With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many of you are likely trying to think of romantic things to do or see. Valentine’s Day in Canada is right in the middle of winter, which typically means cold weather and lots of snow. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. In fact, sparkling snow can be just what it takes to create that magically romantic winter wonderland. You may want to sleep under the Yukon Northern Lights or admire them from the Northwest Territories. You may want to take a helicopter ride over Niagara Falls or go winter wine tasting in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Maybe you want to check out live theatre in the big city of Toronto or go for a graffiti tour in trendy Montreal. Whatever it is, there’s something for everyone in Canada.
Valentines Day in Canada
So whether you choose to ditch the roses and chocolate altogether or bring them with you on an unforgettable adventure, here are 14 ideas for things to do on Valentines Day in Canada.
(Note: This is a collaboration post with a variety of authors. All photos are by the authors of the short articles unless otherwise noted.)
Romantic Getaways Alberta
Skating in the Canadian Rockies
Written by Maya and Michal of travelwiththesmile.com.
Whether you choose to play ice hockey as well, that’s up to you but know that the hot chocolate tastes best after an outdoor activity. Banff National Park, the oldest national park in Canada, offers many man-made and natural skating areas, which usually freeze around December.
People like to go skating on Johnson Lake, Two Jack Lake, Vermilion Lakes or Lake Minnewanka. They are all close to each other and only a short 15-minute ride from Banff. Usually, these lakes are quite tricky for ice skating. After they freeze and are safe enough for ice skating, they are covered by snow shortly after.
If this is the case, the best lake for ice skating would be Lake Louise. They clear a big section of ice for an ice rink and another section for skating. The lake becomes even more beautiful at the end of January when Lake Louise holds their annual Ice Magic Festival and all the ice sculptures are on display. It’s like skating around an ice castle in the valley surrounded by mountains and a glacier in the far end.
Thinking of visiting the Banff area? Check out these other articles below:
Canada is such a beautiful place to explore and is a great place to spend Valentines Day. One of our favorite spots in Canada is in Banff National Park. If you haven’t heard of Banff before, you’re going to want to check it out. There are several gorgeous lakes with amazing blue crystal waters that will make you want to travel around to see all of them. One of our favourite lakes in Banff is Peyto Lake. We’re not quite sure why there isn’t more talk about Peyto Lake, because it is definitely one of the most beautiful lakes in Alberta. Peyto Lake is just a short walk from the parking lot, and you end up right on top of it, looking down at the bright blue lake.
We went when there was a bit of snow and it made it even more magical. Peyto Lake has a very peaceful feel to it. We recommend taking a picnic lunch and enjoying the site with your significant other. It’s such a romantic place, and great for a Valentines Day date as well. If you’re ever in Banff, Canada, be sure to add Peyto Lake to your list. You will not be disappointed.
If you want to add more winter wonderlands to your Banff trip, check out these articles below:
Romantic Getaways Ontario
Niagara Falls in the Winter
Written by Claire of backpackingbella.com.
If you’re looking for Valentine’s Day destinations in Canada or weekend getaways from Toronto, where better to go than the ‘Honeymoon Capital of the World’, Niagara Falls? This natural wonder has been hosting 50,000 honeymooners a year since it first became high society’s go-to romantic destination at the turn of the 19th century.
Even driving to Niagara Falls is dreamy: Sir Winston Churchill called the scenic Niagara Parkway ‘the prettiest Sunday afternoon drive in the world.’ Many hotels in Niagara offer romance and honeymoon packages that will make your trip extra special.
There are various ways to get the best views of Niagara Falls as well. An exhilarating cruise will take you up close to the three waterfalls: the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls. Or why not soar above the falls on a helicopter tour, swooping across the spectacular scenery, as an audio guide explains its history. Another way to see the area is from the top of Canada’s largest observation wheel, the Niagara SkyWheel, located in the lively Clifton Hill area.
For fine dining with unbelievable 360-degree views, head to the Skylon Tower’s famous revolving restaurant. And just a 20-minute drive from the Falls is Niagara’s award-winning wineries, where you can clink your glasses and toast your Valentine’s Day to remember.
For more details check out Backpacking Bella’s post on romantic things to do in Niagara Falls.
Romantic Getaway Toronto – Culinary and Theatre
Written by Yashy of babyandlife.com.
For food and theatre lovers, there are many romantic things to do in Toronto in winter. Whether you’re looking for food crawls along Greek Town, Michelin quality tasting menus or hole in the wall eats in Chinatown, you’ll find the most authentic cuisines in Toronto. One thing is for sure, there’s no shortage of places to eat in Toronto and something for every budget!
