Love him or hate him, Cupid is the star of the show this month and while a traditional dinner out may not be an option this year, there are still lots of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Whether you’ll be marking the day with your sweetie in person, or from a distance with your partner, your galentines, palentines, bromantic buddies, a group of friends, or your family, the season of love is upon us, and is a great excuse to treat yourself and the people you love during a cold, Canadian winter. So, wondering how to celebrate? Here are some suggestions.

Cheers to Love

With many Canadian breweries and wineries offering curbside pickup or delivery right to your door, tasting your favourite local beverages in the comfort of your own home has never been easier. If you’re a craft beer connoisseur or wine enthusiast, take a stab at designing your own tasting by getting familiar with the retailers in your province – who knows, maybe there’s an award winner right in your backyard. If you’d prefer some guidance or a more formal event, there are lots of options for virtual happy hours that you can take part in as a couple, or with a fun group of friends. Cheers! 

Let Someone Else do the Cooking

There’s no better accompaniment to a beer or wine tasting than a delicious meal pairing, and countless local restaurants across the country are serving up to-go Valentine’s Day specials, in addition to their usual take-out menu offerings. If cooking is your love language, but you’re still missing dining at your most beloved restaurant, look for a meal kit option so you can prepare and savour your favourite dish in your own kitchen, while still supporting a local restaurant (and avoiding a last minute rush at the grocery store). Feeling snacky before dinner arrives? Get creative with some decadent appetizers or sweet and salty treats.

Zoom Movie Date, Anyone?

If you live in the same house and can watch something together, of course that’s a bonus, but this is an activity that you can enjoy from a distance with your significant other, a group of friends, and the whole family, thanks to the wonders of technology. To up the social factor, turn it into a game and see if you can spot your hometown setting the stage for some of your favourite movies or TV series, as Canadian locations are disguised as other worldly locations in some pretty major blockbusters. If you’re in the mood for romance, look for Vancouver in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before or Toronto in Always Be My Maybe. If you’re feeling more anti-Valentine’s Day, some grittier, more action-packed, mysterious stories have used Cambridge as their backgrounds.

Expand Your Heart and Your Mind…

….with a virtual tour of one of Canada’s many famous museums, art galleries, aquariums and other public spaces, because isn’t that the dream – getting some culture in the comfort of your sweatpants? Major players like the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Vancouver Art Gallery are offering virtual experiences and access to some online collections free of charge. The Calgary Zoo and Vancouver Aquarium are just a couple of animal care centres that have set up live streams to some of their cuddliest little friends, so you can fall in love all over again with sweethearts like baby otters, penguins, and panda bears. 

Look for Love in Nature

It may surprise you to see how much love really is all around. You just have to look for it – maybe in the form of a Valentine’s Day themed nature scavenger hunt? Think heart shaped rocks, heart formations in trees, pairs of animals – use the beauty of your own backyard for inspiration! You may even live close enough to visit one of Canada’s two heart shaped lakes, Heart Lake near Ompah, Ontario, and Valentine Lake near Saxifrage, British Columbia, or the vibrant pink glow of Cherry Blossom trees, which can be found throughout the country at various times of the year, with some blooming as early as February.

Think of the Future

Someday (hopefully not long from now) travel will resume, and new adventures will be the name of the game. When that time comes, having your dream trip already in mind will mean that you can just pack your bags, and hit the road! From Newfoundland’s Iceberg Alley to the beaches of Tofino, British Columbia, across the prairies and up into the mountains, there’s no limit to the wonder of exploring Canada. Maybe your bucket list includes a trip up the CN Tower in Toronto, or walking on the ocean floor at the Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick, or going back in time in Old Quebec? No matter what type of vacation you’ve been dreaming of, the sky’s the limit, so why not spend your Valentine’s Day getting inspired and dreaming of your future adventures with the ones you love? Happy planning!

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