When it's time for a diversion from the great outdoors, I head to one of Alberta’s three destination shopping centers. Each has lots to keep my family busy while I hunt for treasure. Talk about the ultimate spending spree!
Family Fun at West Edmonton Mall
We’ll need at least two days for the 800-plus shops and attractions at West Edmonton Mall. First, I’ll stroll down Europa Boulevard for exclusive boutiques, luxury brands and Simons – the Quebec-based department store with designer clothes and stylish home décor. I’m hoping to leave with a new cardigan, a funky dining room tablecloth and a bedspread for my daughter. Next, I’ll pop into Williams Sonoma for that lemon-colored Dutch oven I’ve been eyeing.
With a mall this size, I’ll have to plan my route in advance. Good thing that Dad and the kids will be well-entertained. With attractions like Galaxyland amusement park, the Ice Palace skating rink, mini-golf course, IMAX 3D theater and gigantic World Waterpark, I’ll have oodles of time to shop till I drop. In fact, it will likely be me dragging them out of the mall. A welcome change indeed.
Designer Deals at CrossIron Mills
Finding a bargain makes shopping even more fun, and I’m expecting big rewards at CrossIron Mills – just 20 minutes north of downtown Calgary. Alberta’s largest one-level mall has 200 stores and an incredible 100 outlets. Okay, now for my strategy. I’ll shop for the kids first. New jeans and play clothes at the Gap Factory Store. Then it’s my husband’s turn. Perhaps a wallet from Coach Men’s Factory for our anniversary? I’ll end on a high note at Town Shoes Outlet. There’s a pair of strappy sandals calling my name.
While I’m shopping up a storm, Dad and the kids will be hanging out at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. It looks incredible. Trophy fish, murals, pontoon boats, outdoor scenes and life-sized wildlife – they’ll be like kids in a candy shop. Oh, yes – there’s one of those too!
High Fashion at Chinook Center
I’m anticipating the pinnacle of fashion at Chinook Center in southwest Calgary. All of the kings and queens of couture are here. Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, A/X Armani Exchange, Lacoste. The list goes on. Oh, and of course, a special shopping shout out must be given to Canada's first ever Nordstrom department store. My credit card is quivering in anticipation.
With a daughter who loves carousels, a son obsessed with dinosaurs and a husband who’s always hungry, I’ll likely find my family in the food court. It’s one of Canada’s largest and has a carousel ride and full-scale Albertosaurus. You can’t get much better than that.