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Catch 'Em While You Can

Gillian Thomson Edmonton
by Gillian Thomson

Let’s not talk about the weather. Maybe if we don't talk about it, the temperature will stay +25 into January? We have better things to talk about like those spring/summer activities you haven’t checked off your list yet. What are you waiting for, anyway? Here’s a round up of some Edmonton Originals that are best experienced before they… let’s say… hibernate.

Fort Edmonton Park
(open 11am-5pm every weekend in September)
Did time stop? No? Okay carry on. However, at Fort Edmonton Park time has actually stopped, three separate times if you can believe it. You won’t need the Delorean for this trip. Imagine it’s 1885 and you can pick up a fresh-baked snack from Jasper House Bakery. Or maybe you’re more of the ferris wheel type – in which case we’ve got your ticket to the 1920’s. Fort Edmonton Park also has some terrific year-round programming to take advantage of like Christmas Reflections and their riveting Murder Mystery nights!

Horse Racing at Northlands Park
(thoroughbred racing continues into late October)
Stand beside the track to feel the wind of horses speeding past you with their eye on the finish line. Place your bets while you dine at Edmonton’s only tiered restaurant, Colours, or cheer louder than the horses’ thunder from the outdoor grandstands. Pro tip: bet on the horse that “relieves” itself prior to the race – trust me, have you ever tried to run on a full bladder?

Jurassic Forest
(remains open until mid-October)
To the Delorean! Just kidding, you still won’t need it to check out Jurassic Forest. Watch out for life-size animated dinosaurs while you walk through their prehistoric habitat. Keep your paleontology guide in your pocket to identify the dinosaurs, then go for an unforgettable ride on the back of a Triceratops! Did you know that the Tyrannosaurus Rex didn’t live in the Jurassic period? That’s right, Steven Spielberg lied to us.

Devonian Botanical Gardens
(open until Thanksgiving)
Marvel at almost 200 acres of display gardens, natural areas and ecological preserves. Let a butterfly land on your finger in the tropical greenhouse. Ring the bell in the Kurimoto Japanese Garden. At DBG, you can literally stop and smell the roses. And the peonies. And the herbs. And the fresh air. And the… you get it.

Photo credit: Len Chambers

High Level Bridge Streetcar
(Friday-Sunday til Thanksgiving weekend)
Let the colours of fall in the river valley take your breath away on the world’s highest streetcar bridge. It’s quite possibly the best time to hop on one of the vintage streetcars connecting Old Strathcona and Downtown Edmonton. Might be the best $5 you’ll spend this year!

Castrol Raceway
(events run into October)
Revving engines and squealing tires—there’s still time to get charged up at the drag races! Or if you’re driving your racy wheels to the track, burn some rubber of your own on the quarter mile.

Keep on cheering! Before their seasons are over, root for the Edmonton Eskimos and FC Edmonton with hot chocolate (relax, or beer of course) in hand. If the peace and quiet of a golf course is more your style, you’ve got over 80 to choose from in the Edmonton area.