What can you do for free in Edmonton

What can you do for free in Edmonton?   

Edmonton is a bustling and expansive metropolitan area. However, it doesn’t mean that you always have to shell out cash to enjoy the amazing sights and activities in the city. 

Thrifty adventurers, buckle up! Here are the best ways to explore Edmonton for free. 

How to Explore Edmonton for Free 

Go window shopping at Whyte Avenue 

Go window shopping at Whyte Avenue

Source: CBC News 

Best Time to VisitJanuary - December (Weekends)
AddressArterial road in South-Central (Old Strathcona) Edmonton, Alberta
Operating HoursAccessible 24 hours a day

Whyte Avenue is surrounded by shops, bars, art galleries, and restaurants. It’s a hub for people looking for a place where they can take a stroll and go window shopping on weekends. 

This place is an excellent choice for people who just want to hang out with friends or family without spending a dime. You see, there are a lot of stores to browse, and if you’re lucky, you can even get freebies and samples. 

This street is also an oasis for bookworms because there are several bookstores and cafes around the area. Looking through the stacks of used books is free, so don’t be shy and let the books keep you company!

Besides that, we also recommend attending Whyte Avenue’s Art Walk. 

Well, we can’t guarantee that the artworks are cheap, but there’s no admission fee, and you can check out a bunch of paintings, sketches, sculptures, and collections of local artists. 

Have a family picnic at William Hawrelak Park 

Have a family picnic at William Hawrelak Park

Image Source: 10 Adventures

Best Time to VisitJune to September
Address9330 Groat Rd NW, Edmonton, AB T6G 2A8, Canada
Operating HoursMonday - Sunday 5 AM to 11 PM

Want to relax and be at peace with nature? Bring the whole family and enjoy a nice picnic at William Hawrelak Park. 

It’s a 68-hectare (168-acre) park with various lakes, gardens, picnic sites, playgrounds, and sheltered pavilions. That’s why it’s an excellent spot for weekend excursions, especially during summer. 

The pristine Hawrelak Park Lake is a sight to behold, and you can take as many pictures as you want. However, you must remember that swimming, fishing, or boating is not allowed. 

Nonetheless, over 50 picnic sites are scattered throughout the vicinity, and all of them are free to use. Note that you have to reserve the site at least seven days before your visit since its availability can depend on a specific timeslot. 

Alternatively, if you want to stay active and go on an adventure inside the expansive park, you can try the (easy to moderate) walking and hiking trails

Should this not be enough, popular festivals such as Edmonton Heritage Festival and Silver Skate are held here. That’s why if you want to mingle with people and enjoy free drinks and live bands, this park can be your go-to choice. 

Go stargazing at the University of Alberta Observatory

Go stargazing at the University of Alberta Observatory

Image Source: Travel Alberta 

Best Time to VisitSeptember to April
AddressCentennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E9, Canada
Operating HoursThursday 12 PM to 1 PM, 8 PM to 9 PM

The University of Alberta Observatory is run by the university’s Department of Physics. It features an array of telescopes that are used for public observing sessions. 

There’s no entrance fee for the observatory, so you’re free to view the night sky and constellations through the observatory’s powerful telescopes. 

What we like most about the University of Alberta Observatory is that school groups and other education-oriented organizations can schedule a private visit. Plus, it’s also totally free! 

Besides that, you have the chance to witness the magical dancing lights or Aurora Borealis around September to April. 

However, visitors can only visit this observatory at select hours on Thursdays. Make sure to get in touch with the observatory’s team at least a month before your tentative visit date to secure your spot. 

Take a stroll at the Alberta Legislature Building 

Take a stroll at the Alberta Legislature Building

Image Source: CBC News 

Best Time to VisitJune to September
Address10800 97 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5K 0B7, Canada
Operating HoursWednesday - Sunday 11 AM to 3 PM

Alberta Legislature Building is a good place to explore if you’re into historic buildings and beautiful architecture

You can take in the panoramic views of the North Saskatchewan River because the building is set atop its banks. 

We also recommend it for tourists because they offer free guided tours. 

Through this, they can discover the portraits and artworks inside. With the guide’s help, they can also learn more about the fascinating stories behind each of the art pieces. 

If you’re visiting the Alberta Legislature Building during the summer months, you can bring your kids. Let them explore and play in the wading pool. 

Moreover, you can enjoy a simple retreat or picnic in the landscaped areas and benches around the building. You can also chill and take a stroll in the tree-lined walkways and well-lit lawns at night. 

Snap epic moments and pictures in Borden Park

Snap epic moments and pictures in Borden Park

Image Source: Family Fun Edmonton 

Best Time to VisitJune to September
Address11020 75a St NW #102, Edmonton, AB T5B 2C5, Canada
Operating HoursMonday - Sunday 5 AM to 11 PM

Borden Park is one of the most Instagrammable spots in Edmonton. If you just want to enjoy nature’s beauty, you can take a stroll on the walking paths and snag some good pictures at the flower gardens. 

It holds a great part of the city’s history because it was established 100 years ago. 

Moreover, there is an array of public artworks, walking and cycling trails, and sports field inside the park. For this reason, it’s an excellent spot for tourists who want to immersively explore Edmonton’s beauty. 

Furthermore, a new family pool has been added to the park. Aside from the playgrounds, kids and kids at heart can access another fun outdoor activity this summer in Borden Park. 

Just note that it’s the first chemical-free outdoor swimming pool in Canada, so its guidelines are different from other outdoor pools. Make sure to check and understand the guideline before visiting the facility.