50(ish) First Dates… in #YEG | By Blue Knox

As an English and Political Science Major I love storytelling, and two of the most underrated places we can find the best storytelling are at job interviews and first dates. Now sometimes they’re not the most thrilling stories, but you never know until you take that leap of faith and put yourself out there. I’m sure my mother will read this, laugh, and think “what, in the name of Narnia and all that is good in this world, does my 22-year-old daughter know about dating?” My response: not much, but I like to think that my 20s are for going out, exploring, meeting new people, and having fun, and what better place to do all that, than on a date? Some of the most spectacular friends I have came from goofy dates, and vice versa, some of my favorite date nights were with my closest friends. Whenever I see there is an interesting event in town, I look for someone who I think would want to take part, and we go out!

I’ve met some incredible men, made some fantastic friends, and been on some superb adventures while on dates in the last few years, but there has been an unexpected result; I have fallen in love with Edmonton. There are so many incredible things to do and see in this city! Sadly, there are still times when I am at a loss for ideas on where to go on a date. I’ve had many of my friends ask me where they should go out so I thought I would make a list. I posed the question to my friends and family on social media: What are your favorite date places in #YEG? The result is this list of 50 amazing dates.

In order to organize this list of date ideas I have broken down the dates into four rough categories; hands-on outdoors dates, intimate quieter dates, thought-provoking “nerd” nights, and spectator dates where you can watch a show. Many of my suggestions could fit into multiple categories but for the sake of organization I put them into one. Before each date is a symbol indicating the price and the season when that date is available. Prices are approximate and are assessed on a per-person basis. Lots of the dates on this list are good for every season, but there are several which are specific to one so to help clarify they have been assigned a season abbreviation. If you want to quickly find all of the dates on a map, our resident map/stat/science whiz Michael Ross created this interactive Google Map with all of the date “hot spots” listed. I hope this list gives you some good ideas for your next date night! If my team and I missed an amazing date spot/idea in Edmonton that you think needs to be on this list, just comment below!

Check out pages 2,3, 4, and 5 for detailed descriptions and prices for all of the activities listed on the map.

View 50 First #yeg Dates in a larger map

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  • Guest

    Love this! Such great ideas!

  • Salena Kitteringham

    In addition to varsity athletics, there are great, affordable cultural date nights on campus at Studio theatre (Mondays are 2 for 1), music in Con Hall too.

    • Blue Knox

      Great ideas Salena! Thank you!

  • Guest

    I love this thank you!

    You can also add:
    Devonian Botanic Gardens (During the summer every Thursday is date night for cheap)
    Strathcona Streetcar
    Corn Maze
    Fort Edmonton Park (Hot chocolate and horse sleds during winter)

    • Blue Knox

      Awesome addition! Thank you!

  • Southern

    Creole Envie has a monthly chef menu’s for $25!

    • Blue Knox

      Thanks so much!

  • Mars

    Loved the list…reminded me of places I haven’t been in a long time and places I’d like to visit.

  • Mike

    All of these are north of Whitemud. No thanks.

    • Blue Knox

      If you have any other suggestions add them!

    • Ashley V

      You never travel north of the Whitemud?

    • Anitesh Jaswal

      You have a problem with getting up and going around?

    • Marissa Loewen

      If you insist on not contributing a productive comment to this great list, I’ll insist on contributing an equally lame response – Rabbit Hill is South of the Whitemud.

  • IndigoSelvedge

    Go camping! Even Elk Island has some beautiful scenery, and the stars are so clear with good weather.

    • Blue Knox

      Awesome suggestion!! That’s a great idea!

      • Sporthall

        On a first date? That’s optimistic, but go for it!

  • mscott7426

    FWIW, you can go skating year round in edmonton at some city rinks.

    • Blue Knox

      I had no idea! That’s fantastic! Any chance you know what rinks?B

      • mscott7426

        The weekly schedule is posted here: http://coewebapps3.edmonton.ca/communityservices/skating.aspx

        In the summer it’s usually just the larger Arenas.

        Terwillegar Community Rec Centre, Castledowns Arena, Kinsmen Twin Rinks.

        In the winter there is pretty much a free public skating time every day.

        • Blue Knox

          That’s so awesome… what a great idea!! Thank you!

  • Guest

    Why are there only pictures of hetero couples in this article? Lame.

    • Blue Knox

      Hey! Really appreciate your feedback! This wasn’t done to be exclusionary it’s actually the same two in every photograph, the fantastic models Dylan and Danielle! If we do a piece like this again we will definitely think about this! Hope you liked the date suggestions.

  • Ashley V

    Blue Knox, I’d love to chat with you about this list and how you came up with all these ideas! Contact me: ashley.viens@cbc.ca or at 780-468-7406

  • Anitesh Jaswal

    Do places slightly outside of the city count as well? Say if you went on a decent drive for a Sunday?

