10 active dates to heat up a cold Canadian winter

When we think of spending quality time with our loved ones, we can get stuck in the box of ‘dinner out’ or ‘movie date.’ No offense to the old standbys, but why not spice things up this Valentine’s Day?

Instead of the same old approach, show your Valentine that you appreciate their heart and their heart health! Whether you’re available, coupled or would be happier celebrating Galentine’s Day, we can think of 10 non-traditional active dates that will heat up your winter wonderland. The added bonus is that they can all be tracked on the ParticipACTION 150 Play List.

10 ACTIVE DATE IDEAS

1.  DO A DAY DATE

Come out from under the veil of date-night darkness, bundle up, put on your exploring hat and meet your person for a day date! Pick up a warm beverage to hold, explore an outdoor art installation or park you’ve been meaning to visit. Stroll through a farmer’s market or take a furry friend for a walk on the beach. Any type of long walk affords us the time for the heart-to-hearts you might be missing in daily life, or for new couples, the chance to get to know each other better.

2. BE A BALL-BUSTER AND GO BOWLING

Bowling is back, baby. There’s something nostalgic about lacing up those slippery retro bowling shoes, the neon lights, music and sound of pins getting knocked around. Bowling makes for nice light physical activity, and those deep lunges must be good for your quads and hamstrings too. Coming up with 3-letter nicknames for one another is just an added bonus.

3. TAKE THIS WALTZ

While you’re humming the Blue Danube while you read this, ponder whether you and your date might like to take a dance class together. Rumour has it that ballroom dancing or swing dancing makes for a great date. Step a little closer and see if you’ve got the rhythm and chemistry to make a match.

4. WARM THAT ICY HEART WITH SKATING

Just kidding, you don’t have an icy heart, only I do! Skating is the epitome of a romantic winter date. Whether you’ve skated before or have years of experience, skating is a great way to get your hearts beating. I can see you now, holding hands, cheeks flushed, gliding across the ice in synchronized motions!

5. EXERCISE YOUR TRUST WITH ROCK CLIMBING

I have always wanted to try this on a date. Rock climbing is a full body workout that will help you build your muscle strength and your trust in a partner. While you’re scampering up the climbing gym wall, your partner should be all-eyes-on-you as they manage the task of belaying you up the wall. Not a bad way to gauge how attentive your date can be. Belay on!

6. TRY AXE THROWING

Who has tickets to the gun show? You do. Try axe throwing together for the chance to improve your hand-eye coordination and show off those aspiring Michelle Obama arms.

7. GET PLAYFUL WITH PING PONG

Practice your quick-wristedness and play some ping pong! I like this activity because it’s fast, likely to elicit some laughter and it’s another opportunity to improve your hand-eye coordination. Pairs well with beer, or an adult beverage of your choice.  

8. STRATEGIZE A SCAVENGER HUNT

Maybe this is an option for the extremely romantic out there, but first let me tell you a story. I have a friend who was once sent on a pre-date scavenger hunt through the historic city of London. She was tasked with de-coding poetry and hints along her journey, ultimately leading to a surprise date location. The suspense! The mystery! Creating a little anticipation before a date goes a long way, not to mention the fact that it shows how thoughtful you can be.

9. FITNESS TEST YOUR TOUGHNESS

Don’t know if your partner can be relied on in tough times? Fitness activities like CrossFit are a good way to see how hard a person is willing to work through a challenging exercise. Test your stamina together while working up a serious sweat.

10. CUE UP THE BILLIARDS

Also known as pool, this is another great opportunity for me to exercise my affinity for Dad jokes, and for you to get creative with your dating ideas. Are you ready for the worst pool joke ever? How do you make a billiards table laugh? Put your hands down its pockets and tickle its balls.

In all seriousness, it’s a great light activity for a date. Shakespeare himself was even rumoured to be a fan, mentioning it in a few of his plays. If you’re a lucky beginner perhaps your date will step a little closer and give you some pointers. Think of it as the opportunity for a less messy version of that famous Ghost scene. And, cue the music. I’m done now, I swear.