The Van Mag Valentine’s Day Guide: Where to go and what to do

Date ideas, dating experts, and dating advice: the full Vancouver Valentine's Day package

February 10, 2016

By Eliot Escalona / Photo: Robert Byron

Valentine’s Day. It’s the best of times and the worst of times. The former, of course, because you get to spend it with someone whose company you enjoy (well, some of us do), and the latter because it’s just so bloody difficult to come up with an original way to do it. But don’t fret: we’re here to help. Behold, our Valentine’s Day primer, which includes three conventional date ideas, three decidedly unconventional ones, and a bit of expert advice to tie it all together.

The Usual Suspects 

Coffee Date at Faubourg: A coffee date is always a good way to start the day, and Faubourg specifically caters to those looking to get their caffeine buzz going on Valentine’s Day. With French décor at all three of their locations, white marble tabletops, soft music in the background, and delicious pastries only available from February 12 to 14, you can be sure to start a romantic day right.

If you are already a part of a relationship and you love going for coffee then it is obviously meant for you, but make sure you layer your day with adventure and romance after that.” —Deanna Cobden, creator of Date Works

If you are in a relationship or something, then it will be a great way to add flavour to your whole day, but then make sure you go and try something else.” —Eddy Baller (yes, that’s actually his name), dating and personal development coach

Valentine’s Day Specials
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Linzer Cookie                                    Macaron Heart                         Valentine’s Day Pastry

Snowshoeing with a romantic finish: This year Grouse Mountain is offering up adventure for nature-loving couples to enjoy Valentine’s Day together. Their romantic package includes snow-shoe rentals and a warm finish at their chalet, where couples can enjoy a chocolate fondue while taking in the gorgeous birds-eye view of Vancouver. It balances adventure, exercise, beautiful scenery, and a delicious treat—but are the experts impressed?

I think it is an awesome idea, even for a first date. If you don’t drink, doing an activity like this helps you get to know somebody better.” —Deanna

It depends on both people being outdoorsy. If one of them is sedentary then maybe not.” —Eddy 

Discover the laugh your partner has always hidden: Valentine’s Day happens to coincide with the final day of the 28th Annual Massacre Improv Festival, which wraps up at the Vancouver Theatre Sports League’s Improve Centre in Granville Island. If you’re in love with that, ahem, “special” face your loved one makes when they laugh so hard they start to cry, slobber, and snort at the same time, this will be an incredible night for you. But does it sound just as incredible to the pros?

If it is the first date it is not that great in my mind because you can’t talk to each other, but for people in a relationship it’s awesome because you don’t have to be looking at each other 100 percent of the time anyways.” —Eddy

Going to the show is a great idea for a first date or any date. But if it is the first date, then maybe go for a drink after where you can have a conversation.” —Deanna

The Wild Cards 

Donating Blood Together: Nothing says “I Love You” more than puking and passing out in front of your significant other because you decided to donate blood on Valentine’s Day and neglected to tell them about your phobia of needles. In all seriousness, if neither of you has a phobia of giving blood then this could be a nice moment to share—and a great way to show some heart. Can our experts stomach this idea?

I guess this could be an interesting idea for couples that are very caring or are activists. Even if you have a phobia it shows vulnerability, and people are more attracted to you when you are vulnerable.” —Deanna

If you are an activist couple, maybe. I don’t know any women I would ever suggest it to.” Eddy  

Valentine’s Day Dinner… on the 15th: The Loonie might have crept up to 73 cents on the dollar, but chances are your portfolio is still bleeding red ink all over the place. As such, saving a little money by not going out to dinner on the 14th and paying a premium for the Valentine’s Day menu (you know, the one that’s not materially different than the menu on any other night of the year) is understandable. In addition to saving money, you also save yourself from having to fight over your reservation and getting angry looks from the hostesses when you don’t vacate your table as soon as you take the last bite of the caramel fudge brownie. Thoughts, experts?

I kind of like that idea because you can avoid any corniness of going on a Valentine’s Day thing. Instead you are still doing all the fun stuff, but you are not joining hoards of other people doing the same thing.” —Eddy

“Don’t tell your partner that it’s because it’s cheaper, but if you sell it as your own special kind of day, then it works.” —Deanna

Ask the Experts

Those are our unconventional ideas for Valentine’s Day dates. Now, here’s a pair from our expert advisors. Caveat emptor: if you do decide to do the first one, don’t blame us for what happens after. Or the second, for that matter.

An unconventional date idea could be going to a strip club, depending on what your date is like. You can go to one of the classy strip-clubs. That could be sort of an extra-curricular activity.” —Eddy

Although it’s not too unconventional, you could do a selfie date. You choose a theme and then you spend the day going around the city taking selfies that match the theme.” —Deanna

 

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