The Ultimate Summer in the City Bucket List

Abbey Preston is the former Associate Manager at the Stanley A. Milner Branch of EPL.

Ah, summer in Edmonton—the sun is shining, the weather is warm and there is so much to explore in the city! If you’re looking for some fun activities to add to your summer bucket list, you’ve come to the right place! We have rounded up few of our fave festivals, events and must-sees to check out this July and August in Edmonton.

1. Explore the Tawatinâ Bridge

Tawatinâ Footbridge, opens a new window by Hands Live, opens a new window / CC BY- 2.0 , opens a new window

Kick off summer with a stroll across the river on our city’s brand new Tawatinâ Bridge! Tawatinâ means “valley” in Cree, and the 260 metres long bridge deck features hundreds of stunning paintings by Métis artist, David Garneau. A must-see for the entire family!

  • When: Open daily
  • Time: Any time (24/7)
  • Where: Tawatinâ Bridge (access through Riverdale or Cloverdale)
  • Price: FREE!

Check out kids titles about Indigenous Art, opens a new window


2. Sample Culinary Treats

Edmonton Heritage Festival, opens a new window by IQRemix, opens a new window / CC BY-SA 2.0, opens a new window

One of our city’s favourite summer festivals is back—Heritage Fest!, opens a new window The festival is making its grand return this summer to celebrate multiculturalism, good food and diversity in the city. With delicious treats, music and the opportunity to chat with folks from over 70 countries, a trip down to Hawrelak Park will satisfy!

  • When: Saturday, July 30 to Monday, Aug. 1
  • Time: Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31 from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Monday, Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Where: Hawrelak Park - 9330 Groat Rd. NW
  • Price: FREE!

Feel free to also check out some of our own culinary adventure classes with the Kitchen

3. Travel Back in Time

CA: Edmonton – High Level Bridge Streetcar, opens a new window by Richard Laperche, opens a new window / CC BY-SA 2.0, opens a new window

Hop on the High Level Bridge Streetcar for a journey back in time this summer! The historic streetcar takes passengers along the old Canadian Pacific Railway line through Old Strathcona and across the High Level Bridge. The trip conductor will narrate your 45-minute journey and point out some of the most spectacular views of our beautiful city and river valley.

4. Go Berry Picking!

Fresh Picked, opens a new window by Glen Euloth, opens a new window / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, opens a new window

Head out on a family adventure to a local berry farm to do your own pickin’! Choose from raspberries, strawberries, saskatoon berries—even some veggies—to take home by the bucket. Best to call ahead of time, some farms operate by appointment only. Happy picking!

Check out kids titles and stories about farms, opens a new window


5. Hit the Streets

The Works Art & Design Festival and the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival, opens a new window are teaming up to hit the streets of downtown for a week of whirlwind fun. Check out a circus of performers, workshops, visual art, comedy, music and food! There is also Kids’ World to explore from 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. daily.

  • When: Friday, July 8 – Sunday, July 17
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. (Sunday, July 17 from 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
  • Where: Sir Winston Churchill Square
  • Price: You decide. Artists honour the ‘Pass the Hat’ tradition!


6. Splash at a Spray Park

Beat the heat and connect with your community this summer—the spray parks, opens a new window of Edmonton are finally open for the season! With over 50 locations across the city, you don’t have to look far for your nearest opportunity to make a splash! Our favourites? Kinsmen, opens a new window, Jackie Parker, opens a new window, Castle Downs, opens a new window and just outside the city, Broadmoor Lake, opens a new window.

  • When: All summer
  • Time: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. 
  • Where: Various
  • Price: FREE!


7. Free Nights at the AGA

Edmonton – Art Gallery of Alberta, opens a new window by IQRemix, opens a new window / CC BY- 2.0 , opens a new window

Would you believe us if we said you can explore the AGA free of charge this summer? It’s true! The Art Gallery of Alberta is pleased to offer free admission the last Thursday of every month from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Comic book fan? Take the opportunity to check out one of their newest exhibitions, Comic Sans, celebrating the work of comic book artists across Canada. Animals more your thing? Get hands on with the Animal Architects exhibit in the Children’s Gallery, exploring the fascinating structures of insects, mammals and birds!

