You've heard us talk about great patios, now it's time to chat about picnics! When the summer is hot and the grass is green, 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- 9330 Groat Road
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- 110 Street and 97 Avenue
Seeking a front row seat to both the river valley and the High Level Bridge? Then Constable Ezio Faraone Park 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.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park- 13221 Buena Vista Road13221 Buena Vista Road
We like to think of this 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- 9938 Groat Road (at “the bottom” of Groat Road)
With picnic benches and barbeques to use, 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- 51227 AB-60, Spruce Grove
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.
Emily Murphy Park- 11904 Emily Murphy Park Road
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.
Fort Edmonton Park- 7000 143 Street
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.
Louise McKinney Riverfront Park- 9999 Grierson Hill
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!
Borden Park- 7507 Borden Park Road
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!
Legislature Grounds- 108 Street and 99 Avenue
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 the 104th Street Market first and pick up some local goods for your feast!
High Level Bridge Streetcar- Gateway Blvd and 84th Avenue or 100th Avenue and 109th Street
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.