13 things to do in and around Edmonton on September long weekend

Eat, walk, cook, garden, camp, eat again! Great ideas for three great days

It's the unofficial close of summer and it's going to be glorious!

To make the most of it, we've gathered 13 ideas inspired by NAIT grads and staff. Whether you're looking to get away, have fun in the city, or are happy to stay home, we've got you covered.

Happy Labour Day Weekend!

1. Stay hydrated

We know what you're thinking: That doesn't sound very fun. But have you seen the forecast? It's getting dehydrated that doesn't sound very fun! Beat the heat (warning) with these tips on when to drink, what to drink (as well as what to avoid) and how much. OK, all set? Got that water bottle filled up? Let's go!

2. Go fishing

hand holding fishing rod at mountain lake

Ready to join the more than 250,000 anglers who try their luck in Alberta waterbodies each year? All you need is a rod (and, well, probably other equipment), a lot of patience, and some fish identification basics so you don't unwittingly take home a provincially protected bull trout. To help shore up your knowledge, check out this guide, written by a Biological Sciences Technology grad (try our quiz, while you're there!).

3. Sample locally made beer

But beer has always been made in Alberta, so what's the big deal, right? True! But in recent years, more and more is being made in small batches by locally owned businesses using the finest ingredients. Here's a list of spots (and an interactive map) where grads do the brewing or set the menu for some tasty pairings.

4. Take a hike

While we're on the subject of activites that should not or do not involve driving (see #3), it's time to lace up those hiking boots! The great thing is that you don't need to make a three-hour drive to the mountains for a lovely walk. Here are a Biological Sciences Technology grad's recommendations for getting into nature not too far out of the city.

5. Go on a bakery crawl


Is there such a thing as cake pants? Something comfortable and expandable? Because you're going to need them. Check out our interactive map of Edmonton bakeries, featuring doughnuts, croissants and other breads, and cake (of course), made by grads from Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts and more.

6. Pack up for some car camping

tent in the back country

Of course you're going camping! Who needs to be told to do that? But allow us to help with your packing. No, we can't drop by to do it for you, but we'll do our best to make sure you don't forget anything by offering you this list from a Forest Technology expert of everything you'll need for your best camping trip yet.

7. Plant a tree

When's the best time to plant a tree? Pretty much any time, no matter how the saying goes. From a Landscape Architectural Technology grad, here's the best way to do it so that it lives to see many more long weekends to come.

8. Make your own hot sauce

Add a little zip to your summer canning lineup getting started on your very own fermented hot sauce. Microbes do most of the work, but following this advice from a local Cook grad will help keep them happily on task. Hot stuff!

9. Support local businesses

Especially during the early days of the pandemic, "support local businesses" became a rallying cry to spend our money in ways that it would do the most good in our communities. Why stop now? Find a homegrown business to adopt for the weekend, with these tips from community builder and blogger Linda Hoang (Radio and Television ’11).

10. Build a planter box

Be ready for next year's garden with a new (or several new) raised planters. When NAIT's Culinary Arts program asked for help setting up its first-ever on-campus garden, the Carpenter program stepped up by building these handsome units. Then they showed us how to do it, so you can too.

11. Hit a patio

Nothing says summer quite like doing pretty much nothing but enjoying a great meal made by a NAIT grad, soaking up the sunshine, and watching the day slowly go by. Consider do that from the vantage point of a restaurant from our patio guide.

12. Go birdwatching

You really don't need to go anywhere to watch birds. If you set your yard up right by using these tips from a birding expert and Biological Sciences Technology grad, they'll visit you. But if you want to venture out for the adventurous relaxation of spotting any of the more than 400 species that call Alberta home, those tips will help with that, too.

13. Make mojitos

Did that mint from #1 get you thinking what we're thinking? Let's make mojitos! These one-of-a-kind recipes from the culinary masters at Ernest's, NAIT's on-campus fine-dining restaurant, will make great use of fresh produce from your garden (or local grocer). Leave out the alcohol for virgin versions if you like. In either case, raise a glass to the summer that refuses to quit. Cheers!

Banner image by Lisa Marie/istockphoto.com

Subscribe to receive more great stories every month

Find out more news about NAIT, stories about our alumni and their impact on their communities, and useful how-to content featuring our experts.

Sign up today »