How Baby-Friendly is Fort Edmonton Park?

Big news!

This weekend, Fort Edmonton Park is opening its doors for another season.

From the historic buildings, to the fort walls, the train, the tipi, the old-fashioned candy, classic cars, carousel and all of the animals, Fort Edmonton Park is a top family destination in our city. It’s especially fun to explore for older kids.

But how baby-friendly is Fort Edmonton Park?

Is it easy to visit with a newborn, baby or toddler (or all) in tow?

New parents need to know the details. Will it be easy to push a stroller around? Should you babywear? Where do you change a diaper? Will there be places to rest, breastfeed or bottle feed, eat and take a minute to refuel? Will you be able to enjoy the experience or leave in tears? I’ve asked local Edmonton Moms that have lots of experience.

If you’re expecting soon, have a newborn, a baby, toddler or multiples, read on.

Lindsay MacDonald, Director of Modern Mama Edmonton

Fort Edmonton Park is one of our family’s favorite destinations and we have been taking our kids there since our oldest was a baby (he will be six next week). For Edmonton families planning a trip with a baby or toddler, I have some tips.

Here are few things to consider:

While the park is stroller-friendly, you can not take strollers on the train. If you were wanting to ride the train, opt for the baby carrier instead.

Many of the buildings have steps and while some are stroller/wheelchair accessible, not all of them are. With that being said, your baby or toddler will enjoy exploring the rest of the park just as much as they would enjoy the buildings.

Make a day of it! There is so much to see and do at Fort Edmonton Park, you could easily spend the whole day there.

There are various places in the park to enjoy a picnic lunch, but there are also places to eat on site (Cafe/Restaurant). Whether you plan on bringing your own lunch or purchasing something on-site, remember to bring snacks and refreshments for your little ones, to avoid disappointment and/or keep them occupied while you wait in line.

There are baby change stations located throughout the park (not in all of the bathrooms). I would recommend picking up a map and locating them before venturing out; you never know when a diaper emergency may arise.

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Laura-Lise Wong, Local Mom and Photographer

As a child, I grew up going to Fort Edmonton every summer.

As a mom, have been taking my own boys there since they were babies. Fort Edmonton Park does it’s best to be as baby-friendly (and kid-friendly) as possible. I have always taken my stroller and have never had an issue getting around the park with it. You will have to leave it outside of the buildings you might want to explore due to the buildings being original (narrow hallways and staircases) but there is plenty of spaces to park it outside.

The train can accommodate some strollers that are lightweight and foldable — they will be stored in the front luggage car of the train.

The washrooms that have change tables are located at the Colombia House right in the Fort’s courtyard, the Jasper House Hotel, in the back of Masonic Hall or in the Picnic Shelter beside the Gyro Park Playground, in the back of Bill’s Confectionery and the Exhibits building. There are plenty of places to be able to change your wee ones.

Also, due to how large the park is and how many buildings there are, I have never had a problem to find a spot to comfortably breastfeed. The park is well maintained and the staff are always helpful and friendly. It is a great place to spend the day with babies and toddlers.

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Kelsy Neilson, Photographer and Blogger at Twirls & Travels 

Kelsy’s thoughts:

Leave the stroller at home. The ground is often uneven, the trolley doesn’t allow for strollers onboard (with no room to fold them up there) and it’s a pain to fold up the stroller for the train to store.

Prepare for heat. The only place with air conditioning is the Hotel Selkirk. If it’s going to be a hot sunny day, it’s worth the splurge to sit down in air conditioning with hot kids.

Look for the playrooms hidden through the park. There’s one in every time period! They’re perfect for taking a break and sitting down with the littles.

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Thanks, mamas!


Giveaway

Enter to win a Family Pass (4 persons) for the season to Fort Edmonton Park.

The Family Pass is good for the whole season, valid from May 20, 2017 through to September 23, 2017.

Go to the original post on Facebook and follow the instructions on the post to enter.

Giveaway ends Saturday, May 20 at noon.


Feature photo credit: Laura-Lise Wong