Winter may be cold, but boy, is it romantic. A fresh blanket of snow insulates the city while the moon shines like a luminous nail clipping in the dark night sky. You pull up to your date’s house in your '97 Tercel, and you don’t know it yet, but this is the start of something special. You hold hands, and even though they’re covered in woolly mittens, the electricity is palpable. Sigh. This truly is the season for falling in love.
Whether you’re planning a first date (of a hopeful many), or looking to spice things up with your main squeeze, we’ve got you covered with this guide to date night in Edmonton— winter edition.
Explore the Muttart Conservatory
The corpse flower, who generally only blooms every few years, attracts the flesh-flies that pollinate it by releasing a "fragrance" that resembles the smell of rotting meat. Now, you may want to consider a more subtle approach to wooing your date, and a good place to start is The Muttart Conservatory. Each of the four iconic pyramids hold a themed garden representing a different world biome and species that hail from Mexico to Madagascar. Plus, you can check out their "Adult Only Nights" which include themed dinners, how-to classes and more. Although she’s not in bloom (sorry flesh-flies), Putrella, the Muttart’s corpse flower, would be pleased to make you and your date's acquaintance.
Catch an Improv Show
They say that laughter is the way to the heart… or was that food? Whatever. We’re gonna go with laughter here. Take your date to one of Rapid Fire Theatre’s weekly shows, and the friend-zone will be a distant memory. This improv troupe makes its home at the Citadel Theatre where you’ll find shows like Theatresports, CHiMPROV, and Rapid Fire's Saturday Series. They’ll have you laughing until you cry— look at you, revealing your sensitive side.
Take a Tour of the Distillery at Strathcona Spirits
Surprise your date with a tour and spirit tasting at Edmonton's very first distillery. Strathcona Spirits is the smallest distillery in North America, and you’ll be introduced to the stills, the process, unique ingredients, and the history of this Edmonton original. The tour is a quick one, leaving plenty of time to hop over to a Southside restaurant for dinner or appies. Plus, if the date doesn’t go well, you’re in luck because the $10.00 tour fee is waived when you buy a bottle...
Skating, Skating and more Skating
There are so many awesome outdoor skating options in Edmonton, from Hawrelak Park (9330 Groat Road), to City Hall (1 Sir Winston Churchill Square), to the Victoria Park Oval (12130 River Valley Road). If you're a regular Elvis Stojko, then this is the perfect opportunity to impress with a triple axle or two. New to skating? Well that's just fine. You can't help but have a good time when you've got good company and the glory of a northern winter.
Get Jazzy at the Yardbird Suite
If you want to show your date that you’re one cool cat, look no further than the Yardbird Suite. This is the performance venue of the Edmonton Jazz Society, and presents the best in local, national and international jazz. On Tuesday nights you can see Edmonton's best jazz players as well as talented up and comers. The evening begins with a one hour set from the featured band and is followed by a jam session. They’re bringing sax-y back. Get it?
Chill Out at the Ice Castles
If you really want to "wow" your sweetheart, and I mean “WOW” them, then the Ice Castles in Hawrelak park are a no-brainer. This season's castle has already seen a proposal or two, and you may even catch a newlywed couple taking their wedding photos as you wander through the icy labyrinth. The Narnia-like display makes the perfect background for selfies, or cute couple shots, and at night the castle lights up adding an extra dose of enchantment.
Now until mid-March (weather permitting)
Snowshoe and Stargaze at Elk Island
Escape the city and snowshoe side by side as you gaze upon the countless stars in our galaxy with a friendly park interpreter in the heart of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve. You may even see a bison poke its head out from between the trees; he knows the look of pure, unadulterated love. Plan your future together while you munch on s'mores and sip hot chocolate by the campfire.
Select dates this winter, registration required
Dark Matters at Telus World of Science
If you think Telus World of Science is just for kids, then listen up. Dark Matters is an 18+ event featuring food, a bar and a live DJ (so get those party pants ready). Each Dark Matters event has a different theme with a variety of activities, from hands-on science experiments and games, to exclusive access to galleries and more.
January 25 & March 8, 2018
Go on a Culinary Adventure
It seems like there are new restaurants popping up everyday in Edmonton. Trying all of the city's new hot spots is going to take unparalleled drive and determination. Who are we kidding, its going to take nothing more than a good appetite and pants with a little give in the waist. Although we can’t guarantee a love connection, we know you’ll have an awesome meal and/or tasty cocktail at new local gems like Wishbone, Holy Roller, Pip, Bundok, Bottega 104, and The Butternut Tree. Congratulations, you've just had your first food baby as a couple.