The booming sound of “Carol of the Bells” echoes down a long corridor as lights flash in time to the beat. Adults hold cell phones arms-length away from their bodies to capture the magic, while children lie on the turf and take it all in from below.
This is Glow – the start of a magical new Christmas tradition in Edmonton.
Glow is a little bit circus, a little bit carnival and a little bit Las Vegas – blended together for pure holiday magic.
The aforementioned glowing tunnel is truly one of the highlights. The lights dance in time to various Christmas favourites every 15 minute. It’s the sort of thing that’s sure to have you reaching for your cellphone – and you won’t be putting it away for the duration of your visit. From oversized glowing ornaments, to animals, gifts, stars and more, there are fantastic photo ops at every turn. Kids (and grownups too!) will delight in the hanging icicles lights – we had to make a second, and then a third, pass through this enchanted “forest” on our visit.
Upon entering glow my girls were each handed a card by a cheery, sparkly woman with a glowing wand. With a big smile, she told them each to find 6 presents and have their cards stamped by the attendant at each, in order to earn a prize. The challenge was set, and off we went!
We bypassed Santa (who is at Glow daily!) but HAD to stop for an extended jumping break at the rainbow LED “hopscotch” course (A giant square made of of plastic domes that change colour when a jumper lands on them.) and then again to try out the LED swings. With a little encouragement, I was able to coax my girls aboard Cinderella’s magical coach, and again to pose in an oversized illuminated picture frames for a couple of photos before we completed our scavenger hunt.
The girls happily accepted candy canes in exchange for their fully-stamped cards, before making a bee-line to ride Glen the Glow-comotive. The cute little store that offers the treat exchange contains plenty of adorable Christmas ornaments, accessories and knick-knacks, but my non-shoppers were too busy having fun to afford me time to browse.
My kids and I truly loved Glow, and not a day goes by that my daughter doesn’t ask me when we can go back and “show Daddy”. Luckily, Glow is on until January 5, 2019, so there is still ample time to make this new Edmonton attraction a part of your holiday traditions.
A few more things to know about Glow before you go:
-take advantage of the coat check! You’ll be happy not to be saddled lugging coats around the warm environment, and your $2 donation helps local groups and teams!
-weary parents will be happy to know there’s a playground (lots of slides and a corral with an impressive herd of little bouncing creatures.) along with tables for colouring, penning a letter to santa or simply taking a load off.
-Glow is not just for kids! The glittery stage hosts a variety of bands and musical groups and a leisurely stroll through the lights (read: no panicked child hunt through the glowing icicles) would make for a great date night! Don’t forget to snap a lovey-dovey picture in the heart-shaped light frame!
-There are limited food choices within Glow. You’ll find carnival fare like cotton candy, corn dogs and popcorn. The bar offers both kid and adult-friendly beverages, including those served in flashing light-bulb cups – and while the souvenir cups are cool, expect to pay rather, um, warm prices. Do remember that the Enjoy Centre also has restaurant and grocery store where you can find other options.
-If you do exit Glow, for the restaurant or washroom, don’t forget to get a re-entry stamp!
-On-site parking is limited, but a shuttle service is offered from a secondary lot.
-Glow admission prices are a tad steep. Keep an eye on their social media accounts, as they offer great contests, and occasional, limited-time-only purchase discounts!
When: Thursday, November 22, 2018 to Saturday, January 5, 2019 (closed Sundays, as well as Dec 24, 25 & 31)
Time: Monday to Friday 4 pm to 10 pm, Saturdays 3 pm to 10 pm
Where: The Enjoy Centre, 101 Riel Drive, St. Albert