When the temperatures drop and you can no longer curl up under the stars or picnic in the park, it feels like date options have diminished. But Toronto is home to lots of couple-friendly activities, no matter what season it is. Here’s how to while away the hours with someone special this winter.
Indulge in Winterlicious
Going out for dinner might be a pretty typical date idea, but if you go out during Winterlicious (held this year from January 27 to February 9) you can get a three-course prix-fixe dinner at a restaurant that’s usually out of your price range. This year’s participating restaurants haven’t been revealed, but last year’s included popular spots like Bar Buca, Bent, and Colibris.
Go skating at the Harbourfront Centre
Can’t decide between embracing the winter weather with a late-night skate or warming yourself up with a little dancing? Head to the Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink on Saturday nights, when they host a free outdoor skating party to the music of local and international DJs.
Catch a show
You don’t truly know someone until you’ve witnessed their concert etiquette, which is why a show is the perfect place to take your date. To top it off, the city’s hosting a ton of great bands this winter, including The Strumbellas at The Danforth Music Hall, the Trews at The Phoenix, and Tokyo Police Club at The Mod Club.
Visit the Toronto Christmas market
If you’re worried about getting bored or making conversation all night long, take your date to the Toronto Christmas Market. You can browse the vendors, grab a drink in the beer gardens, take in some entertainment on the main stage, and then warm up around the fire at the end of the night.
See the winter stations at Kew Beach
Go for a snowy walk by the lake and check out the now-annual modern art installations that take over Kew Beach’s lifeguard posts in winter. If the winds coming off the lake get a little too cold, you and your date can always take shelter inside the installations to warm up.
Get cozy at the city’s wine bars
Restaurants with by-the-glass wine lists have proliferated throughout the city and many of them serve sharing plates that are ideal for two. To find out where to go, check out our latest list of Toronto’s best wine bars.
Sip drinks on a heated patio
If you and your date’s favourite summer pastime is sipping drinks on a patio, there’s no need to stop once the temperature drops—a ton of Toronto bars have created outdoor spaces to be enjoyed year ‘round, including The Drake Sky Yard, The Pilot, Big Crow, and El Catrin.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, climbing is the perfect activity for pairs. It’s also a great way to establish a level of trust between you and your partner. Located at Bloor and Christie, Basecamp Climbing is the city’s most central rock-climbing gym, offering more than 7,000-square-feet of climbing surface and 100 different routes.
Go for a hike
If you only go for hikes in the summer, you’re missing out. When the trails in green spaces like High Park, Bluffer’s Park, and the Don Valley are covered in snow, they’re a lot less crowded and way more romantic.
Play board games at a local cafe
If it’s too frigid or slushy to go for a hike but you’ve contracted a case of cabin fever, a few hours of Jenga at a board game cafe like Snakes and Lattes might be the perfect antidote.
Pretend it’s summer
If you and your date loathe winter, you could always pretend it doesn’t exist. Even if there’s snow on the ground, you can soak in some greenery at Allen Gardens, then grab drinks at a tiki bar, like Shameful Tiki or The Shore Leave. If it’s the heat you’re craving, try the oh-so-relaxing water circuit at Body Blitz, which will give you access to a warm Dead Sea salt pool, a hot Epsom salt pool, and an infrared sauna.