From mild to wild: 26 amazing outdoor date ideas in Vancouver

Jun 30 2022, 7:57 pm

Looking for outdoor date ideas ranging from mild to wild? Check out this bucket list of 26 fun ways to spend an entertaining afternoon or evening with your sweetheart.

Barbecuing on a boat

 

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Treat your main squeeze to a barbecue on the water — literally. Joe’s BBQ Boat rents out eco-friendly, electric-powered vessels that combine two of summer’s greatest pastimes: grilling and boating. You may even want to invite a few more pals and turn this unique False Creek outing into a double (or triple) date.

Swimming

Wreck Beach with pink sky

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Slip on your bathing suits and go for a dip at one of Vancouver’s many beaches and outdoor pools. If you’d prefer the clothing-optional route, leave your swimsuits behind and bring your bare buns to Wreck Beach.

Picking berries

Grab a couple of buckets and head to one of the many sweet spots around Vancouver to pick your own berries. Depending on the week and the weather, your farm-fresh haul could include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries — Mother Nature’s finest candy.

Seeing a movie

Crowd watching outdoor movie

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The Evo Summer Cinema Series returns to Stanley Park on July 5. Free outdoor movies are shown on the Grand Lawn at Ceperley Meadows near Second Beach, and they continue every Tuesday until August 23.

Other free outdoor movie series include Summer Movie Nights, on Thursdays from July 7 to August 18 outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, and Deckchair Cinema, on Thursdays from June 23 to August 11 outside The Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver. For info about free alfresco screenings all around the country, visit Fresh Air Cinema.

Indulging at the Richmond Night Market

Looking for outdoor date ideas for your favourite foodie? Take your food-focused friend to the Richmond Night Market. On until October 10, North America’s largest night market features truly epic eats as well as live entertainment ranging from music to dance to martial arts demonstrations.

Picnicking

Couple enjoying picnic on beach

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Pack a blanket and a meal, then take your sweetie to one of the city’s many gorgeous parks and beaches for a leisurely picnic. If food prep isn’t your forte, pick up some tasty to-go fare from a food truck.

Le Dîner en Blanc

People dressed all in white

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Of course, the ultimate outdoor dinner is Le Dîner en Blanc Vancouver, which returns on August 18 after a two-year hiatus. At this large-scale picnic, guests dressed entirely in white dine in a mystery location that is revealed shortly before the Instagram-worthy event starts.

Watching a musical

Theatre Under the Stars returns to Stanley Park after a two-year break with Something Rotten!, an irreverent homage to Broadway, and We Will Rock You, a futuristic tale of freedom fighters that features Queen’s best-loved hits. The two shows run on alternating nights from July 2 to August 27 at Malkin Bowl, rain or shine.

Strolling the seawall

Seawall at sunset

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When it comes to tried-and-true outdoor date ideas, nothing beats a relaxing stroll along the Vancouver seawall with your boo, hand in hand, at sunset.

Dining on a patio

Treat your sweetie to a meal on a spectacular patio, such as the ones at Lift in Coal Harbour, Cactus Club in English Bay, Tap & Barrel in Olympic Village, and Dockside on Granville Island. Vancouver boasts many hidden patios that are worth checking out, too, including the garden patio at Giardino and the aptly named The Roof at Black + Blue. If you’d like to bring your favourite four-legged friend along on your outing, the city also has a few dog-friendly patios.

Biking

Couple biking at sunset

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Hop on your bicycles and explore some of the bike routes around Vancouver. If you want to feel like the stars of your very own rom-com, then rent a tandem bike from Spokes Bicycle Rentals, English Bay Bike Rentals, or Yes Cycle — they provide the wheels, but the hilarious hijinks are up to you two.

Exploring the ocean

Rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards from a company such as Vancouver Water Adventures or Deep Cove Kayak, then go exploring. Don’t forget to pack a picnic lunch — and extra sunscreen.

Hiking the Grouse Grind

View from top of Grouse Mountain

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Fitness fanatics love tackling the Grouse Grind together. This 2.5-kilometre trail up Grouse Mountain isn’t for couch potatoes — it’s nicknamed Mother Nature’s StairMaster for a reason. Once at the top, be sure to pause and admire the stunning view (and maybe even reward yourselves with some BeaverTails pastries) before hopping on the Skyride back down the mountain.

Splashing in a water park

Beat the heat at Big Splash Water Slide Park in Tsawwassen. Reopening on July 1, this wet-and-wild destination is filled with pools and waterslides, as well as a tube slide with a heart-stopping six-storey vertical drop. There are also a few hot tubs for relaxing, including one for adults only.

