Thursday, February 27, 2014

Here's a Unique Idea for Winter...Alberta!

Amazing isn't it?  The sheer idea that up in Canada they have more space than they know what to do with, and most of the population gravitates toward the American border area because it's warmer and easier.  It's just a fact.  Now, out in Alberta, they have a town called Edmonton that's a great place to spend some time if you love rodeos, or zoos, or having a great hub to work from, but what about spending some time in this area in the winter?  Sounds silly, but they have something that you can't find in too many places around the western hemisphere.  They have the West Edmonton Mall.  This place is not just somewhere to go shopping.  This place is a luxury resort that you can enjoy even when the cold of winter is so bad that you don't want to run from building to car in the weather.

The shops at this mall are top of the list.  They have all the Abercrombie and Fitch and Tiffany's and the Disney Store that you can handle, but it's the other things that they have that you won't even believe.  Now, just for a small disclaimer here, if you've been to the Mall of America in Minneapolis/St. Paul, you've probably had an amazing mall experience, so you may find the rest of this boring.  But, if not, stay tuned.

The ice palace is something that I would expect to see in a Canadian mall.  It makes sense, and it's beautiful with it's domed skylight effects.  It's really cool.  But, if that was all that this mall had to offer, I wouldn't be writing about it.

Let's start small.  This mall has a ship docked in it called the Santa Maria.  You've probably heard of it if you've ever had to study Columbus and his first trip to America.  This replica is right there in the mall and you can wander around on it.  You can also book it for special events.  People have gotten married in this boat docked right in the West Edmonton Mall.  Pretty unique, but not the only thing going on here.

They also have a water park.  They have a giant wave pool--one of the largest indoor ones in North America--and water slides, and a beach.  It's amazing.  There's 17 water attractions in all.  It has natural sunlight and snack bars and everything to keep a family busy for days.

If you don't like the idea of spending your time in a water park in the dead of winter, although I can't imagine, then maybe you would like to try Galaxyland, the indoor amusement park.  The park has 24 fun rides, including some roller coasters.  It also is home to the largest triple loop indoor roller coaster in the west.

Next on the exciting agenda is the sea lion show at the aquarium.  This place has all kinds of water creatures for your family's entertainment.  You can play with penguins and watch sharks and sea turtles.  It's right in the bottom of the mall.

Time to eat and shop?  Come on down to Bourbon Street.  It's a Vegas style New Orleans type of spot.  You can get all kinds of cajun food and have a really good old fashioned time just like they do down south in the States.


Europa Boulevard is another place where you can spend some quality shopping and dining time with inside streets designed to look like a European city.

There's also Chinatown for Asian flair where the restaurants are plentiful and there's even an Asian supermarket.

There's glow in the dark mini golf and bowling at Ed's Rec Room.  They even have bowling leagues there.

There's an adventure course where you can climb around on rope courses.  There's also a rock climbing wall.

There's so much to do.  There are theaters, both regular and IMAX.  There's a shooting gallery in this mall.  There's a skateboard park.  There's Caesar's Bingo Parlor for the gamblers in the group.  There are health clubs and day spas as well.  There are night clubs.  There are all kinds of different shops.  They even have hotels, so you don't even have to leave at night.  Right on the premises is Fantasyland, a theme roomed hotel, designed to complete the adventure of a northern indoor adventure.

You really can't imagine what one of these super malls is like unless you've been to one.  There are wedding chapels and build a bear shops in there.  You can have a photo taken at the Antique Photo Parlour.  There's anything and everything you could imagine, and it's all under one roof for your enjoyment.  It's one of the most unique ways in the world to escape the weather.  It's in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  This place is cold, but inside it's better than a cruise ship.  They have passes just like an amusement park that get you into all of the attractions for days on end.  You'll never be bored.  You'll never be hungry.  You won't have to worry about finding a place to buy souvenirs.  This place has it all.  It even has a beach.  There is no real way to beat that.

So, if you're looking for a place to get away, a place that takes you to a fantasy world where you don't have to remember what you're supposed to do when you get  home, this is it.  It's the world's best all encompassing resort.

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