Before becoming a mom, fall was my favourite season. Now as a mom the fall means cooler weather and the hunt for new activities to entertain my little one and those cold days. This is even more difficult right now with the current health restrictions. But if you are looking for ideas, here are 9 free things to do with your baby this fall in Edmonton.
Although this list is specific to Edmonton, Alberta, check your local area as it may also offer similar free programs. And some of these activities will work in any city or town.
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Visit the Library
The Edmonton Public Library is one of the best in the world. In fact, it was named library of the year by Library Journal in 2014.
There are multiple branches located all over the city. Each branch offers tons of free programming for you and your little one.
My personal favourite is Baby Lap Time. A half-hour program full of songs, books, and games for you and your baby. This program is open to babies under the age of one.
Some branches offer this program once a week and others offer it multiple times a week. There are even Baby Lap Times in French at some of the branches. Check out What’s On on the library website for more information.
If your baby is over the age of one then try exploring Sing, Sign, Laugh, and Learn a program for littles up to the age of 3.
Its focus is on singing, rhyming and signing. This is a very popular program at my local library.
There are many sessions offered throughout the week at most branches. Again, check out the library What’s On section of their website for more information.
Unfortunately, right now all library programs are currently suspended. But you can still visit your local library to take out new books to read with your little one.
Mom’s Group Outdoor Playdate
This is one of my favourite free activities in the city so of course it would make my list of 9 free things to do with your baby this fall in Edmonton. With so many great and unique playgrounds, you could visit a new one every weekend and not run out of new places to go for a very long time.
Message your other mom friends and have them meet you in the park for a playdate. Your little ones can enjoy climbing on the equipment while the moms catch up and enjoy talking to another adult.
There is a special bond between moms that only moms get. Having mom friends can really be a savior on those days when you need someone to commiserate with. Moms just get it.
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Emerald Hills Leisure Centre
I’m going to let you in on a secret.
Emerald Hills Leisure Centre offers free baby swim times throughout the week.
They have a warm kids leisure pool with lots of toys. The pool is great for soon to be toddlers as the water buoyancy can help them learn to balance before walking.
For very little babies the warm water is nice and relaxing. Not only does the pool have toys but they also have flotation devices for little babies too.
The facilities at Emerald Hills Leisure Centre are second to none. They have pool deck strollers, large family change rooms, and private change rooms with playpens making it easy for mom/dad to get changed too!
Baby swim time is the perfect place for a playdate. The little ones can enjoy themselves while playing in the pool and the moms and dads can sit with their little ones and catch up with each other.
Because baby swim time is free, if you get there and your baby doesn’t last too long in the pool you don’t have to feel like you “wasted your money.”
Remember to bring a swim diaper with you as these are required for all baby swim times at Emerald Hills Leisure Centre.
If you’re looking for a raining/cold day activity, baby swim time at Emerald Hills Leisure Centre is the answer.
Walk in the River Valley
Edmonton’s River Valley offers miles and miles of trails for exploring. The fall is an ideal time to put your little one in a stroller and go for a walk through the trails. The changing of the leaves makes for beautiful colours.
For a sensory activity, let your little one play with some of the dried leaves. They will love the texture and sound the leaves make as they are crumpled in their little hands. Just be careful they don’t eat the leaves as I don’t think that will feel too good on their tummies.
Because there are so many river valley trails to explore you could go walking every day for a month and always see something new.
If you’re really feeling active, why not take your little one for a jog with you through the trails. This works best if you have a jogging stroller. I have a BOB jogging stroller and my little one loves coming for runs with me through the river valley trails.
If your baby is anything like mine, then they love the swings at the playground. The fall is a great time to dress your little one in a sweater or light jacket and walk to the local playground.
Put your little one in a swing and push them to their heart’s content.
If you have mom friends that live close to you, why not get them to meet you at the playground too. The little ones can enjoy the time in the swings and you get an adult to talk to.
A bonus with visiting the playground swings, the fresh air often helps babies sleep better.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try checking out some playgrounds outside of your local area. Just remember that now that school is back in session, school playgrounds will be busy at recess and during the lunch hour.
Rotary Playscape in Spruce Grove
Rotary Playscape in Spruce Grove is a massive year-round outdoor playground for kids of all ages. What makes it a great place for babies is that it has matted flooring. It’s a soft landing for your little one and you don’t have to worry about them eating sand or wood chips.
There is plenty of equipment of various heights for your little one to crawl and climb on. If you’re looking for a warm sunny day activity, pack up the little one and head out to Rotary Playscape in Spruce Grove.
Downtown Farmer’s Market
Who doesn’t love a farmer’s market? In my opinion, the Edmonton Downtown Farmer’s Market is one of the best farmer’s markets.
They are now housed in their new space with a lot more vendors open year-round. Personally I miss the old outdoor space along the street, but it’s nice to have more vendors to visit in the winter. And an added bonus is the free parking year-round.
I find the farmer’s market is a great place to bring my little one. She loves to people watch and I can take the time to stock up on local fruits and veggies and support local vendors.
The fall is the best time to go to the farmer’s market because that’s when all the fruit and veggies are freshly harvested. I love supporting local businesses and the Edmonton Downtown Farmer’s Market is the perfect place to do that.
Alberta Art Gallery
The Alberta Art Gallery offers free admission to youth under the age of 17. All children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult ticket holder. So, although your little one will be free you may still have to pay to get in.
If you would like to visit the Alberta Art Gallery without having to pay, they offer free admission Thursday nights from 5-8 pm. Depending on your little one’s bedtime, this may be a good evening activity to help tucker them out before bed.
The art gallery offers a variety of different activities and events throughout the month. If you are planning on attending check out their website first to see What’s Happening.
Parking downtown can sometimes be a bit of an issue. To get around that, think about taking the bus or LRT. If you’re planning on going on a weekend, there is heated underground parking for 50 cents an hour at City Hall less than a block away.
A few of the activities mentioned above are outdoor activities. Why not pack a lunch and enjoy a nice outside picnic with your little one? Lay out a blanket and let them crawl around a bit before having a snack or lunch.
When I take my little one for a picnic my favourite foods to bring along for her are, bananas, avocados and sweet potatoes. These are fairly mess free foods and are great for on the go.
If your little one is not on solids yet, then it may be even easier to bring them out for a picnic. They may just love laying on the blanket and enjoying the scenery. Tummy time outside may be way more interesting than inside the house.
If you aren’t feeling that adventurous, you can have a picnic in your backyard. For little ones, that may be just enough of a change in location to still be fascinating and exciting.
And while you’re outside, why not snap a few photos of your little one in the leaves? The fall provides a great natural landscape for some awesome baby and family pictures.
RECAP – 9 Free Things to do with Your Baby this Fall
- Library Programs
- Mom’s Group Outdoor Playdate
- Emerald Hills Leisure Centre
- River Valley Walk
- Playground Swings
- Rotary Playscape in Spruce Grove
- Downtown Farmer’s Market
- Alberta Art Gallery
- Outdoor Picnic
Whether you are looking for an outdoor activity or something to do inside on a cold and rainy day, Edmonton has lots of free things to do with your baby this fall.
Being off on maternity leave is a great time to take advantage of all the free programs for babies. As your little one gets older your confidence will grow and you will feel more comfortable enjoying the above activities.
Hopefully, by sharing these free things to do with your baby this fall you and your little one will enjoy fall so much that it will become your favourite season too.
What are your favourite free things to do with your baby in the fall?