Things to do in May

This May, we're putting a different spin on our monthly "Things to Do in Edmonton" blog post. While we can't get out and explore with friends and family like we have in the past, that doesn't mean that there aren't a ton of locally-derived activities to take on during quarantine. Many attractions and experiences have gone digital, offering live stream content that you can engage with all month long. Other businesses are offering pick-up or delivery, so you can continue supporting local retailers, restaurants and more. The sun is shining, the snow has melted to reveal lush green grass, and Edmonton's local doers and makers can't stop, won't stop. Kind of makes you feel lucky to live in such an amazing city, doesn't it?

Remember to continue practicing safe physical distancing and frequent hand washing!

Celebrate Mom

Perhaps now, more than ever, celebrating the amazing mothers and mother figures in our lives is essential. Lucky for us, the folks at The Butternut Tree are selling individually packaged high tea for Mother's Day, with curbside pick up on May 9 & 10. You can drop off this wonderful gift to the special women in your life, or order multiple portions and enjoy together while practicing spatial distancing!

Pei Pei Chei Chow is also offering a special meal delivery on May 10 to help mom feel extra special. Order by May 7 and treat your family with this delicious meal package including bannock with crispy sage, freshly made blueberry jam and smoked mushroom stew with potato dumplings. You can feel good about your order too; Pei Pei Chei Chow sources ingredients from local independent farms and businesses!

World Renowned Cinema

From May 3-7, The Edmonton Jewish Film Festival will light up computer screens and televisions in Edmonton and beyond, showcasing Jewish culture, history and ideas through film. The Festival will feature award-winning films and shorts from around the world. These Edmonton premieres bring stories of history, politics, nature, sports and more. Films are complemented by virtual pub talks and lunchtime chats with distinguished guest speakers to provoke discussion and thought. All films and online events are free and open to one and all!

Take in a virtual play

From Vena Amoris Projects in partnership with Edmonton Fringe Theatre, Tracks is an online theatrical experiment where you choose which paths to follow. This immersive virtual play features work by an ensemble of Alberta's promising next generation of storytellers and runs from May 19-24. Tracks is a fully online experience that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. At least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled performance, instructions will be sent to the email address on your account on how to access the performance. Sit back, relax, and get ready to embark on a theatrical journey with some incredible local talent.

Make your own Charcuterie board

Plan a fancy night in with a good bottle of wine and an artisan charcuterie board that's uniquely Edmonton. Cavern offers a delicious selection of cheeses, meats and preserves with free next-day delivery on orders of $40 or more (they offer pick-up too!). Pair your savoury and sweet selections with a bottle of vino from a local liquor store like Highlands Liquor, and you've got yourself the perfect evening. You're classy like that.

Did someone say Food Trucks?!

Spring in Edmonton just wouldn't be the same without food trucks. Lucky for us, Edmontonians can head to 15960 109 Avenue for the Food Truck Drive Through on May 2, from 11:00am-3:00pm. Patrons will stay in their cars, line-up at their truck of choice, drive up to order and keep driving to park. You'll receive a text when your order is ready for no contact pick-up. Make sure you wear your stretchy pants and save room for dessert!

Put that Green Thumb to use

From May 11-17, The Muttart Conservatory is offering its first ever online plant sale! You will be able to pick out your favourite plants online, pay for them electronically, and schedule a curbside pickup date and time. Choose from beautiful hanging baskets, herbs, tomatoes, planters and more. Note, no in-person purchases will be available at this time.

(Don't) Quit Playing Games

Edmonton's board game cafés are closed for the time being, but you can still get your hands on mind-bending, strategically challenging, and laugh-out-loud funny games to add to your collection. Keep the family busy all afternoon long, or set up a virtual game night with friends. Board N Brew Café is offering curbside pick-up, so you can get stocked up on new games. Transform into a Gnome Paladin or Elven Warlock with Hexagon Boardgame Cafe; they have fresh Dungeons & Dragons quests available for pick-up (dice included!). Table Top Café has your favourite games, tasty food and refreshing beer all available for free delivery on orders over $50.

These are the days of our lives

While they have halted their weekly shows at Edmonton’s Varscona Theatre, Die-Nasty Live Soap Opera is continuing its 29th season in an exciting new format. Each week the performers gather online and improvise the “Die-Nasty Digital Radio Play”. Catch a new hilarious episode every Monday and laugh along in your living room. Like what you see? Subscribe to their YouTube Channel for the latest and greatest. Want to support the Varscona Theatre and its performers? Click here for donation information.

Northwestfest goes online

Welcome to the first ever online edition of NorthwestFest! This virtual event will introduce you to an amazing selection of new films, along with a few audience favourites that you may have missed at prior editions of the festival. All films are available to stream during the week of May 8 to May 17 with the exception of three titles that will only be available to stream for 48hrs from the time of your purchase.

