Valentine’s Day — one of the most loved and hated of all occasions. Although I’ve never been a fan of Valentine’s Day, I think it’s a great excuse to try go somewhere NEW with your boyfriend of girlfriend. It’s a great excuse to spend a night together and have FUN. I’m all for romance but why not spend Valentine’s Day without the pressure of rings, flowers, expensive gifts, and spend a few bucks on an EXPERIENCE that you can have together (or even with another couple).
Here are a few of my favourite Valentine’s Day Dates.
V-day on a Budget
- A skate around Harbourfront Centre Downtown Toronto or Gage Park in Brampton — IT’S FREE and you get to hold hands with the love of your life while doing what Canadians were born to do!
- A visit to Snakes and Latte’s — book a table, grab a latte, and hang out with your loved one. Rent a few of your favorite games (they have 2,369 to choose from), talk, and have a few competitive laughs.
- Playing games not your thing? Looking for a swanky desert place? How about MoRoCo Chocolat in Yorkville? They’ve got a wonderful desert menu and a gorgeous dining area. It’s dark, cozy, and romantic. You can easily spend less than $40 on desert and coffee, hold hands and gaze into each other’s eyes. Afterwards you can take to the streets and walk off the chocolate. Yorkville is beautiful any time of the year, might as well take in the scenery on Valentine’s Day.
V-day as a Group (or for active/competitive couples)
- Apart from putting on shoes that many, many other people have worn before you, there’s something wonderful about BOWLING. It’s fun, competitive, and I guess there’s something romantic about cheering on your boyfriend of girlfriend. There are so many places in Toronto, Brampton, and Woodbridge to bowl. Check out Planet Bowl and spend less than $50 a person to bowl for two hours!
- For the extreme-sport couple, how about paint balling — okay it’s not extreme but it can get a little rough! Paintball City is an indoor paint balling facility and for $50 a person you can chase each other to your heart’s content. Maybe it’ll remind you of the chasing you did to win her heart
V-day Classic (dinner and a show)
- For our first Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend took me to Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament. It was THE single best Valentine’s Day we’ve had. For $65 a person you get dinner and a show. There’s no pressure to be quiet, overly romantic, or to eat tiny little bites so as to not embarrass yourself or your boy. Eat with your HANDS! Scream for your team! Feel united by the end of the show!
- You want a dinner and a show but Medieval Times isn’t your thing? I recently went to watch The Wizard of Oz at the Ed Mirvish Theatre and was blown away! The tickets range from $45 to $150 each.
- If you’re looking to stay downtown for the night, Pantages Hotel has great rooms for a great price and it’s a short walk from the theatre — they even have a Wizard of Oz package!
- The Ed Mirvish Theatre is surrounded by restaurants: Pantages Martini Bar, The Hard Rock Cafe, Barberian’s Steak House, Amalfi Ristorante — depending on your craving (and perhaps your budget) there is a restaurant nearby to satisfy your tastebuds and your wallet.
Although there are many ways to spend your Valentine’s Day, whether it be in Toronto, Brampton, Woodbridge, or Mississauga, do something that you and your loved one will enjoy. And maybe, just maybe spend the night with your cellphones off. We are constantly being bombarded with the buzz, flash, and noise of our cellphones. I can’t tell you how many times I go out and see couples at dinner and instead of talking, they’re BOTH on their cell phones — how romantic. Some of the best nights I’ve spent with my boyfriend have been nights where we’ve promised NO cell phones. Don’t use the excuse of taking pictures because you can do that with the phone on AIRPLANE mode.
Time and attention is the greatest gift you can give someone and although you shouldn’t need an occasion to do it, maybe Valentine’s day is the perfect time to try it out. It might give you the chance to fall in love all over again — or realize that you really don’t like the person you’re with, let’s hope for the former.