What do you look for when planning a day of fun? Rides… check; food… check; movies… check; hotel… check. It looks like the West Edmonton Mall has everything you’ll need to have a day or two of adventure – and it’s all under one roof!

Tonnes Of Fun

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With 24 rides and play areas, Galaxyland is the world’s largest indoor amusement park. The rides are marked to show those that are geared toward younger visitors and others that are more exciting.

World Waterpark has waterslides for all ages and a mammoth wave pool for splashing around in. You can even go rock climbing and bungee jumping there, or relax in a hot tub for a while.

Marine Life is an underground aquarium that also has four performing sea lions. Wander through exhibits of sharks, turtles and penguins. Book a special event, feed the sea turtles or find out about becoming a volunteer with this excellent organization.

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In 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean in a boat that looked very much like one you’ll find there. The Santa Maria is an exact replica of his flagship that is open to visitors and next to the Sea Life Caverns.

The Ice Palace is an indoor ice rink the size of the National Hockey League rinks. Skating is almost always available except when a special event is scheduled.

ice rinkcreativecommons.org/Robert Zanzalone

The Dragon’s Tale is an 18-hole miniature golf course with special black light effects to make it more exciting. If dragons are too dramatic for your little golfers, Professor Wem’s Adventure Golf is a little more suitable.

Fun Houses & Film Theatres

Take a walk through the FunHouse & Haunted Castle for an entertaining break, or try your luck at bingo with the older crowd. If you’re feeling gutsy you can climb a real rock wall or test your skills at the skateboard park. Build something cool at Build-A-Bear, hone your aim at the shooting centre or revamp those pinball thumbs at the Newplay arcade. You can always take a break from all the activity at one of the Scotiabank theatre’s 13 big screens or the super-cool 3D IMAX. Don’t forget to commemorate your adventure by getting photos done, 1800s style, at the Antique Photo Parlour.

Nightlife

Try your luck at cards in the Palace Casino. They have gaming tables, slot machines, a poker room and a VIP room for special guests. If luck wasn’t with you, cheer yourself up at The Comic Strip near entrance 6. Some famous folk have gotten their start here and the man who runs it all is always good for a laugh. There are several lounges in the mall that will let you have a quieter evening or dance the night away.

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With more than 800 stores you’re bound to find everything you need - and then some. Sears, Target and Hudson’s Bay anchor the west end of the mall with their large department stores, but that’s really only a small part of the shopping experience. Five framing and art shops are there along with many hobby and toy stores. If you’re looking for a special gift, smaller shops with unique items are sprinkled throughout the mall. There are seven bridal shops clustered near the west end and three places that sell luggage to help you plan the honeymoon trip. No time to get your eyes checked? You can do that here as well. Teeth too, because you’ll want your smile to look good when you put on your new togs. There’s even a place to pick up supplies for the pooch before you head home.

Food Glorious Foodfoodcreativecommons.org/jasonwoodhead23

Wandering through the 5.3 million square feet of the mall will build up quite an appetite. The mall has two grocery stores if you’d like to pick up something to take home, or stop in at one of the two food courts for a quick bite. Of course if you’ve had a long day shopping you’ll want to sit down and have a pint before tackling the next set of shops. It almost doesn’t matter what you’re craving because chances are you’ll find it there. Along with standard grills and steakhouses you can get a variety of pizza, sushi or have dinner and a show at the dinner theatre. Even more restaurants can be found just outside the mall.

Hotels

With everything there is to do, you’ll want to stay for several days, right? You can stay at the West Edmonton Mall Inn and get a comfortable room, but why not have a more unique experience at the Fantasyland Hotel. 120 of their rooms have been decorated following a creative them. Stay in a Roman villa or pretend you’re in the tropics in a Polynesian themed room. Tough guys will love the truck theme, or brave the winter’s chill in a room that looks as though you’re sleeping in an igloo.

 

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