Out-Of-The-Box Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

From coast to coast here are some out-of-the box date ideas for you and your lady
From coast to coast here are some out-of-the box date ideas for you and your lady

You’re a few days away from the dreaded V Day; Valentine’s Day that is, one of the most romantic days of the year. The time to start planning for this occasion is now, because leaving your Valentine’s Day date plans to the last minute will likely get you into the dog house before you can let out your first bark. You don’t have to go over the top with a lavish getaway or meal for your lady, but putting a little extra thought into this day will go a long way to charm her.

From coast to coast, here are out-of-the box date ideas that don’t include a day at the spa or stepping foot in a dreaded shopping mall – whew!

FUN FOR FOODIES

  • O.NOIR (Montreal, QC and Toronto, ON) – the lights routinely go out at O.NOIR and it’s not because of a Canadian ice storm. This restaurant specializes in dark dining, where meals are served in pitch black allowing your other senses – smell, taste, touch and hearing – to take over. Pack an open mind on this date and keep your flashlights, matches and night vision goggles at home.
  • The Big Apple (Colborne, ON) – you’ve driven past the world’s biggest apple countless times, it’s time to pull over to the side of the road. The Big Apple offers guests a serene country setting where you can sample its mouth-watering apple pies baked right on the spot! Don’t forget to climb inside The Big Apple to the observation deck for a spectacular view of the Ontario countryside. Admission and parking is free.
  • Craft Beer Tours (various locations) – you both share a love of finely brewed beer, a rare quality found in the female sex. Explore your city’s craft breweries together and see how brew masters apply their personal touch and skill to create thirst quenching beer. Check out tour packages from Old Toronto Beer Tour, Montreal Brew Pub Experience and Vancouver Brewery Tours. One word of advice though, don’t get wasted on the tour there’s nothing romantic about that on Valentine’s Day.
  • Sucrerie de la Montagne (Rigaud, QC) – fifty minutes outside of Montreal is Sucrerie de la Montagne, an authentic sugar shack situated atop Mont Rigaud. Here you and your sweetie can see how maple syrup is tapped, take a carriage ride in the snow, listen to live music and sample hearty dishes, as well as desserts.
  • Wine Tours (Niagara, ON and Okanagan, BC) – steal away for a day or weekend to sip on a glass of vino from one of the many wineries in the Niagara or Okanagan region. Tour packages range from $90 for a half-day (four hours) to a multi-day experience complete with tours of the vineyards, tastings and gourmet meals. Check out Winery Tours of Niagara or Okanagan Wine Country Tours for additional details.

BY LAND OR SEA

  • Under the Sea (Toronto, ON and Vancouver, BC) – at an aquarium you and your little mermaid (a.k.a.: your lady) can see the wonders of the ocean and get close to dangerous species, like sharks, without losing any body parts. Spending the day at the new Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, one of the hottest and most exciting attractions in Toronto, is sure to put a smile on her face. If you live on the west coast, the venerable Vancouver Aquarium houses more than 50,000 different animals which include whales, sea otters and fish.
  • Day at the Zoo (various locations) – going to the zoo will bring back many childhood memories and have you both rediscovering your love for lions, tigers and bears – oh my! Coming here makes for a great date experience because February is low season, meaning you’ll have much of the facility to yourself. Check out the Toronto, Calgary, Greater Vancouver and Granby zoos.
  • Rocky Mountaineer (British Columbia and Alberta) – are you ready and willing to pull out all the stops this Valentine’s Day? If yes, then jump on a train to experience the breath taking sights of the Canadian Rockies. The Rocky Mountaineer offers 65 unique vacation packages and five rail routes through British Columbia and Alberta. Packages range in length from two to 16 days and can include hotel accommodations, gourmet meals and tours of local sights along the way.

INDOOR & OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

  • All that Jazz (various locations) – music loving couples prepare yourself for an evening of smooth tunes and sultry sounds. Canada’s major cities are chock full of jazz bars, many serve up delicious dishes and potent cocktails. Peep these jumping joints on February 14th: Jazz Bistro  and The Rex (Toronto), Yardbird Suite (Edmonton), Upstairs Jazz Bar and Grill (Montreal), Cory Weeds’ Cellar (Vancouver) and Hermann’s Jazz Club (Victoria).
  • Cineplex Cinemas Queensway (Etobicoke, ON) – dinner and a movie is a classic date, so why mess with a good thing? If this is an activity that you and your honey really enjoy doing together then pay a visit to Cineplex’s newly opened adult-only theatre. Kick your Valentine’s Day experience up a notch and opt for the VIP treatment which includes a licensed lounge, comfy reserved seating, in-seat service and, most importantly, no kids.
  • Medieval Times (Toronto, ON) – lords and ladies step back into time and see how life in the middle ages got down. The Medieval Times experience is a riotous affair complete with knights on horseback, a jousting tournament, paper crowns and a four-course meal. Before you go, make sure to pack a few dozen wet wipes in your pocket for your lady because dinner is served with absolutely no utensils and napkins can be few and far between.
  • Scooter’s Roller Palace (Mississauga, ON) – just outside of Downtown Toronto is Scooter’s Roller Palace, one of the few public roller rinks still operational. Here, you and your lady can relive your childhood by strapping on a pair of skates (inline accepted), jive to top 40 tunes under a disco ball and snack on pizza and pop.
  • Get a Yurt (various locations) – as a couple you love the great outdoors but not when the weather reaches freezing; staying in a yurt offers a great alternative to this dilemma. A yurt is a round tent used by the nomadic people of central Asia, think of it as a cross between cabin and tent. Some yurts come with electricity and many campgrounds in Canada, particularly in British Columbia, offer them. Look up: Riverbend Cottage & RV Resort and Douglas Lake Ranch (British Columbia), Algonquin Provincial Park (Ontario), Mont-Tremblant National Park (Quebec) and Cabot Shores (Cape Breton Island).

Kimberly Lyn

Kimberly Lyn

Kimberly Lyn is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her worked has appeared on StyleList Canada, 29 Secrets and GlobalNews.ca. She is also founder of the highly successful fashion blog The Souls of My Shoes, where she provides insights and thoughts on this world with a concentration on footwear. Find her at www.thesoulsofmyshoes.com and on Twitter @kimberly_lyn.

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