Edmonton is the capital of Alberta and is situated on the North Saskatchewan river. Because of its location, it is the anchor on the north end of the corridor of Calgary and Edmonton. Being the sixth-largest metropolitan area in Canada and the fifth-largest city, it is home to a fair share of tourists and visitors looking for fun things to do in Edmonton for adults.
People often believe that Edmonton may not be able to offer a lot of fun things to do, but that is not the case! Edmonton hosts so many cultural and governmental Festivals that it is often referred to as ‘Canada’s Festival City.’ There are many fun things to do in Edmonton for adults, and thanks to its wide variety of art and craft spots, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful city of Edmonton.
Edmonton is an urban center with the largest northernmost metropolis in Canada. Here, you can experience 28 hours of sunlight and first encounter snow. Regardless of the seasons, Edmonton always has interactive attractions for its visitors. In summer, you can catch up to 17 hours of sunlight and even glimpse a lightning storm. In autumn, you can get beautiful pictures of the river valley in gold, red, and orange.
It may seem that nothing other than frostbite will be the highlight of winter, but this isn’t true! Edmonton transforms into a winter wonderland full of snow and gives you a majestic view of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Finally, in spring, Edmonton locals and tourists take long walks along the Alberta Legislature building and watch the trees bloom. Factually speaking, because of its various climatic conditions, one of the fun things to do in Edmonton for adults would be to take long walks along the paths of the place.
While it may be difficult to talk about all the fun things to do in Edmonton for adults, here’s a list of the top 10 things to get you started.
1) 10 Fun Things to do in Edmonton for Adults
Edmonton has museums, zoos, art galleries, parks, and so much more! Making a list of only 10 things may seem like injustice, but it’s one way to learn a bit about this beautiful city.
1.1) Visit Fort Edmonton Park
Fort Edmonton Park has over 158 acres of wooded parkland and is located along Edmonton’s River valley. Initially, in 1967, it was a Canada Centennial reconstruction project. Because of the efforts of the Rotary Club of Edmonton and the Fort Edmonton Foundation, visiting the park has become one of the most fun things to do in Edmonton for adults. It is operated by Fort Edmonton Management Company (FEMCo).
It offers a spot to make the best of cultural tourism and have a memorable experience with its multi-attraction space. It is a spot for guests to visit privately or have a public event. Because of its various exhibits, Fort Edmonton Park is Edmonton’s largest living history museum.
Here are a few exhibitions and experiences you can make the best of in Fort Edmonton Park:
1.1.1) Indigenous People’s Experience
This exhibition allows you to explore the life and diversity of First Nations and Metis people. You can converse with indigenous elders and educators and learn about the culture of indigenous people from local perspectives and local artists.
1.1.2) 1905 Street
Edmonton grew from an isolated space to a modern city and evolved into a center of streets, cars, and lights. The transformation of Edmonton can be viewed in this exhibition.
1.1.3) Capitol Theatre
The re-creation of Edmonton’s Capitol Theatre 1929 can be viewed in this exhibition.
1.1.4) Midway and Exhibition
Fort Edmonton Park’s Johnny J. Jones Exposition allows you to test your shooting skills, ride a Ferris wheel, and fill up on midway fare. Brand new games and rides are always added to the mix, and the ‘Cabinet of Curios,’ a custom slideshow of tricks and screams, is one not to miss! The park also has a new maze and healthy carnival-style food for children.
Fort Edmonton Park has a lot of exhibitions that capture the origin, history, and culture of Edmonton and Canada. If you like history and the recreation of historic buildings, Fort Edmonton Park should be first on your list of fun things to do in Edmonton for adults.
1.2) Chill Out at West Edmonton Mall
On the list of fun things to do in Edmonton for adults who like shopping is to visit West Edmonton Mall. West Edmonton mall’s stores, services, and attractions make it one of the most comprehensive complexes for entertainment, hospitality, and retail. West Edmonton Mall is a place to play, stay, and shop.
The mall’s structure is inspired by traditional Persian urban bazaars, where entertainment and shopping would work hand in hand. This structure allows West Edmonton mall to fulfill almost all the needs of its customers.
West Edmonton Mall is over 5.3 million square feet and is home to 800 stores, including world-class attractions, hotels, dining venues, rare and unique retailers, and entertainment for everyone. West Edmonton Mall is certainly the province’s best tourist attraction. After the Mall of America, Edmonton mall is North America’s largest.
1.3) Learn at Royal Alberta Museum
Next on this list of fun things to do in Edmonton for adults is visiting the Royal Alberta Museum of Edmonton. The biggest museum in western Canada is located in the Arts District of Edmonton and collects, interprets, and exhibits specimens related to Alberta. The museum is full of engaging exhibits and international touring features.
Royal Alberta Museum has a wide collection of exhibits and outreach programs, including curatorial programs, like Indigenous studies, Cultural communities, western Canadian history, military and political history, ornithology, mammalogy, archaeology, invertebrate zoology, geology, ichthyology, botany, Quaternary environments, and Quaternary paleontology. The Royal Alberta Museum is also home to the processing centre of the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute.
The museum opened in December 1967 and has become a crucial destination for Albertan history. They work towards fostering inquiry and understanding about Alberta in the world and sharing Alberta’s stories meaningfully.
1.4) Appreciate Locals at the Art Gallery of Alberta
The Art Gallery of Alberta is an active resource of Alberta’s community. It was founded in 1924 and has over 6,000 works of art. The art gallery’s primary works lie in the Canadian abstract painting and sculpture section.
The Art Gallery of Alberta has the works of many contemporary, local artists like Hubert Hohn, Allen Ball, Catherine Burgess, Isla Burns, Jane Ash Poitras, and more. A significant collection is that of the 18th-century British printmaker Thomas Bewick.
The gallery has a wide collection of various themes. One of the best of these exhibitions would probably be Scents of Movement and Scents of Place. This exhibition of the Art Gallery of Alberta focuses on fragrances. Fragrances are described here by their top, middle, and base notes. The top notes of this exhibit are the collaboration of Sans façon and the artist Brian Goeltzenleuchter. The middle notes are based on movement, travel, and immigration. The base notes are philosophical notions of life and death.
There are also other exhibitions revolving around Riaz Mehmood, the nature exhibition of Christi Belcourt, and Spirit Photography. Besides these exhibitions, the Art Gallery of Alberta also has camps, tours, and school programs to educate youngsters and adults about Alberta, its history, and art.
The wide variety of learning to acquire from this one art gallery makes it one of the fun things to do in Edmonton for adults.
1.5) Discover Plane Models at Alberta Aviation Museum
Alberta Aviation Museum is an excellent attraction of Edmonton. Blatchford’s aviation stories almost come to life here. Alberta Aviation Museum contributes a great experience for visitors who want to learn about aviation and its role in the community. The museum fosters respect, serves its community, and collects arts and stories for the museum.
Alberta Aviation Museum has a lot of objects related to aviation, many of which are quite ancient and historic.
- Vicker’s Viking IV: This single-engine biplane was manufactured in Canada by Canadian Vickers. They made it using durable Canadian timber.
- Fokker Universal: The 1920s paved the way for the Fokker to be used as a bush plane after restrictions were applied on using HS-2L biplane flying boats.
- Fairchild 71C: The first major exhibit during the opening of the Alberta Aviation Museum, Fairchild was the first successful all-season bush plane with an enclosed cabin and the ability to work on wheels, floats, or skis.
Alberta Aviation Museum also has a gift shop with t-shirts, trinkets, models, and mugs. They also have a collection of books on subjects related to aviation. If you’re an aviation buff and enjoy learning about plane models, this is one of the fun things to do in Edmonton for adults. The museum also has a Theory of Flight program for educational purposes; the program teaches aerodynamics and flight.
1.6) Indulge in Scientific Learnings at TELUS World of Science
The Edmonton Space And Science Foundation operates TELUS World of Science. TELUS World of Science is a destination that engages minds in science. They have a lot of exhibits related to science. Here are a few to mention:
1.6.1) Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story
This exhibit focuses on blue whales. You will get to view the skeleton of a large animal and see its evolution and biology. This exhibition retells the story of nine whales that died in 2014 in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
1.6.2) Arctic Journey
This exhibition brings to life the tribes of the Innuit, Innu, Dene, Gwich’in, and other First Nations that have traveled the Arctic and their experiences on land and sea.
S.P.A.C.E. (Stars, Planets, Astronauts, Comets, Etc.) gallery is an exhibition that focuses on unraveling the mysteries of our solar system, seeing the Aurora Borealis, commanding a lunar lander, and much more. Here, you get to relive how a piece of the moon entered the earth.
Inspired by the city, this exhibition gives children a chance to play in tree houses themed as Edmonton landmarks, crawl through sedimentary layers of the River Valley, explore Muttart Conservatory’s vegetation, and create light displays for the High-Level Bridge.
1.7) Learn about the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village
Another on the list of fun things to do in Edmonton for adults is the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. Founded in 1971, it is a place to celebrate the settling in east central Alberta by Ukraine. Alberta took control of this site in 1975 and has continued to use the theme of ‘Early Ukrainian Settlement in East Central Alberta to 1930.’
Since its foundation, more than 40 buildings have been constructed here. They have been restored, furnished, and researched to reframe them in their 20th-century appearance.
The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village hosts many Summer Group programs, which are very educative.
- Self-Guided Tour: The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage village offers you a chance to interact and engage with the environment to learn about Alberta in the 20th century. Actors in costumes engage with groups, and you get to learn interactively and experientially. You also get a chance to discover what their past meant.
- I Spy: Young children can use this scavenger hunt to learn about Ukrainian Cultural heritage village in a manner that is easy to understand.
- Needle in a Haystack: This scavenger hunt allows children to explore history in a fun way. They will learn about the early Ukrainian settlers and get rewards for their work!
