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Things for Preschoolers to Do in the City of St. Albert, Alberta



West Edmonton Mall attractions will entertain your preschooler.
West Edmonton Mall attractions will entertain your preschooler.



Affectionately referred to as “Alberta’s finest city” by residents and visitors alike, St. Albert strives to live up to this unofficial title. The challenges of keeping preschoolers entertained is made easier when visiting a family-friendly city like St. Albert. Besides hosting one of the longest running children’s festivals in North America, St. Albert is also home to the world’s largest indoor amusement park and the world’s largest indoor wave pool. With all this excitement packed into one area, convincing your preschooler to leave St. Albert may prove to be the most taxing part of your visit.

The Northern Alberta International Children’s Festival

For over three decades, St. Albert has hosted the Northern Alberta International Children’s Festival (childfest.com), making it one of the longest running children’s festivals in North America. Usually beginning at the end of May each year, the city streets are transformed, while roving clowns and magicians engage children with wacky performances. Scheduled activities include child-focused acts on the main stage, petting zoos and arts-and-crafts sessions. Preschoolers are encouraged to take part in age-appropriate cultural learning activities, while interacting in a safe environment. With the recent addition of Toddler Town, preschoolers through age 4 have even more events to explore. General admission and site activity tickets are available through a variety of venues; additional deals include free park-and-ride services and discounted admission days.

St. Albert Public Library

The St. Albert Public Library (sapl.ab.ca/children) is committed to preschooler literacy, as evidenced by their many child-focused programs. The facility recently upgraded their children’s section to include storykits, which are designed to engage preschoolers more creatively than traditional books. These prepackaged kits include preschool-themed books, supplemental CDs, puppets and graphic puzzle activities to facilitate preschool comprehension. Supplemental material may include short videos, songs and interactive drills. The storykits are arranged into themes that are designed to attract young readers. The library currently has 45 themes among which to choose, including an alphabet-themed storykit and a winter theme. Curious preschool travelers can read books about their new surroundings and even receive promotional materials as souvenirs. Scheduled and drop-in preschool story-time sessions are available throughout the year. Guided tours of the facility are also available by request for individuals or groups.

St. Albert Children’s Theatre

Established in 1981, the St. Albert Children’s Theatre (sact.ca) is a source for spirited entertainment for people of all ages, including preschoolers. Past performances include “Peter Pan, a Musical Adventure,” “Disney’s High School Musical” and “Narnia.” Shows vary throughout the year, so call ahead to choose the best show for your child. Summer camps are available for a fee, although participants must be toilet-trained to participate. Camp activities focus on the fundamentals necessary for success in musical theater; classes will address appropriate singing, acting and moving techniques. Preschool classes are scheduled for 90-minute sessions to account for shorter attention spans.

West Edmonton Mall

Although malls aren’t typically prime real estate for preschoolers, West Edmonton Mall (wem.ca) breaks that stereotype. Located less than 10 miles from St. Albert city center, the mall offers Galaxyland (wem.ca/#/play), the world’s largest indoor amusement park. The park has preschool-appropriate rides, including a balloon race Ferris wheel, the motojump merry-go-round and toddler-size space bump cars. The mall’s World Waterpark (wem.ca/#/play) has preschool-appropriate attractions such as the dolphin kiddie pool, which includes water toys. The Caribbean Cruiser slide offers a safe drop into a 1-inch pool. Fees for attractions vary based on activity type and age of patron.




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