Winter in Toronto isn’t always the most forgiving, especially when a Polar Vortex is on the way – however, it’s the perfect excuse to get creative when it comes to planning a unique and memorable date.
From a luxe spa staycation to some flirty friendly competition at an arcade bar, here are 10 romantic date ideas to try this winter in Toronto.
1. Try a new restaurant at Winterlicious
Take your date out for lunch or dinner during this annual winter food event in the city. Every winter, restaurants across the city participate in Winterlicious by offering prix fixe lunch and dinner menus, usually showcasing their best dishes for a great price. This year, over 200 local restaurants are joining in on the fun, some offering meals for as low as $20. You can see the full list of restaurants and their menus on the City of Toronto website here. Winterlicious runs from January 26 through February 8.
2. Surprise them with a Candlelight Concert
Surprise your date with a mesmerizing Candlelight Concert tribute to one of their favourite artists. Sit back and relax as a talented string quartet covers songs by some of the world’s most recognizable artists, including Coldplay & Imagine Dragons, Adele, and Queen.
Select tributes are only in town for a limited time, so be sure to secure your tickets soon.
Candlelight: The Best of Joe Hisaishi
Candlelight: A Tribute to ABBA
Candlelight: A Tribute to Taylor Swift at Paradise Theatre
Candlelight: A Tribute to Coldplay
Candlelight: A Tribute to Queen and More at Paradise Theatre
3. Take a cooking class together at Eataly
If you love Italian food, Eataly Toronto has a bunch of great classes you can try together as a couple, from learning to make handmade gnocchi to tiramisu. You can see their full schedule of classes posted on their website, but book quick as they fill up fast and have limited seats.
4. Hit up a board game cafe
There’s nothing like some friendly competition to get sparks flying, and Toronto has tons of board game cafes for the occasion. Snakes & Lattes has a few locations around the city with thousands of board games to choose from, and an extensive food and drinks menu to keep you fueled up for all the fun. Another great spot is For The Win Cafe & Bar, where you can also get bar snacks, beer, cocktails and even bubble tea.
5. Ice skate and dine privately at WinterViews
Toronto’s largest outdoor patio has transformed into a winter wonderland called WinterViews, complete with a skating rink, cozy cabins, firepits, and more! Found at 229 Richmond St W, you can ice skate for free, warm up with a seasonal beverage at the Back Country Lodge, or book a more private dining experience in one of their 10 Northern Cabins complete with a personal fire pit you can roast marshmallows over.
6. Make your own personalized candles
Take a sensory journey with your partner and craft your own scented candles at a candle making workshop. KANDL Artiste has a great class for beginners introducing them to fragrance selection and candle making, and you can snack on a charcuterie board with your date while your candles cool. Other great options include Yummi Candles’ workshop in the Distillery District, or Let’s Make It in Richmond Hill.
7. Skate indoors at a retro roller skating rink
If you’re not one for the cold but still up for a date revolving around physical activity, there are some great places in Toronto to go roller skating in a retro-themed environment. Union Station’s Roller Express is completely free, running until February 4. Alternatively, try Rollerpony, an incredible 18+ space that even has a barbershop and Caribbean food stand for you to grab a bite to eat at after your skate.
8. Test your willpower at a sauna and ice bath studio
See how long you can last in a freezing cold ice bath before warming up together afterwards in the sauna at Alter Toronto, a beautiful new wellness hub. You can either opt for a drop-in session and experience the circuit at your own leisure, or book one of their two signature 60-minute classes, the Foundation or the Unwind, both of which are led by some of the most tenured meditation, breathwork, and yoga instructors in the city. You can also try a similar experience at Othership, which has two locations in Toronto.
9. Play games at an arcade
Play the good kind of games with your partner at an arcade bar in Toronto. Tilt Arcade Bar in Parkdale has a variety of retro arcade games and 90s consoles in a fun, divey space. FreePlay is another amazing option where you pay a cover for unlimited play, and you can sip on a craft beer between games.
10. Book a staycation at a boutique hotel
Treat yourself to a romantic getaway without leaving the city at one of Toronto’s many incredible boutique hotels. Consider spending the night at the Ace Hotel, which features the works of over 40 local artists throughout the property and has three great dining options for guests. The Kimpton Saint George, Hotel Le Germain, Drake Hotel, and The Annex Hotel are all amazing alternatives.