Date nights in the winter don’t have to be centred around the date-night-in. In fact there are plenty of fun and imaginative winter date ideas to choose from in our city that will definitely vanquish the winter blues.
We’re talking dates that get you out of the house, but still keep you warm and assure a memorable evening. From cozy local restaurants equipped with fireplaces and gorgeous snowshoe trails, to holiday performances and 4D themed theatre; here are 27 wonderful winter date ideas in Vancouver.
A new and amazing Cirque du Soleil show inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar is coming to Vancouver for a limited time. Tickets are still available for Toruk, which will transport you to the visually stunning and spell-binding world of Pandora. This awe-inspiring show will include cutting-edge visual effects and intensely talented performers.
- When: December 14 to 18
- Where: Pacific Coliseum – 2901 E Hastings Street, Vancouver
Until December 23, you can catch a whimsical horse and carriage ride for free in Kerrisdale. The Kerrisdale streets are decorated for the holidays and the carriage ride through the charming neighborhood streets is not to be missed. This free version isn’t a private horse and carriage ride, but if you want to go all out you can book a private carriage through Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours which would obviously make for a fantastic surprise Christmas gift for a loved one.
- When: Free ride in Kerrisdale: December 3, 10, 17, and 23, from noon – 4 pm, hop on board free holiday horse and carriage rides.
- Where: Free ride in Kerrisdale begins at West 41st Ave @ Yew Street; Private ride in Stanley Park by reservation only.
Reflections rooftop restaurant and bar at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia has turned into a winter wonderland terrace. This holiday-inspired dining destination is complete with chic holiday décor, twinkling lights, garlands, throw blankets, warm tapas, and plenty of heat lamps. It’s an incredibly charming spot for a magical holiday date. This pretty, whimsical dining terrace will quickly become the new winter hotspot – and couples will absolutely love it.
- When: Now until December 30 from 4 to 10 pm
- Where: 801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver (at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia)
FlyOver Canada will transform into a magical winter wonderland for the ultimate virtual experience. You’ll have a blast helping Santa Claus search for his missing elves during an exhilarating flight across Canada and on to the North Pole. You’ll be transported into another place as you feel as though you’re flying over a winter wonderland on this virtual flight ride simulator.
- When: Now until January 2
- Where: 201-999 Canada Place, Vancouver
The Snow Tube Park and tobogganing hill at Mount Seymour guarantees a good time for a date any day this winter. Experience thrill after thrill as you slide down the hill, enjoy the beautiful snowy scenery, and relax afterwards with a warm cup of hot chocolate at Enquist Lodge. Enquist Lodge is new and offers a warm seating area next to a fireplace, food, warm drinks and beautiful views.
- When: Hours of operation are subject to change based on weather conditions. Call Guest Services at 604.986.2261 to confirm our hours of operation.
- Where: 1700 Mt Seymour Road, North Vancouver
The Greasy Spoon Dining experience is unique and awesome. They set up the best chefs in town at the popular Save On Meats restaurant to create a monthly four-course dining experience for charity. The legendary Chefs create four courses inspired by diner food. It’s eating comfort food the fancy way, and the meal is paired with cocktails made by award-winning bartenders, as well as craft beer and wine.
- When: Monday, December 19 and TBD in January
- Where: Save On Meats – 43 W Hastings Street, Vancouver
Not every date night has to be your typical dinner and a movie – some of the best dates involve you letting lose and having a little fun. The Yale Saloon is the current hot spot, and it’s unlike any other venue in Vancouver. Whether you and your date are looking for a restaurant, a bar or a spot to catch some live entertainment – the Yale has all of that. There’s bull-riding, live music, some of the best BBQ and Southern comfort food in town, and a dance floor. It’s decorated for the holidays and will put you in a festive mood.
- Where: 1300 Granville Street, Vancouver
Vancouver’s Science world has the largest OMNIMAX dome screen in the world, promising an incredible theatre experience for you and your date. At an incredible five storeys high and 27 m in diameter, the theatre boasts a sensational wrap-around digital sound system to put you right in the middle of the action. This year’s winter-themed showings include Titans of the Ice Age on now until December 16, and Wonders of the Arctic opening December 17.
