Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 at 11:48 pm

Ten Alternatives To Valentine’s Day Dinner

It’s been a few years since Mack and I have had dinner out at a restaurant on Valentine’s Day. We’ve never had a great experience, and in general, find that we have better meals on days when the kitchen is more relaxed and the ambiance is a little less forced.

So, given the occasion is less than two weeks away, here are ten alternatives you to consider.

  1. Food and Wine Pairings Jacek Chocolate Couture & Baseline Wines Tasting
    • Instead of wine with dinner, explore how well wines pair with sweets. The Italian Centre is hosting a desserts and drinks pairing at their west end location on February 12, 2014, with tickets priced at $50 for two.
    • For chocoholics, Jacek is repeating their successful chocolate and wine tasting at the Muttart Conservatory on February 22, 2014. End the evening with live music and exclusive tours of the pyramids. Tickets are $60 per person. Mack and I participated in a similar tasting last year.
  2. Get Your Hands Dirty
    • Make a sweet treat for your Valentine at the City Arts Centre on February 11, 2014 at their chocolate making class. Registration is $45 per person.
    • The City Arts Centre has teamed up with Chef David Omar of ZINC to help couples create the ultimate Italian feast on February 13, 2014.
    • Shoot the one you love on Valentine’s Day – with paintballs, that is. The city’s newest facility, the Edmonton Paintball Centre, is the largest indoor range in Alberta. They’re offering pink paintballs, and the option to come as a single or a couple.
  3. Music
    • I’m not sure if tickets are still available, but I love that CKUA is inviting Edmontonians to spend Valentine’s Day with Colleen Brown. Tickets are free, but have to be picked up in advance.
    • The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra has a family-friendly option with their Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II, playing February 15-16, 2014. The original scores of some of your favourite cartoon moments will be played live by the symphony.
  4. Theatre
    • Rapid Fire Theatre’s annual Wildfire Festival, celebrating the improv talent of students from across Alberta, takes place all this month. And you know what they say – we love those who can make us laugh.
    • Three may be a crowd, but never at the info-tainment show Hey Ladies!, taking place at the Roxy on February 7, 2014. Among other segments, the hosts will run a Pseudo Valentine’s Match Game that night.
  5. Take in a Winter Festival
    • Nothing is more romantic than a walk in the park, especially on illuminated winter paths. The Flying Canoe Adventure takes place February 7-8, 2014 in Mill Creek, with storytelling, sleigh rides, and even an outdoor patio.
    • The annual Silver Skate Festival runs February 14-23, 2014. Check out their range of activities, from live performances to Olympic-themed fun, and my personal favourite – fire sculptures.
  6. Explore a Neighbourhood On the Spot Pop-Up
    • Pick up a locally-made gift for your loved one at On the Spot Pop-Up’s Maker’s Faire, manifesting itself for the first time at the Boyle Street Plaza, February 8-9, 2014. The facility is a cornerstone of the neighbourhood’s new direction, and it is wonderful to see it being employed for a variety of uses. Besides vendors, there will be a craft room for kids, and a pop-up coffee shop.
    • The North Edge (made up of Central McDougall and Queen Mary Park) is hosting The Snow Ball on February 20, 2014 at the Prince of Wales Armouries. There will be music, refreshments and of course, ballroom dancing. The event is free.
  7. Find a Valentine
    • The sixth annual Animal Attraction at the Valley Zoo on February 14 and 15, 2014 combines speed dating with the opportunity to learn about animal romances.
  8. Anti-Valentine’s Day
    • The third annual Glitterball, “anti-Valentine’s edition” takes place on February 15, 2014 at Yellowhead Brewery. Expect bellydancing, comedy and burlesque. Tickets are $20 in advance
  9. Get OutsideValentine's Day Disco Skate
    • Try your hand at snowshoeing or cross-country skiing at the Strathcona Wilderness Centre.
    • Last year, Mack and and I headed to City Hall for their Valentine’s Day Disco Skate – free skate rentals and hot chocolate under the pyramid lights. This year, it is taking place on February 16, 2014, as a part of their Sunday Swing ‘n Skate. Live swing music and dance lessons inside, and skating outside!
  10. Stay Inside
    • Two years ago, Mack and I watched IBM’s Watson beat Jeopardy’s human champions on Valentine’s Day. This year, we will be binge watching season 2 of House of Cards on Nextflix, to be released on February 14, 2014. To each their own.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • Ashley

    I am looking forward to my Valentine’s Day with Famoso takeout and House of Cards binge watching!

  • Andrea Soto

    thats a great idea!

  • C

    Narayannis – a lovely East Indian/South African restaurant is holding a romantic Valentine’s day buffet – they are always relaxed and genuinely happy to see us. $40 each, includes sparkling wine and roses. Can’t wait!!

  • Vanessa

    The disco skate at city hall is on valentines day again this year from 4:30-8:30pm with free skate rentals, bannock making, hot chocolate, romantic lighting and disco hits from the 70s &80s