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This beloved holiday—while technically a day to celebrate Queen Victoria—is unofficially known as the first long weekend of the summer. It kicks off the warm weather season by giving everyone an extra day off work to begin celebrating the longer (finally) warmer days. If you’ve yet to make plans for it, here are a few ideas.

See the fireworks. No matter which city you’re in, you’ll find firework celebrations happening all weekend long. Give “Victoria Day fireworks” a Google and you’ll find plenty of options. And if you’re in a rural area, you can be sure there will be locals who have bought fireworks to celebrate the occasion. Just show up to any park after dark and watch it all go down. You can also buy your own to celebrate with your family if you’d prefer to control the sparks yourself.

Go to the cottage. The May long weekend is known as the kickoff to summer because it’s usually the first weekend people start making the cottage a part of their weekend routine. If you’re not yet lucky enough to have your own cottage (or have a friend with one), this is the ideal weekend to consider renting one with a bunch of friends to relax on the water. 

Have a BBQ. Whether you invite the whole neighbourhood or just your own family, it’s the perfect weekend to open up that grill for the first time and begin feasting. If you do want to make it a big celebration, consider doing it potluck style and you won’t even have to plan for much beyond the meat and drinks.

Go camping. Nothing says Canadian weekend done right than a quick camping trip. Dust the RV off or pull out that tent and head to the country (or an official park) for some outdoor time. While the weather might not yet be as warm as you’d want it to be for a swim in the lake, you can still sit by the fire and roast marshmallows while having a few beers with friends.

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