab your blankets and get cozy while you enjoy Dumbo on the big screen! Regular guest rules apply, and the movie starts at 9:30.
Upcoming Date: July 27
Visit a Greenshack at a Local Playground
Throughout the city there are multiple places to pop up and play with leaders at local Edmonton playgrounds. These guided programs are available in multiple parks throughout the city, and even on multiple days of the week.
Discover a New Playground
Make your way through the Edmonton Playground Directory, where we share the best of the best when it comes to playgrounds in Edmonton. We’ve got photos and videos to help you make your choice, and will give you a summer of FREE fun inspiration.
Visit Safari Jeff at Londonderry Mall
This compelling educator inspires audiences of all ages to have a deeper appreciation of animals and the environment we all share. This highly entertaining show not only features live animals but a multimedia outlet of large flat screen TV’s, lights, sound, huge original artwork and creative props, an elaborate and beautiful full time display for any attraction.
Upcoming Dates: July 5-7
Explore the Street Performer’s Festival
You’ve got nine days to explore shows, take in the kids programming and find something new to discover while you munch on treats from food trucks in Dr. Wilbert McIntyre park, downtown. Street Performer’s Festival is back for 2019 and it’s a free/cheap way to get out and experience downtown.
Upcoming Dates: July 5-14
Have Breakfast on a Dairy Farm
Breakfast on a Dairy Farm is a unique experience for you and your family to take in the sights and sounds of a modern dairy farm and experience first hand what life on a dairy farm is all about. The dairy farming community will be serving up a FREE hot breakfast with an array of drinks (and white and chocolate milk, of course!). There will be tons of activities for the entire family to enjoy!
Upcoming Date: July 6
Explore the Wildlife Underpass
The wildlife underpass is just a tunnel that goes under the Anthony Henday, allowing a safer way for animals to get from one side of the Henday to the other – but it’s got some cool factor if you’re looking for places to bring your kids that have a great ‘destination point’ at the end.
Have a Lemonade Stand for a Good Cause
Calling all those young budding philanthropists – we need your help! We are asking kids to host lemonade stands throughout the City of Edmonton and area on Lemonade Stand Day. Simply Supper takes care of all the details. We supply the lemonade mix, cups and a full kit of decorations and supplies so kids just need to host the stand!
Upcoming Date: August 25
Pajama Party Campfire Storytime at the Library
Grab Your PJ’s, bring a stuffy and gather round the campfire circle while you listen to stories and create some of your own.
Upcoming Date: All summer long
Explore the Epcor Riverfest
The North Saskatchewan River connects us all. The best way to appreciate it is by getting on it! The River Valley Alliance invites you to celebrate the river valley park system and our river at EPCOR RiverFest August 10, 2019. Join in the outdoor fun at two river valley locations – Edmonton and Devon.
Upcoming Date: August 10-11
Grandview Heights Free Breakfast Party
Are you ready for a waffle-mazing good time? Mark your calendars for our fourth annual Family Breakfast Event! Family Futures is excited to host this fantastic FREE family event with breakfast, crafts, activities and games for your entire family to enjoy. Snack on a stack and get to know other families in your community.
Upcoming Date: August 10
Build at a LEGO Festival
Kick start your back to school with LEGO fun at Mill Woods Town Centre on August 17 & 18, 2019. Display your own LEGO® creations to win awesome prizes, participate in the crazy building competitions for different age groups,
Upcoming Dates: August 17-18
Pack a Picnic and Head to the Spray Park
There’s a brand new spray park outside of Sherwood Park, in Ardrossan, with a fun farm theme – or you can head to Broadmoor Lake, in Sherwood Park for the best spray park – with water slides! Head to the sprinkler and fountains above the Legislature for a fun sunset splash down, when the fountains turn colour – they’re really fun at dusk. Those are three places your kids are going to love this summer.
Get Free Admission to the Aviation Museum
On the last Thursday of the month, Servus has paired up with the Alberta Aviation Museum to offer up free admission during an evening of fun for kids. Mark it on your calendar, because it’s a great place to explore and you won’t have to pay the price for family admission!
Upcoming Date: June 27, July 25, August 29
Drop into the Home Depot Kids Workshop
Make your calendars for the second Saturday of the month, where kids can register (it’s free, you can do it online or in-store) for the Home Depot kids workshops.
Upcoming Dates: July 13, August 10
Free Kids Camps at the Microsoft Store
During these free summer camps, students ages six and up get hands-on experience with the latest technology as they learn to code or create games harnessing the power of imagination. Camps include: Harry Potter coding, OhBot and Make Code for kids with STEAM interests.
Watch the K-Days Parade
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. Click here for the parade route.
Upcoming date: July 19
Celebrate Parks Day in Alberta
Parks Day is celebrated nation-wide on the third Saturday every July. Participating parks across Alberta host fun activities for the whole family. Enter a sandcastle-building competition, learn about bear safety, go on a scavenger hunt, enjoy a campfire or just connect with nature. Parks Day is a great opportunity for Albertans to rediscover fun and reconnect with nature.
Upcoming Date: July 20
Explore the Clifford E Lee Nature Sanctuary
Located 33 km southwest of Edmonton’s city centre, the Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary protects 348 acres of marshland, open meadow, aspen parkland and pine forest. The varied habitats of the Sanctuary attract a diversity of animals, including more than one hundred bird species, and provide excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Take a Day Trip to Long Island Lake
Almost free – there’s a small admission fee to the park around five bucks (bring cash) for the day use of the area. The beach has a playground and big tires to climb on right on the sand, and your older kids are going to love jumping off of the dock. If your kids aren’t confident swimmers, bring life jackets and they can jump on and off all day long!
Planets and Perseids at Elk Island National Park
Though you’ll need a park pass for this one – if you’ve got one, the programming is free and included with your admission into the park. Join fellow night sky enthusiasts at Astotin Lake after dark! Elk Island National Park is a member of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve and is a perfect place to experience the stars and planets above. Because the earth is constantly rotating, the night sky changes throughout the year. Join us on four different nights to experience four different skies!
What are some of the free ways that you’re entertaining the kids this summer?