While Canadians would usually be getting ready to head up to a cottage for the Victoria Day long weekend, this year, many of us are staying closer to home instead to adhere to local gathering restrictions. But even though you may be swapping forests, docks and lakes for more familiar surroundings, it doesn't mean you can't have an epic May 2-4 experience in your own backyard (or not far from it)!
Just in time for the warmer weather this holiday weekend, Wayne Gretzky Craft Brewing is introducing some new beers! No.99 Hazy Pilsner and No.99 Hazy IPA are now available in Ontario, and for West Coast beer lovers, No.99 Session Ale — a light and citrusy American-style IPA — is now available in BC and Alberta. These brews, like all of Wayne Gretzky Craft Brewing's beers, are 100% Canadian and made in Canada.
All the brews offer a unique take on traditional flavour profiles while being clean and crisp, so you can stay refreshed while you fire up the barbecue and pretend you're kicking it at a cottage. With drinks sorted, this collection of close-to-home activities should help make this May 2-4 one to remember.
Hit The Trails On Your Bike
If you're looking for something adventurous, how about heading out with your bike? Canada is blessed with plenty of trails, off-road and on, with different difficulty levels to suit your vibe.
Feel the wind in your hair while you explore new parts of your city or simply cruise along your favourite trails and relax. Pack a few snacks in your bag and stop for a picnic in the sun.
Throw An Epic Backyard BBQ
If you're staying home this year for your weekend celebrations, make an event of it with a potluck barbecue. You can be the grill master, and the other household members can make their own sides — think potato salad, mac 'n' cheese, an always-popular Caesar salad or whatever takes their fancy.
As the grill master, don't forget to make sure there's something for everyone. Along with the traditional steak and chicken, have a few options for those who prefer veggies, like grilled halloumi cheese or black bean burgers. This is a good chance to see how the No.99 Hazy IPA or No. 99 Session Ale stand up to a well-charred sirloin. And of course, remember to cheers (responsibly) to the weekend with a couple of cold ones.
Have A Romantic Date Night On The Balcony
By default our social plans have become more intimate this year, so why not lean into that with a romantic date night on the balcony?
An at-home date can have all the fixings of a night out — ambiance, good food and cozy vibes — but all within the comfort of your own home. Support your favourite local restaurant by ordering in and plate everything on your fanciest dishes.
Instead of cocktails, opt for a cool beer that pairs perfectly with a warm night outdoors. A lighter brew like the No.99 Hazy Pilsner (or No.99 Session Ale for those on the West Coast) is great for sipping together over candlelight and good conversation.
Host Your Own Beer Tasting Experience
Half the fun of the May 2-4 weekend is getting to relax and maybe sample a new beer or two. Sure, you may not be able to sit by the lake this year, but you can still enjoy a little taste test. Host your own, or book a 30-minute virtual guided tasting through Wayne Gretzky Estates.
Grab a handful of different styles and compare notes as you determine your favourite of the bunch. Or make it interesting and have a blind taste test as you try your best to identify each beer by its flavour and aroma.
Look Up & Gaze At The Stars
The incredible firework shows that flash across the night sky are one of the best things about the May 2-4 weekend. This year, however, things are a little different, and since gathering in large groups to watch fireworks won't be an option, how about finding a dark spot somewhere outside of the city to go stargazing for your night-sky fix?
Head to a lookout, a dark-sky preserve or a nearby beach with little to no light pollution and see how many stars you can point out. Apps like Stellarium make it easy to locate planets, constellations and even the International Space Station. Bring your S/O for a romantic evening underneath the stars.
Enjoy A Tasty Picnic In The Park
A picnic in a park is a delightful way to experience the outdoors without going too far from home. Choose a secluded park somewhere within walking distance, or even a bit further away if you're feeling a little adventurous.
You can pack yourself a picnic lunch, or find a nearby restaurant to support and order some takeout. Bring along a picnic blanket and your favourite way to pass the time — games like spike ball and Mölkky, a book, playing cards — and hook up a speaker to play some music. Then all that's left to do is just relax.
Take A Relaxing Camping Trip
No cottage? No problem. A low-key camping trip is a great way to get some space and unplug. It's been a long year and having the chance to connect with nature is a lovely way to reset.
Bonfires, ghost stories and having a beer (where permitted) with your bubble are just a few of the things you can do while you're on the campsite celebrating the long weekend.
Head To The Beach For Some Fun In The Sun
There aren't many things that are more relaxing than hearing the waves crashing on the shore and feeling the warm sun on your skin (just remember to apply SPF).
Spending the day at the beach and catching a few rays is a pretty good alternative to lazing on the dock all May 2-4 weekend long. Make a day out of it by packing a few snacks and taking in the sunset over the water.
Stay Active With An Outdoor Workout
There are so many ways for you to stay active over the long weekend before you join in on the fun of food and drinks. You can go for a jog, stroll the neighbourhood and hit your step goal, or do a yoga session on your patio. You can also talk your friends into doing a virtual fitness class or a socially distanced group workout (if your province allows it) in the park.
You'll get some lovely endorphins and feel refreshed, which is one of the best things about a long weekend.
You don't have to go to the cottage to have a fun-filled May 2-4 weekend. And whether you're having a barbecue, gazing at the stars or organizing your own beer-tasting experience, Wayne Gretzky Craft Brewing has a refreshing, crisp drink to complement your plans.
To learn more about the craft beers available to you this May 2-4, visit Wayne Gretzky Craft Brewing's website or check out their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages.
Narcity does not condone the overconsumption of alcohol. If you are going to drink alcohol, please do so responsibly and only if you're of legal age.