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Family Visit to Edmonton - help please!

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We are a family of 4 including 2 six year olds and will be visiting Edmonton for three nights in mid June next year. I think the plan will be to hire a car at the airport. Is Edmonton easy to get around in a car if you are a tourist? We are from Australia so drive on the other side of the road!
I think this is how we will spend our time:
Thursday:arrive by air around midday. Drive to hotel. Fort Edmonton in afternoon (is half a day enough?)
Friday: West Edmonton Mall
Saturday: Old Strathcona in the morning, not sure of the afternoon.
Sunday: Drive to Jasper
I am stumped as to where we should stay. Should it be somewhere in West Edmonton? What is the best place to stay given what we want to do?
If we stay in West Edmonton is it easy enough to get to the Fort and Old Strathcona?
I am assuming we should use the car rather than try to do it via public transport or taxi?
Any tips/hints/advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much.
Sydney, Australia

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