Best Picnic Spots

When the fall leaves start to shift to amber and gold, there is nothing better than getting your basket in gear and heading out to these grassy escapes for an al fresco feast.

With over 20 major parks and 7,400 hectares of land in the river valley (that's 22 times the size of New York City's Central Park, by the way) you can roast hot dogs with a river valley view, toss a ball in the park, have a romantic dinner and watch the sunset, or even take off in a hot air balloon at Buena Vista Park.

William Hawrelak Park

In this sprawling 68-hectare park, you are sure to find an open spot to spread your blanket. Hawrelak Park is one of Edmonton's crown jewels because it is surrounded by trails that you can explore by foot or bike and if the weather starts to get toasty, you can cool off by renting a paddle boat and float along the five-hectare lake.

Constable Ezio Faraone Park

Seeking a front row seat to both the river valley and the High Level Bridge? Then Constable Ezio Faraone Park (110 St & 97 Ave) is the place for you. Bask in the river valley view as the sun sets, then stay to see the bridge light up for the evening.

Keep calm and picnic on.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park

We like to think of Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park as a mini Hawrelak Park, tucked around the corner on the river bank by the Valley Zoo. There are nine picnic sites available for reservation, plenty of tables, horseshoe pits, trails and more! Don't forget to bring a frisbee to toss around after your meal!

Government House Park

With picnic benches and barbeques to use at Government House Park, you could leave the blanket out of the equation. Before or after your picnic, take a stroll on the paved paths, east along River Valley Road or west into McKinnon Ravine.

University of Alberta Botanic Garden

The botanic garden, just a few minutes west of the city, is worth the drive for a memorable picnic. Explore 190 acres of gardens and natural areas including the Kurimoto Japanese Garden and butterfly house, as well as the new Aga Khan Garden.

Fort Edmonton Park

Bring the kiddos down to Fort Edmonton Park for a good old-fashioned picnic. Lay down your gingham blanket on a spot of grass or claim a picnic table and indulge! The Gyro Park picnic site features an old-fashioned playground and covered picnic shelter.

Food. Friends. Sunshine.

Emily Murphy Park

Nestled on the south bank of the river, Emily Murphy Park is ideal for families. There are plenty of spots to sit with an excellent view of the play area so you can make sure the kiddos are safe and having a great time. Bring your own canoe for a very Canadian picnic, or simply walk the trails and enjoy watching others paddle.

Borden Park

Just east of downtown, Borden Park is the perfect hangout spot on a warm summer afternoon. Bask in the sun on the grass, or take cover in the shaded area. The space is full of trails and pathways that will lead you to stunning sculptures and unique art installations. We challenge you to find the mirrored pavillion!

Louise McKinney Riverfront Park

Located in the heart of the river valley, Louis McKinney Park is the perfect place for relaxing. Explore the pagoda and statuary in the Chinese Garden, or take a post-meal riverfront walk!

Alberta Legislature Grounds

If people watching is your thing, set up your picnic on the steps by the wading pool. For a quieter setting, walk behind the Legislature and find a spot under the trees in the park. If you're picnicking on a Saturday, head over to City Market Downtown first and pick up some local goods for your feast!

High Level Bridge Streetcar

In the mood for a meal with a view? Why not spread your wings and picnic basket atop the city on the High Level Bridge Streetcar where you can take in the panorama. This ride into history takes you along former Canadian Pacific Railway trackage, from Edmonton's historic Old Strathcona area across the High Level Bridge into Edmonton's Downtown.

*Note: the High Level Bridge line operates daily from May 18 to Labour Day.