Ah, West Edmonton Mall: a rite of passage roadtrip for Saskatoon kids and one quick-trip destination the whole fam can agree on. And honestly, if you just GO, you’ll have a good time. But if you’ve never been and don’t plan ahead, I mean, you’re bound to miss something fun or not take advantage of every family-friendly tip (because there’s just so much) and that’s why, as a seasoned vet, I’m going to share what I’ve learned along the way. Here are 15 tips on doing West Ed with your littles (although everyone should pay attention to the first three):
Take advantage of MyWEM Loyalty Points. Sign up before you arrive, then scan your receipts from stores, restaurants, attractions, and/or Fantasyland Hotel to earn points you can spend on future passes, stays at Fantasyland, and more. Not spending much and can’t imagine you’ll earn enough points to get rewards? Still worth it to get the app: there are member deals like restaurant, spa, and shop discounts.
Did you know you can buy attraction passes with Air Miles? These don’t count toward MyWEM point collection but if you’ve got 665 Air Miles to burn for two admission passes, it’s a great spend. There are also places to buy discounted attraction passes, like through your Fantasyland reservation and at to the public at Garrison Fitness Centre.
Keep an eye out for FantasyLand Hotel promotions by following their Instagram. We nabbed a theme room for under $200 just by keeping an eye out! This time, we booked an older Polynesian theme room because charm factor!, but you can nab updated rooms, too— just ask on the phone which the agent thinks is best. That’s what we did last time and the person was honest, helpful, and we ended up in a gorgeous Roman room .
Don’t have a ton of space in your car for luggage and strollers or a big kid who is just OVER WALKING for the day? Rent a single stroller for $6 or a double for $8.
No need to pack your child’s lifejacket: World Waterpark offers free PFDs for littles.
Thanks to cozy recliners, renting a cabana is worthwhile at World Waterpark if you’ve got a toddler who naps and your family plans to spend the day there. (Non-cabana loungers are hard plastic that don’t recline.) Prices start at $115 on a weekday and they come with locked storage (which is $8-12 without a cabana), access to a semi-private bathroom, and complimentary towels (which you can otherwise rent for $3 each). Some spaces even have a table and chairs.
There are free, bottomless fountain bevvies at the Waterpark located just around the back of the bar. Pack an empty reusable bottle to skip the disposable cup.
Weekdays are less busy at the Waterpark… and they’re less expensive. From entry fees to cabana rates, it might be worth planning for a Monday. Even hotels are cheaper so you’re going to really save.
There’s lots of toddler-friendly restos along “Bourbon Street” but when I’ve got a baby in tow, Moxie’s is my top pick. I like their veggie protein option but what any new parent will love is the free baby plate. It’s not on the menu. Just ask. ;)
See the Sea Lion show for free (2 & 4PM daily, and a noon show on weekends) by finding a spot against the glass partition. If your little one is like my guy, you’re better off not battening down the hatches on a show anyway.
The big pirate boat has a $2 admission but is so worth the change. Kids LOVE that thing and let’s face it, it’ll make for a cute picture, too. And make sure to bring change for the “remote control” boats your child can operate with a big steering wheel.
Take a look at what’s going on at the rink. Sometimes there’s a fun event to watch (we caught a bit of a national arm wrestling championship and I’ve seen hockey games, too) or if you just want to do a skate, it’s good to know when the ice is available. Skate rental is $6, helmets are free.
There are two mini golfs so if you’ve got a li’l putter, let them choose between the classic Professor WEM’s and Dragon’s Tale which offers a black light experience.
Going on a Friday with a kid 4+? Get a date in kid-free by dropping them off at Color Me Mine’s Kids’ Night Out where they’ll enjoy pizza, painting, a movie, and childcare starting at only $34.
Is your trip planned because of your child’s birthday? Make sure to stop into Build-A-Bear to buy them a pay-your-age bear!
Okay there’s more than 15 tips but it doesn’t look as good in a title. Kids under 2 ride free in Galaxyland. Yes, it now requires a chaperone at a cost of $18, but they can do such rides as the Balloon Ride, Cosmic Express, Carosel, Galactic Rodeo furry animal rides, and Kids Playpark (the best for very young toddlers).
During the school year, get a great admission price for your child 5 and under (and under 48”) during Toddler Time at Galaxyland ($22), World Waterpark ($22), and Ed’s Bowling ($6, includes shoe rental). Times and dates are limited but it’s worth checking the schedule!
Other than Air Miles and MyWEM Points, you can save $ by going 3 hours prior to Galaxyland closing for a $35 twilight all-you can ride pass OR doing an attraction bundle for $119 that includes two days of admission to Galaxyland, World Waterpark, Sea Life Caverns, Sea Lions' Rock, Santa Maria, Mayfield Toyota Ice Palace, Professor Wem's Adventure Golf, Dragon's Tale, Ed's Bowling and Crystal Labyrinth Mirror Maze. Plus, get 10% off food & non-alcoholic drinks at World Waterpark and Ed’s Bowling, 25% off either 3 rides or ½ hour or 1 continuous hour admission on Flowrider, and 25% off Skyflyer Zipline. If you are going to West Ed to play hard, THIS IS WHAT TO GET.
This one comes from Sask mom Shawn Miller: If your going for your child’s birthday, let Fantasyland know that when you’re booking a room— twice they have upgraded us to a theme room and gave us passes for the family to use at the water park or Galaxy Land!
Anything to add? I’m always open to more tips! And if you find one of these helpful, please let me know!