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No trip to Edmonton is complete without stopping at the largest mall in the country. But this isn’t just a place to shop until you drop (although there are more than 800 stores for you to do just that!).
The West Edmonton Mall (WEM) is a destination all on its own with attractions, entertainment, and exciting activities for the whole family. I mean, how many malls can boast they have an indoor skating rink, roller coasters, and waterpark?
It’s easy to see why the West Edmonton Mall is considered the city’s top attraction and is one of my favorite places in Edmonton. In fact, in my late teens, I actually worked in West Edmonton Mall for about four years. I’ve spent so much time there over the years, and still enjoy visiting whenever I’m back in Edmonton.
There are tons of things to do in West Edmonton Mall, and in this blog, I’ll tell you all about them!
About West Edmonton Mall
The West Edmonton Mall is the second-largest mall in North America, only behind the Mall of America. It was built in 1981 and covers more than 5.3 million square feet.
This massive mall houses over 800 stores, nine attractions, two hotels, and 100 restaurants. No need to worry about parking either as the mall has spots available for 20,000 vehicles!
The best thing about West Edmonton Mall is that there’s so much more to it than just shopping. With tons of fun attractions on offer, you can stay busy here for days! If you’re looking to take in lots of activities, the Multi-Play Passes might be a good investment. They give you access to almost all the attractions including Galaxyland, World Waterpark, Ice Palace, mini-golf, and Ed’s Bowling. The starting cost for a 7-day pass is $300 CAD for an individual and $900 CAD for families of 4.
The mall gets about 32 million visitors every year, and perhaps you’ll be the next one walking around this amazing place to visit in Alberta!
Related Read: Heading to Edmonton from Vancouver? Check out our road trip guide to driving from Vancouver to Edmonton inlcuding the BEST stops on the way!
17 Fun Things to do in West Edmonton Mall
1. Visit the West Edmonton Mall Waterpark
Get ready to ride the waves at the World Waterpark in West Edmonton Mall. This waterpark has 20 different waterslides and other features including the world’s largest indoor wave pool.
For the little ones, there’s a fantastic splash park and climbing structure. For the adventurous (or fearless!), the Sky Screamer slide with an electronic trap-door launch sends sliders down 26 meters (85 feet) at speeds reaching 60 km/h (37 mph)! I’ve done this one a few times, and let me tell you, it is definitely an adrenaline rush!
The waterpark is kept at a balmy 31°C (88°F), so it feels like a tropical getaway in the middle of the city. You can even keep the vacation atmosphere going and rent a cabana to spend the day.
The park is typically open from 12 pm – 5 pm daily, but check the World Waterpark calendar for hours and what slides are open when you want to visit. On occasion, the Waterpark closes for special events.
It’s also recommended you buy tickets online before you go. Prices range from $64 CAD for adults or anyone over 48,” and $54 CAD for kids under 48″ and little ones two and younger are free. There are discounts for two-day passes or weekday passes available Mondays through Thursdays (excluding high season, holidays, and school breaks), so make sure to see what options work best for your family. Life jackets and swim diapers are free.
2. Play mini-golf
See if you can get a hole-in-one at Professor WEM’s Adventure Golf. This 18-hole mini-golf course is full of cartoonish characters and colorful features to make for a fun family experience.
I have great memories of mini-golfing with my family as a kid. Still, it’s also a great date night activity or as part of a family vacation. Beware though, depending on your family, this can get competitive!
The mini-golf course opens at noon and is open late, typically until 9 pm every day except Sunday, so this is a great activity to do after supper and end your night.
Tickets can be purchased online or right at the mini-golf course. Admission is $16 CAD for anyone over 11 and $11 CAD for kids ages 3-10. There are also discounts available for seniors and toddlers are free.
3. Explore Galaxyland
There’s nothing quite like an amusement park, and with one right inside the West Edmonton Mall, you don’t need to worry about bad weather putting a damper on the day. Even on the coldest days in Edmonton in winter, you can enjoy Galaxyland.
Galaxyland is the largest indoor amusement park in North America. As such, it’s one of the top things to do in West Edmonton Mall. It has more than 27 rides, including four roller coasters, a carousel, a funhouse, and the Space Shot, where riders blast off 37 meters (120 feet) in the air on the tallest indoor tower ride in the country.
