You’ve entered the MBA program and made a whole bunch of new best friends. If you’re new to Edmonton, you’re probably wondering about some good group outings that will let you explore the city and get to know fellow MBA students at the same time. I’m a native Edmontonian and I racked my brain for the five best (and affordable!) hangout ideas for you and your crew. Now this list is just a start, as Edmonton is full of incredible experiences. Feel free to send me an email if you’d like even more suggestions!
River Valley Roaming
Photo credit: Ashton Paulitsch
At 7.400 hectares, Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River Valley is the largest stretch of urban parkland in North America (take that, Central Park!) With 22 major parks and over 150 kilometers of trails, you can bike, run, picnic, snowshoe, cross country ski, or canoe to your heart’s content. My personal favourite spots are Hawrelak Park, the Fox Drive stairs, Emily Murphy Park and the Cloverdale/Riverdale area. River Valley Adventure Co. has bike rentals and guided Segway tours right in the heart of the River Valley. As well, you can book canoe tours through Edmonton Canoe or Canoe Heads.
Let’s Go Edmonton, Let’s Go!
Photo credit: Flickr
Edmonton is home to legendary professional sports teams including the Edmonton Oilers, Edmonton Eskimos, FC Edmonton and the Edmonton Oil Kings . With the new Rogers Place arena opening in downtown Edmonton this fall, sporting events will be taken to a whole new level. Many venues offer discount tickets for groups, but you can also look on trusted third-party ticket resale sites like Stub Hub for some last minute deals.
Don’t forget you have amazing campus athletes to cheer on too with University of Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas teams playing hockey, football, soccer, volleyball, basketball and rugby throughout the year. The best part is that tickets to regularly scheduled games are free for University of Alberta students with a valid ONEcard. Score!
Photo credit: Flickr
Edmonton is affectionately known as “Festival City” with unique festivals and special events taking place in every season. Whyte Avenue and Downtown, both easily accessible from the University area, are the most common event sites. Some of my favourite Edmonton festivals and events that I attend religiously year-after-year include:
- Heritage Festival
- Tour of Alberta
- Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival
- Ice on Whyte Festival
- Taste of Edmonton
- The Works Art & Design Festival
- Edmonton International Street Performers Festival
An Appreciation for the Arts
Photo credit: Explore Edmonton
Edmonton a city passionate about the arts. From live music and dance performances at world-class venues like the Winspear Centre or Jubilee Auditorium, to beautiful works of visual art at the Art Gallery of Alberta, there’s no shortage of creativity in Edmonton. Again, some venues offer student or group discounts. Another tip is to arrive right before the show to see if there are any “rush” or last-minute tickets available. These are usually offered at a discount but may not all get to sit together with your entire group. Small sacrifice for getting a wicked deal on an unforgettable performance! Here’s a few of my favourite spots for taking in the arts:
- Citadel Theatre
- Winspear Centre
- Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
- Yardbird Suite
- University of Alberta Convocation Hall
- Art Gallery of Alberta
- 124th Street Gallery District
Markets Overview (Not the Financial Kind)
Photo credit: Wiki Commons
Did you know? Edmonton’s City Market Downtown was recognized as the best farmers’ market in the world by a National Geographic travel blogger. In fact, the Edmonton metropolitan area is home to nearly 20 markets, some of which are year-round. Pick up some fresh, locally grown food for a group dinner or head out there altogether to browse, nosh and take in some live performances.
Close to campus, the indoor Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market is a lively place for a Saturday outing. If you don’t feel like venturing that far, the University of Alberta Farmers’ Market takes place weekly in the Students Union building on campus. For a full list of Edmonton area farmers’ markets, visit http://www.albertamarkets.com/markets/north-central/.
Written by Ashton Paulitsch