This year has definitely been different. Although you might not be able to spend Canada Day like you normally would (heading out to huge parties, seeing live concerts, watching fireworks with hundreds of others), it doesn't mean you can't still enjoy the holiday and celebrate like a true Canadian.
If you're planning to stay home this year and wondering what you can do, here's a complete list of ways you can embrace Canada Day from the comfort of your home and backyard.
1. Visit your fave Canadian museum, virtually
Sure, Canada Day is a great way to absorb the history, accomplishments, and cultural diversity of our nation. But that can be a little difficult to do when you're social distancing.
Thankfully, many Canadian museums are offering virtual tours of certain exhibits. This way you can take it all in from the comfort of your own home.
Just as an example, you can check out the 150 years | 150 works: Canadian Art as Historical Act exhibit from the Galerie de l’UQAM, the Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent's Off to Salty Waters – Vacationing on the St. Lawrence, and more, all online.
2. Enjoy beer made by Canadian hands
Honestly, one of the best ways to embrace Canada Day at home is to just kick back and enjoy a homegrown brew.
As an example of a great local pint, Collective Arts Saint Of Circumstance, a citrus-zested blonde ale that's ultra-refreshing and easy to drink, is made right here in Ontario.
There are tons of great options. You can turn your Canada Day into a beer-tasting session with family and friends by stocking up on different local brews. Make a list of ones that you've never tried before and use Canada Day as the ultimate taste test to find your new favourite.
3. Celebrate Canadian artists with a patio concert
Aside from the classic Bieb's songs that everyone loves, there are a ton of Canadian artists that deserve to be highlighted, lesser-known ones especially. If you love playing music, make a playlist featuring Canadian artists and head out to your backyard or front patio for a mini-concert series starring you.
If you're a bit performance shy, no problem. Belt out Canadian tunes in the comfort of your home. Or, make a playlist featuring some awesome Canadian songs to blast while you enjoy your day off work and recognize our country for all its greatness.
4. Bake Canada Day-inspired cookies
Who doesn't love a day off when they can bake some goodies? Canada Day is the perfect excuse for you to treat yourself to cookies inspired by the day itself. Head to the store and grab your ingredients. Don't forget the icing! Create some epic cookies featuring the Canadian flag and popular Canadian quotes.
Share with the rest of your family, eh.
5. Host a neighbourhood BBQ
Just because you're staying home doesn't mean the party can't come to you. Even though we'll still be practicing safe social distancing for Canada Day, you can have a few friends or family members over for a backyard BBQ — just be sure to respect the social distancing guidelines for your area, and be safe.
Enjoy delicious food, switch it up with some sugar-free, refreshing Cottage Springs Strawberry Kiwi Vodka Water, and enjoy great company, all in the comfort of your backyard.
If you want to spruce up your BBQ so it's more Canada Day-focused, try making a few legendary Canadian dishes (try your hand at home-making poutine) or using ingredients from local farmers or grocery stores.
Even if you opt for eating out, try to support local Canadian restaurants as much as possible. Everything tastes better when it's local anyways, right?
6. Have a virtual Canadian trivia tournament with friends
If you really don't feel like being seen in public at all, then break out some chilled rosé from a pioneering Ontario winery, grab your laptop, and be prepared for some intense video trivia. This is the ultimate stay-at-home activity where you can still hang out with your pals while wearing pyjamas.
7. Mix up some creative Canadian cocktails
Honestly, there's no better way to kick off summer than by whipping up your own quintessentially Canadian cocktails. Use a few good splashes of Iceberg Vodka in your batch of bacon-topped Caesars. Keep it simple by combining a dash of Canadian maple syrup with an award-winning, full-flavoured Canadian rye whiskey for a tasty Canadian Whiskey Sour.
If you prefer a sweeter option, get creative and make your own delicious Canadian-inspired concoctions by muddling up fresh, Ontario-grown fruit with locally made spirits.
8. Brush up on your Canadian history
By now, you've likely forgotten your high school history lessons. Why not take some time on Canada Day to learn more about its history and how it became the country it is today, or relive some iconic Canadian moments (for example, rewatch when Crosby scored that iconic goal at the 2010 Winter Olympics — if that doesn't make you feel super Canadian and proud, nothing will)?
Here are some quick historical facts to give you a head start:
- The first indoor hockey game was in 1875 in Montreal.
- Newfoundland was its own country before 1949.
- Canada officially became a country on July 1, 1867.
- Vikings settled on the East Coast of Canada around 1000 A.D.
- Canada didn't have a national flag until 1965.
Super interesting, right? There are loads more historical facts waiting to be discovered. It'll be more interesting than you may think to learn new facts about your homeland.
9. Enjoy an evening backyard bonfire
We Canadians love our backyard bonfires, there's no doubt about it. It's the best time to snuggle up in your coziest sweater, roast some marshmallows or hot dogs, enjoy a few cans of locally produced strawberry gin-based coolers, and watch the stars.
If you have the backyard space and you're allowed to, you can light your own fireworks. Or, grab some sprinklers to light up and wave around to make shapes. You don't need to hit up a massive Canada Day party; you and your backyard are all you need.
10. Wind down and watch a Canadian film
When it's getting close to the end of the day and the sun has you seriously tuckered out, the best thing to do is to pour a glass of local red wine, make some popcorn, cozy up on the couch, and choose a Canadian film in honour of our national holiday. Find a documentary or movie by a Canadian director to celebrate your pride while you start to unwind at the end of a fun day.
11. Catch up on some much-needed R&R
Just because it's Canada Day doesn't mean you actually have to do anything. You're off work for the day, so if you want to just rest, relax, and rejuvenate, you should absolutely get to do that.
A few ways you can go into a complete relaxation mode for the day are to turn off your notifications, stay in comfy clothes, take a long bath paired with your favourite Pinot Grigio, snack on anything and everything, and just do nothing. No judgement here; your Canada Day can be celebrated any way you like.
Now that you've got 11 ways you can enjoy Canada Day right from your own house, it's time to get planning. It's coming up soon, you know!