Student Life

Looking for cute winter date ideas?

During the warmer months, there are so many cute date ideas: going to a driving range, walking by the river, having a picnic in a park, taking a bike ride in a quaint neighbourhood, etc. But what about the winter? While it may seem more difficult to come up with cute date ideas when it’s cold outside, Montreal actually has a lot to offer other than your basic dinner/drinks and/or a movie. With Valentine’s Day not far away and my love life being more void than a black hole, I took on the hard task of finding fun activities for your winter dates and compiled a list for you.

For the outdoor activity lovers

I hate winter so these don’t feel natural for me but I am aware that many people enjoy spending time outside, regardless of the weather. 

  1. Lace up those skates! Montreal has so many skating rinks (Canada, duh) that you can go to for a cute date. From large outdoor rinks like the one in the Old Port, Beaver Lake or Centre de la Nature in Laval, to your assortment of small neighbourhood rinks or indoor arenas like Atrium Le 1000, a sheet of ice isn’t too far away. Or, you know, you can just wait for freezing rain and skate on the street the next day.
  2. Take a hike. Really. It may not be the most ~intense~ hike of your life, but trekking up Mount Royal to get to the Belvedere in the snow might be enough physical activity for one date. You can do it for the hike or for the cute view at the top—stargazing and all that good stuff, you know? You can also go snowshoeing or cross country skiing around Mount Royal Park or, again, at Centre de la Nature if you’re up for taking a short trip north (it’s really not that far).
  3. Take it slow. If you like the outdoors but aren’t super into the more strenuous activities mentioned above, you can always take a stroll in the Old Port or downtown. Go cafe hopping, do some people watching, do an improvised architecture tour of the city—so many options!

For the indoor activity lovers

If being outside for longer than the time it takes to get from inside a building to inside a vehicle sounds dreadful, fear not. There are plenty of cute date activities for you too!

  1. Chat it up. If you want to spend a lot of time talking to the person you’re on a date with, you have quite a few options. These are kind of miscellaneous but somehow all related: escape rooms, axe throwing, batting cage, rage rooms, indoor roller rinks, karaoke, or attend a cooking class. 
  2. Let’s get competitive. If you and/or your date are more competitive in nature, there are plenty of options for date ideas in the city—it just so happens you can be in close proximity to your date while potentially kicking their butt. For a one-stop-shop, the Forum is a great place to play pool, try your luck at arcade games or go bowling. If not, there are plenty of mini-putt locations around the city. If you really want to stay away from any physical activity at all, Randolph’s—the board game place—is a great option to get a bit of friendly competition going.
  3. Get around. If you want to go on a date but also explore some cool spots in the city, you also have a few options. If you’re into this kind of stuff, going to record shops, bookstores or vintage/thrift stores to peruse their collections will likely be a fun time and you might even find a rare gem. You might also be able to create an impromptu photoshoot out of it—for the ‘gram!

For the artsy types

Whether you like looking at art or making it, these are for you.

  1. Do it yourself. Ceramic Cafe is a great place to spend time chatting and getting to know someone while also getting your art on. Whether you make something for the other person or even work on a larger piece together, it’s a great option for bringing out the creative side of you. Another option is to attend a wine and paint night.
  2. Be the observer. If you can appreciate art but aren’t really into making some of your own, there are so many museums you can attend. Pro tip: the first Sunday of every month, there’s a variety of museums that offer free admission. There’s also the Montreal Science Centre in the Old Port or the Biodome that you can visit.
  3. Catch a show. I don’t mean a television show; I mean go to theatrical performance, go to a jazz bar or even a comedy show. And, I guess, if all else fails, you can just make a fort in your living room with all the cushions and blankets available on the block and put on a new series.


Graphic by Sasha Axenova

Student Life

Mim meets Montreal: Ice ice baby

Episode 9: In which Mim finds her skating legs

The first time I went ice-skating I vomited on the rink. The second time, I got my finger trodden on by an ice skate. These somewhat comical occurrences were then complemented by my multiple slips and falls: the classic banana-peel kind. That was ten years ago.

A couple of days before starting the winter semester, my native Montrealer friend took me ice-skating. My fond memories of this winter activity fostered high expectations. Put Mim on an ice rink and it’s like watching a slapstick comedy. How could I possibly top my pre-existing ice-skating faux pas with sufficient comic relief?

Luckily, the closest naturally occurring body of frozen water happened to be across the road from our apartment. It was colder than -20 celsius that day; I could not have fathomed walking further. The lake at Parc Lafontaine had frozen over two weeks prior. On New Years Eve my friends and I had strolled across it with regular shoes, but traversing it with skates was a whole other experience…

Photo by Dion Larouche

The moment I stepped onto the ice I gripped my friend’s arm like a koala clinging to a tree in a hurricane. Picture a grandma hunched over a walking aid. I was so scared to move that my friend had to pull the human statue that was me along the ice for the first half of the lesson. Eventually, once she had enlightened me with several useful techniques (like, “line up your nose with the foot that is in front”), I quickly got the hang of it.

Despite being 100 per cent Québecoise, out of nowhere my friend adopted an Italian accent as she cheered me on. Perhaps she did it to embody the optimism of a proud Italian mama: “she’s so fast, she’s a pro!”

I regret to inform you that I am no longer an ice-skating clown. I can proudly say that I only fell once, and I didn’t get up for a while. I lay there on the ice, limbs outstretched in a star-shape, and stared into the snowing sky as classical music played from the speakers that were dotted around the park. Dozens of people skated across the lake effortlessly. A group of boys played a game of hockey. Couples skated hand-in-hand whilst chatting. Four giggling girls formed a chain and glided across the ice.

When I arrived in August the park was covered in picnic rugs, bicycles, skateboards and people tanning in the sun. Ducks drifted across one side of the lake while water erupted from the fountain on the other. It is five months later: the season has changed but the morale has not. That’s something I love about Montreal. Its people maintain high spirits in even the most tedious of weather. I’ve discovered that one way to escape the dreariness of winter is to seize every opportunity to make an event of it. Solution number one: ice-skating.

Exit mobile version