Of course, an amusement park wouldn’t be complete without great food. The smell of mini-doughnuts is irresistible, and of course, favorites like cotton candy and ice cream are a must.
Galaxyland also has those carnival-style games from balloon popping to water gun racing. Try your hand at these and see if you can take home a prize or try out one of the arcade games with more than 100 to choose from.
Admission to Galaxyland is $64 CAD per person for anyone over 43 inches or $54 CAD for those who are under 43 inches. If you’re only interested in a few rides, there’s the option to buy individual ride points for about $6 CAD each. The park is open from 12 pm – 5 pm on weekdays and until 7 pm on Fridays and open from 11 am to 7 pm on Saturdays.
2023 Update: Ever heard of the Mindbender coaster being mentioned? Well, that’s probably because it was the most iconic ride inside Galaxyland. After much contemplation, the West Edmonton Mall has decided to close down the Mindbender. This decision come after years of contemplation that began when 3 tragic deaths occurred due to the coaster derailing in 1986.
4. Go bowling at Ed’s
Another fantastic West Edmonton Mall attraction is Ed’s Bowling. Not only can you expect the traditional bowling experience, but there’s also kingpin bowling, billiards, and escape rooms. It’s a great place to unwind with friends and family.
It is recommended you book in advance, although walk-ins are accepted if there’s room. If you book two or more lanes, they will be side-by-side, which is excellent for families or friends that want to hang out together. Visit at night, and you can take part in glow-bowling where the music is cranked, and the black lights come on!
Booking is per lane, per hour and the cost varies depending on the day and style of bowling you chose. Be prepared to pay $55 CAD for tenpin bowling during the week ($10 cheaper for the Kingpin bowling with smaller bowling balls). Prices go up to $75 CAD per hour for tenpin bowling on Friday and Saturday nights and $50 CAD per hour for Kingpin bowling. On Sundays, the rate for tenpin bowling is $65 CAD or $50 CAD for Kingpin. Shoe rentals are about an extra $5 CAD.
Ed’s also has three billiard tables that you can use daily for $25 CAD/hour and you can watch sporting events on the large-screen TVs and refuel by ordering some food from their kitchen.
A new addition is the Alien Outbreak Escape Room, where your team (up to 6 people) will have to figure out what happened to the crew of the Moon Colony Persephone. Work to solve the mystery before time runs out. Admission is $25 CAD per person.
5. Experience DRIVE (WEM’s newest attraction)
DRIVE is one of the newer attractions at the West Edmonton Mall and is perfect if you have a need for speed. Take a spin in the state-of-the-art Sodi race karts at this indoor three-level race track.
The track features a New York streetscape, and these cars are an upgrade from the old-school go-carts many of us grew up with. Each race will have 10-12 racers on the track, so it feels like a real competition!
Each race is about seven minutes long and involves 14 laps around the track. All racers have to be 14 years of age or older to drive. Typically, races are booked on a walk-in basis, but you can buy tickets 24 hours in advance – but make sure not to miss your race time as there are no refunds.
The cost is $30 CAD per race. DRIVE is open from 5 pm until 9 pm most nights with extended hours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Be sure to create a race account when you arrive to get your scores sent to you by email after the race or grab a printed copy on your way out.
6. Eat and drink on Bourbon Street
West Edmonton Mall even has its own Bourbon Street – named after the famous street in New Orleans. This is not your traditional mall food court, though!
Bourbon Street, also referred to as BRBN St., is home to several bars, pubs, and restaurants, so everyone is sure to find something they like. There are great family-friendly restaurants like Boston Pizza, Moxies, and The Old Spaghetti Factory. It’s also a great spot to try something completely different at Japanese Village – one of the best restaurants in all of Edmonton!
Stopping by in-between activities around the mall, Bourbon Street is also a great place to grab a bubble tea from Q-Tea Bubble Tea or ice cream with a freshly-baked waffle cone from Marble Slab Creamery.
If you’re looking for a fun night out here, I love stopping into Hudsons. Known as Canada’s Pub, this is a great place to meet up with friends, enjoy a drink and rest your feet after a long day of exploring all the West Edmonton Mall attractions.
7. Go to the shooting range
If you’re looking for a bit of an adventure, take in the Wild West Shooting Centre. It’s located on the upper level of the mall below the Scotiabank Theatre. This indoor shooting range welcomes beginners to advanced shooters with a tailored experience for everyone.
