Sunday, August 31st, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Date Night: The Secret Garden and Museum After Dark 2

Prior to a night out at the museum in early July, Mack and I had dinner at The Dish and the Runaway Spoon. More specifically, we chose to sit in their Secret Garden, one of my favourite patios in the city.

Protected from the noise of Stony Plain Road and in the shade of a tree, the Secret Garden is a gem, a must visit during our precious days of summer. Combined with their comfort food offerings, we were lucky to grab the last available table that night.

Dinner at The Dish

The Secret Garden

I had the chicken and waffles, while Mack ordered the housemade donair. Though the chicken wasn’t as moist as I would have liked the savoury green onion and cheddar buttermilk waffle made up for some of my disappointment. Mack had no complaints about the donair – it could have easily fed two people.

Dinner at The Dish

Chicken and waffles

Dinner at The Dish

Housemade donair

After dinner, Mack and I headed to the Royal Alberta Museum for their second Museum After Dark event. Intended to encourage the “next gen” set to revisit the attraction and supports its programs, the evenings incorporate drinks, music and activities for a fun night out.

We had fun at the first ever Museum After Dark earlier this year, but we were happy to see some positive changes. First off, the entire museum was open to explore, instead of just a few choice galleries. Given this was an opportunity to get to know the attraction better, we appreciated the chance to wander through their permanent exhibits – it has been some time since I’ve visited the dinosaur room, while Mack has never been to the bug room!

Museum After Dark

Mack loves rocks!

Museum After Dark

The Bug Room creeps me out

We also appreciated the evening’s game much more. The last incarnation had attendees running furiously to be the first to complete the challenge, but this time, it wasn’t a timed entry, and instead, had much more to do with chance. The “poker rally” had attendees draw cards from tables located in galleries around the museum, with the best hand winning the grand prize. Luck wasn’t on our side that night, but it was a great way to wind our way through the building at our own pace.

Museum After Dark

Pick a card, any card

The feature exhibit was Worn to Be Wild (on until September 7, 2014), and highlights the history of the black leather jacket. We learned about its origins, interpretations, and most exciting, saw jackets worn in popular culture.

Museum After Dark

Worn to Be Wild

Museum After Dark

Mack does his best Schwarzenegger impression next to a jacket worn in Terminator 2

I also had fun with the prop area of the exhibit…maybe a little too much fun.

Museum After Dark

“Look ma, no hands!”

In line with the feature exhibit, models sporting Luxx Ready to Wear (locally designed by Derek Jagodzinsky) were roaming the galleries.

Museum After Dark

Luxx Ready to Wear models

We spent some time on the second floor landing chatting with other attendees, while DJ Junior Brown spun tunes. My only suggestion would be to perhaps have a standing food station in addition to hand-passed appetizers – I overheard more than a few people comment that they must have just missed the servers.

Museum After Dark

Tomato and cheese skewers from Bridges

We learned that plans for the next Museum After Dark are already in the works, with a theme of “Beer and Bones”. Check the website for more information as it is released. Thanks again to the organizers for the free tickets!

The Dish and the Runaway Spoon
2417 Stony Plain Rd
(780) 488-6641
Monday to Saturday, 11am – 5pm, 5 – 9pm; closed Sundays

Royal Alberta Museum
12845 102 Avenue
(780) 453-9100