A romantic cooking class could also be on your list because the city is home to many cooking studios offering Valentine’s Day packages. A popular romantic Valentine’s Day activity is to enjoy dinner and a show. Catch a Mirvish Production play, a live Jazz set at The Rex or Jazz Bistro, opera at the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts, or one of the many indie performances at various theatres throughout the city. You could even enjoy dinner and a show under one roof at places like Medieval Times, Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre, or Copacabana. Couples craving delicious food and unique theatrical experiences will be delighted to learn that they can easily find both in downtown Toronto!
Looking for more things to do in or around Toronto? Check out these articles below:
Winter Wine Tasting around Niagara on the lake
Written by Ryan of outwithryan.com.
What could be more romantic than a Scandinavian spa experience in the middle of the Outaouais? This paradise exists just a 15-minute drive from downtown Ottawa in the village of Old Chelsea. Nordik Spa-Nature is a large complex of thermal pools, steam rooms and saunas, private massage rooms, and much more. It sets on top of a hill on the edge of town where you feel surrounded by nature.
This is a place to spend the whole day and while indulging in relaxation. The Thermal Experience allows you to enjoy all the saunas, pools, and relaxation areas all day. Don’t miss the Aufguss Ritual, an intense sauna experience using infused ice balls thrown on the hot rocks and an elaborate dance by an Auguss master who uses a towel to fan the hot air around the room.
Add to your experience by booking a massage, a float in the salt pool, or a Banya treatment. You can even extend your stay by booking one of Nordik’s private lodges or staying at a partner hotel. With the proximity of the Parc de la Gatineau and the Capital Region, there is no shortage of things to see and do.
Another Nordic spa option for those in Winnipeg, Manitoba is Thermea, which is offered by the same company.
Romantic Getaways BC
Storm-watching in Tofino, Canada
Written by Claudia of thetravellingmom.ca.
Tofino, a small town on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, has prided itself for years on the awe-inspiring natural beauty of its location. While it’s well known as an amazing summer destination, Tofino has a unique winter attraction that few destinations can match; storm season in the Pacific Ocean.
The storm-watching season extends from November to March, with the peak period being December-February, making a trip for Valentine’s Day the perfect romantic holiday. After all, nothing beats snuggling by the fire together as the wind and surf pound the shore while you’re safe, cozy and warm in your suite.
Nature can be intense on the west coast. Tofino gets between 10-15 good winter storms a season. Coupled with five meters of annual rainfall, that makes for some serious weather that lends itself to watching those crashing waves hit the beach from a warm, fire-side seat.
Storm-watching indoors is fun, but gearing up to venture outside to feel the spray and walk on the wide, sandy beaches is a must. You may even see winter surfers testing their skills in the waves, or you may want to sign up to try it yourself (there are a few surf schools to choose from).
Yes, chances are you’ll get soaked, but it’s an incredible experience to feel nature’s power and appreciate the wild beauty of Tofino. Just remember, the ocean in winter is a powerful force to be respected. Never turn your back on the water, and keep a healthy distance from those impressive, crashing waves.
Tofino has everything from luxury five-star, beachfront accommodations to cozy bed and breakfasts and rental homes. For an uber luxurious and romantic getaway, the Wickaninnish Inn, (or the ‘Wick’) is outstanding. Perched on Chesterman Beach, it provides impeccable accommodation, service, food, and stunning views of that stormy winter ocean.
For more things to do around Tofino, check out these articles below:
Cross-Country Skiing at Emerald Lake, British Columbia
Written by Philip and Thea of zentravellers.com.
Emerald Lake, British Columbia is an under-appreciated gem in Canada’s scenic Yoho National Park. While it doesn’t receive the same deluge of visitors as nearby Lake Louise in Banff National Park, its rustic alpine beauty makes it a gorgeous place to visit for Valentine’s Day. Emerald Lake Lodge is the place to stay in the area as it’s located right on the lake and features a spa, outdoor hot tub with a view, a delicious restaurant, and cozy rooms with fireplaces. Once at the lake, you can enjoy a relaxing night at the lodge to gear up for some fun activities the next day.
With February being winter in Canada, you won’t be able to see the lake’s namesake emerald hue because it will be frozen over but there are still several fun activities that can be done in the area. There are snowshoe trails that cross the lake and a positively stunning cross-country skiing trail that traverses the lake then carries on to a meadow that opens to amazing views of the nearby peaks. It’s a wonderful, beginner-friendly trail that is insanely rewarding in terms of views as well as for finding some solitude away from Banff’s crowds.