For first-timers, the range staff are ready to walk you through the experience with safety gear and range coaches. The starter pistol package for newbies starts at $79.99 CAD per person. It includes admission as well as 20 shots 9mm semi-auto rounds and 12 shots of a .38 special revolver rounds. After that, packages go all the way up to $149.95 CAD.
You can also build your own experience by paying the $45 CAD admission to get on the range with a day pass. Then you can buy as many rounds as you would like throughout the day. All safety gear, including eye and ear protection, instruction and coaching, and rentals are provided as part of this.
No license or experience is needed here and walk-ins are welcome. Their staff recommends trying out the .45 Long Colt if you’re looking to channel your inner cowboy as part of the Wild West experience!
Wild West Shooting Centre is open from 10 am to 9 pm from Monday to Thursday, 10 am to 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 am to 6 pm on Sundays.
8. Attend a comedy show
The West Edmonton Mall is also the perfect place to catch live entertainment. The Comic Strip is a great little comedy club located on Bourbon Street.
You might see comics who’ve been on The Daily Show, America’s Got Talent, the Just for Laughs Festival, or The Tonight Show. They also feature upcoming stars in comedy, so you’ll be sure to have a few laughs no matter who you see.
It’s an excellent option for supper as well on Friday and Saturday nights. The Comic Strip does dinner and a show on those days for around $70 CAD. The dinner package also includes a free ticket to another show of your choice in the future. If you’re just interested in the comedy, tickets are about $26 CAD per show and there’s a show every night of the week.
9. Go to the dinner theatre
The Jubilations Dinner Theatre is a fantastic spot for an entire evening of entertainment, where you might just become part of the show. The cast is known for their hilarious parodies of popular movies, music, and TV shows.
I love that the actors serve your three-course meal, they are often hilarious and never get out of character. Every show has popular songs and themes, and you might just find yourself singing along! My family visits Jubilations on an annual basis – we all love it that much.
What’s great is that this can be fun for the whole family. There are lunchtime shows aimed at kids and parents, including a two-act musical comedy and a three-course meal. Tickets are about $42 for these shows, and they are so popular, the shows typically sell out in advance. So plan ahead if you can!
Tickets for the evening shows start at $70 CAD and can be purchased online. It’s best to park in the West Edmonton Mall parking lot and enter through entrance #31 on the east side of the mall as that’s closest to the theatre.
10. Test your skills at The Rec Room
The Rec Room is 54,000 square feet of games, food, and entertainment right inside West Edmonton Mall. It’s the ultimate place to gather with your friends or family and grab something to eat while taking part in a bit of friendly competition.
My favorite part is the 80+ games including the classics like Pac-Man, Mario Kart, and Angry Birds. There are also ping pong and pool tables, shuffleboard, and an augmented climbing wall where you get to play games while climbing 4 meters (12 feet) up in the air.
The two restaurants inside The Rec Room are dedicated to Canadian cuisine. You’ll find mouth-watering poutine at The Shed with amazing house-cut fries. At THREE10, named after Canada’s three territories and 10 provinces, you’ll find a wide variety of dishes with a Canadian twist.
The Rec Room has huge TVs to catch the big game – Go Oilers! There’s also a dance floor and a stage for live performances. One of my good friends actually is a regular performer here.
The Rec Room opens at 11 am and stays open until 11 pm from Sundays to Thursdays but on Fridays and Saturdays they stay open later until 1 am.
11. Relax with an Aqua Massage
After a full day of West Edmonton Mall attractions, there’s no better way to relax and get off your feet than an aqua massage.
Cloud 9 Aqua Massage uses unique massage beds that have streams of pressured water for a full-body massage. But, you don’t get wet! What’s great is that the pressure is adjustable with a provided remote, so you can give extra TLC to whatever might need it – maybe your sore back from carrying all those shopping bags?
The water is heated and will help you unwind as part of your vacation or just give you the getaway experience for a few minutes.
The massages start at $25 CAD, so a really affordable way to relax and rejuvenate before your next activity in West Edmonton Mall.
12. Go ice skating at the indoor rink
This is one of the most well-known attractions in West Edmonton Mall – the unique indoor skating rink! The Ice Palace is right in the center of the mall, and when you’re skating on it, you’ll feel like you have an audience … because you do! Two levels of the mall surround the rink, and whether you’re on the ice or a spectator, it’s a must-see.