Doing yoga

Woman doing yoga on the beach

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Get your namaste on at an outdoor yoga class. Throughout the summer, Mat Collective holds classes in picture-perfect locations such as Kits Beach and Stanley Park. Pairing fresh-air yoga with a picnic is a dream date for nourishing both body and soul.

 

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For those seeking something a little wilder with their downward-facing dog, Maan Farms in Abbotsford offers goat yoga — and some events start with the yoga but finish with a wine tasting or dinner.

Visiting Bowen Island

For a truly West Coast adventure, complete with a meal, set sail with Vancouver Water Adventures on the Bowen Island Dinner and Sights tour. A Zodiac whisks a dozen passengers from Granville Island to Bowen Island for dinner at Doc Morgan’s, with stops along the way to see wildlife and snap photos of picturesque landmarks. You don’t have to be a tourist to appreciate Vancouver’s dazzling beauty.

Admiring larger-than-life art

Engagement rings sculpture at sunset

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Do a self-guided tour of alfresco art by checking out pieces from the Vancouver Biennale such as A-maze-ing Laughter at English Bay and Giants on Granville Island. Engagement, a pair of huge engagement rings at Sunset Beach Park, is the ideal spot to pop the question (hint, hint).

The Drop sculpture

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The City of Vancouver also boasts an extensive collection of outdoor art, including Digital Orca in Jack Poole Plaza and The Drop outside the Vancouver Convention Centre. Download brochures of self-guided walking tours for the Burrard Corridor, Downtown Waterfront, and Yaletown False Creek.

Watching a baseball game

Any list of outdoor date ideas has to include cheering for the Vancouver Canadians (and maybe even catching a foul ball) at Nat Bailey Stadium. Special events throughout the season include fireworks nights and giveaways. And you never know when Michael Bublé might stop by to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch.

Spotting whales

Orca leaping out of ocean

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Have a whale of a time by hopping in a boat and seeing orcas, humpbacks, grey whales, and minke whales in the wild. Vancouver Whale Watch, Wild Whales Vancouver, Prince of Whales and Steveston Seabreeze Adventures all offer tours that take you close (but not too close) to the breathtaking animals.

Getting an adrenaline rush at Playland

 

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Scream yourselves hoarse on Skybender, AtmosFear, The Beast, Hellevator, and other heart-pounding rides at Playland. The classic Wooden Coaster, which dates back to 1964, just received a $1 million retrofit.

Playland is also part of the annual PNE Fair, which runs from August 20 to September 5 this year and features outdoor concerts by the likes of The B-52s, Blue Rodeo, Cake, Chicago, and The Beach Boys.

Ziplining

 

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The five ziplines on Grouse Mountain will have you whizzing along at 70 kilometres per hour, high above the treetops. The dual-line system means you can zipline alongside your sweetheart, doubling the adrenaline rush.

Browsing a farmers’ market

West End Farmers Market

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Spend a relaxing morning strolling through one of Vancouver’s many farmers’ markets, checking out the handmade wares and selecting fresh ingredients for a homemade dinner. Many of the markets feature food trucks and live entertainment.

Attending a music festival

 

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After a pause during the worst of the pandemic, many of Vancouver’s big music festivals are back this summer, providing you with lots of great outdoor date ideas. Some of our favourite fests: TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival (June 24 to July 3), Khatsahlano Street Party (July 9) and Vancouver Folk Music Festival (July 15 to 17). The Ambleside Music Festival (August 12 to 14) is launching this year.

Swaying on a suspension bridge

It’s one of the area’s most popular tourist destinations for a reason: The 137-metre-long Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver is simply spectacular, gently swaying 70 metres above the Capilano River. And it’s part of a 30-acre park that also includes Cliffwalk and Treetops Adventure — not to mention The Trading Post, which sells (among other things) mouth-watering homemade fudge.

Wandering through a garden

Serene Chinese garden

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Check out the serene green scene by meandering through Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, VanDusen Botanical Garden, or UBC Botanical Garden.

Mini golfing

 

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Tee off at one of Vancouver’s best spots for mini-golf. If you’d prefer to have no kiddos nearby during your date, head to The Keefer Yard. This fun mini-putt course is located on the patio of The Keefer Bar, so it’s for adults only.

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Potion Putt

A new spot opening June 23 is Potion Putt, which lets witches and wizards test their putting skills while imbibing tasty potions. At 5 pm each day, the place transforms into an adults-only venue, perfect for a magical date night.

Betting on the ponies

 

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Head to Hastings Racecourse for a thrilling day at the races. Live thoroughbred racing takes place every weekend until the end of October. The Deighton Cup is also returning this year, on July 23, after a two-year pause. Top hats and fascinators aren’t required, but they’re highly recommended.

How many items from this bucket list of outdoor date ideas have you and your bae already done?

Sheri RadfordSheri Radford

+ Summer
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