10 Edmonton summer date night ideas

Date nights are a precious and rare commodity when you’re a parent. We’ve only got one babysitter (thanks mom!), so when we do get a chance to get out, just the two of us, I want to make sure we make the most of it.

It’s easy to fall into a date night rut of dinner and a movie, but there’s so many fun things to do in Edmonton in the summer that it would be a shame to waste a date night in a dark, over-air conditioned movie theatre.

To help spark your creativity I’ve assembled a list of 10 great dates to do in Edmonton.

1. Snow Valley Aerial Park. I was so excited when this opened up. It’s actually what Justin and I did on my 30th birthday. The aerial park is a ropes course with more than 100 games/challenges. It was pretty challenging, but so much fun. If you’ve ever seen American Ninja Warrior on tv, a lot of the obstacles remind me of that. For a unique date night visit them on Thursdays in the summer for Thirsty Thursdays. After your climbing adventure you can kick back and relax on a one-of-a-kind patio designed by Chateau Lighting. The patio is at the top of the aerial park, surrounded by nature and has a BBQ Concession running with burgers and hot dogs as well as select local micro-brewery beverages.

2. Couples cooking class. I love cooking classes, and there are lots that are geared towards date nights. My favourite classes are through Get Cooking, I’ve been going for years now and love how the menu is interactive and has wine and drinks paired with every course. Some of my favourites have been the pasta making class, Mexican brunch class and taco & tequila class. There’s pretty much any type of cuisine you could want, check out the course catalogue here.

3. Food Crawl. I love food, eating out is one of my favourite ways to spend my free time. Instead of just having dinner at one restaurant, why not make it more of an adventure and turn it into a progressive dinner somewhere on Whyte Ave, Jasper Ave or 124th street? Start off with a drink and appetizer at one restaurant, go somewhere else for your entree and then end at another restaurant for dessert. We had a date night like this last summer and started at Situation Brewing, followed by Have Mercy and ended our night at Julio’s Barrio. It was so much more entertaining than just going out to one restaurant for dinner.

4. Horse races. In case you don’t know, a brand new horse racing track and casino just opened up next to the airport (Century Mile). I haven’t checked it out yet, but can’t wait to get there. I’ve been to the horse races a couple times and even though I’m really not a gambler, I had a blast betting on the horses. Grab your date and place some friendly wagers. Loser buys dinner!

5. Walk and picnic in the River Valley. We have such a beautiful River Valley with views that can’t be beat. Get out and take advantage of the summer by packing a delicious picnic, some bubbly and hiking to a beautiful viewpoint for a romantic picnic. A few of my favourite views are: the Fort Edmonton Park trail (great field for a picnic near the foot bridge), the Victoria Park East trail and Forest Heights Park.

6. River Cruise. What’s more romantic than a sunset cruise overlooking downtown? Impress your date with a bottle of wine and charcuterie plate on Thursday Date Nights on the Edmonton River Boat.

7. “Golfing.” I don’t know about you but 18 holes of golf is a bit much. I have fun for awhile, but by no means am I an avid golfer. My husband is though; so I found the perfect middle ground, a putting course. I’ve tried both the Kinsmen Pitch & Putt and the putting course at Red Tail Landing (by the airport). My favourite was the one at Red Tail Landing, we had the whole course to ourselves and it was great to be able to go at our own pace.

8. Rec Room. This option is a great one for a rainy day. There’s tons to do at the Rec Room from arcade games, to bowling to ax throwing. My husband and I love the old school games like skee ball and the one where you throw balls at the clown faces. There’s two Rec Rooms in the city, South Edmonton Common and West Edmonton Mall.

9. Canoe or Kayak down the river. This one is on my wish list. I think it would be so much fun (and a great workout to boot), to paddle down the river. There’s a couple different companies in the city to rent boats from including Canoe Heads and Haskin Canoe.

10. High Level Bridge street car. This one is a fun day date option. Start your day with brunch on Whyte Ave (Under the High Wheel and Rooster Cafe are great options) or pick up some goodies for a picnic at the Strathcona Farmers Market (if it’s Saturday) and then catch the street car from the Strathcona terminal. Find the schedule and terminals for the street car here.

Hope this list is a good starting point for you to plan some summer dates. Honestly, it’s just a fraction of the things you could do in our city. What are some of you favourite things to do in Edmonton? Anything great that I’m missing?

Prickly Pear Vodka Soda

I first fell in love with Eau Claire Distillery (an Alberta-based company) a couple of years ago when I tasted their gin at a wine festival. It was so smooth–a bit fruity and undoubtedly delicious. Definitely different than other gins on liquor shelves.

