Valentine’s Year-Round

Something for everyone in every season

Jasmin Linton (she/her) // Contributor

February always seems to bring the same atmosphere — cheesy dates, mountains of chocolates and people wondering why it can’t be spring already. Vancouver is no exception. Filled with so many cafés, activities and other hidden gems, it’s the perfect city for not only dating this special season, but for the whole year. Despite the endless options Vancouver offers, it’s all too common to stay with what’s familiar, which usually means cycling between the same three or four staple restaurants. So, in the mood of February, inspired by this lovey-dovey season, here are some fun, low-budget date ideas not just for this month, but for every season.  

Throughout the winter months, we all know it can be a pain to go out — the weather is cold and wet, cafés and other indoor spots are usually packed and let’s not even begin with the transit. On the flipside, it is a lovely opportunity to try activities outside — while remaining as warm as possible, of course. Ice skating this time of year can be the perfect activity to have fun and enjoy the company of that special someone, or even the whole friend group. Take your pick between the Shipyards Plaza in North Van or Robson Square downtown — both rinks are surrounded by various restaurants and cafes, perfect to grab a meal or warm up afterwards. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro hockey player, dates like these always come with laughter and fun during the winter. 

Naturally, when the weather warms up, there’s even more fun to be had! Throughout the spring, cherry blossoms are always exciting to look forward to, especially after months of cold and grey days. What better way to relax than a stroll under the trees – the perfect place to enjoy your surroundings and snap a couple of photos with the perfect backdrop.Though you usually don’t have to go very far to see the blossoms—they are literally everywhere—some of the more scenic spots are the best for a romantic date: Stanley Park is one of the perfect options. Whether it’s a carriage ride, a walk along the sea wall or a picnic, there are many options to keep you occupied. But it might be better to wait for late spring before going on that picnic…

Though some people can stick out the cold of springtime to enjoy an early picnic, the majority of us will wait for summertime. It is a great opportunity to not only relax, but also see more of Vancouver’s stunning natural places. Maybe that means revisiting Stanley Park to see the Rose Garden and snack on food brought from home; or, for a change of scenery, checking out some of the beaches. Kits Beach is always a great option, with the choice between picnic-ing in the grass or right on the water. Though, beware — it gets extremely busy at times! If the bustle isn’t your style, try Jericho Beach, it’s usually a lot quieter and has just as amazing a view of the ocean—and is also frequented by ice cream trucks!.

Much like during the winter months, autumn makes it tempting to stay inside and avoid the cold—especially once school starts up again. But, with the return of the cold weather comes the Halloween season, and with that comes Fright Nights at the PNE. Now, this date idea might be a little predictable, but it is beyond fun. If you are someone who doesn’t mind jump scares (or just likes being scared for some reason), Fright Nights forms the perfect balance between scary haunted houses and a wide selection of rollercoasters. Though it is probably the most expensive on this list, it’s worth it for the thrills and provides the perfect break (and stress relief?) from school or work with your partner or bestie to hold your hand along the way.

Now, If you’re exhausted from all of those exciting action-packed dates and just want to stay home, that can also be a date! Spending the night in and dedicating time to movie-watching, cooking or just some downtime can often turn into a memorable experience in and of itself. Especially, trying to cook a meal from scratch is a great way to add some chaos to your kitchen. With your partner, it could be chaotic and fun even if the meal burns to a crisp and you have to start all over again—it’s the journey that counts.

Finding new things to do can be hard and oftentimes annoying to plan out, but even if nothing here piques your fancy, I invite you to draw inspiration to create your own ideas. Whether you’re just starting a new relationship or have been going strong for many years, they can fit with any situation (or situationship). So do something you haven’t done before and have fun trying something new. 

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