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Life, Lists

20 Things to do in Edmonton for Valentine’s Day

I love Valentine’s Day! Yes, yes, sometimes the commercialism is a bit much – it’s crazy that the pink hearts and candy come out almost immediately after Christmas, all that societal pressure of finding someone to spend it with that can be stupid, and it’s silly to think that you should only celebrate your special someone on this one day a year, but I’ve always been a romantic and I’ve always liked this time of year (even before I met Mike!) Nowadays more than anything, I just like finding different ways to spend time with my hubby and Valentine’s Day is just another ‘event day’ where we can do that.

I know we’re not alone in that thinking, so I’ve put together some ideas of what you can do for Valentine’s Day in Edmonton! (You can do a lot of these year-round, with anyone, or a group of friends too!)

20 Things to do in Edmonton for Valentine’s Day

I hope everyone has a fantastic Valentine’s Day!

Linda


Food, Lists, Reviews, Social Media

Recap: My Top Posts of 2014!

Linda Hoang Top 10 Posts of 2014

As 2014 comes to an end, WordPress has given me an easy way to put out a year-end blog post – they sent all WordPress Jetpack users a summary of some fun blog stat facts over the past year! Here’s my summary:

In 2014, I posted 122 times.

My Top 10 posts were:

Some of my popular posts were written before 2014 so WordPress says my “writing has staying power” lol :) It is also worth noting my review of Bangkok Restaurant (also hot pot) was the Top 12 post, and my recap of our experience at a taping of The Colbert Report also made Top 11 (I note that since the show wrapped up completely just a couple of weeks ago. Tears forever). My review of one of my favourite new Italian restaurants in Spruce Grove Porta Romana, also round out the Top 15.

Other tidbits – I seemed to post a lot on Mondays - that day had the most number of new posts made. My longest streak for blogs in a review was in November – when I posted at least once a day for 5 days. This was due to my series of blog post recaps of my experience at Christmas in November!

My top referrers were:

(Shout out to Mack and Sharon! Thanks for linking to my posts!)

And I had visitors from 135 countries but most traffic came from Canada.

The U.S. and U.K. were close behind.

So fun! My overall blog traffic doubled from 2013 to 2014 too.

Thank you readers!!!

I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read this blog. So, so, appreciative!

I promise to remain consistent with my posts into 2015! Coming up after this: a couple more restaurant reviews, Part 2 of my Top Edmonton Instagram Users to follow, and mine and friend @britl’s hot pot review series! As you can see from the top posts listed above, Edmontonians clearly have an appetite for hot pot reviews!

Did you have a favourite blog post / restaurant review that you read on this blog in the past year? Please let me know! :)

Linda


Life, Lists

What to do for New Year’s Eve: 2014 Edmonton Event Listing

NYE list last updated: Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Photo credit: Anthony P. Jones via www.photos.edmonton.ca.

Photo credit: Anthony P. Jones via www.photos.edmonton.ca.

Each year I try to compile a list of New Year’s Eve events to help myself and others plan out how they’d like to ring in the new year. This year my husband and I hope to be moved into our new home so we’ll probably spend NYE indoors but I still wanted to keep my list going for everyone else! (Though I have wanted to go to the Sugar Swing New Year’s Eve party 3 years in a row and still have yet to try it so maybe this is the year!)

This list will be updated as I find new events and as event information becomes available. Keep checking back for updates – usually more events are announced closer to the date.

Please leave me a comment below, send me an email or tweet me with any events you think should be added to the list! I’m always looking for new ideas!

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

New Year’s Eve Events in Edmonton for Dec. 31, 2014

New Year’s Eve Edmonton Downtown
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Churchill Square
Cost: Free
Details: It’s the annual New Year’s Eve festival in downtown Edmonton. There will be various family friendly activities, indoor and outdoor, performances, fireworks and more! Complete details to be announced.
Website: New Year’s Eve Edmonton Downtown

Sugar Swing Dance Club Good Old Hollywood: A New Year’s Eve Gala
Time: Beginner Swing Dance Lesson starts at 8 p.m. Gala from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Location: Sugar Foot Ballroom, 10545 81 Ave.
Cost: TBD (but similar to last year’s, which was $40 per person)
Details: Sugar Swing’s annual New Year’s Eve Party is the best way to bring in the New Year, Held every year since 2007, this incredible event is always sold out! This year the glitz and glamour of Hollywood comes to Sugar Swing as we present Good Old Hollywood: A New Year’s Eve Gala. On December 31st, we will immerse you in the fantastic world of celebrities, stars, and characters of classic Hollywood films from the 1920’s-1960’s. Our classic Hollwood-themed party will feature live performances, food and champagne, vintage fashion and cocktails, as well as Sugar Swing’s finest DJs playing your favourite tunes from the 1920s-1940s for your dancing pleasure.
Website: Sugar Swing Dance Club Good Old Hollywood: A New Year’s Eve Gala

