With his quiver emptied, the chubby boy-archer has done his duty, and left in the wake of his flapping wings streams of red and trails of writhing bodies. Mr. Derk figured we’d prune through fields of rotten dates and compile a list of inspired ways to honour Cupid’s work. However many daylights, sunsets, midnights, or cups of coffee you and your partner have shared, this season of love, take a more creative approach to your celebration of affection with our Valentine’s date ideas for each level in your relationship!
Your first Valentine’s in a new relationship can be stressful with the risks of going over the top or falling short of expectation. Before you whip out the Valen-Tylenol, save yourself a headache and start this new relationship with the newest addition to Edmonton’s foodscape.
The team from North 53 are taking the next step in their relationship with the pretty, young Edmonton food scene with Baijiu (10359 104 Street), opening this week in the Mercer Warehouse. Drawing inspiration from the streets of Hong Kong and Shanghai, an old world atmosphere intermingles with old school hip hop as ornate, decorative vases sit under glowing neon signs and portraits of rap icons.
The electric excitement of a new restaurant pairs perfectly with this early stage of your courtship. You’ll be as bright-eyed as the wait staff, and likely just as nervous. Steady your hand as you scroll the menu together to figure out which of the Asian, family-style plates you’ll be sharing. Take note of the craft cocktail your date orders and remember it for your next night out, but keep your own mystique by trying out the special cocktail made just for Valentine’s. With no reserved seating, show your date you’ve planned ahead by showing up early to snag a table (or maybe your impulsiveness and ready-for-anything attitude will have to shine when you nervously took too long getting ready, showed up late, and the waitlist is full).
Oh Shoot, You’re Kiln It
You shot for the heart first and now it’s time to ask the question, “Where are we going with this?” When you’re transitioning from the excitement of pursual into the comfort of exclusivity, remember you’re still in the spark of the relationship and surely you haven’t shown everything about yourself. If dinner and a movie has become more often Netflix and chill, show that things are still exciting and your heart is theirs with a day of letting off a couple rounds and bearing your artistic soul in a keepsake you’ve created.
Put your partner on blast about how much you’re into them and start your Valentine’s at the Phoenix Gun Range (4706 76 Avenue). Get there early to beat the rush of people letting off steam after work. The knowledgeable staff can guide you two smoking barrels through the adrenaline rush of unloading a few clips. It might work you up so much you’ll pull the trigger and pop the question. Go ahead and bite that bullet, you son of a gun.
Once the gun smoke has cleared, show your creative side and head to Crankpots Ceramics Studio (10702 82 Avenue) for their Valentine’s Date Night. Show your partner how you see them by painting their mug on a mug. Decorate wine glasses with a more abstract representation of your feelings. The event offers a couples’ deal, but they’ve got a plethora of ceramics from teapots to trinkets for you to choose from as loving reminders of this special day.
If you lovebirds would rather be outside than in a ceramics studio, but still want show off your artistic side, The Valley Zoo is presenting Where The Wild Things Art. At this point in the relationship, your partner probably replies “LOL” only to every other cute animal video you send. So, as a couple moving forward, step it up from internet animals and check out the first in the Zoo’s series of art-making evenings. Join them in creating an animal-themed painting over wine and appetizers. Plus, you can laugh out loud together at all the exotic animals you’re seeing IRL.
If You Liked It Then You Should’ve Put A Rink On It
The rings you and your partner exchanged not too long ago symbolize an unending commitment and shouldn’t represent a repetitive cycle of unimaginative romance. You’re only in the middle of the beginning, so keep the good times rolling with a date out of the ordinary.
Oil City Roller Derby is spreading their love of roller skating by inviting couples of any orientation (and even singles) to join their inclusive circle for Sweetheart Roller Disco. On Saturday, February 11, the OCRD take over The Edmonton Sportsdome (10104 32 Avenue) for an evening of games, live music, dancing, and, most importantly, skating! Glide around the rink in your rollerskates or rollerblades (or borrow from their limited supply of equipment), and as disco records spin, you’ll be rolling on the floor loving.
Through Peaks and Valleys
You’ve been walking down this path for quite some time together and your relationship has blossomed into a love that will never wither. You may have navigated around issues and trekked through hardships, but still the romance flourishes.
Go The Extra Mile
Make some new tracks together off the beaten track with the city’s Sweetheart Snowshoe. Reflect on every step it’s taken to get to this point together, as you’re guided on a snowshoe walk through the natural beauty of the River Valley. As you make bannock after the tour with a cup of hot chocolate, remind yourself of the first time you two broke bread and the heat of those early days.
No Garden Variety Valentine’s
You’ve grasped your flower on a high peak and this lifetime of love is worth more than a dozen roses. So, treat the love of your life to flowers from all over the world with a night at the Muttart Conservatory. The Muttart is excited to treat you and your beloved with a three-course meal of heartfelt dishes from Culina, sparkling wine, a caramel tasting by local caramel-artisan Caramia Caramels, and a magical stroll through the pyramids by starlight while you reminisce on the heights of your devotion.
Be min(e)dful of the boring and put your heart into an inspired day of affection this year. Whether your arrow wound has yet to scar or you’re lovers whose stars crossed long ago, celebrate your love with passionate creativity. And show that love no matter what valen-time of the year it is.
-Froilan Santos, Contributing Writer