You are currently viewing ChatterBlock in Charlotte NC. Change location by typing below:
I have to admit that although I couldn’t wait for summer to arrive, I was a little apprehensive about how I was going to fill my days with my kids. First month down and we have had a blast. Every day is a new adventure. I am a planner so I tend to know what I’ll be doing a week in advance.
Share this article
My kids are not allowed to
utter the dreaded words “I am bored”, there is so much to do here. It doesn’t
have to cost you a fortune to avoid the boredom plight. There are days my kids couldn’t be happier
running around in the back garden or at a local park – costs me nothing and it
fills their minds with happy memories of their childhood. Listed below are some of the things we have
done to date or plan to do in August:
yourself an Aqua Afternoon (or day!)
Recently we did just this.
It wasn’t the singing in the rain variety but the purchasing of a family
pass for Millennium Place Recreation Centre in Sherwood Park in the morning and
then off to Rundle Park for some Paddle boating in the afternoon.
Millennium Place Recreation has family change rooms, lockers, lifejackets and so many toys and floatables to
take with you in the water. There is a
cool wave pool and also a winding river which my kids love. The pass allows you to use the Edu-tainment
centre which is also a great space and lets the kids run off that excess
energy. There is a big food court so you
can either bring your own supplies or purchase – whatever your pleasure is.
Terwilliger Recreation centre is akin to Millennium so pick which is closest to
We are a family who don’t sit still so later that day we
headed over to Rundle Park for some paddle boating. This was so much fun. You can hire the boats for intervals of
either 20 or 40 minutes. It is a small
lake so really 20 minutes is sufficient.
I had not paddle-boated before so for the first 60 seconds I literally
went around in circles, I then got the jist of this technical contraption and
ahoy we were surging through the waters to the surprise of the dodging
ducks. Five minutes into our experience,
Jamie (4) says “I need to go pee”, I had asked him whether he needed to before
hopping on the boat. Typical. Learn from my mistakes!
and Play at Elk Island National Park
Located about 20 minutes east of Sherwood Park, Elk Island
National Park is a great way to spend a day, or if you like camping- a
weekend. What will you find there? Trails, lakes and wildlife galore. As you enter the park there is a Bison Loop
road, if it is empty, don’t fret the chances of you seeing Bison further into
the park are high. Typically we go to
Astotin Lake which is a further 20 minutes into the park. There is a golf course, amphitheatre, and
playground and of course a Lake located here.
There are picnic benches or you can throw a picnic blanket on the ground
and eat your gastronomical delights off it.
I recently went here with friends and after the kids were finishing
eating they played with sand toys by the lake whilst Mom’s had a catch up. The
playground and amphitheatre are close by and our kids probably spent another
hour playing in the delights of this wooden structure. The amphitheatre runs shows, I saw one last
year about the Bison but I couldn’t stay the entire time as my children
couldn’t sit still for more than five minutes as is pretty common for this age
group. If there is a decent breeze, throw a kite in your car. We did and had so much fun. My husband let go by accident and watching
him chasing a kite in Elk Island – a memory I never want to lose. Priceless and extremely funny. Watching the sun set over Lake Astotin is
another very beautiful memory I have.
Get into your car and go…..! You will find admission prices on their
Why not spend the day at West Edmonton Mall? You could spend all day on the 24 plus rides
in Galaxyland, the world’s largest indoor amusement park. I brought visiting family
there two years ago and I was playing the part of hip cool Aunty and I failed.
I lay ashen on the floor beside a ride – true story! Alternatively you could spend the day at
World Waterpark. This place exudes fun, it boasts the world’s largest indoor
wave pool and it has more than 17 unique waterslides and play features. We’ve
been a couple of times and our kids LOVE it.
If this doesn’t float your boat, you could head to the Sea Life caverns
to get up close and personal with some cool marine life. It is an underground aquarium that is home to
more than 100 species of fish, sharks, sea turtles, penguins and reptiles. You could take in a Sea Lion show. We have paid to see the show but we have also
watched from the sidelines too. It’s a
great experience for the kids. If this
isn’t enough you could try out Professor WEM’s adventure golf, a challenging 18
hole miniature golf course which is fun for kids of all ages. I know I am going to visit this summer, why
What kid doesn’t love a spray park? Happy heaven to these little people of
ours. We are fortunate to have a new
Spray Park in Sherwood Park located beside the Kinsmen Leisure Centre. It opened at the beginning of July and
everyone is loving it. Broadmoor Lake
lies right in front of it, a very picturesque sight. I have three small kids so I need my hubby
with me as keeping track of this age group is too much for one individual in my
Recently we took the kids to
Jackie Parker Spray-Park just off 50TH street which was really
enjoyable. Pack an umbrella for shade
and some foldable chairs for here. It is
a very open space. There are a number of
different play sections beside each other, if you have a group of kids, I would
suggest they are all told to stay in one section together and then move on
together. It is busy and large and you
don’t want to lose anybody!!!
