Family Fun Ideas for Summer 2021

Winters in Edmonton last forever and lately, it feels like we’ve been stuck inside for a good 12 years. Let’s get out, soak up some sun and explore Edmonton! Here are some family-friendly activities the whole family can enjoy, no matter what stage of reopening we find ourselves in.

Nature Walks

AllTrails comprehensive online resource to give you all the trail info you need to explore a part of Edmonton you haven’t seen or remind you of the trails you might have forgotten about. A quick search will give you any trails in the surrounding areas as well. Pack a picnic, bring the camera or give this Nature Bingo a try!

City Parks

Sometimes we forget how many green spaces are just around the corner, perfect for picnics and sports. Check out the City of Edmonton’s listing of Neighbourhood Parks and River Valley Parks. Don’t forget your pups! Check out Bring Fido for a listing of all the off-leash dog parks in Edmonton.


We’ve all heard of bar-hopping, but have you heard of park-hopping? Toss the kids in the car or hop on transit and explore a new playground in a different part of the city. Bring snacks, sunscreen and water, and you’ve got a whole day planned! I will warn you, it is very probable you’ll want to stop for ice cream on the way home.

Family Fun Canada has made a list of Edmonton playgrounds worth the drive. If you prefer to make your own plans, the City of Edmonton has an interactive map with playgrounds around the city.

Backyard Fun

If trekking with your little ones (or medium ones) around the city doesn’t jive with pandemic-inspired “pajama couture, then why not turn your backyard into an adventure zone!

Mommy Poppins has 15 Backyard Science experiments to help your kids expand on their STEAM learning and Wunder Mom has 25 art projects perfect for the back yard.

Summer Starts at EPL

You didn’t forget about us, did you? Our annual program, Summer Starts at EPL, returns Saturday, June 26 until Saturday, August 28. One again, we're going online, given the, ahem, ever-changing circumstances that we find ourselves in these days. Here's what you can expect, Also available as a handy PDF in English or French if you want to share with your friends:

  • Track your reading and for every six hours, get a ballot for the grand prize and a key chain. Submit your time online or pick up a reading log at any EPL location. 
  • Find our mascot, Octopus Prime, every week for a chance to win a book.
  • Attend one of our live events every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 2 p.m. You'll find EPL favourites such as magician Sheldon Casavant, author Marty Chan and beatboxers 6 Minute Warning and exciting new performers such as hoop dancer and TikTok star Notorious Cree, Yoyo School of Dancing and scientist Professor WOW.

Looking to get a jump start on your reading? Here are two booklists with some great reads for kids:

Summer Starts at EPL 2021: Summertime Adventures

Have an adventure with these summertime picks for kids in Grades K-6.

View Full List

YRCA 2022 - Junior Division (Grades 4-6)

The Young Reader's Choice Awards 2022 nominees are here! Other formats, such as eBooks and eAudiobooks, are available as well. Vote for your favourites online or at any EPL branch until Friday, April 15, 2022. Read. Vote. Repeat!

View Full List

Summer doesn’t last long so here’s to making summer memories your kids will carry with them for a lifetime!

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Edmonton Public Library