Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday's Top Five - Favourite places to visit in Edmonton

It's true that many of us yearn to escape the places we live to go in search of greener pastures elsewhere, whether it be during a permanent move or on a short vacation.

Meanwhile, in this neverending quest for something better, it's easy for us to miss all the gems we've been blessed with right here in our very city. So, even though the weather has changed and summer's now over, there's still plenty to see and do around town this fall.

Friday's Top Five - Favourite places to visit in Edmonton

5) Farmer's Markets

Who's crazy about Farmer's Markets? THIS GIRL!

Sure, I'm always tempted to buy more food than our household can reasonably consume. And, sure, I feel the need to take home every little handmade trinket or piece of jewelry I stumble upon. But it's a Farmer's Market, baby!

These markets have actually been going on all summer long but, as Divulge with Dani mentioned in last week's post, there's a plethora of fresh veggies to be had now that the harvest is upon us.

Plus, with another magical Christmas season just around the corner, many markets will move indoors when the snow falls and will feature tons of decadent baked goods and seasonal crafts.

As a kid, those are the very things I used to live for, and it's great that these markets are available here in some form year-round.

4) Valley Zoo

Open 364 days a year, the Valley Zoo is another of Edmonton's great resources. Sure, it can't in any way be compared to the bigger, more expansive version down in Calgary, but it's still a great place to go for a stroll on a Sunday afternoon.

I volunteered here on and off from 1997 until 2006 and was lucky enough to go behind the scenes and help care for the animals alongside their keepers, so this place will always have a special place in my heart. Which is why I just can't stay away!

In this upcoming week, my husband and I will help chaperone our daughter's day care class on a field here, and I'm pretty sure I'll still have the most fun of anyone in attendance.

3) Devonian Botanic Garden

Located on the outskirts of west Edmonton, the Devonian Botanic Garden is another place to which I hold personal ties. Having worked here as an interpreter in the Nature Interpretation Program from 2001-2002, I always try to come back at least once a year to retrace the steps I used to take with school children in tote each day.

And though summer time in the gardens is my favourite time to visit, thanks to all the flora in bloom, some would argue that fall is actually when it's at it's most beautiful.

Feel free to decide for yourself, but you'll have to hurry as it's only open to the public until Thanksgiving each year.

2) Telus World of Science

To me, this place will always be known simply as "The Science Centre", because A) that's what it is, and B) I hate the evil empire of Telus. But I digress.

Regardless of it's unfortunate corporate name, this building houses some remarkable educational exhibits and a gift shop in which I always end up spending too much time and money.

And exactly how many IMAX shows have I seen here over the years? Almost all of them.

(Wait - should I be proud of this or ashamed...? Depends on who you ask, I guess!)

Since the exhibits here change regularly, the scenery is always fresh, so to speak. Plus, the centre is located relatively close to us, as we drive by at least once every week, so it's not as though we need to wait for a special occasion to head out and visit.

As our daughter gets a little older, this is definitely one place where we'll happily purchase a family membership so we can visit any time we want.

1) Sir Wilfred Laurier Park

Yeah, I know I sound like a broken record, but I really do love this place.

When I was a kid, long before anyone in my family had saved enough money to purchase cabins out of town, this is where we'd assemble for family picnics.

(I distinctly remember one particular outing in which I was following my cousins down a very steep embankment and nearly ended up in the river. Doh.)

I'm happy to report that I've had nothing but good experiences here, aside from that one time when I was an awkward pre-teen.

Lately I've been coming here every few days to help increase my daily 'steps taken' count -- weather permitting, of course.

You see, I'm a big wimp. I hate the cold, snow, and wind, and the only thing I dislike about Laurier Park is that it's largely inaccessible in winter for someone of my wimpy nature.

Maybe if I took up snow-shoeing or cross country skiing then it wouldn't be so bad.... but, let's be real. I'm not about to do any of those things, so I guess I'll have to push through and take advantage of the park for as long as it's still tolerable to me.

For all you winter enthusiasts, though, this is definitely a place still worth visiting once the snow begins to fall.

Okay, so that's my list. Head on over to Divulge with Dani, The Brooding Woman, and A Piece of Apple for their take on the places they love most in Edmonton.


  1. I too love Farmer's Markets. I am so lucky to live close to the on in Callingwood. I am eating a delicious, fresh Ambrosia apple from BC right now that I got at the market.

    1. Yes! The Callingwood market is great. One of these days I want to go there when they have the horse-drawn carriage rides.....

  2. Great places. Honestly, I could have had a list of 50 places....