They do host public skate times on Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 8:30 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm, Monday and Thursday from 11 am to noon, Tuesday from 11 am to 9 pm, and Wednesday from 11 am to 5 pm. Admission is $16 CAD for adults and $11 CAD for kids. They offer skate rentals and helmets if you didn’t bring your own.
If you want to participate in an informal hockey game they have $25 CAD drop-in sessions on Friday and Saturday from 8:45 to 11 pm for their Shinny Skate!
You might even catch a hockey tournament or figure skating competition in action. The rink is also sometimes covered up for non-ice activities like concerts or cheerleading competitions. So you could see a totally different type of entertainment at the Ice Palace depending on when you visit.
The facility has recently undergone a $3 million renovation and it’s a beautiful spot to watch some skating or take to the ice yourself.
Related Read: If you’d rather skate on a spectacular outdoor rink, take the drive from Edmonton to Lake Louise in the winter!
13. Spend the night in a theme room at Fantasyland Hotel
The Fantasyland Hotel is located inside the West Edmonton Mall – perfect for an easy place to crash after a full day exploring all the mall has to offer. This hotel has been listed among the top 10 most unique hotels in the world and it’s easy to see why.
The hotel is best known for the AMAZING theme rooms that you have to see to believe. I love the Roman rooms with the detailed décor and jacuzzi tub right in the room. There are also Space rooms complete with bunk beds designed to look like spaceship capsules. The Polynesian rooms have been recently renovated and are perfect for an island escape in the middle of the city.
The theme rooms can book up quickly, and there’s only a limited amount available in each theme. So make sure to book early to guarantee the theme room you have your heart set on.
The best part is that after enjoying your totally unique theme room, you can step outside your hotel right into the mall to continue exploring all that WEM has to offer.
14. Satisfy your sweet tooth
For me, no trip to West Edmonton Mall is complete without a treat … or two or three. There are so many places to choose from – the most challenging part will be picking what you want to eat!
If you’re craving classic treats, a stop at Candy Candy is a must. They have the widest selection of bulk candy and favorites like Nerds or Jelly Belly jellybeans.
If chocolate is more your thing, you can’t go wrong with a stop at Purdy’s for one of their famous hedgehog chocolates (my personal favorite.) Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory also has the best gourmet fudge and Cookies by George is known for its delicious cookies, all made by hand in small batches.
For more salty treats, Wetzel’s Pretzels is a place you’ll probably smell before you can see. This is because they are constantly taking pretzels right from the oven. Or I recommend grabbing some popcorn to go from Popcornwala, which has traditional flavors as well as a twist with East Indian spices.
These places are great to grab something to eat while you are wandering the mall, but also good to pick up a gift for someone at home or to take home for yourself. The treats are pretty tasty though, so it may be a challenge not eating them all yourself!
15. Do some high-end shopping
Take advantage of the opportunity to treat yourself to something extra special from the many designer stores within the mall. There are some here at West Edmonton Mall that you won’t find anywhere else in Canada.
One of those is SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker. This high-end shoe store started by the Sex and the City actress features colorful high-heels handmade in Italy and retail for about $400-$700 CAD per pair. This is the only Canadian store and you’ll have to go to places like New York or Dubai to find another SJP location!
The mall is home to the only standalone Gucci location in Alberta. The store has bags, shoes, accessories, jewelry, watches, fragrances, and eyewear. It’s a huge space that instantly feels luxurious with velvet armchairs and artisan-painted floors from Italy.
The Gucci store is part of a growing “luxury” section of the mall that includes Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, and Tiffany & Co.
Related Read: One of the best things to do in Calgary in the winter is shopping. Calgary, located about a 3-hour drive from Edmonton also has some huge malls!
16. Visit Chinatown
One of the other great things to do in West Edmonton Mall is exploring Chinatown. It’s located right above Bourbon Street and is designed to look like a Chinese marketplace.
There’s a beautiful koi pond at the center with calligraphy, ornamental paving, and red and gold accents. Chinatown is “guarded” by two giant lion statues and a festive dragon.
This area of the mall has some really unique shops and restaurants to buy everything from noodles to tea to jewelry. I often stop in for some delicious Pho. It’s a great way to get a taste of Asian culture without having to leave the country.
17. Wander Europa Boulevard
This is another excellent themed “street” inside the mall that will transport you to an old European city. Europa Boulevard is lined with tiny balconies, European architecture, and a gorgeous skylight.
