Known for its many festivals and beautiful river valley views, Edmonton should also be famous for its amazing playgrounds. Be sure to check out these outdoor fun zones.
1. Borden Park Built in 2013, this ode to Canadiana looks like something out of a woodland-themed storybook. With a climber built around two giant tree trunks, kids can run up, over and through the hulking structure. Carved wooden bears, snakes and monkeys will greet eager fun seekers. A second climbing structure is modelled after a roller coaster and includes tummy-turning dips to climb up and slide down.
Go play: 7507 Borden Park Rd., Edmonton edmonton.ca
2. Kinsmen Sports Centre Beside the High Level Bridge on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River, this family-favourite destination is packed with exciting amenities, including an indoor playground, a swimming pool and tennis courts. Famous for its large spray park, towering jungle gyms and adjacent baseball diamonds, the playground is also divided into zones to appeal to children of all ages. Pump your legs and reach as high as you can on the swing set and you might catch a glimpse of the legislative buildings downtown. The spray park features low and tall sprinkler systems shaped like woodland creatures, with bears tipping honeycombs teeming with water and foxes doubling as spray guns. Babies and tots are welcome at the splash pad, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., but they must wear waterproof diapers. Drop by the full-service cafeteria for lunch or stop by Moo’s Healthy Food Fast for some fruit smoothies, wraps and frozen bananas. A water fountain and a washroom with a change table are located in the lobby of the sports centre. Open year-round from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Go play: 9100 Walterdale Hill NW, Edmonton 780-442-5311 edmonton.ca
3. Rio Park Playground Rebuilt by community members in 2005, the northwest neighbourhood of Rio Terrace features a grassy playground shielded by tall, leafy trees to block out harmful rays. Curved monkey bars, a twisty pole to slide down and—wait for it—a rock climbing wall make this playground a great spot for a fun day outdoors with the family.
Go play: 15504 76 Avenue NW, Edmonton 780-481-3524 edmonton.ca
4. Woodlands Water Play Park Just 20 minutes outside of the capital is a you-have-to-check-this-out splash pad! With different sections to suit different ages, the medieval-themed pad caters to both toddling toddlers and big kids with more than 20 spray features spread out throughout the park. Kids will shriek with delight as the 50-gallon splash bucket tips over, sending gushing water over anyone brave enough to stand beneath it. The foundation is spongy and slip-resistant to keep little ones on their toes. Washrooms and family change rooms are located on-site. When you’ve had enough water fun, check out the equally awesome play structure next door.
Go play: 165 Sturgeon Rd., St. Albert 780-459-1553 stalbert.ca
5. Bonnie Doon Community League Park Playground If you have a little one whose playground specialty is climbing, this Bonnie Doon community playground is a must-visit. With curved green and blue bars sloping every which way, it provides a fun adventure for your little monkey. Various rock climbing walls will challenge even the most seasoned climbers, and tall hanging hoops (picture the rings of Saturn) are fun for swinging. A wood chip base helps cushion any climbing incidents.
Go play: 9240 93 St. NW, Edmonton 780-466-0202 bonniedoon.ca
6. Laurier Heights Park Nip any summer boredom in the bud by paying a visit to this northwest playground and splash deck. The sandy playground is fun to trek through, and a variety of equipment caters to different age groups. Little ones will love feeling the wind in their hair on the toddler swings and bouncing back and forth on mini ride-on toys. A full swing set, a multi-slide jungle gym and several monkey bars will appeal to older kids. Cool off on hot days at the adjacent splash pad.
Go play: 14405 85 Ave. NW, Edmonton 780-554-0694 laurierheightscommunity.ca
7. Jackie Parker Park A massive play area that incorporates natural elements like rock structures for climbing and logs for balancing is the perfect place for kids to explore. If the weather is nice, the adjacent splash pad is a great way to cool off and meet new friends.
Go play: 4540 50 St. NW, Edmonton 780-442-5311 edmonton.ca
8. William Hawrelak Park Imaginations can run wild at this very creative play yard. On top of the usual play equipment like swings and a slide, there are sweet little buildings and pathways for kids to play in such as a small house and a general store. There's even a teeny bridge to clop over. Spend the day there, it's a great spot to pack a picnic to eat under the shade of the leafy trees. A sheltered area with a concession and bathrooms is perfect for family visits.
Go play: 9930 Groat Rd. NW, Edmonton 780-442-5311 edmonton.ca