Edmonton International New Year’s Eve Gala
Time: Cocktails 7 p.m. Dance & Cirque du Soleil-style show from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Dance from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Location: Fantasyland Hotel, Beverly Hills Ballroom
Cost: $150 per person.
Details: A spectacular evening of food, fun and entertainment in support of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. One of the Top 10 New Years Eve Events In Canada. Our guests will experience an unforgettable evening of unparalleled entertainment at this highly exclusive event in the Fantasyland Hotel. Entertainment will include a beautiful, stylish and hypnotic circus performances and plenty of whoops and ahhhs….
Website: Edmonton International NYE Gala

15th Annual Latin New Years
Time: Doors open at 6 p.m. Dinner at 7:45 p.m. Dance at 9 p.m.
Location: Delta Edmonton South
Cost: $60 (Dance only), $89 (Early bird Dinner & Dance)
Details: Latin New Year’s Eve 2014 at The Delta Edmonton South Hotel will be an extravagant NYE to remember. Sit Down and relax to the beautiful Latin rhythms of International Bachata Artist DOMENIC MARTE and TREMENDO from Puerto Rico. Local Artist Edgar Cruz will also open for the Headliners. Party this NYE away with Edmonton’s hottest Latin DJs, DJ LEO RL Playing the best in Latin, and Top 40.
Website: 14th Annual Latin New Years

New Year’s Eve Celebration at the Comic Strip
Time: 7 p.m. or 10 p.m.
Location: The Comic Strip, West Edmonton Mall
Cost: $30, $56, $68
Details: Ring the New Year in laughing at the Comic Strip! Join us December 31 , 2014 for our New Years Eve Celebration, 3 great acts, 3 great packages and party favours! Featuring Mike Vecchione, Sean Lecomber and Paul Myerhaug.
Website: New Year’s Eve Celebration at The Comic Strip

A License to Thrill: New Year’s Eve Party (Northlands)
Time: Begins at 5:30 p.m.
Location: Northlands Park (7410 Borden Park Rd).
Cost: Call 780.471.3380 for information (last year it was $60 per person)
Details: Park. Northlands Park. The place where New Year’s Eve leaves you shaken AND stirred! Choose from a variety of different packages and get ready for a night of glamour, prizes, intrigue and live racing action.
Website: A License to Thrill: New Year’s Eve Party (Northlands)

Jazz New Year’s Eve
Time: Doors open at 5:30 p.m., Dinner/Show starts at 6:45 p.m.
Location: Delta Edmonton South
Cost: $110 (Early Bird Special Dinner and Dance), $125 (Regular Dinner & Dance)
Details: The perfect atmosphere with THE SWING KINGS with Sandro Dominelli & Shelley Jones. Over the years this event is the number one seller in Edmonton and brings you a four course plate service dinner and entertainment you don’t want to miss. This famous band will keep you on your toes all night and will showcase fireworks from Downtown. Book your tickets soon because this event is a SOLD OUT SHOW every year!
Website: Jazz New Years Eve

Funk in the New Year with the Super Band!
Time: 9 p.m.
Location: On the Rocks (11740 Jasper Avenue)
Cost: $40 (includes dinner) $25 (just the show)
Details: Dance yourself in to a brand new year with the Funkalicious SuperBand!! A 9 piece group that will keep you grooving right in to 2015!!
Website: Funk in the New Year with the Super Band!

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with ABBA!
Time: Doors open at 7 p.m. Show starts at 8 p.m.
Location: Central Lions Senior Citizens Recreation Centre (11113 113 St).
Cost: $100 per person
Details: Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Abba again! includes delux buffet and complimentary champagne, with special guests the Rault Brother Bands.
Website: Celebrate New Year’s Eve with ABBA!

New Year’s Eve with Elvis!
Time: Doors open at 7 p.m., dinner at 8 p.m., show & dancing at 9 p.m.
Location: APEX Casino (24 Boudreau Rd, St Albert)
Cost: $99 per person
Details: New Year’s Eve with Elvis! (Robin Kelly’s tribute to Elvis). Includes complimentary toast at midnight, door prizes and buffet dinner.
Website: New Year’s Eve with Elvis!

Rooster Davis Group with Ann Vriend at Blue Chair Cafe
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Blue Chair Cafe (9624 76 Ave).
Cost: $120 per person
Details: A rocking New Orleans-style party including an exquisite seven-course dinner! New Year’s Eve at the Blue Chair Cafe with Rooster Davis Group with Ann Vriend.
Website: Rooster Davis Group with Ann Vriend at Blue Chair Cafe

Top of the Rocks: A British Invasion New Year’s Eve
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Mayfield Dinner Theatre (16615 109 Avenue)
Cost: $169
Details: Spend New Year’s Eve watching Top of the Rocks: A British Invasion at the Mayfield Dinner Theatre! Jumping to the other side of the pond, this year we celebrate all things British. From the original Invasion of the 60’s to the second wave of the 70’s, the new wave of the 80’s, right up to the superstars of the present day, TOP OF THE POPS captures it all!! With the music of the Beatles, the Stones, The Hollies, The Who, Adele, Amy Winehouse and everything in between, this year’s rock ‘n roll extravaganza pays homage to the British contribution to the world of popular music. An evening of high-energy hilarity awaits you with an ensemble cast that will knock your socks off!
Website: Top of the Rocks: A British Invasion New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve at the Melting Pot
Time:
Location: The Melting Pot (2920 Calgary Trail)
Cost: TBD
Details: Celebrate this New Year’s Eve at The Melting Pot! This unique New Year’s idea will be the best one you have made yet! From a burst of joy after a bite of fondue, or a satisfied sigh after a sip of wine, to the simple sparkle of a smile, or a twinkle in an eye—there will surely be fireworks. Only instead of just watching them, you’ll be creating them. Celebrate this New Year’s dinner with taste and style. Fruit-infused specialty drinks. Champagne. Chocolate covered strawberries.
Website: New Year’s Eve at the Melting Pot

Gotham New Year’s Eve Party at the Red Piano
Time: Dinner and show starts at 6 p.m. Show only begins at 9 p.m.
Location: The Red Piano (West Edmonton Mall)
Cost: $165 per person (dinner & show), $55 (show only)
Details: The Red Piano presents GOTHAM New Year’s Eve Party! Dinner, dancing, live duelling piano show.
Website: Gotham New Year’s Eve Party at the Red Piano

New Year’s Eve at the Edmonton Petroleum Club
Time: Dinner and show starts at 6 p.m. Show only begins at 9 p.m.
Location: Edmonton Petroleum Club (11110 – 108 Street)
Cost: $70 per person
Details: Celebrate with us as we head towards our 65th year with a seven-course plated dinner, live band (Aura) and dancing!
Website: New Year’s Eve at the Edmonton Petroleum Club

Muttart Masquerade New Year’s Eve
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Muttart Conservatory (9626 96A St).
Cost: Regular admission
Details: Bring the family to Muttart and celebrate the New Year early! We’re putting on a masquerade ball, so come in costume and enjoy the live music, crafts, and fun activities for everyone. Enjoy hourly midnight countdowns with treats to ring in 2015!
Website: Muttart Masquerade New Year’s Eve

The Arterys New Year’s Eve Massive! Featuring the Collective West
Time: 9 p.m.
Location: The Artery (9535 Jasper Ave).
Cost: $12 (in advance), $15 at the door
Details: Ring in the new year at The Artery with Luke Thompson and the Collective West!
Website: The Arterys New Year’s Eve Massive! Featuring the Collective West

New Year’s Eve at Von’s
Time: TBD (2 seatings)
Location: Von’s Steak House & Oyster Bar (10309 81 Ave).
Cost: $90 per person (also more expensive packages available)
Details: Vons will be hosting an exquisite four course meal prepared by Executive Chef Shane Chartrand.
Website: New Year’s Eve at Von’s

Boodang New Year’s Eve with Tiesto
Time: Starts at 7 p.m.
Location: Shaw Conference Centre
Cost: $119 (Regular) $195 (VIP)
Details: This New Years Eve, we welcome you back to the Shaw Conference Centre for an event of epic proportions. The world’s biggest DJ returns to Edmonton after two years hiatus to perform on the most celebrated night of the year.. NEW YEARS EVE!
Website: Boodang New Year’s Eve with Tiesto

* Most restaurants have New Year’s Eve special courses for dinner! Call and book today!*

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New Year’s Eve at Home

Fondue night
Last year Mike and I invited some friends over to do a fondue party for New Year’s Eve! It was so much fun. We got three fondue pots and a hot stone grill, had way more food that we needed (that’s always better than not having enough), and had so much fun! Here’s some tips from Canadian Living on hosting your own fondue party.

Board game party
Mike and I are big fans of board games! This New Year’s we’re excited to crack open Telestrations, try Cards Against Humanity, and guaranteed fun Catchphrase, Settlers, Cranium, and more! Here’s a list of some popular board games you could try for a board game New Year’s Eve night.

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New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day Brunch at Edmonton Park
Time: Jan. 1, 2015: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m.
Location: Hotel Selkirk, Fort Edmonton Park
Cost: $39.95 (adults), $32.95 (seniors), $18.95 (children 12 and under), free (children under 2)
Details: Start the new year with a bang. Bring the gang for a slap-up meal at the historic Hotel Selkirk. Enjoy some old fashioned hospitality and then take a stroll around the Park. Culinary Director Jasmin Kobajica has created a menu with everyone’s favourite brunch staples, a delectable carving station and luscious chocolate fountain.
Website: New Year’s Day Brunch at Fort Edmonton Park

* There’s usually a New Year’s Day brunch (buffet) at most Edmonton hotels! *

Linda