10 Free Things To Do In Edmonton Year Round
As far as big cities go Edmonton isn’t too expensive, but for those keeping a tight eye on their budget, there are plenty of free things to do in Edmonton! From nature, history, and culture, Edmonton offers quite a wide variety of activities to choose from. Listed below are some of the best of the top 10 free things to do in Edmonton year-round.
1. Discover Historic 112th Avenue
Nestled in the historic neighbourhood of Highlands, 112th Avenue is a charming street with antique stores, cafes, and century old architecture that make for great window shopping. The avenue and the surrounding neighbourhood are full of homes and businesses with character that provide a great opportunity to endlessly stroll and enjoy the atmosphere and scenery. The Gibbard Block, which is home to the amazing La Boheme Restaurant, is especially stunning and photogenic.
2. Edmonton Public Schools Archives & Museum
On a leafy, tree-lined street in the heart of downtown lies one of the most historically significant buildings in Edmonton. McKay Avenue School, now the Edmonton Public Schools Archives & Museum, was the third brick school to be built in Edmonton and is now the oldest remaining. It was also the location of the first Legislative Assembly as the Legislature Building was not yet built. As an archive and museum it is now open to the public for free for all to learn the rich history of education in Edmonton. It’s also supposedly haunted!
3. Explore The River Valley
Edmonton lays claim to the largest amount of urban parkland in Canada. The river valley provides a great opportunity for Edmontonians and visitors alike to enjoy themselves without breaking the bank. There are kilometres upon kilometres of connected paved and unpaved trails that can be used for biking, jogging, running, or walking and enjoying the diversity of nature found right in the centre of Edmonton. Twenty-two ravines branch off from the river valley and occasionally a few adventurers can be found panning for gold in the streams that run through them. In the winter hills can be used for sledding and tobogganing and some parts of the river valley have groomed tracks for cross-country skiing. Check out some more of the things you can do in the river valley at Explore Edmonton!
4. Visit The Art Gallery of Alberta
Art lovers rejoice! You can appreciate priceless works of art without paying a cent. On the last Thursday of every month from 6 – 9PM you can get admission to the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) for free. The AGA also regularly rotates its exhibits so there are always new things to see. To top it all off, the art gallery, with its physics defying curves, is worth seeing itself.
5. See What’s On 124St!
Trendy 124st is always bustling with something to do. Depending on the time of year, you can check out things such as the Grand Market or Christmas events like the All is Bright winter festival. Visit the 124st Business Association to see what other events they have planned throughout the year!
6. Go On A Walking Tour Of Downtown
Downtown Edmonton has undergone a staggering amount of change within the past decade with major projects such as the ICE District taking shape as well as the revitalization of neighbourhoods like 104st. What better way then to experience the optimism of Edmonton’s flourishing core then on a walking tour?
7. Take A Tour Of The Legislature Building
Next on our list of free things to do in Edmonton, tours of Alberta’s Legislature building “The Ledge”. Possibly one of Edmonton’s most iconic landmarks, the Beaux Arts styled Legislature sits prominently over the river valley in downtown and is open 362 days a year for guided tours. Among some of the things you’ll see are painting of Alberta’s past Premiers and a fountain built in 1959 to commemorate the visit of Queen Elizabeth the II.
8. Prince of Wales Armouries Heritage Centre
The Prince of Wales Armouries is a rich remnant of Edmonton’s role in Canada’s storied military history. Used as a training site for the Department of National Defence until 1977, it now contains the Loyal Edmonton Regiment Military Museum, the City of Edmonton archives, and Telephone Historical Centre. A history buffs dream!
9. Go To A Farmers’ Market
Edmonton is fortuitously located in the heart of a large agricultural region so naturally it has amazing farmers’ markets to wander around and people watch. There’s the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market, which has been operating for over 30 years every Saturday, the City Market Downtown (named the world’s best farmers’ market by National Geographic blogger Andrew Evans), the Grand Market on 124st, the Beverly Towne Farmers’ Market, and the Highlands Farmers’ Market, to name a few.
10. Join The Edmonton Public Library
Lastly, although definitely not the least, is Edmonton’s public library system. Memberships are free and easy to get giving you endless access to books, movies, music, games, and whatever else lies within each libraries walls. With numerous libraries located across the city you also needn’t go far. With an EPL membership you have an unlimited amount of free entertainment and learning at your disposal!