Not just this, the village society also rents its facilities for meetings and retreats. It has 4 venues to choose from, along with catering services offered by the Friends of the Ukrainian Village Society. The village also has 3 consecrated churches that host religious ceremonies like weddings and baptisms. The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village surely falls on the list of top Edmonton attractions for adults.
1.8) Check Out the Edmonton Heritage Festival
The Edmonton Heritage Festival is a collection of Alberta-based groups that engage in song, dance, and food and share their history with the world. They supply songs, dance, music, and crafts. The Edmonton Heritage Festival Association facilitates the Edmonton Heritage Festival.
Being an important part of the CIOFF, International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts, the Edmonton Heritage Festival is deemed an “Intangible Cultural Heritage Asset” by UNESCO. This gives the festival worldwide recognition and marketing. However, the festival’s core is cultural diversity, inclusion, and bringing together people to celebrate culture and art.
An important event is World Music Week which celebrates diverse cultures worldwide. It comprises national, local, and international artists who express their cultural and ethnic dances. It is a stage for everyone to voice their culture. It is normally held in July, and in 2022, they started their festival with the Tawaw Thursday event presented by Indigenous Peoples Festival.
This amazing festival is one reason Edmonton is termed the festival city.
1.9) Buy Local at the Old Strathcona Farmers Market
This is one of the fun things to do in Edmonton for adults looking to support the locals. Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market is the city’s oldest farmers market. It is located off Whyte Avenue and operates every Saturday. It has been in business since 1983.
Edmonton’s finest vendors can be found here with locally grown and produced items. This market is a great stage to provide small, local, independent businesses a space to broadcast their goods.
It will be open to the public on the 17th and 18th of December and will also have outdoor activities like ice skating for people looking for some outdoor adventure. They will be decorating the area with Christmas lights and beautiful trees. It’s a beautiful view under the night sky.
They also have their show if this isn’t enough to convince you! Personalities like Tracie Gray, Keith Persaud, and other chefs star in this show and create dishes to showcase fresh produce. The show, ‘A Taste of the Market – TV Series,’ is a favourite for people looking to enrich their culinary skills.
Their website also has a gift guide. You can interact with the guide to find local and unique gifts for anyone. Their selection of vendors comprises over 130 vendors and a lot of unique and interesting handmade products. Old Strathcona has something for everyone!
1.10) Visit the Alberta Railway Museum
Another on the list of fun things to do in Edmonton for adults is visiting the Alberta Railway Museum. It collects, restores, interprets, and preserves the artifacts and stories of Alberta and Edmonton, Canada.
They have exhibitions, educational programs, publications, tours, and heritage train operations that inspire discovery, appreciation, and knowledge of Alberta’s capital city. The Alberta Railway Museum is an ambassador of railway heritage preservation and encourages people to learn about the importance of railways.
This beautiful museum is a rustic display of railway buildings and equipment, replicating a small terminal, water tank, station, and shops. In 90 minutes, you can interactively experience the past, engage with over 75 cars on site, ride vintage trains, check out archived railway history, and make the best of the third-largest railway museum in Canada.
You’ll also want to try out its restaurants while visiting Edmonton’s places.
2) 10 Fun Things to do in Edmonton for Adults: A Conclusion
You are wrong if you feel like this is all Edmonton has to offer! This is just the tip of the iceberg of adventures and activities in Edmonton. If you are done with these ten activities and want to explore the area more, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Elk Island National Park: A UNESCO-designated park just 35 minutes east of Edmonton, Elk Island National Park has herds of bison, elk, and more than 250 species of birds.
- Edmonton Valley Zoo: The Edmonton Valley Zoo has over 350 animals and is focused on conservation and education. A major event that is happening right now in the zoo is ‘Zoominescence,’ an exhibition of lights to celebrate 10 years of love and animal conservation.
- Edmonton International Fringe Festival: Held in August, this festival uses stories to connect people and inspire togetherness. The Edmonton International Fringe Festival allows artists to share their stories and connect with their community. Over the past 40 years, the festival has supported over 40,000 artists. Edmonton International Fringe Festival is a charitable organization that relies on people’s generosity to amplify their artists’ lives.
- Jasper National Park: Jasper National Park is the largest national park within the Rockies, spanning 4,200 sq mi. It was established in 1930 and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1984. The park contains the glaciers of Columbia Icefield, waterfalls, and mountains. It’s located near Banff National Park.
- Fairmont Hotel, MacDonald: If you’re looking for a luxurious stay while visiting Edmonton, Fairmont Hotel is where you should be. For more than 100 years, it has effortlessly delivered timeless luxury. It is located near the North Saskatchewan River Valley. With a historical past, a great present, and an exciting future, Fairmont Hotel, MacDonald has become Edmonton’s only historic, four-diamond hotel, which has also been termed as ‘Chateau on the River’ because of its amazing views.
The list of fun things to do in Edmonton for adults can be endless, but these above-listed places are some hotspots to find glimpses of Edmonton, its history, and its vast culture. So, the next time you’re in Alberta, you know where to go!