To see Emerald Lake in the summertime and to learn about other things to do in the area, check out these articles below:
Sightseeing in Vancouver, BC
Written by Dhara of notaboutthemiles.com.
Vancouver B.C. is a must-visit destination in western Canada. There is so much on offer in Vancouver for every type of traveler that you can make it a go-to city break destination and find fun things to do every time you go. There are three amazing experiences I recommend for your first visit to Vancouver.
One of the best things to do in Vancouver is to head to the top of the Vancouver Lookout to watch the sunset and the lights of the city turn on. There’s a cafe at the top, which is the perfect place to grab a drink while you take in the spectacular views. Plus, the ride up, in the elevator outside the building, is fun if you aren’t afraid of heights!
Another great attraction in Vancouver is the Van Dusen Botanical Garden, with its lovely floral and green displays. If you like mazes, Van Dusen has one of only six Elizabethan hedge mazes in all of North America.
Finally, riding the Aqua Bus on False Creek is a must! If you buy a day pass, you can ride it to destinations all along the creek, all the while enjoying the views on either side. You can see the globe of Science World, which will also be lit up if you ride after dark. Vancouver has the most picturesque blend of boats, buildings, and water, and False Creek is a prime place to enjoy the shoreline.
For more things to do around Vancouver, check out these articles below:
Romantic Getaways Quebec
Spend the Night in an Ice Hotel in Quebec City
Romantic destinations often rhyme with an over-the-water bungalow on a lush tropical island with long walks on the beach at sunset. If you’re staying in Canada for Valentine’s Day, however, an attractive alternative for a couple’s getaway could be a Nordic adventure at the world-renowned Ice Hotel in Quebec City.
Your winter wonderland fantasies will be satisfied as you spend an enchanting night in an ice castle straight out of a fairytale. The Ice Hotel, an architectural masterpiece made entirely of snow and ice, is rebuilt year after year with changing room designs and themes. Mood lighting throughout the hotel enhances the unique décor to create a magical and intimate ambiance, making it one of the sexiest accommodations in Canada.
Set the vibe for this one-of-a-kind experience by booking a Premium Deluxe package which includes a theme suite with a fireplace, a bottle of rosé champagne served in ice flutes and a private hot tub and sauna under the stars. Insider tip for an unforgettable stay at the coolest hotel in town: Cozy it up by zipping together the two thermal sleeping bags to share body heat and keep you warm all night.
Conclude your romantic escapade with a visit of the picturesque Old Town of Quebec City, a UNESCO World Heritage Treasure, where you can wander through a collection of cobblestone streets and historical buildings.
For more things to do in the area, check out the articles below:
Stay in a Canadian Ice Hotel (Part 2)
Written by Yulia of thatswhatshehad.com. This is a second story about the ice hotel in Quebec.
If you too think that romantic movie and dinner at a posh restaurant for Valentine’s day is too banal, how about spending a night with your loved one on a bed made of ice at a hotel where the average temperature is -5°C (22°F)? I bet it’s going to be the coolest experience you’ve ever had (pun intended)!
Hotel de Glace, or Ice Hotel, is located a short drive from Quebec City. It is built entirely of snow and ice, including the rooms, the passages, the bar, and even a little chapel on the premises. Interestingly, all the snow and ice used for construction are produced at a food factory 15 km away from Quebec since the real snow is not dense enough. Some of the ice is mixed up with milk to get a distinct white color so you can lick the walls of the hotel all you want, it’s safe! Your tongue is not going to get stuck since the temperature inside is always -5°C, not low enough.
The hotel design is different every year, but always features several unique suites and a few dozen standard rooms. If you choose to book an overnight stay, you’ll be provided with an entry pass to a spa located on premises, as well as a sleeping bag for your comfort.
If, on the other hand, sleeping on ice sounds like a terrifying experience, you can always choose to visit the hotel during the day and just wander around and have a drink at one of the three bars! The entrance fee is much lower than the cost of booking a room.
Go for a Walk to See Montreal Street Art
Written by Gordon of Short Holidays and Getaways.
What could be more romantic on Valentine’s Day than discovering the street art in Montreal?
Montreal is well known for its avant-garde approach to the arts and this urban art can be found in back alleys, on the side of buildings, and in the most unexpected places. Montreal even has an annual street art and mural festival, known as MURAL Festival, which runs for eleven days each year, and has become a go-to destination for artists and lovers of street art.
According to Maxime Sauriol, a Montreal street art aficionado, “Art isn’t supposed to be pretty. It’s meant to make you feel something. And in the case of Montreal’s art, we feel both: Beauty and emotion.”
