5 long weekend activities that won’t break the bank
Enjoy all that Alberta has to offer during long weekends (without overspending).
By ATB Financial 8 March 2019 3 min read
You don’t need to go far to enjoy our province’s warm weather weekends (without overspending). There are plenty of things to see and do in Alberta’s cities and towns over the summer and fall long weekends. If you’re on a tight budget, are trying to pay off debt or build up your savings, pass the time without derailing your finances with these free or affordable activities.
1. Visit the farmers’ market
No matter where you call home in Alberta, most communities have a weekly farmers’ market. Peruse vendors offering locally produced food, baked goods and artisan crafts. Markets often have live music and food vendors, and are a great place to connect with your community. Find a farmer’s market near you.
Savings tip: Use your regular weekly food budget for spending at the farmers’ market. Bring a shopping list to prevent impulse purchases.
2. Enjoy The University of Alberta’s Botanic Gardens Twilight Picnic
For those who call Edmonton home, head to the Botanic Gardens to enjoy a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Happening Friday and Saturday evenings throughout the summer and into the fall, it’s a great long weekend activity.
Savings tip: The picnic option is more costly than regular admission. If you’re looking to see the gardens without the meal, the Botanic Gardens offers student and senior discounts.
3. Go on a beer tour in Calgary
Love craft beer and live in Calgary? This vibrant city is home to many local breweries and craft beer pubs. A guided brewery tour is a good option if you don’t have a designated driver—the tour company will drive you to each destination. Otherwise, take the train downtown and go on a self-guided walking tour of the craft beer bars there.
Savings tip: On a night out on the town, it’s easy to overspend. Set a budget and take out some cash before you leave. When the cash is gone, consider wrapping things up.
4. Visit Red Deer’s museums and art galleries
Passing through Red Deer? Consider stopping in for more than gas and coffee. If you’re a resident of Red Deer, you already know what this city has to offer. Check out the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum for an interactive, hands-on experience of the province’s sport history—it’s fun for the whole family. You can also discover the history and culture of Red Deer and Central Alberta at the Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery, which offers a range of programs, activities and special events for all ages. Head to the Red Deer Museum website to see what visiting exhibits and art shows will be in town.
Savings tip: Admission to the Red Deer Museum is free, but donations are strongly encouraged. Pay what you can and bring the kids for a full day of fun and learning.
5. Check out one (or many) community-wide events
From the Ponoka Stampede to Alberta Beach’s Polynesian Days, Calgary Pride to Edmonton’s Pumpkin Patch Haunted Harvest Fest, there are many local festivals and events happening across Alberta every long weekend. Travel Alberta has a comprehensive list of events and attractions you can explore across the province during a long weekend and beyond.
Savings tip: Many community events have free attractions. Enjoy what you can without spending, pack your own snacks and water, and set a budget for any fun extras you want to enjoy.
Whether you’re planning a staycation or want to explore the province, you’ve got options to save some money and enjoy the best Alberta has to offer for every long weekend.