Getting your husband, let alone your children, to the mall can be a difficult task. But at the West Edmonton Mall, the problem isn’t getting them there, it’s if you can get them to leave. A rope obstacle course, a water park, an arcade, skating ring and tons more await your little ones. Here are our top five picks for a complain-free day. And hey, you might even get some shopping done.
Sea Life Caverns
You can explore this underground aquarium anytime during the day to get up close to the adorable African penguins, turtles, sharks and stingrays. Then, sign up for the Sea Lion Encounter for a one-on-one experience with the mall’s California sea lions. If that’s a little too close, take in their show at Sea Lions' Rock. Stick around after the show for a photo with one of the sea lions kissing your head.
Children will love the brightly decorated New Orleans-themed street. If you’re looking for a quick bayou meal, head to the fast food Bourbon Street Grill. For something more kid-friendly, The Old Spaghetti Factory has a kids’ menu that includes ice cream with every meal. WEM also has a Chinatown themed street with a Chinese supermarket.
Whisk your family away to one of 13 themed rooms. Try to book the luxury Western room, where you’ll sleep in a bed modelled to look like a wagon while you’re children sleep in jail bunk beds. Other themes include Roman, sports, truck and train rooms, all with a Jacuzzi.
The largest indoor amusement park in North America has something for everyone. There are eight beginner rides for little ones including a carousel, kiddie bumper cars and a play area with slides. Older children can ride several rollercoasters, including the world’s largest indoor coaster (with three loops), or the world’s tallest tower ride. An all-day family pass (for up to four) will only set you back $99.95.
The Disney Store
Aside from the bazillion toys, costumes and games you’ll find in the store, you and your children will be dazzled by the pixie dust walkway, the princess castle complete with magic mirror and tree-shaped screens that display moving Disney characters. Are the kids tired? Plop them down in the Disney theatre where they can colour or watch a movie.