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Making the most of reading week

Lifestyle

Making the most of reading week

Tips for enjoying a staycation in Edmonton this month

Some students get to take off on global adventures during reading week, but not all of us are so lucky. If you’re facing the upcoming break with a tight budget and no opportunity to get out of the city, fear not! We’ve compiled our Top 5 favourite activities and places to get you out of the house and having fun.

And in case you’re looking for ways to pass the time at home, we’ve also included some of our favourite Netflix shows to get you through.

Top 5 classes to take:

Surfing lessons are offered at West Edmonton Mall from 8 to 9:30 a.m. on Saturdays, and must be pre-booked online.

Drop-in art classes are offered from 7 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday at the Art Gallery of Alberta, with a new topic for each week. On Feb. 22, participants can learn about creating storyboards.

From 6 to 10 p.m. on Feb. 22, Kathryn Joel will be hosting a Moroccan cooking class at MacEwan University Residence. The evening includes a full meal with wine, and a recipe pack. Participants must pre-register online.

On Feb. 26, amateur silversmiths can spend the afternoon at the City Arts Centre creating their own pair of silver earrings. Registration must be completed online prior to the event.

Dance Code Studio, located downtown near Oliver Square, offers drop-in classes all week long, in every style of dance. Complete schedules can be found on their website.

Top 5 food specials:

Monday – Chianti Cafe in Old Strathcona has “Pasta Frenzy,” where their signature pastas are on special for $9.99.

Tuesday – Dadeo on Whyte Ave. has their po’boys on for $12, plus they have the best yam fries in the city.

Wednesday – The Pint has Wing Wednesdays, where $3 gets you a plate of 10 wings.

Thursday – O’Byrne’s Irish Pub on Whyte Ave. has half-price nachos all night long.

Friday – On The Rocks on Jasper Ave. has half-price appetizers to start the evening off right.

Top 5 places to brunch:

Barb and Ernie’s is best known for their eggs benedict, German bratwurst, and pork schnitzel.

Blue Chair Cafe not only has amazing food, but every Sunday features a live jazz band to serenade brunch-goers.

Artisan Resto-Cafe serves breakfast until 4 p.m. daily, for those extra-long brunches.

Cora is a brunch staple, serving fresh seasonal fruits and delicious brunch fare.

SugarBowl is famous around the city for their cinnamon buns, as well as their chicken and waffle combo.

Top 5 shows to binge on Netflix:

Wentworth is an Australian drama about a women’s prison. Often compared to Orange is the New Black, Wentworth is quite a bit darker, and has a major focus on the power struggle between prisoners and the corruption of staff .

Sense8 tells the stories of eight diverse people around the globe who find themselves linked mentally and emotionally. The characters portrayed are inclusive, and each have their own intriguing storyline.

Stranger Things is one of the top-rated series to make its way onto Netflix in the past year, and for good reason. The show combines sci-fi with horror, mystery, and a coming-of-age story, all in the nostalgia-inducing setting of the 80s.

The Good Wife is a drama surrounding a defense attorney caught in the middle of her husband’s high-profile scandal. The combination of legal and personal battles provide something to interest nearly every possible viewer.

What list of binge-worthy shows would be complete without the inclusion of Breaking Bad? If you have yet to watch the story of a meth-making chemistry teacher, now is the time. If you’ve already seen it, you may be due for a rewatch.

Top 5 performances to catch:

Rapid Fire Improv hosts two interactive shows every Friday evening at e Citadel Theatre.

Pixar in Concert is taking over the Winspear Centre on the weekend of Feb. 18. Hear a live orchestra play songs from beloved Pixar films, while watching montages of your favourite scenes.

Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery will be featured at Mayfield Dinner Theatre. Five actors play a total of 30 roles in a comedic take on the famed detective’s adventures.

Broadway comes to Edmonton as Kinky Boots takes the stage at the Jubilee Auditorium. The musical finishes its local run on Feb. 19.

Jubilations Dinner Theatre takes on two classic movies with their performance of Ferris Bueller’s School of Rock.

Top 5 indoor activities:

Axe throwing is available at a variety of Edmonton businesses, including Bad Axe rowing, Axehole, and Jack Axe Inc.

Bingo isn’t just for little old ladies, and players can take home some serious cash. Local spots to play include Parkway Bingo, Caesar’s Bingo House, and Kensington Bingo Hall.

Board games are one of the best ways to ignite competition, and both Table Top Cafe and The Hexagon Board Game Cafe have found a way to unite that spirit in a social environment.

The Batting Cages is just one of several indoor batting cages around the city, and a great way to work on your swing in the midst of winter.

Telus World of Science takes a look at mobile game culture with their  exhibit. If that’s not for you, they also have e Mysteries of China playing in IMAX 3D.

Top 5 outdoor activities:

Ice Castles are running in William Hawrelak Park. Arrival times can be booked in advance online, or you can take your chances and just drop in.

Skate the iceway at Victoria Park from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Book a snowshoe tour of Whitemud Park North or Rundle Park for groups of up to 30 participants. Information can be found on the City Of Edmonton website under recreation.

Go snow tubing at Sunridge, where three separate chutes will provide hours of winter fun from Fridays through Sundays.

Observe the skies at the University of Alberta Observatory. The weekly event is free of charge, and features both a lecture and stargazing on Thursdays from 7 to 8 p.m.


Cover photo by Matthew Jacula.