It’s free and they love them and this city is full of
them. I come from Dublin Ireland where
we have the opposite scenario, there are not enough of them. There are playgrounds everywhere here and all
you have to do to spice things up is try out a new one. Often we walk to a local playground, my
daughter cycles and the boys hop in the wagon whereby I pull about 100lbs in
weight. I never bothered with a gym
membership, my kids give me enough of a work out. Sometimes we will take a different trail to
keep it interesting. Really all they
care about is playing and making new friends.
My daughter Laura-Leigh (5) is not in the park three minutes before she
has identified a “New BFF” and she asks “Can I play with you?” Too sweet.
Forest & Learning Centre
We brought our kids last summer and they loved it. Meander down the discovery trails and meet an
impressive selection of massive and majestic dinosaurs. The kids will enjoy digging for dinosaur
bones, playing in the playground and even taking a ride on a dinosaur. It will be a fun and educational day for all.
World of Science
This is a great way to spend a day. It is a very impressive place. Their ethos is to inspire life-long learning
through the creation of a positive science and technology culture. Sticking with the dinosaur theme, the science
centre is currently running a “Dinosaurs unearthed” exhibit which we will
definitely be taking our kids to.
Additionally it is home to a planetarium but also an IMAX Theatre. We went to see a feature on Polar Bears a couple
of years back and managed to maintain the attention of three little ones. There is a fabulous play area, my kids love
it there. They can hop on board a plane,
built a skyscraper or get wet!!! Endless
On a Sunny day why not get yourselves to Whyte Ave. and
then take the High Level bridge streetcar to the legislature grounds where you
can cool down in the fountains in front of the building. Perfect trip for a summer’s day. Don’t forget
your sunscreen and towels!
Honestly when we moved here in 2011 and we brought our kids
to the Zoo I was very disappointed. I
was going to ask for my money back.
Credit where credit is due it has greatly improved and we really enjoy
going there now and it is only getting better.
You can buy a single visit or annual pass. We bought an annual pass this year. Not only do you get to see an array of
interesting animals, you can take a train ride, paddle boat or my kids
favourite the merry-go-round. It’s a
great way to spend the day and they get to learn something too. My youngest Ryan (2) is the Dr. Doolittle of
the family so he loves the farm section.
It is hilarious watching him chatting to the animals.
Do you feel everything nowadays is too fast paced? Take a
step back in time so and spend a day at Fort Edmonton. We go once a year and we all LOVE it. It is a
great day out. It is pricey but it is
worth the cost. You have options galore
- Hop on a train which takes you around the park itself, hop on a street car,
take a wagon or pony ride. You must not leave without paying a visit to the
Capitol Theatre where you can watch their 4D short film “Northern Light”, a
very emotional piece. Speak to the many
costume characters who are only too happy to tell you about their lives way
back when. The park is divided into four
distinctive era’s so allocate a day to really get a flavour for this gem of an
attraction. Drop in to Kelly’s Saloon or Hotel Selkirk, the list of things to
do continues. Put this on your
list. It is a must see and everyone will
have a blast, guaranteed.
Jan Janzen Nature Centre
Located beside Fort Edmonton you will find the John Janzen
Nature Centre. There are programs,
events and exhibits designed to promote awareness and engagement with nature in
an urban setting. There is a cool little
indoor play area for the kids too.
Edmonton City and its surrounds has ample attractions for you
to pass a summers day. You can purchase
an Edmonton Attractions Pass online at edmontonattractions.com, this pass
allows you to enjoy many of Edmonton’s best attractions for one low price. You have the choice to purchase the ultimate
pass (covers all listed attractions) or the U-pick pass (you select four
attractions you would like to visit).
As I always say never a dull moment and keep sane and if
you keep the little ones busy you will be sure to have memorable moments with
your sanity intact.
Enjoy your summer.
What's Happening this Weekend?
Sign up for our newsletter & always be first to hear of cool local kid-friendly events.
Writing for ChatterBlock is a fun and easy way to share content with the ChatterBlock community.
Write for ChatterBlock
ChatterBlock Is the #1 Online Resource for Busy Parents
Copyright © 2011-2017 ChatterBlock Inc. All Rights Reserved.