Visit Chinatown in Montreal to see this beautiful art piece above by Gene Pendon and Bryan Beyung. However, It doesn’t matter where you wander in Montreal, you’ll find street art.
So take it easy this Valentines Day. Go for walk, check out some art, and stop in one of the many cafes for some lunch, dessert, or a hot chocolate.
Go Tubing at Village Vacances Valcartier
Written by Chelsea Sipe of packmoreintolife.com.
Village Vacances Valcartier is a must visit for Valentines Celebration as a couple or with the family. Located 20 minutes from downtown Quebec City, Canada, it is easy to couple with a visit to the historic city. Valcartier includes an incredibly fun and adventuresome snow tubing park with over 35 snow slides! You can choose to tie together and go flying down on your own tubes, or team up with some other visitors and fly down the hills in a raft.
Want to up the romance? Be sure to enjoy the 2-km ice skating track or stay overnight in the Ice Hotel mentioned above. When you’re ready to warm up, head over to the huge indoor waterpark to float around the lazy river, fly down the tube slides or test your skills on the wave rider. Then you can end the evening with a stay at the hotel and perhaps splurge for a suite with a hot tub on the deck. Read more about Valcartier at packmoreintolife.com.
Romantic Getaways Newfoundland
Enjoy a Five Star Getaway to Remote Fogo Island
Written by Yashy of babyandlife.com.
For a truly romantic and luxurious getaway, whisk each other to one of the four corners of the earth (if you believe in that). Fogo Island is a remote destination in Newfoundland and while it may take you an entire day to get there, it’s worth it. Book yourself into the luxurious Fogo Island Inn and get ready for an experience of a lifetime. The locals who work at the Inn will soon become friends and they’ll do everything possible to ensure that your stay is a memorable one. From the fresh and decadent menus to the floor-to-ceiling windows in your room, be ready for jaw-dropping moments as you explore the Inn.
Fogo Island Inn has a serenity that is perfect for a valentine’s day escape. I’ve travelled to many countries and it was here that I truly discovered silence. Fret not though, there’s plenty to do on the island. You can hibernate indoors, marvelling at the bespoke touches throughout the 29-suite property or you can explore the island, meeting locals, attending a shed party and embracing the charm of winter. True elegance and luxury can be found on Fogo Island, so if you’re looking for once-in-a-lifetime romantic valentines day ideas, this just may be it.
For more things to do in Newfoundland, check out these articles below:
- Best Things to Do in Newfoundland
- Five Great Hiking Trails in Newfoundland
- Whale Watching Newfoundland
- Things to Do in St. John’s
Romantic Getaways in Northern Canada
Witness the Northern Lights in Yellowknife
Written by Claire of theadventurousflashpacker.com.
Think you need to visit Scandinavia to tick the northern lights off your bucket list? Think again! Canada’s own Yellowknife is, in fact, one of the best places in the world to view the northern lights.
Yellowknife is in the Northwest Territories and is only 400-km south of the Arctic Circle. The best time to spot the northern lights in Yellowknife is in the winter, making Yellowknife a perfect Valentines Day destination.
You’ll have to bundle up warm though. Temperatures in Yellowknife in February average around -20 Celsius and can get much colder. It’s absolutely worth braving these frigid temperatures, however, for the chance to watch the aurora borealis dance across the sky in vivid shades of blue and green. For the more adventurous, rug up and chase the lights with an aurora tour. If you prefer to stay cozy, watch the show from the heated panoramic viewing spots at the Aurora Village.
While you have good chances of seeing the northern lights in Yellowknife, as with most of nature’s spectacles, there’s no guarantee. Not to worry though, there’s plenty of other things to do in Yellowknife to keep you entertained. Explore Yellowknife’s quaint Old Town, have fun dog-sledding, drive the Dettah Ice Road, go snowshoeing, try ice fishing and more! Even if the northern lights allude you, Yellowknife is sure to capture your heart.
If Yellowknife isn’t in the cards, another great place to see the Yukon Northern Lights is Whitehorse, Yukon.
Valentines Day Canada
As you can see, despite Valentine’s Day arriving in the winter, there’s plenty of romantic things to do in Canada. Whether you’re looking for luxurious valentines day ideas such as sleeping in a remote five-star hotel or cross-country skiing on a frozen lake, we hope this list helps you plan your own valentine’s day packages and add a little pizzaz to the annual valentines day cards.
(Note: This is a collaboration post with a variety of authors. All photos are by the authors of the short articles unless otherwise noted.)