It has a variety of stores carrying fashion from some of the top brands including Diesel, Ed Hardy, True Religion, and Lacoste. You’ll also find designer brands here including Michael Kors, Burberry, Versace, and Prada.
One of the newer fashionable additions to Europe Boulevard is Simons. This is the first location outside Quebec, and it has some of the top designers in the world along with their exclusive house labels. I can never leave Simons empty-handed, they carry the coolest clothes at great prices.
Related Read: Spending some time in Edmonton this winter? Check out our blog about 30 fun things to do in Edmonton in the winter months!
Where to Stay Near West Edmonton Mall
If you’re coming to Edmonton to primarily visit West Edmonton Mall then you’ll likely need a place to stay nearby. Luckily, there are plenty of great hotels near Wes Edmonton Mall to suit any budget.
O course, the closest hotel to WEM is actually in the mall. Fantasyland Hotel is an upper-scale hotel featuring special “theme” rooms. Choose between family-friendly rooms like the Space Rooms, or for couples, opt for something a little more romantic such as the Roman Room. Fantasyland Hotel isn’t cheap though, but an experience as unique as this is totally worth the $300 CAD+ price tag. Standard hotel rooms are also available and are much cheaper at around $200 a night.
West Edmonton Mall Inn is located just across the street from the mall. It is a little more budget-friendly and offers standard Queen and King rooms. You can get a room here for as little as $100 CAD per night. They also have pet-friendly rooms which is a huge bonus for anybody traveling with furbabies.
If you don’t mind a short 5-minute drive, then you could stay at Element Edmonton West. As one of the most highly-reviewed hotels in the city, you really can’t go wrong. This hotel features an indoor pool and hot tub, fitness center, and an onsite- restaurant and bar.
Renting a Car in Alberta
If you’re arriving in Alberta via plane then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. Canada is a large country and traveling between cities and even just getting out to some of the best places to visit in Alberta requires transport. Although you can use public transport, on some occasions, it means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.
Renting a car will definitely make exploring all of the fun things to see and do in Alberta easier.
Car rental in Canada isn’t super cheap, but it isn’t overly expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year and the type of car that you rent. For car rentals, I use the website DiscoverCars.com. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used them all over the world including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.
Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!
Canada Travel Essentials
Before you decide to head off and explore the gorgeous mountains, lakes, towns, and cities around Canada it’s important to have the right equipment. Of course, it’s likely you’ll have most of the basics already but there are some common items people forget that I never travel without.
Crampons: In winter, crampons are super handy, but what people don’t realize is that they come in handy in summer too. In fact, up until mid-July, you can still expect icy conditions in the mountains. The pair I use is only $37 CAD and they have lasted me 3 seasons so far!
Waterproof shell: Most people will have this item but I thought I’d include it anyway since it’s so handy in Canada. The Columbia waterproof jacket is a lightweight windproof jacket that will seriously save you in many situations. The best part, though? It comes in pink!
Scent-proof bag (for bears): Most people think you only need to keep the smell of food away from you when you’re overnight camping. However, bears can smell the food in your bag while you’re hiking and the best way to avoid an encounter is to use a scent-proof bear bag. Basically, you put your food in the bag and the bear cannot smell it while you’re hiking. This is one item most people never have (I never hike without it) but it could save you and the bear.
Buff: I love my buff! Seriously, I go nowhere without it both in winter and summer. There are a few brands around but I always buy the original Buff (you know, the one from Survivor!) They’re a little more expensive but the material is good quality and both breathable and quick drying.
Dry bag: I have expensive camera equipment, so I always travel with a dry bag large enough to fit some of my equipment. It can be a camera, book, binoculars, or even my keys. Regardless, a dry bag gives me peace of mind! The MARCHWAY bag is really good quality, and when not in use, takes up only a small amount of room.
Binoculars: I love my binoculars! Seriously they have come in handy so many times, especially when I’m looking for wildlife. The best part is, I use a set that only costs $25 CAD and they serve my basic needs without any issues!
Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!
If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)
It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!
Thanks for reading!
The West Edmonton Mall is full of activities for the whole family, and it’s not just about the shopping. You can plan an entire getaway here.
I hope that our blog about the best things to do in West Edmonton Mall has proven helpful. If so, be sure to check out our other blogs about some popular destinations in Alberta including: