Valentine's day can be nerve-inducing for all couples. In a new relationship, the last thing you want to do is scare your date away by going over-the-top, but you can't risk just ignoring the day, either.
On the other hand, once you've been going out for long enough, you don't feel the need to celebrate in any big way, but maybe you want to organise something low-key.
Or, maybe you're the true romantic type, and you're looking to make a big gesture to show your partner how much you care.
Below you'll find some date ideas you'll love, no matter what kind of date you're feeling. Some are casual and low-key, but still show that you've made an effort. Others are big and romantic, and some are right in the middle.
TL;DR Below is a list of 25 date ideas for Valentine's Day, ranging from fun and casual to big, romantic gestures.
Fun and Casual
This is a date-night classic. Go to see a romantic drama, like If Beale Street Could Talk, if you're in the mood for something serious. Otherwise, laugh together with a comedy, like Holmes & Watson (apparently, laughing makes you more attractive).
This might not seem like the most obvious date idea, but hear me out. For half an hour you will be locked in a room with your significant other, working as a team to solve challenges and make your way out. It's a fun way to learn more about each other. Go out for coffe or a drink after, and you'll have guaranteed conversation to bounce off of.
Here's one for the intellectuals among us, or at least the ones who want to pose as intellectuals. Is your date a fashion buff? There are a few great exhibits right now: the Musée des Beaux Art's Alexander Calder exhibit is ending soon, and the McCord Museum has a touching toy exhibit.
This is another way to impress your date. Going for a drink is a classic date idea, but wine bars are a way to elevate that on the most romantic day of the year. Wine bars like Pullman have great selections of drinks: do some research beforehand if you want to seem ~sophisticated~ and ~knowledgeable~. Because nothing says romance like a great glass of wine.
Cozy Day at Home
Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the best. There can be a lot of pressure to go out and do something on Valentine's Day, but staying at home is a great option too. Cook up a simple meal at home, or sit down with a good movie for a low-key evening with you partner.
Romantic, But Not Extra
Ice skating is fun, and it's cute and romantic as long as neither of you end up falling spectacularly on the ice. There are many great places to skate in Montreal. The Natrel ice rink is a really great option, because it is open until late at night, beautifully lit by colourful neons, and offers skates for rent. Plus, there's a great view of the romantic Old Port. Another fun option is Parc La Fontaine, where you can enjoy beautiful scenery.
Drinks at Big in Japan bar
I've talked about Big in Japan before, mostly because I think it's a great space for intimate têtes-à-têtes with your S.O. The bar is well-hidden on Saint-Laurent, and it's great if you want to impress your date with your knowledge of cool Montreal speakeasies. Enjoy their great drinks and candlelight atmosphere.
Drinks at Milky Way
Head on over to the newest speakeasy in town and enjoy some tropical-themed drinks in the vibrant setting of the Milky Way.
Hike on Mont-Royal
Winter's got a lot of people feeling blue, and we can forget how beautiful the city is in the winter. Get those endorphins going by heading up the mountain with your date, where you can enjoy beautiful winter views hand-in-hand. Afterwards, stop by the cottage on Beaver Lake for a comforting hot chocolate.
Dinner at Enfants Terribles Ville-Marie
This restaurant is the highest-up in Montreal, on the 44th floor of Place Ville-Marie. Once you've taken the ear-popping elevator ride up, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city. The food is good, but the atmosphere is suprisingly laid-back, and it makes for a romantic, yet still casual, place to go.
Go See a Concert
Concerts are a great shared experience: there's nothing better than listening to your favourite music with your favourite person. It's also a non-traditional way to spend the romantic day. And, this February 14th, there are a few good concerts happening. The Orchestre Symphonique will be playing, if you're feeling the classical vibe. Marie-Mai is also coming to Montreal, if you want to dance your heart out. Coeur de Pirate will be playing just outside of Montreal, too, which will make for an intimate experience.
This year, skip dinner and just go straight to dessert. A dessert date is definitely lower-pressure than a dinner date, and, if we're being honest with ourselves, more delicious. Treat your sweet-toothed gal, guy, or person to a Juliette et Chocolat brownie, or head to Cacao 70 for a waffle.
Instead of bringing flowers to your date, bring your date to the flowers. The botanical gardens is a super fun place to escape the cold. Enjoy the warmth of their tropical section, and marvel together at their many varieties of flowers.
Breakfast In Bed
Nothing is sweeter, or more romantic, than having your coffee hand-delivered to you in bed in the morning. Cooking up breakfast, and taking the time to eat it in bed together, is a great way to spend a morning
All-Out and Romantic
Dinner at the ITHQ
Cheap and fancy? Sign me up. L'institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec has a restaurant where students put their culinary skills to the test and serve up great meals for a discount price. Their staff is being trained to serve in the most high-end restaurants so the service is as impeccable as the food. Try their 3-course dinner for $37!
If you're feeling reaaaally fancy, book yourself a little weekend escape. Websites like Groupon and Tuango always have deals on hotels and spas, so check those out for a romantic weekend away. Narcity Travel also lists tons of unique getaways.
Dans le Noir
Dans Le Noir, a restaurant where you eat in complete darkness, is having a flash sale right now: $60 for two 3-course meals. Eating in the dark would be a cool and exciting experience to try together, and what better day to try new things?
Booking dance lessons is definitely one way to show you care if your partner loves to dance but you have two left feet. Sure, you might look like a fool, but putting yourself out there is super sweet.
Want to feel fancy? Book yourself in for high tea at the Ritz, or one of the other cafés around the city which offer it. Enjoy a pot of tea with finger sandwiches and pastries, and relish in the luxury of it all with your BFFs.
Arts and Crafts
Céramic Café Studio is the perfect place to hone your artistic skills by painting your choice of ceramic. Gather a group of your close friends and enjoy an afternoon of painting fun (maybe paint your ex's face on a bowl and then smash it?).
Go to a Drag Show
Cabaret Mado features tons of local queens. Attend a show on or around Valentine's Day for the time of your life. All your worries will melt away.
Pole Dancing Classes
Valentine's Day is a sexy holiday, there's no denying it. If you want to work on your fitness and hone in on your sex appeal, why not try pole dancing classes? It's a really fun way to spend an evening with your friends.
If you need more sexy inspiration, gather your friends and head over to the Wiggle Room for an unforgettable burlesque show. It will make for a night you won't forget.
Happy Valentine's, Montreal!