- Where: 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver
One of the best ways to experience winter in gorgeous Vancouver is to go ice skating up in the mountains and enjoy all the fun Grouse Mountain’s Peak of Christmas has to offer. Grouse’s 8,000 square foot outdoor ice skating pond is the only one of its kind in Vancouver. The scenery in itself makes for a romantic date, and the cozy Altitudes Bistro is a few steps away for you to warm up with a warm meal after your skate. That’s not all Grouse Mountain has to offer this year. This year’s Light Walk features new installations, including a 23-foot reindeer and light walls. There’s also a Gingerbread Village and live gospel music as well as carol singers.
- When: Friday, November 25 to Monday, January 2. For more information and a detailed daily schedule for all Peak of Christmas activities, please check here.
- Where: Grouse Mountain – 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver
The magical ambiance at the Vancouver Christmas Market is back until December 31. It promises to be an unforgettable and fun date night. Sip warm, spiced mulled wine amidst giant candy canes, Christmas lights, live music, cute little food huts, and even a carousel – it’s the perfect destination for a fun night out with a loved one. Apple cider, rum and eggnog or mulled wine is available for purchase in Christmas mugs and the German cuisine is authentic and delicious.
- When: Now until December 31
- Where: Jack Poole Plaza – 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver
Going snowshoeing is a fantastic winter date idea, especially if you guys are nature lovers. You can take the scenic Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish to the top of Mount Habrich and explore the beautiful snowshoe trails, which come with stunning views of the Coastal Mountains. These trails are a romantic winter wonderland waiting for you and your date to explore. You can book a guided snowshoe tour, or opt for a self-guided, marked trail. Just be sure to pack a backpack full of emergency essentials, such as an extra flashlight and extra food and water.
- Where: 36800 BC-99 Hwy, Squamish
When you’re craving a cocktail in the winter but you’re in the mood to drink something warm, look no further than Milestones restaurants. They serve some of the best specialty coffees in greater Vancouver and their locations are decorated for the holidays. A few Baileys-infused spiced lattes along with a plate of warm mini donuts to share (complete with salted caramel dipping sauce) and you’ve got yourself a fantastic date night. On Wednesdays, Milestones even offers couples a ‘date night deal’ where two can dine for under $50. This date night special includes an appetizer to share, two entrees, and a shareable dessert.
- Where: 2425 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Robson Square ice rink, conveniently located in the heart of downtown, is an oasis away from the busy downtown streets where you can skate with your date to festive music, while enjoying a view of the massive Christmas tree. A concession serves warm beverages, and skating is free (small fee for skate rentals.)
- When: Now until February 28
- Where: Robson Square, 800 Robson Street
Every Sunday from December 18 to March 26 you can catch an amazing fire and ice show with your date, which involves an electric mix of music, dance and spinning fire. Watch world-class athletes flipping and twisting through a burning ring of fire and finish with a first class fireworks display. All for free. So pick a weekend to head up to Whistler, stay at a romantic hotel such as the Pan Pacific Whistler Village and make sure you don’t miss this cool winter event while you’re there.
- When: Every Sunday from December 18 to March 26
- Where: Skiers Plaza (located at Whistler Village base between Whistler and Blackcomb Gondolas
15. Enjoy the hot tub and views of snow-capped mountains at the Fairmont’s Willowstream Spa
Willowstream Spa lets you warm up on a cold winter day, with a hot stone massage, a hot tub and an infrared sauna. With a romantic view of majestic snow-capped mountains, this is the perfect winter oasis with a date. Afterwards, you can enjoy live music together in the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s lobby lounge, where talented singers are bound to sing some Christmas tunes.
- Where: Fairmont Pacific Rim, 1038 Canada Place
16. Grab a hot chocolate and go see the Lights of Hope display
Grab a hot chocolate or a latte and go see the St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope display. This incredible Christmas lights display is absolutely breathtaking and will put you into the holiday spirit. It also makes for a romantic backdrop to share a kiss.
- When: Now throughout the month of December
- Where: St. Paul’s Hospital – 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver
Enchant is a magical holiday wonderland that includes a breathtaking lights maze, tasty food, warm drinks, a local vendor market, live entertainment, an outdoor fire pit, and much more. All of the pretty lights, the music and the ambiance make for the perfect romantic date night.
- When: Now until December 31, nightly from 4 pm – 10 pm
- Where: Located on 1st and Crowe Street, between Olympic Village and the Cambie Street Bridge.
After Hours at the Vancouver Aquarium is a unique aquatic experience for adults only and the perfect date night. Enjoy wine and beer, cool 4D movies and all the aquatic exhibits with your date with dimmer lighting and no screaming children. These adult evenings at the Aquarium are hosted regularly, the next one being on January 19, 2017.
