Family Travel Plans? Visit North America’s Largest Mall

West Edmonton Mall

Top Alberta Travel Destinations: West Edmonton Mall

©2008Angie Haggstrom

For any of you planning a family trip to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, a visit to West Edmonton Mall is a definite must. The mall has a huge selection of various stores, but there is so much more to see and do. There is a large water park, ice skating, movie theatres, amusement park, golfing, marine mammals and so much more. Anything you and your family would want to do is all in one place. Just one thing: you might want to reserve one or two entire days in your travel itinerary for this Edmonton Attraction.

The mall opened in 1981 with a total cost of more than $1.2 billion dollars. The mall takes up 570 000 square miles, which is equivalent to 48 city blocks! Currently, the mall sees an estimated 28.2 million visitors a year and is the largest mall in North America (5th largest in the world) Once you get inside you’ll see why! Don’t worry though…parking won’t be a problem with more than 20 000 spaces available.

Once you get inside, Galaxyland amusement park is a great place to start. The Mindbender roller coaster is three loops of pure adrenaline rush. From there, you have to try the tower! The rest of the park is filled with swinging rides like swings and ships, the fun house, and a special set of rids designed for the younger ones.

After the thrills and chills, how about some water fun? The World Waterpark located inside the mall is also the largest indoor waterpark and wave pool in North America. The waves are fun, but there are all sorts of thrilling waterslides and a special area for the little swimmers. If that isn’t enough, how about bungee jumping over the water?

Animal lovers have not been left out at West Edmonton Mall either. The salt-water exhibit called Sea Life Caverns comes complete with a sunken ship. Here, you can watch sea lions, penguins and other marine animals play and put on a show or play bumper boats. If you travel a little farther in the mall, you will find the fantastic petting zoo. If you would rather go ice skating than petting animals, you can do that here to at the Ice Palace!

Other attractions and activities in the mall include 2 mini-golf courses, movie theatres, casino, rec centre, shooting range, skate park, arcades and many, many more than there is room to list. Generally, anything you want to do or see can be found here. To make it even easier, you can even stay right in the mall in the Fantasyland Hotel and stay in a themed room. Be warned, however, that this one can get a bit pricey. The West Edmonton Mall Inn is great option for those on a little tighter budget.

When it comes to the shopping, it is just as diverse as the attractions will more than 800 stores and restaurants. You will find places like Zellers, London Drugs, and HMV as well as Abercrombie & Fitch, Swarovski, and Urban Behavior. The mall also has three themed shopping areas to help you find precisely what you are looking for – Bourbon Street, Europa Boulevard, and Chinatown.

The mall’s owners currently have plans to add on an additional 30 000 square meters of stores, an office building, trade show and convention center, apartment building and additional parking. Sound like fun? Just wait till you get there!

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