    • Blue Knox

      Absolutely that counts! Love that idea! This is all about hearing your favorite date ideas in (and around) #YEG!

      • Anitesh Jaswal

        Great! The place is called Eco Cafe, near Ma-Me-O Beach. It’s roughly an hour or so away using QE2 but I took a longer route through Thorsby and came in from the west towards the lake, when you look on Google Maps it’ll make more sense I hope. It was just a great little area and for a weekend day trip was pretty relaxing.

        • Blue Knox

          Anitesh, That’s a really awesome suggestion! Love the idea of a day trip!

  • Kimberly Van Nieuvenhuyse

    Hi! The last Thursday of the month is Servus Community Access Night at the AGA, not the second last. It’s from 6-9 pm.

    • Blue Knox

      Hey Kimberly, Thanks for that correction! I’ll make note of it and change it in the article!

  • Trevor


    While the jazz festival comes but once a year, there is in fact a terrific venue for outstanding jazz concerts featuring regional, national, and international artists nearly year-round: the Yardbird Suite. In its present location since 1984, the Yardbird first arrived on the Edmonton music scene in 1957.

    The Yardbird Suite was recently selected as one of 50 things that define Edmonton!

    On the web: http://www.yardbirdsuite.com

    • Blue Knox

      Thank you for this amazing suggestion Trevor! I think I’m going to put this at the top of my personal list of places to try on my next date!

    • deirdre

      An inspired suggestion, Trevor. Wanted to add that on Tuesday evenings the Yardbird Suite hosts an awesome series of jazz “jam” sessions – hosted each week by professional musicians who perform a one-hour set, then other musicians sign-up and are invited to sit-in and perform. Definitely cool as calibre of musicianship is high and professionals, amateurs and students improvise. Cost is only $5.00 for an evening of surprising, memorable, jazz entertainment. Also, as Yardbird Suite is an entirely volunteer-run establishment, interesting volunteer opportunities abound. Much fun to be had!

      • Blue Knox

        Deirdre, thanks for your addition to this suggestion! That’s phenomenal!

  • Kim

    Great list, thanks!

    Here are a couple more additions you may want to consider: in the fall, going to Griesbach and taking pictures around the multicoloured trees (now is perfect timing!) or going to the U of A’s arts building to see the vines change colours and lose their leaves. These are my favourite outdoor spots in #yeg and could be paired with a hot coco walk.

    Secondly, there is that huge tobogganing hill by just south of 98 avenue and 93rd street where the folk fest is held (ooh, another addition there!). Great winter activity.

    I agree that I would love to see diverse pictures of people for your next round but this was a great pair of people to start with.

    Thanks and fun interview on cbc!

    • Blue Knox

      Thanks for those great additions to our list Kim! The photo tour w hot coco is perfect for our beautiful #YEG fall, and our list definitely needed the tobogganing suggestion!

      Glad you liked the interview and with how popular this list got, we would definitely consider doing another round, we really appreciate your feedback!

  • Graham

    This is an excellent list! I’m always happy to to see someone promoting the arts, especially Edmonton Opera, as great places for a date. This is some good work!

  • Olivia

    That’s amazing ! I’m new to the city and have been wondering where to go and what’s in the city. This list is what I need to explore and discover 🙂 Thanks so much for the list ! and some places that people suggested are helpful too ! happy to stumble upon your page !

  • Philippe

    A few other: Go to the Russian Tea Room and get your Tarot cards/tea leaves read… The Muttart Conservatory is also a great place for dates in the midst of our frigid winters… Go paint a ceramic dragon at Crankpots on Whyte ave…

    • Blue Knox

      These are phenomenal additions Philippe! Thank you!

  • Phenom101

    Thanks for this. Heard you on CBC yesterday. My husband’s 50th is coming up, and this is giving me some ideas of how to celebrate this milestone. 🙂

    • Blue Knox

      I’m so glad you heard me on CBC and were able to get some ideas for the occasion! I hope your celebrations are fantastic!

  • Lia

    I had to chuckle at how the map makes you feel like the city is basically a wasteland north of the Yellowhead and south of the Whitemud. (Actually, this is the criteria we used when we were shopping for a house…) C’mon people who live in these areas, there has to be something for date nights in these areas too!

  • Jasmine

    Hey there, Ice on Whyte actually does cost money, but it’s a very small amount. Good for readers to know though!

  • Renee

    Well that was weird stumbling on this article and realizing I know both of the people in this picture… lol

  • Meghana Valupersuperduperdas

    For anyone who wants to unleash their inner artist, Crankpots on Whyte is an excellent choice! From mugs to garden gnomes, there’s a wide selection of ceramic items to paint, and you go home with a souvenir or a gift 😉 $-$$$$. All seasons.