Bust out your shades, slap on some sunscreen, and get ready for the summer of your life. Yes, this year will be the year. Ditch the air conditioning and explore the awesomeness that Edmonton has to offer. Your summer bucket list starts here.
Shall I compare thee to a glass of wine?
Brush up your Shakespeare when the Bard comes to Edmonton for the Freewill Shakespeare Festival. This year's plays include Comedy of Errors and Hamlet. Impress a hot date with the festival’s Unwined Date Nights, which come with a wine tasting and food pairing, as well as early admittance. The show must go on rain or shine, but don’t worry—they’ve got you covered (literally) with a massive tent that shelters performers and audience alike.
June 19-July 15
Where food babies are made...
Taste of Edmonton will make all your food-related dreams come true. Gather with fellow foodies at the Alberta Legislature's Capital Plaza to sample a variety of Edmonton’s best restaurants. Once you pack your plate with gourmet tacos and juicy sliders, settle in to enjoy one of our nation’s largest free concert series.
Outdoor markets galore...
Farmers' markets are where it’s at, and you can support local growers, makers and vendors at these stand-out Edmonton markets: City Market Downtown, Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market and the 124 Grand Market. You’ll find everything Edmontonians love about summer—food trucks, live entertainment, fresh local produce, one-of-a-kind clothing and more. If you’re out and about around City Market, make sure to stop in at Honest Dumplings for some tasty out-of-the-box creations—yum!
Cheer your heart out
Has the summer sun got your energy up? Then we suggest taking in some mighty sports action. Cheer your heart out at the epic Canada vs. Scotland Men's International Rugby match alongside 60,000 fans from across Canada at the open air Commonwealth Stadium on June 9. Need something even more extreme? Check out the FISE World Series, the largest free action sports festival in the world. Some of the world's top BMX and Skateboard athlete's will go head-to-head at Louise McKinney River Front Park from July 13-15, along with some pretty gnarly amateur competitions.
Non-stop fun at K-Days
There’s nothing like screaming at the top of your lungs as your roller coaster cart reaches the peak of its climb and starts to zip down the track. The coasters at K-Days really deliver the thrills. Too scared to take the plunge? Check out the awesome concert series featuring acts like Lil Jon, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Ice Cube, Billy Talent, The Beach Boys and more. When you’ve ridden every ride you can handle, cap off the day with a candy apple and watch as fireworks fill the sky above the fairgrounds.
Get that bird's eye view
Gather your crew and hit the biggest and most intricate jungle gym you've ever seen at the Snow Valley Aerial Park. Are you ready for the "Ninja Warrior" course? Or are you looking for something a little closer to the ground? Either way, you'll have the best afternoon ever exploring the off-the-ground games and obstacles. Get your head in the clouds - literally! Take flight with Edmonton Regional Helicopters and explore Edmonton from a bird's eye view, or swoop through Edmonton's picturesque, sprawling river valley during a one hour Discovery Flight + City Tour with the Namao Flying Club! These views are one of a kind.
Travel around the world, no passport required
Get a glimpse at the cultures of the world without leaving the city when the Edmonton Heritage Festival takes over Hawrelak park. The best part: you can sample food from Peru, Ukraine and Greece all on one plate! See Irish dancers, African drummers, and shop for artwork while learning something new. Though there is no public parking during the festival, you can take advantage of the ETS Park & Ride which makes access a breeze.
Segway all day
Join the gang at River Valley Adventure Company and see the city like never before while cruising on a segway. Don't worry, you'll get a quick lesson first. You'll ride through the river valley in style, and your guide will share some of Edmonton’s natural history and wonders along the way. They also rent bikes, select sporting equipment and even fishing gear so you can get the most out of your outdoor adventures this summer.
Slip into a low lawn chair or snuggle up on a blanket and enjoy a line-up of bands from around the world at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. You’ll find a mix of folk, celtic, bluegrass, blues, gospel, roots, world beat, and even some alternative rock. With previous lineups including artists like Of Monsters and Men, Leon Bridges, Vance Joy, Passenger, Steep Canyon Rangers and many, many more, you better believe this is a grab-your-tickets-fast, kind of festival.
This year's lineup will be announced on May 30, 2018.
A city on the Fringe
Performers from Edmonton and around the world take over Old Strathcona for two weeks in August at The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival. Laugh until you cry at some improv, take in a musical, or hang out on the main grounds with buskers and green onion cakes abound. Here’s a tip: plan to spend an afternoon or evening at La Cité Francophone, a longstanding BYOV (bring your own venue) in Edmonton’s French Quarter with a reputation for incredible theatre, and its own outdoor market.
Livin’ that patio life
There’s nothing quite like the fresh air on an open patio and a cold pint. Try out small but mighty patios like The Next Act, Sugar Bowl or Three Boars, and then hit up the wooftop patio at The Black Dog (get it??). The patio at Julio’s Barrio is an Edmonton staple (perfect for people watching), while Café Bicyclette is an ideal place to enjoy a pastry and catch up with friends. For those who burn a little quicker than most, the patio at Café Leva is surrounded by a canopy of trees—phew! If you need even more choices check out our list of The Best Summer Patios in Edmonton.