Wednesday, February 14, 2018

10 Non-Basic Date Night Ideas | Valentine's Day in Toronto

Opera Tickets Verona

So you're in one of the busiest cities in the world, and you want to plan a date that'll truly mean something. Behold, 10 of my favourite things to do in a city like Toronto! 

Though it might be out of oue price range to visit the Opera in Verona Italy tonight, don't forget that live theatre performances and a good 'ol movie (why not make it VIP?) are an elevated alternative to Netflix & Chill.


1. Escape Game 

Nothing says "I love you" more than working together to solve an impossible puzzle, right? At escape games you'll find yourself laughing, arguing (with a strict time limit), feeling stranded with no phones, and perhaps caught some weird situations. Occasionally escape games will include actors and scary scenarios. The best part is debriefing at the end over hot chocolate or a cocktail. Read: Best Escape Games in Toronto.

2. Pottery

Joseph bought me a private pottery lesson for the both of us last year, led by a wonderful lady named Kaisa, who he met through university. We took the pottery class at The Dex Lab on St. Clair West. I documented the process of throwing our clay bowls here, and you can see the finished products here. Sign up for classes at The Dex Lab online here, and also check out the courses held by The Gardiner Museum of Art. It's so cute being able to use a bowl that someone made for you by hand.

3. Skating

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. This is my thought when it comes to our dreaded season of winter. It's here to stay, folks. Luckily you can get some exercise outside by skating around The Harbourfront, through The Bentway, at Mel Lastman Square in North York, at Nathan Phillips Square in downtown, OR at one of the City of Toronto designated rinks. If you're downtown, I'd recommend stopping by SOMA Chocolatier for a spicy hot chocolate afterwards. You can also take a walk to check out The Toronto Light Festival happening at The Distillery District until March 4.

4. ROM / Science Centre / Aga Khan 

I've grown so fond of the Royal Ontario Museum. Right now I'd recommend checking out the Dior Exhibit before it leaves on March 18th. If you have access to a car, consider seeing an IMAX movie at the Science Centre. Another great midtown spot is the Aga Khan Museum, which has a lovely restaurant and beautiful exhibits.

5. Caudalie Spa 

This is more of a weekend idea, since you'll need a full day to bask in the awesomeness of a great spa. Check out the Caudalie Spa at the Shangri-La, or if you're celebrating Galentines Day, I'd recommend a treatment + baths circuit at one of Body Blitz's two locations downtown.  

6. Try a new food: Oyster Boys / Rodney's Oyster House

We're still young, so why not taste something new? I have grown to love the decadence of oysters, and always enjoy a fancy dinner with good food, and even better company. Rodney's Oyster House is a favourite of mine, and I still need to hit up Oyster Boys (though I did try them here). A few of my other hotspots right now include Bar Raval for tapas, Riccarda's for lunch, Gusto 101 for Italian, or anything Oliver & Bonacini for a fail-safe meal.

7. Gatsby Night 

I'm having a 1920s moment right now... hear me out. If you want to have fun without breaking the bank, why not plan a themed night in with old movies, cool cocktails and fun outfits? If you're ready to hit the town, thrown on a nice dress and visit Bar Fancy or Bar Chef for outstanding cocktails and bites. Read: Grand Marnier Event & Recipes.

8. Aquarium, Steam Whistle or The Rec Room

Toronto's entertainment district may feel a bit tired after the clubbing phase has passed, but don't miss out on some of the newer attractions that make for lovely dates. Check out Ripley's Aquarium, tour Steam Whistle Brewery, or play arcade games at The Rec Room - all within steps of eachother.

9. Snakes and Lattes

My first date with Joseph was at Snakes and Lattes. We've been back a few times over the past 5 years, and it never gets old. Challenge your date to a funny word game or strategy pursuit with a side of warm drinks at one of Toronto's board game cafés.

10. Charcuterie, Fondue Night or, better yet, a Cooking Class!

This idea is inspired by a lucious antipasto platter we had in Milan, shown below. After work today or during your lunch break, head to the Cheese Boutique, Cheese Emporium or any Italian grocery store and gather some ingredients for a mouth-watering appetizer. Another idea would be to set up a fondue night, which you can see our rendition of here. My sister Lauren gave me the great idea of gifting someone a cooking class as well, if you have some spare cash to spend. They can get pricey, but I know that the skills learned from a professional course will stick with you for life.

Italian Antipasto Platter

If I ever want to know what's going on in the city this weekend, I consult BlogTO's events calendar before anything else. This weekend I'll be visiting the Canadian International AutoShow! Vroom vroom

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Don't let date night plans stress you out. Before we know it, patio season will be among us and it'll be a breeze to walk outside and laze about with our loved ones. For now, Happy Valentine's Day!

xx
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