Family Activities:

West Edmonton Mall


West Edmonton Mall

1755, 8882 170 Street, Edmonton, T5T 4M2

I’ll admit it: Big malls — and West Edmonton Mall ranks among the biggest in the world — give my family headaches, but even we were amazed. At the amusement park Galaxyland, little ones will love the riding on the carousel and crawling through caves at the Playpark, while older kids will scream in delight as the Mindbender, a roller coaster, flips them three times. The mall also has mini-golf, a bowling alley, an ice skating rink, a small aquarium and performing sea lions.

Don’t forget to bring bathing suits so you can splash at World Waterpark, a five-acre facility with 17 water slides, a bungee tower, a bucket dump and a wave pool. The newest attraction is Canada’s first “slideboarding” flume, a waterslide-slash-game where riders speed down a slide with 360-degree lights and sounds, while attempting to hit LED color-changing targets for points.

And did we mention the more than 800 shops? Themed streets include Europa Boulevard, an ersatz European Old City with shops and a cafe; Chinatown, complete with koi pond; and Bourbon Street, loosely conjuring New Orleans with shops and eateries, most of which don’t really serve New Orleans cuisine. No matter; it’s colorful.

If you don’t want a big chunk of your vacation time swallowed up by this behemoth shopping center, select a few attractions that your kids want to visit and establish a target time to leave.