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Edmonton is a very family friendly city and there are lots of things to do with children. The best time of the year to visit Edmonton would be during the summer months, i.e. June until August, when festivals are happening almost every week. If your schedule brings you to Edmonton in the fall, don't worry as the fall season weather is mild and the river valley is vibrant with the fall colors.
West Edmonton Mall has both a waterpark and an amusement park. Each can take basically a full day if you want. It all depends on what activities in the mall you want to do. The waterpark can be a lot of fun, and during the week is generally not too crowded. The amusement park may not be as much fun for very young children, since many of the rides are for slightly older children, about 10 years old or more. There is also a mini golf course and ice rink in the mall. Note: there used to be submarine ride but it has since closed.
The Edmonton Valley Zoo is great for small children. It is not huge, especially in comparision to the Calgary Zoo, and does not have all the exotic animals in comparison to some of the larger zoos, but there is enough for young children and families looking to spend a half day.
Fort Edmonton Park is a great place for a day. There is a reconstruction of the original Fort Edmonton, the fur trading post which was the beginning of Edmonton. There are also several streets of old buildings, complete with furnishings. An old steam train will take you from the entrance to near the fort. There are people in period costumes on hand to answer questions and add to the experience. If you are going with toddlers, take a stroller as lots of walking is required and they will likely get tired before the day is done.
Another good family activity can be Edmonton's Telus World of Science, formerly the Edmonton Space and Science Centre. There is an Imax theatre here and an interactive center for the kids.
There are quite a few swimming pools, both indoor and outdoor around the city. There are also arenas with ice pads for skating or hockey games, golf courses, driving ranges, soccer fields, and many other sporting facilities. The river valley has quite an extensive trail system for both walking, jogging and biking.
The Edmonton Queen paddlewheel boat cruises down the North Saskatchewan River which provides a river view of the city.
There are also many parks all over the city. Rundle Park in the north has access to the river and great trails. Rundle also has a swimming pool and skating rink. Toboganning is popular in the winter here at Rundle. Hawrelak Park is just outside the downtown core, immediately to the west of the University of Alberta, in the river valley, and hosts many festivals over the year. There is a small lake, i.e. very large pond, at Hawrelak with paddleboat activities but no swimming. There are also picnic sites throughout the park. Going to the parks in Edmonton is a great day outing, whether picnicing or not.
Edmonton Info Center offers a directory of many other Edmonton attractions and activities for the family .
A number of stables in the area offer trail rides in the summer and hay rides in the fall and winter. Here is one link, but search for others.