Next I discovered their EquineOX Prickly Pear Vodka, which is next level. Technically, I don’t think it’s an actual vodka. I’ve heard it referred to as a vodka alternative, whatever that is, but I’m not an expert by any means, so I’ve been treating it like a vodka.

Prickly Pear Cactus (in case you were wondering)

If you’re one of those people who can sip booze on the rocks this would be a great one to try. The smell alone is enough to tempt you to try it (sweet and fruity). I had Holly give it a go, but apparently she’s not a fan of strait vodka at 11 am 😂, it didn’t go down so well. I can’t do it either; I need my hard liquor in a cocktail, so Holly (Chandeliers and Champagne) and I set out craft the perfect summer drink using my new bottle of EquineOx.

Since the flavour is pretty unique we started out perusing their list of suggested cocktails on their website (kudos to Eau Claire by the way, I love when distilleries do this) and decided to make a riff of their Blueberry Ginger Mojito. It took a couple rounds of trial and error to get the proportions and ingredients right (lychee and Triple Sec definitely didn’t work) but I am confident in saying that we mixed up the perfect summer drink!

Also, can we talk about what a pretty colour the muddled blueberries make this drink! The longer you let the mixture steep before straining it the darker the pink hue will get.

Prickly Pear Vodka Soda

Yields 1 cocktail

You’ll need: 

  • 1.5 oz prickly pear vodka (our preference is Eau Claire EquineOx)
  • 0.5 oz ginger simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Club soda
  • Ice
  • Cucumber to garnish
  • Lavender to garnish

Directions:

Add vodka, ginger simple syrup, mint, blueberries and lime juice to a tall glass and muddle with a muddling stick or the back of a spoon.

Line the side of a second glass with a thin slice of cucumber. Fill glass with ice and strain the first mixture into the glass. Top the drink up with Club Soda (roughly 1/3 of a can). Garnish and serve.

Ginger Simple Syrup

You’ll need: 

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated ginger

Directions:

Boil till sugar dissolves, then cover and steep for 30 minutes. Strain and refrigerate in an air tight container. This should keep in the fridge for about a month.

Hope you enjoy this delicious summer cocktail, be sure to follow along on Instagram (@alexandtribe, @chandeliers.and.champagne) to see what else we come up with over the course of the summer and tag us in you pics if you recreate any of our cocktails.

Cheers!

Alex & Holly

Passion Fruit White Tea Cocktail

Half the fun of crafting new cocktails is in the refinement. Adding a little bit of this and a little bit more of that. It’s a tough job cocktail tasting, but someone has to do it 😉.

There’s naturally flavours that work well together: lemon and berries, cucumber and mint, tropical fruit and white tea (which is what we worked with this time around). Start with a pairing you know works and then just build on your flavours from there.

I love real, cold-steeped, sugar-free iced tea in the summer, so I knew Holly and I had to create a delicious iced tea cocktail as a part of our summer drink series. If you’re looking for tips on cold-steeping iced tea, check out Holly’s blog post. It really is the best way to drink it to make sure you never end up with a bitter taste.

Until we made this cocktail I had never actually tried a real passion fruit. Let me tell you…it was sooo good! Thanks Holly for getting me to try one, it won’t be my last!

If you’re searching for a refreshing summer cocktail look no further. This one has the potential to be deadly haha, it just goes down so easy on a hot patio day. The addition of the peach flavoured vodka really makes this drink perfect in my opinion.

Passion Fruit White Tea Cocktail

Yeilds: 1 Cocktail

You’ll need:

  • Three mint leaves
  • 1.5 ounces peach vodka
  • 3 ounces iced white tea – our preference: Kusmi Tea Tropical White
  • 2 ounces passionfruit juice
  • The juice of one lemon wedge
  • Pulp and seeds of half a purple passion fruit

Directions:

To help release mint oils, use a muddler or the back of a spoon to lightly press mint leaves into the bottom of a glass. Fill the glass with ice and add vodka, iced tea, passionfruit juice, lemon juice and passion fruit. Stir to combine. Garnish with mint leaf or lemon wedge, if desired. Enjoy!

Full disclosure:  This drink has a light, natural sweetness. However, if you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, add simple syrup.

Holly (@chandeliers.and.champagne) and I (@alexandtribe) are crafting fun summer cocktails all summer long. Tag us on Instagram using #yegsummercocktail if you try one for yourself!

Cheers! Alex & Holly