Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Things to do on the long weekend in and around Edmonton

Ideas for good times from the techlifetoday archives

Long weekends are one of the great gifts of summer. Who doesn’t like free time and sunshine? (Frankly, even if a little rain puts us indoors, we still think an extra day off is great.)

The question is what to do with that extra time. We’ve delved into our archives to come up with a few ideas inspired by our alumni and staff.

Happy national long weekend, Canada! It might be free, but don’t spend it all in one place.

1. Go car camping

There’s nothing like the great outdoors – especially when enjoyed from the comfort of a well-prepared campsite. Former forestry camp manager and Forest Technology instructor John Caldwell (Forest Technology ’94) has the ultimate packing list to make your trip easy and memorable. (Otherwise, you might have forgotten the antihistamine, right?)

2. Take the dog to a patio

Your dog loves you, you love patios, therefore your dog loves patios too. Luckily, there’s a lot of them in Edmonton that are happy to have pups join you for dining outdoors. And hey, look at that – these ones are where NAIT grads, many from Culinary Arts, handle the menus.

3. Plant a maple tree

red maple leaves

Yes, it can be done: you can have that classic symbol of Canada thrive in your own backyard and it doesn’t have to be a Manitoba maple. (Those are nice enough trees, but its leaves aren’t the stuff of national flags.) Follow these tips to make it happen.

4. Make a fancy cocktail

When Canada turned 150 years old in 2017, the staff at Ernest’s, NAIT’s on campus fine-dining restaurant, helped us raise a toast to the sesquicentennial with two original cocktails. They still apply and taste great, whatever weird label might be applied to the country’s 155th birthday. Here are the recipes.

5. Impress your friends with your barbecue skills

What’s better: a soggy boiled hot dog or one seared to perfection over open flames? Those who chose the former, please move on to Idea #6. If grilling is your thing, check out these tips from a Professional Meatcutting and Merchandising instructor. (They haven’t forgotten that vegetarians like barbecuing, too.)

6. Get adventurous with mustard

Now that you’re a true grill master, consider leveling up your mustard game. Treat yourself to a taste test of some adventurous, original mustard recipes by Carly Minish (Culinary Arts ’11), owner of Smak Dab Foods. Find it in more than 300 stores across Canada. Move over, French’s. Your condiment vocabulary is about to get a lot richer.

7. Build a box for container gardening

nait culinary arts planter boxes

It’s not work if you have fun doing it! This spring, NAIT’s Culinary Arts program asked the Carpenter program to build some raised planters to help get its new container gardening project off the ground (pun intended). They’re simple, sturdy and beautiful – and you can make them at home. Here’s how.

8. Check in with your goals

woman rock climber

Free time is also a fine time for personal reflection. How are the goals progressing that you might have set for yourself at the beginning of 2022? Or, is it time to set some? In either case, here are eight things to do to achieve great things, from a Personal Fitness Trainer grad.

9. Pack a picnic – properly

food packed in a cooler

A picnic shouldn’t be a sick-nic. OK, that’s not a thing – but we’d really like to keep it that way. Eating a meal in the sunshine on a blanket on the grass or at a table among the trees should always be a good time. Whatever you decide to pack as part of your portable pantry, these tips will make sure it’s pathogen free once you get to where you’re going.

10. Start running

We can hear you shouting, “That’s not fun!” But hear us out. Imagine yourself – alone with your thoughts or chatting with a friend – passing kilometres on a path in the river valley, the sun warm on your skin, the air fresh in your lungs. It’s cheap and cheerful, and, if you’re keen, it’s possible to be running a smooth 5K by the fall, thanks to this plan from a Personal Fitness Trainer instructor. (And if walking is more your speed, we’ve got great tips for that too.)

11. Go for a float

Sometimes, you don’t have to go far to get away from it all. Float therapy is an hour of solitude like no other, adrift in the dark in a warm pool of water saltier than the dead sea. If there’s a Canada Day metaphor in there (we doubt it), we’re not going to bother looking for it. We’d rather relax, and the Personal Fitness Trainer and Millwright grads behind Edmonton’s Modern Gravity can help us do it.

12. Hit the road

open road with canola fields alberta

And sometimes, getting away really is the best path to getting away from it all. Celebrate the country by seeing a bit of Alberta, thanks to these five day-trip itineraries from Biological Sciences Technology grad and writer Joan Marie Galat. Happy travels, and happy long weekend from the techlifetoday team.

Banner image by swissmediavision/istockphoto.com


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