The long weekend has finally arrived!
Though smoke is putting a little bit of a damper on things, there is still ample opportunity to get out and about to enjoy the extra time off.
The weather, outside of the smoke, is expected to be stellar and there is no shortage of things to do!
Here are five local things you can do to make the most of your long weekend:
1. Take a dip in an outdoor pool or splash park
Temperatures are expected to flirt with the 30 C mark this weekend so what better way to beat the heat than to splash about in either an outdoor pool or a splash park?
The Fort Saskatchewan splash park opened up earlier this month and has already proven to be a popular spot for families. It's located at the intersection of 95A Avenue and Westpark Drive and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If an outdoor pool is more your speed, you will have to take a bit of a trek to Edmonton. The Fred Broadstock outdoor pool, located in the Jasper Place neighbourhood, will open up on Saturday (May 20).
The outdoor pool is one of the larger ones in Edmonton and features two diving boards and a separate kid's pool with a spray park.
This might be the cheapest and easiest way to get out of the house and have some family fun.
2. Take in nature at Elk Island National Park (EINP)
Looking for a more adventurous way to spend your weekend? Look no further than Elk Island National Park.
The park is expecting a very busy weekend so prospective campers are encouraged to make a booking as soon as possible on the Parks Canada website.
Even if you don't spend the night at the park, there are still a plethora of daytime activities that you can enjoy.
From observing bison in their natural habitat to kayaking on the picturesque Astotin Lake to walking tours that show you exclusive behind-the-scenes operations at the park, everyone is sure to find something they will enjoy at EINP.
You can read more about these activities here.
3. Get inspired at Prairie Gardens
As we transition into summer, we are also seeing the return of perfect conditions for gardening.
The team at Prairie Gardens are the foremost experts in how to grow a bountiful and beautiful local garden.
The garden is a short drive away in Bon Accord.
Visitors will be treated to a large eco-friendly greenhouse with a large selection of plants to include in your garden. They also house one of the largest selections of heart fruit trees in the entire country.
Gardening isn't the only thing that Prairie Gardens offers, as they also have a petting zoo for the whole family to enjoy with their adorable baby goats being the main attraction.
No matter which way you slice it, you'll have a smile on your face after leaving Prairie Gardens.
4. Dust off the grill and host a BBQ
While people won't be able to enjoy a traditional campfire this weekend, due to the fire ban, there is still a way to gather up friends and family for a fun-filled gathering.
One of the things that are still allowed during the fire ban is propane and natural gas BBQs. So, fire up that grill, buy some burgers, hot dogs, or, if you're feeling fancy, even some steaks, and share some laughs with friends and family.
You could be even more ambitious and set up your own makeshift splash park for the kids in your own backyard with a sprinkler and slip-and-slide!
5. Relax at the cinema
After a long day of doing all of these activities, the best way to unwind is to grab some popcorn and enjoy a movie.
Luckily, there is no shortage of exciting films currently in theatres. You'll have a variety of movies to choose from including the cosmic finale to the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, the heart-pumping tenth installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise, and the wildly popular Super Mario Bros movies.
Be sure to check the showtimes for Landmark Cinemas Tamarack in Edmonton.
There are also plenty of events happening around the region this weekend including:
- A celebration of dance at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village in Lamont County on Monday
- It's the opening weekend at Fort Edmonton Park
- The Mill Woods Maydaze Carnival at Mill Woods Town Centre in Edmonton
Be sure to stay safe and have lots of fun this long weekend!