Get Inspired with the AGA

Art lovers rejoice: the Art Gallery of Alberta is sharing their current exhibition 'Leiden circa 1630: Rembrandt Emerges' over on their Facebook page. It's your own little crash course in the beginnings of the Dutch master painter. Check out the six-part series that showcases works of art by Rembrandt and his circle as a celebration of the artist and his wide-reaching impact, marking the 350th anniversary of his death. The best part? You can immerse yourself in this beautifully curated collection from the comfort of your own couch!

Canadian Concerts, Live in your Living Room!

Canadian musicians from all over the country are streaming concerts, live from their homes. Check out CKUA's event calendar for countless concerts in May, ranging from Dan Mangan Quarantunes to Valdy's free concert series. The CBC also has an up-to-date list of concerts that you can live stream for free online. FemFolk UK features many Edmonton artists in their various concert series; check them out on Facebook for weekly announcements. You can also take your living room dance parties up a notch with Explore Edmonton's Spotify playlist, featuring a wide range of talented local artists.

Online nehiyawewin: Cree Language Classes

Whether you want to reconnect to your ancestral language or learn a language from the territory, this is the class for you! Offered in partnership with the Edmonton Public Library and the Canadian Native Friendship Centre, these immersive Cree Language Classes are suitable for beginners and those with previous language knowledge. This is a free registered, online class where you will also connect with community members and make new friends through shared passion for language revitalization.

Cue the Theatrics!

Edmonton's performing arts community is second to none, and there's no reason that has to change now. Head the Citadel Theatre's Facebook page to check out the "Stuck in the House" series, which highlights performances by artists who have lost income due to cancelled projects during the Covid-19 pandemic. All artists are paid a fee thanks to generous support from the Edmonton Community Foundation, and you can also make donations to help these talented Edmontonians continue to make inspiring art!

Take a self-guided street art tour

Edmonton's street art game has exploded in the last few years, thanks to the visionary team at Rust Magic. Rust Magic represents spray-paint culture at its finest by showcasing high-quality pieces and educating the public on the often misunderstood art form. Check out their virtual mural map and plan your drive (or a physically distanced walk) around the city where you'll discover incredible large-scale works by international and local artists. Visit their Instagram page for some visual inspiration, and be sure to pack a camera so you can capture the moment yourself!

Namaste Inside

Many local yoga studios are helping Edmontonians take a much-needed breath by offering online yoga classes. Continue your practice from the comfort of your living room with experienced teachers that will help uplift your body and soul. Push back the sofa, dust off your mat and de-stress with a little downward dog while supporting local businesses like Om Hot Yoga, Sattva Yoga Studio, Prana Yoga, Metta Yoga, Navina Yoga and many more.

Story Time with Metis Crossing

Metis Crossing is a premiere centre for cultural interpretation and education in Alberta. While your family can't visit the centre for now, Story Time with Kookum helps to keep Metis children and families connected to their culture, especially during this time of physical isolation. In the first episode, Metis Knowledge Holder and teacher Lilyrose Meyers tells us a story about her favourite animal, the owl. Check out their latest episode, here.

Music for the soul

The Winspear Centre and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra are excited to present a new digital series, Live at the Winspear: From Stage to Screen. Tune into the ESO's Facebook page for moving music that will lift your spirit. You can also watch past performances on the Winspear Centre Website. Performances are free, but donations are always welcome. This month, tune into concerts featuring Robert Uchida (May 1 & 8) and Tatiana & Mikolaj Warszynski (May 10). Keep your eyes peeled for more concerts announced throughout the month!

From the Local Lens

Dust off your camera or smartphone and get ready to capture the changing season. Edmonton has plenty of Instagrammable locations just waiting to be discovered. Check out our list of picture-perfect hidden gems in our two-part article series: Edmonton's Best Photo Spots and Edmonton's Best Photo Spots 2.0. You'll see the city from a whole new perspective while taking your Instagram page to the next level. Remember to practice safe social distancing while you're out and about!

Discover Local Dance Artists

Good Women Dance Collective produces innovative pieces that have been taking the city by storm for years. On May 22, you can check out performances from their Creative Incubator. Local artists who have been participating in a week-long creation workshop with their peers will present their new works via Facebook Live. Feeling inspired to move yourself? GWDC also offers dance classes led by company members. Check out their website for details!

Tour your own backyard

Get out and enjoy some fresh air, while remembering to practice physical distancing. The Commonwealth Walkway App is a great guide to exploring Edmonton's river valley while reading and listening to one of five storylines (Indigenous, History, Family, River & Winter). Gain a new perspective on Edmonton's history and take a free audio tour while using the Edmonton Queer History App. Stretch your legs, and expand your knowledge of Edmonton's ongoing story.

Remember to practice safe physical distancing when embarking on these, or any, outdoor adventures.