Explore Edmonton: K-Days 2016

Summers in Edmonton are unbelievable.

There’s always something to do and often – especially on weekends – there are SO many events and activities that it’s really hard to decide which one to do!

That’s a great problem to have, especially if you’re summer vacations revolve primarily around staycations.

K-Days - Edmonton - Summer

Hitting the carnival grounds at K-Days!

Each summer, Mike and I make a point to spend a day at K-Days, Edmonton’s biggest summer festival.

We do some rides on the midway, eat some carnival food, play some games, and check out the exhibits/vendors/shows in the Expo Centre. K-Days also has free concerts each night, and fireworks, but we usually like to visit during the day so we’re not typically at the concerts, though it’s awesome value for your admission money to take in the free concert too.

This year, K-Days runs July 22-31, from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. (fireworks at 11 p.m.)

Here are some things I’d recommend you do during your K-Days staycation!

K-Days - Edmonton - Summer

Mike with the delicious chicken, bacon, cheese fries!


There’s a lot of new food (which I helped judge!) and old carnival food favourites.

My picks for new food include the Teriyaki Chicken Perogies, Bacon Mac & Cheese Super Footlong Hotdog, and the New Foods contest winner the Pizza Casa Meatball Sub on a Stick.

You could also try some of the weirder, novelty New Foods just to say you did – like the Rainbow Grilled Cheese (tastes pretty much like a grilled cheese lol), and the Deep Fried Coffee. And I thought the Western Duck (duck confit) Poutine was also tasty (and great portion size).

Mike always has to get some kind of fries/poutine dish, so this year we tried the Chicken, Bacon, Cheese Fries from The Fry Guys, which was delicious!

K-Days - Edmonton - Summer

Chicken, bacon, cheese fries at K-Days.

I also have to get some kind of chips dish. Your options are the Wiggle Chips or the Spiral Spuds.

The Wiggle Chips are cheaper – and really just handcut chips and then you’re able to sprinkle your own seasoning flavour on it.

K-Days - Edmonton - Summer

Posing with the Wiggle Chips (not to be confused with the Spiral Spuds).

The Spiral Spuds are actually my preferred chips dish – with cheese and bacon topping!

Unfortunately this year I confused the Wiggle Chips and the Spiral Spuds (understandably, lol) – so no cheese/bacon for me, but it still satisfied by my need for chips.

Strawberry lemonade from Family Squeezed was also really refreshing and new this year are non-alcoholic Mojitos!

Also, what trip to the midway is complete without something deep fried?

Mike’s deep fried food of choice is Deep Fried Snickers!

K-Days - Edmonton - Summer

Deep fried Snickers anyone?

And we make a point to stop at K-Days’ Ribfest to see which BBQ teams are competing and of course, have some ribs ourselves.

K-Days - Edmonton - Summer

Having 1/2 ribs from Gator BBQ at K-Days Ribfest!


For midway rides, you can’t not take a spin on the ferris wheel.

K-Days - Edmonton - Summer


We also like cool off on the Niagara Falls water rollercoaster and there’s usually a short line-up at the Kiwanis Giant Slide.

If the line-up is short enough, we’ll also head over to the Crazy Mouse roller coaster, but for us it really is dependant on line length.

The Pharaoh’s Fury and Fire Ball are also ride favourites (and depending on time of day we find line-ups aren’t too bad).

My ride preferences generally lean towards the non-spinning/non-dizzying type of rides.

K-Days - Edmonton - Summer

Big line for the Crazy Mouse rollercoaster at K-Days!

I always like seeing what the main carnival game prizes are each year because it really shows a pulse of what’s popular that year.

I was not surprised to see Pokemon stuffed toys dominant the prize pool (go win yourself a Squirtle, Pikachu, Bulbasaur, or Charmander!) as well as various stuffed emojis!

K-Days - Edmonton - Summer

Trying to win those Pokemon!

Indoor attractions 

If you want to get relief from the heat – or if it’s raining – heading inside the Expo Centre is the best option. There’s tons of different indoor attractions including more live shows, shopping, more food, a kids area, and a comedy ‘laugh lounge.’