- When: January 19 and March 16
- Where: Vancouver Aquarium, 845 Avison Way, Vancouver
19. Dine among illuminated tree-tops at Earls on Top
Earls on Top might just be the best Earls location for date night. It’s decorated for the holidays complete with Christmas trees and pretty lights, and of course they have their seasonal warm gingerbread cake. Grab an intimate booth by the window, and your view will be of Robson street’s plethora of lit-up trees – perfect for getting you into the holiday spirit. Take your date here for happy hour and you’ll enjoy half price wine amidst a fun and festive ambiance.
- Where: 1185 Robson Street, Vancouver
20. Grab a couple of spiced lattes and walk through the stunning Christmas lights at VanDusen Botanical Gardens
Escape the city to see the gorgeous Christmas lights at VanDusen Botanical Gardens. Grab couple of to-go cups of peppermint hot chocolate and take a walk with your date through the majestic Christmas display of over 1 million sparkling lights. The Festival of Lights has a few new additions this year including a carousel and new interactive themed areas.
- When: Now until January 2
- Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden, 5251 Oak Street
The Bright Nights Christmas Train at Stanley Park is happening from now until January 1, and it’s definitely not to be missed this year. The whimsical, unique train ride will take you on a journey through gorgeous displays of twinkling Christmas lights. The night train ride includes a 14-minute experience filled with beautiful displays, holiday lights, and live performers.
- When: Now until January 1
- Where: Miniature railway area at Stanley Park, Vancouver
22. Go cross-country skiing at Cypress Mountain
At Cypress Mountain, gorgeous cross-country skiing trails make for a memorable date. Take in the snowy scenery while skiing, then grab some food at Cypress Mountain’s Crazy Raven Bar and Grill.
- Where: 6000 Cypress Bowl Road, Vancovuer
The Space Centre’s planetarium is an ultra-romantic date night location. When you experience star theatre, you and your date get to snuggle up to each other and lay back in the dark while the bright stars shine and dance directly above you, and music echoes throughout the dome-shaped theatre.
Planetarium star theatre shows take place at 9:00 pm on Saturday nights. From November 1 – December 20, the featured show is The Dark Matter Mystery. Venture on astrophysics’ biggest quest: the mystery of dark matter. You’ll get to discover the latest evidence of dark matter and join scientists as they explore this cosmic mystery out in space.
- Where: 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver
24. Behold a frosted waterfall or a frozen glacier lake
Our nearby waterfalls and lakes are especially beautiful in the winter, as they’re surrounded by snowfall and frosting, creating that whimsical winter wonderland feel. Glacier lakes such as Joffre Lakes don’t even require hiking to see the first lake, and if you want to hike to see the majestic, frosted upper lakes, just come prepared with proper footwear and clothing. As for frosted winter waterfalls, Brandywine falls in Squamish is a natural wonder that is stunning in the winter. After a short and easy walk, you’ll get to see an awe-inspiring 70 m waterfall.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is glittering right now for Canyon Lights, which is on from November 24 – January 8. The entire rainforest surrounding the Capilano Suspension Bridge will be dazzling with lights – a true winter wonderland. The grounds host a cute little café with gourmet hot chocolate and fudge for sale, perfect for keeping you warm while you walk around and gaze at the pretty lights.
- When: Now until January 8
- Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge, 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Christmas Queen 3: The Bachelorette Edition is a special (and hilarious) holiday-themed performance that runs Wednesday through Saturday, 7:30 pm November 23 to December 23. Her beaus-in-waiting represent some of the ‘Who’s Who’ of the holiday season – Elf on a Shelf, Jack Frost, Scrooge, The Grinch and even Santa himself are among the many possibilities. You and your date will be entertained and laughing all evening long. After the show, walk around the charming and beautiful Granville Island with your date and enjoy the view, the lights and the romantic ambiance of one of the most romantic spots in Vancouver.
- When: Wednesday through Saturday, 7:30 pm November 23 to December 23, 2016 – plus two additional performances on Sunday, December 18 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm.
- Where: 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
27. Carol Ships Dinner Cruise
Being enveloped by scenic views of Vancouver from the water on a Carol Ships Dinner Cruise couldn’t be more romantic, especially during the Carol Ships Parade of Lights, which is going on from December 3 – 23 this year. While you and your date enjoy dinner on your themed ship, your view will be spectacular as you look out and see a flotilla of brightly coloured, lit-up and decorated boats illuminating the water. This promises to be a special and romantic date night.
- When: Now until December 23