  • When: Last Thursday of every month (Thursday, June 30; Thursday, July 28; and Thursday, Aug. 25)
  • Time: 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Where: Art Gallery of Alberta 
  • Price: FREE!

Check out kids books about art, opens a new window


8. Explore LEGO at the Valley Zoo

Can you imagine animals made out of Lego? Well now you don’t have to imagine with the Nature Connects LEGO Exhibit at the Edmonton Valley Zoo! World-renowned artist Sean McKenney has created larger than life bumble bee sculptures, foxes, rabbits and more—made entirely from LEGO!


9. Get Fringin’

Toni Smith Show, opens a new window by Kurayba, opens a new window / CC BY- 2.0 , opens a new window

North America’s largest and oldest Fringe Festival, opens a new window is back to serve you with a weekend of inspiring theatre in the heart of Old Strathcona. With over 1,200 indoor performances, there is also family friendly theatre to check out—explore the Theatre for Young Audience shows and activities at the KidsFringe park. Find your inner actor and get inspired, fringer!

  • When: Thursday, Aug. 11 – Sunday, Aug. 21
  • Time: Varies
  • Where: Various locations – checkout Old Strathcona
  • Price: Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 3 


10. Take a Lazy River Ride

Looking to escape the city? Take a quick road trip west to Entwistle, where you can float down the gentle current of Pembina River! Children must be 5 and up to float—life jackets are recommended (and provided) for anyone under 18. Rent a tube or bring your own inflatables and spend the afternoon in the beautiful Pembina River Valley. Check out more information on what to expect before, opens a new window and after, opens a new window your float, including rentals, parking and shuttle services.

  • When: All summer (weather and river-condition dependent)
  • Time: Office hours for reservations and rentals from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Last river pick-up before 8 p.m. (check website or phone to confirm)
  • Where: 53217 Range Road 74A, Entwistle, AB
  • Price: FREE! (fees apply, opens a new window for parking, tube rentals and shuttle service)

Check out kids titles about nature, opens a new window


11. Race in a Bubble Chase!

A 5 km race for the whole family? With bubbles and foam and music? Count us in! Run, walk or play your way through a massive colourful bubble bog, opens a new window for charity this summer!

  • When: Saturday, Aug. 27
  • Time: First race at 10 a.m.
  • Where: Rundle Park - 2909 113 Ave NW
  • Price: Varies – learn more

12. EPL at K-Days

EPL will be at K-Days this summer! While you enjoy some music, food, rides and entertainment at K-Days' grounds, why not experience EPL's educational and entertaining kids programming too?

Drop by our EPL Makerspace booth during Maker Faire (Friday, July 22 to Sunday, July 24) and get a chance to play, create and explore with all kinds of fun tools.

Plus for one day only, Sunday, July 24, you can get in to the grounds for FREE with your EPL card! Make sure to get your library card in advance.

13. Summer Starts at EPL

The number one item on our summer bucket list? Summer Starts, opens a new window at EPL, of course! We have a summer reading challenge, free classes and events, in person and online performances and weekly contests to find our fiery dragon mascot, Ariana Flambé! Did we also mention you could win this years’ grand prize, a brand new Nintendo Switch?

Grown-ups deserve to have some fun too, so join our Summer Reads ‘22, opens a new window reading club for adults and teens! Track your reading, complete activities and be instantly entered to win some fab prizes this summer.

There is something exciting happening every day at all 21 branches, so why wouldn’t you head to the library? Summer starts at EPL!

  • When: Saturday, June 25 – Saturday, Aug. 27
  • Time: Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Where: All EPL locations
  • Price: FREE!

Find summer activities at a branch near you, opens a new window