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Happening in Edmonton: August 19-21

Blog by Sara Kalke | August 18th, 2016

So far this summer, I’ve been highlighting only events in Edmonton.  But the city is surrounded by fun things to do only a short drive away.

Mini Road Trips

If you love Fort Edmonton Park here in Edmonton, take the drive east to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village.  The open-air museum recreates life in Alberta’s Ukrainian settlements between 1892 and 1930.  Explore the restored homes, churches, and businesses in the village, while learning about Ukrainian-Canadian culture from the costumed interpreters, then enjoy authentic Ukrainian food. If you go this Sunday, you’ll experience the Ukrainian Music Fest. Bring your lawn chair, and enjoy live Ukrainian-Canadian music.

Also to the east of us is Elk Island National Park. Expect to see lots of wildlife, such as beavers, moose, birds, and of course the bison for which the park is known.  Take a picnic for a day trip, or camp overnight to enjoy the night sky undiluted by city lights.  Bring a canoe or kayak to explore the lake, or hike the trails. Take advantage of the guided interpretive to learn about bison handling, aboriginal culture, or camping.

For old-fashioned fun, and to support Spruce Grove’s grain elevator museum, check out the Farm and Heritage Carnival on Saturday. The whole family will enjoy the carnival games, pony carousel, bouncy castles, music, food, and more.  

About one hour south of Edmonton you’ll find the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin. Anyone interested in vintage cars and airplanes will find a lot to see here.  The museum boasts the second-largest vintage aircraft collection in Canada, and also focuses on historic agriculture and industry. Flying tours and vintage vehicle tours are available from the museum, or you can get a behind-the-scenes peek with a tour of the stored collections. (And if you ride in on a motorcycle this Saturday, you’ll get free admission).

If you’re not lucky enough to live in Edmonton’s Lake Summerside community (or have friends who do), you’ll have to head out of town for a day at the lake.  Pigeon Lake, Wabamun Lake, Half Moon Lake, and Lac St. Anne are a few I’ve spent time at, but there are several other good ones around within an hour or two of driving.

Other Events:

Open Farms Days at Northlands Urban Farm is this Sunday. Free events include tours of the urban farm, demonstrations such as beekeeping, backyard chickens, and farming in your backyard, and kids activities.  Ticketed options are also available, and include rural farm tours, and classes in jam and pickle making, and a multi-course “prairie to plate” dinner.

The Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival runs this weekend, from Friday to Sunday.  The weekend will be filled with activities in addition to the dragon boat races.  Visit the minor-friendly Beverage Gardens or the Little Dragons Family Fun area between races at Louise McKinney Park.

Unscheduled Fun:

One of my favourite childhood memories is when my mom would pack us into the car, drive to a park, light a wood fire, and somehow—magically—create a gourmet meal out of lumpy foil-wrapped packets. I’ve since learned that this is one of the easiest ways to cook (as long as the foil doesn’t rip), but I still cherish the memories.  We kids would eat our fill, then play in the dusk until the mosquitoes chased us home.  Edmonton boasts numerous parks, and many are equipped with fire pits or barbeques.  Why not pick up a bundle of firewood and enjoy your supper outside?

What I’m Doing This Weekend:

This weekend will see the end of our summer travels for this year.  I hope to follow our long drive home with a few low-key, relaxing days.

- Joanna

Links for More Information: