1. $$ (F/W) Every Friday at 10:00pm at the Citadel theatre Rapidfire Theatre puts on one of the greatest improvisational theatre shows in the country, not just the city, not just the province, the country. They get guests from across Canada and some of the most phenomenal performers from this city. Often highly inappropriate, but always entertaining, this is one of the best date nights in the city. The last time I went to Rapidfire for a date the man sitting behind me accidentally poured a litre of Coke down my back and purse, but I was so busy laughing about the show, I didn’t even care. That is how amazing the show is.
2. $$ (S) Go to a show and see the performers at the Fringe. I realize the dead of winter is creeping up on us but this date is, arguably, one of the most definitive #YEG experiences you can have. Middle of a hot August day, cramped in any of the hundreds of BYOVs around the city, watching one of the dozens of morning/afternoon/evening/late night/late late night performances by amateurs and seasoned veterans alike, is the epitome of an Edmonton Summer. It may be nearly a year until you can take advantage of this one, but our list wouldn’t be complete without it.
3. $$$ (S) Edmonton Jazz Festival sadly, like our friend the Fringe, the Jazz Festival has passed us by. Have no fear, it will be around next year. So you can take this idea, save it for a few months down the road, and then surprise your date with your brilliant date prowess while taking in some of the finest jazz musicians in the world.
4. 0 (W) Go to Ice on Whyte and take a look at the amazing ice sculptures! One of the best things Edmonton has done in the last few years is really encourage festivals and events that embrace winter. Last year there were magnificent icy works of art, so grab your mittens and boots, and prepare yourself for a great date in the snow!
5. $$ (A) Edmonton has some superb small concert venues like the Starlite Room, and the Pawnshop. One of my favorite things when Vue Weekly comes out on Wednesdays is sit down, and immediately leaf through their pages to find the concert listings. Big names, or small names, Starlight and Pawnshop are always fun venues that, with a beer in hand, and dancing shoes laces up, guarantee a good night! My favorite concert date was the night I saw Young The Giant play! It was so much fun dancing and singing, and even though I’m no longer friends with my date, I had a great night and loved the show!
6. $$ (S) Taste of Edmonton, joining dates #2 and #3, is over, but makes for a great date. No doubt this list would be incomplete without it!
7. $$$ (F/W) With the season not yet over, take in an Eskimos game at Commonwealth! Even in the middle of November it’s fun to bundle up, buy a hot chocolate (or beer), and cheer on our Green and Gold! GO ESKS GO!
8. $$$ (W/Sp) Hockey game. Go to a hockey game. Nothing more needs to be said. If you or your date love hockey or sports, or just want a good date with a great atmosphere, it’s always fun to watch some NHL live. Or, if you don’t feel like paying for a pricy ticket, catch the game at any of the great pubs in town.
9. $$ (F/W/Sp) Take in any of the University of Alberta varsity teams, or Grant MacEwan University’s teams. This city is known for its art but it also has an incredible pool of athletic talent. This is a great date for anyone who loves sports and who feels like showing some post-secondary pride!
10. $$ (A) Go to one of the lectures VUE Weekly posts.
11. $$$$ (F/W/Sp) The Alberta Ballet is the third largest ballet company in North America, and with shows in Edmonton, Calgary, and around the world, the price of a ticket is worth the show.
12. $$$$ (F/W/Sp) The Edmonton Opera is a cultural institution in this city which I have fallen madly in love with over the past two years. If you’ve never been, our opera is a beautiful place to learn what opera is all about. If you’ve already been, well this post was unnecessary because you know what an awesome date night this is. Here’s a tip: If you’re 18-29 years old, pay $25 at the start of the season for a “Explorers” membership and then every show in the season will cost you and one other person (your date) $20 for any seat that is available the night of.
13. $$$$ (F/W) The ESO is another obvious choice, but a great one. Go to the symphony, dress up, maybe grab some drinks nearby at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, Hundred, or any of the dozens of nearby lounges, beforehand. For a student, this might be a once-a-year date, but it’s a fun one!
14. $$$$ (A) The Citadel has so many amazing shows every year, every season has something for everyone. Whether you’re a fan of classics or you want to see a contemporary piece, the theatre is a wonderful date. You can go for ice cream at intermission and hey, even if you don’t feel like going to see a show, The Citadel is a wonderful building to explore. You can sit under the giant waterfall and talk on the benches surrounded by glass walls and ceilings!
15. 0 – $$ (A) Art Gallery of Alberta the Gallery has some incredible exhibitions, and with such interesting architecture, even walking between the exhibits is fun. If you’re looking to catch some art but don’t want to pay the admission, the last Thursday of every month is Servus Community Access Night and is free after regular hours from 6-9 pm! If you want to make it a bigger occasion, stop at Zinc restaurant in the Gallery for dinner afterwards.
If you thought there was nowhere to go out for a morning/day/night around Edmonton, I hope this list has done a thorough job of proving you wrong. Whether you enjoyed the individual you went out with or you never see them again, this list gives over 50 different places to enjoy yourself while you’re out, even if your date is about as interesting as the wallpaper behind them the entire time they were talking to you. Now I leave you with a challenge: on your next date, try something off of this list you’ve never thought of before! Comment below if you can think of a great date in #YEG that we didn’t mention (don’t forget to include the $ and season)!
All photography for this article, including the cover, were shot by Wanderer photographer, Patrick Nguyen
Special thank you to Wanderer writer Michael Ross for his help with the links and the wonderful map
Thank you as well to our models, Michelle Derewonko and Dylan Grayson, with make up done by Jenn Vautour