Usually Mike and I will just do a loop through the big shopping halls and food court (and end up eating inside as well as outside). We don’t necessarily buy anything in the shopping halls but it’s nice to see what vendors are selling and it’s a good break between the outdoor attractions.


A photo posted by #KDAYS (@northlandsedmonton) on

Your admission ticket to K-Days gets you access to free music shows.

This year there are two stages and 20 headliners (see the schedule here). There’s certainly enough to do throughout the whole day to get you right to the concert time, but it’s also nice if you did K-Days earlier in the day to just get a stamp and then come back for the concert later at night.

During the day these stages, and a few are other areas on the grounds are also home to other free, non-musical performances too – like the Canine Stars dog show!

K-Days Snapchat geofilters are also only available at the two main stages so be sure to head there to get some nice, filtered snaps!

K-Days - Edmonton - Summer

Nice Snapchat geofilter at the K-Days North and South Stages!

Tips to get the most out of your K-Days experience 

Mike and I have a pretty good system of how we ‘do’ K-Days, but certainly everyone will have a different flow and preferences for what they definitely need to hit up.

You can definitely get a ton of value for your money with all that’s included in the admission price – but of course K-Days can get pricy once you start adding ride passes, food, shopping, etc.

Planning out your day (your K-Days strategy/plan of attack!) is really the best way to alleviate that.

K-Days - Edmonton - Summer

Prepare for crowds at K-Days!

Some of my tips to ‘do’ K-Days best include:

  • Take out the specific amount of cash you will allow yourself to spend and be sure not to stray from it
  • Know what time and where the free shows and activities are happening so you can bounce back and forth from that
  • Go on a day with a musical headliner you’re actually interested in seeing
  • Decide whether you only want to go on a few rides or if a Ride All Day Pass would be worth it (it definitely is for some people whose biggest K-Days activity is going on rides!)
  • Bring water bottles so you can save money for fun foods instead
  • Go with a group of friends so you increase your chances of trying more food
  • Applying sunscreen and bringing a hat are probably a good idea for all that sunshine you’ll get
  • If you leave and it’s still early enough in the day – get a return stamp even if you’re not sure if you’ll be back. You bought a ticket and the festival literally runs for 12 hours of the day, maybe you decide to head back that day because you can!
  • There are some areas around Northlands where side road parking is free. We typically scope them out in advance and if you go early enough (or just have good timing later in the day as people leave), you might be able to score some free parking (but be aware of the street parking rules before you park!)
  • If you’re not a fan of crowds or line-ups, going first thing when K-Days opens or later at night just before or during the concert times should find the least amount of crowds. Later in the day is also better to try and beat the heat!
K-Days Edmonton

I love summers in Edmonton!

This year I also gave away a pair of 10-day K-Passes on social media (Instagram/Twitter) which was a lot of fun!

It was great to see all the reasons why you like going to K-Days.

Congratulations to Bonnet for winning the passes. Enjoy K-Days!!

(old K-Days photo!)

The K-Pass was only available for purchase in advance, but that’s also a great value because it gives you unlimited access to the grounds for all 10 days of the festival!

So how do you ‘do’ K-Days?

What are some of your favourite aspects to this classic, Edmonton festival?!

Tweet me or leave me a comment below.



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Disclaimer: I will always provide my 100% honest opinion on this blog. K-Days reached out and asked me to be a New Foods Contest Judge (I got to try a lot of new food for free) and gave me complimentary tickets to the festival so I could write about my day and run a social media giveaway for tickets. This has no impact on opinions stated in this post.

1 Comment

  • Malvern T says:

    Wow, K-Days 2016 sounds like an incredible event filled with fun and excitement! It’s always a delight to have numerous events and activities to choose from, making weekends even more enjoyable. Staycations during summer vacations can be a fantastic way to explore and appreciate local attractions like Explore Edmonton. Have you attended K-Days before? If so, what was your favorite part of the experience? 🎡🎉

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