Edmonton Tourism

Edmonton Tourism

August 06, 2009 08:00 ET

City of Edmonton Attractions Offer Summertime Kid-Friendly Entertainment

From the reopening of Edmonton's Muttart Conservatory to the 50th Anniversary of the Valley Zoo, Edmonton's city attractions keep youngsters engaged during summer break

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Aug. 6, 2009) - City of Edmonton attractions are blooming with colourful activities this summer. After more than a year of renovations Muttart Conservatory is reopening with renewed plant collections, interactive educational facilities, and a stunning new public courtyard complete with etched stone pyramid, waterfalls and flowers.

"It's a wonderful place, a sanctuary," says Jan Archbold, City spokesperson. "The tropical pyramid has been revamped to be wheelchair accessible. There are waterfalls and refreshed plants. The main pyramid now has an 'All Jazzed Up' theme and it's ablaze with florals. There's also a cafe at the front of the building, so you no longer need to pay admission to stop by for a light lunch or latte."

The indoor renovations at Muttart Conservatory are set up for imaginative use with three new classrooms complete with sound systems and big screens. And it's no longer, "don't touch" for kids who can go to the new 'wet room', for example, and get their hands in soil, plant, learn about botany, paint, and more.

"I think it's really fun and I want to come back," enthuses seven year-old Brodey Popal, a visiting Grade 2 St. Vincent Elementary student at the grand reopening. When asked 'what's your favourite part of the new Muttart?' Brodey answers, "All of it!"

Muttart is all about education that 'grows' on you. Sunday Showcase features fabulous and fun drop-in activities each week. Do crafts, learn about seeds, different flavours that come from plants, how exotic plants compare to local species, and much more. Activities are covered in the cost of admission.

With a reopening theme of "All Jazzed Up", Muttart is big on incorporating the arts into the refreshed the facility. Music, paintings, and more take centre stage in the centre courtyard with activities like 'Small Sounds' on Sundays, an opportunity to try exotic musical instruments. Muttart Conservatory will have a full fall program of activities for all ages. To find out more visit the website at www.muttartconservatory.ca.

Weddings are popular at the Muttart not only for the lush setting but also for the amenities. The etched-glass classroom walls can be moved, allowing the building to be set up for special events in the centre courtyard, including shows, birthday parties and receptions.

The exterior is also renovated and welcomes summer visitors. "We have beautiful gardens and gazebos," says Judith Rohovie, Director of Horticultural Facilities and Muttart Conservatory. "Bring a bag lunch and sit in the courtyard." It's not only relaxing, it's also free.

Muttart, one of the most photographed attractions in Edmonton, not only is a boon to city dwellers but also tourists, who can make use of hand-out materials in twelve languages. Of the Muttart, Judith Rohovie says, "It's a living collection. It's about continuing our civic pride in an interesting, unique, and fresh way."

There are plenty of other City of Edmonton attractions with 'hot and happening' activities for the whole family. Fort Edmonton Park is North America's largest interactive historic park. With good old-fashioned fun in the heart of the river valley, you can get a feel for what life was like in Edmonton as far as back as 150 years ago. Costumed interpreters bring the park to life as you take a ride on a steam train, play pioneer games, shop, hit the midway rides, bake bread the old-fashioned way and much more. To learn more go to www.fortedmontonpark.ca.

Edmonton's Valley Zoo is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The Valley Zoo is home to more than 350 animals. Plan on spending two to three hours with some very wild new friends, viewing the exhibits, and enjoying the restaurants, rides and gift shop. See the Valley Zoo's brand new Makira Outpost, a humid, island-like atmosphere, and a perfect home to the Zoo's rambunctious lemurs. To find out more visit www.valleyzoo.ca.

For more information on City of Edmonton attractions, visit www.edmonton.com/liveallyear.

Contact Information

  • Edmonton Economic Development Corporation
    Jenifer Christenson
    Executive Director, External Relations
    780.917.7890
    Email: jchristenson@edmonton.com