Sometimes, people just don’t want to or can’t participate in the active hangout you want to have now that spring has arrived. Busy schedules can make it hard to arrange dates and activities with friends and family, and when the grass is green and the sun stays out til after 8 p.m. (finally!) you may not want to wait until schedules work out. If you’re like me, it may not even be that schedules aren’t matching; you may just not want to talk or mingle with others while focusing on the activity at hand. Sometimes adrenaline and your own company are all you really desire.
The solution? You take yourself out and have a fantastic time!
You and I, we both know that Edmonton weather can be fickle, so I have compiled a list of my favorite active self-dates with some indoor activities and some outdoor activities.
Bouldering at Rock Jungle Fitness
If you haven’t already, now is a great time to try rock climbing! As the weather gets warmer, the rock climbing gyms get slower, since the experienced climbers are heading outdoors. Rock climbing is generally thought of as a partner exercise, but bouldering is a great date-with-self activity.
Bouldering is rock climbing without ropes or harnesses. Don’t worry! You can only get a few meters up, and there are mats to catch you if you do fall the short distance. Bouldering is more about learning to problem solve routes and work on technique; going high is not the objective.
Rock Jungle Fitness is a great place to boulder. Unlike Vertically Inclined, Rock Jungle Fitness has a separate bouldering area on two floors so that you don’t feel like you are in the way of other climbers.
- There are many people bouldering on their own. Believe me, everyone is way too focused on where the next ledge is to care who you came with.
- They are open for drop-in bouldering during all business hours!
- There are two floors of bouldering.
- You don’t need experience. Bouldering only allows you to climb to a certain height. The staff at Rock Jungle Fitness is ridiculously helpful, so don’t be afraid to ask for some advice and help if you need it!
- There are birthday parties and group events that happen in the bouldering section. On the plus side, they are usually only in a small section and they stay about half an hour before heading to the traditional pizza party.
Price: $19 for an adult day pass if you have your own equipment. $29 for a day pass with gear (shoe) rental.
Shooting a gun at the Wild West Shooting Range
You would think that having grown up in the country, I would have shot a gun before. Nope. My first time shooting a gun was at the Wild West Shooting Range at West Edmonton Mall. The staff was fantastic! They walk you through everything and have impenetrable patience (which I am sure I tested in my ignorance of firearms). Hitting that target was exhilarating, and I could see this becoming an expensive habit!
While it would be fun with friends, I didn’t feel the least bit uncomfortable on my own. It was a great way to let off steam, and I got to leave with my target to show off to friends later (it lived on my living room wall for some time). This is a great indoor activity for our less-than-beautiful spring and summer days, or any time of the year.
- Some serious stress relief. I did this date after a particularly stressful week both professionally and personally, and I left feeling giddy and proud and more-than-a-little badass.
- Really helpful staff who are happy to answer all your questions and make you feel safe if you are a complete newbie like myself.
- This is an expensive date. I think you’re worth it, but you’re looking at almost $100 when all is said and done. For me, this is a once-a-year type of self-date, unlike the others on this list which I like to try to do somewhat regularly.
Price: Day admission is $36 per person, and $18-$60 per 50 shots, depending on the firearm chosen.
Yoga (attempts) at The Yoga Center
I’m going to come clean here: I do not like yoga. Everyone I know raves about the relaxation of it, and when I have tried it, I have just felt like a t-rex (big hips, tiny arms, no grace). I have tried a few places and usually found that I feel awkward or embarrassed, and when I laugh about these feelings, I get the stink eye from the experienced stretchy people. Based on this info, I know you will trust me when I say that The Yoga Center is a great place to try or participate regularly in yoga.
I did hot yoga, and while I lost about half my body weight in sweat, and squealed when said sweat dripped into my eyes, no one glared. The instructor helped me without making me feel silly or singled out, and over all, I left feeling pretty great. I mean, I still don’t love yoga, but every now and then I get the urge to try again (preferably on my own), and I know this is the place I will go back to.
- It’s located just off Whyte, so there are plenty of places to treat yourself after your sweaty workout. I personally really like grabbing a Tutti Frutti yogurt afterwards.
- Experts and t-rex newbies are all welcome and accepted.
- Everyone is really focused on their own sweat and pain, and many come alone for the meditative aspect of yoga. This is a safe you-zone.
- I find yoga to be a bit pricey for a regular self-date, but that’s just my priorities. If you love yoga, then this may be a really great investment for you.
Price: Student drop-in: $12, regular drop-in: $16
Five-class card: $60
One month unlimited: $80
Mountain biking in the river valley
You guys! The grass is green! No really, look outside, the grass is actually green, and the trees are showing buds, and I am way too excited for this very late spring. One of my favorite things to do on my own as the weather gets warmer is to hop on my bike and hit the river valley. One of the best parts of living in Edmonton is the great trails in the river valley, and cruising through them on a bike is a fantastic intro to spring.
- No one cares if you are alone or with a group or with your pet turtle (I’ve actually seen a giant pet turtle in the river valley with his human. True story).
- There are a variety of trails available, so you can take it at your own pace. I am not a particularly experienced cyclist, but I still have a great time sticking to the trails I am comfortable on!
- It’s free if you have a bike, or you can rent a mountain bike from River Valley Adventure.
- This is a weather-dependent activity.
Price: Free if you own a bike or you can rent from River Valley Adventure starting at $10 and a max of $40 for a day.
Browsing the 104 Street Market
The City Market Downtown outdoor season has begun, and browsing the vendors on a Saturday morning or afternoon is one of the most relaxing yet productive parts of my week. There is something special about being alone in a crowd. Music playing, kids and dogs goofing around, great food and crafts, happy people enjoying the sunshine; it is just brilliant!
Sometimes I go with an errand in mind, but mostly I leave the house with $20 in my wallet, and see where the day takes me. Sometimes it leads to a big bag of kettle corn or a basket of strawberries to munch on while I wander; sometimes it leads to a small gift for a friend or tips for the local talent playing on the corners. I always leave happy and I always come back throughout the summer.
- It costs as much as you want it to cost. You can grab your groceries for the week, or you can simply explore what our local vendors have to offer.
- Dogs! Dogs are allowed at the outdoor market, and the ones brought to such a busy place are usually very friendly and happy, and if you ask, you can usually steal a snuggle or two (yes, I am that person at the market).
- You can truly make a day of it: bike there, grab lunch, shop, enjoy the weather and music. It’s a really great date to take yourself on.
- There is just too much to truly see everything in one day, so I guess you will have to go a few times through the summer!
- It does get very crowded, and if your goal is to have some thinking time without interruptions on your self-date, this is probably not the right outing for you.
Price: Whatever you decide to spend. There is no admission fee, and the vendors, for the most part, are far from pushy, so don’t feel bad if you have no intention of spending money.
Find six other dates to take yourself on through Edmonton in this post.