May two-four, the unofficial Canadian start of summer, is finally here. The question is how are you going to spend it?

We have put together a list of things to do both in and around town this weekend – get ready to jump right into summer.

Get sweet discounts with tour operators and local businesses

Kicking off May 20, a number of Yukon’s businesses and attractions will be offering special deals. The program is part of the Tourism Yukon’s “Explore Your Yukon” initiative and only runs until May 30. If there is an activity you’ve always wanted to try or a tour you’ve always wanted to take, now is your chance to do it.

Go by one of the Visitor Information Centres throughout the territory to pick up your free pass and to find out which operators are offering discounts.  

Ride the rails

Fancy yourself a ferroequinologist? Whether you study trains or just think they are cool, this weekend is full of opportunities to hop aboard for locomotive fun.

The Copperbelt Railway & Mining Museum opens for the season on May 21. Take a ride on the 2 km track through the forest and learn about the history of northern mining and life. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is $5/adult, $3/child or $15/family.

The Waterfront Trolley will also begin driving once again on this weekend. Grab a coffee at Baked Café and enjoy it while you ride the restored 1925 trolley along the river. What better place to catch up with a friend and learn the fascinating history of Whitehorse’s waterfront.

Trolley rides will be offered at a special price of $2 for opening weekend.  

Pitch a tent

Is there any better way to celebrate the faux start of summer than camping? On May 20, 53 of the 54 government campgrounds in the Yukon will open their gates and stock their firewood and toilet paper. If you want to stay close to Whitehorse there are 10 government campgrounds to choose from: Congdon Creek, Fox Lake, Lake Laberge, Marsh Lake, Pine Lake, Snafu Lake, Squanga Lake, Tarfu Lake, Twin Lakes, and Wolf Creek.

The only campground that will remain closed is at the Tombstones. The full list of campgrounds is available on the Environment Yukon website at www.env.gov.yk.ca. Click on “Camping and Parks.”

Campgrounds are available on a first come, first served basis. If you are picking a popular site like Kusawa or Marsh Lake, you will want to get there fast to get a spot. But with 53 campgrounds to choose from, this is an excellent chance to venture out and try a new one that might be more private.

Temperatures are still dropping at night, so pack plenty of warm gear and clothes.

Buy your campground pass this weekend and enjoy unlimited access to sites all summer long.

Enjoy the silence

Although it’s not like Whitehorse is the busiest of places, it can still feel crowded at times – especially in popular spots like Baked Café, Fish Lake, or the nearby mountain bike trails. If you are craving some alone time, but don’t want to hide out indoors, then this long weekend is the perfect time to stay in town. When everyone else does the mass exodus to camping and adventuring, you get to enjoy all the local amenities to yourself. Just remember to pack some bear spray when going on trails and be extra bear aware.