Who says Valentine’s day has to be all roses and chocolate and exclusively for couples? Here are some ideas to have fun with your friends depending on what mood you’re in.
1. If you need endorphins
If you’re a fan of The Fast and Furious, you can bring out your inner Vin Diesel at Hamilton Indoor Go Kart. They have been operating for the past 22 years and have some of the fastest Go Karts (approximately 45 – 50 km/h) in Ontario. You can enjoy 15 laps for $20, 25 laps for $30 or 50 laps for $45.
Hamilton is also home to Flying Squirrel, the world’s largest indoor trampoline park. Show your hidden talents and wonder why you’re not an olympic athlete. On Feb 14th, two people can jump ALL DAY just for $20. Fun fact – they have Neon Nights on Fridays and Saturdays from 9pm to midnight when the lights go down, a DJ blasts music and trampolines turn into a dance club with black-lights, strobes and more.
If you are not scared of heights, how about 101 Indoor Rock Climbing? You can learn the basics for $35 per person at Gravity Climbing Gym
Are you really stressed out from trying to keep your January resolutions? You can try axe throwing by booking a private group event at Hamilton BATL or simply walk in on the weekends.
Got guts and want to channel your inner Jon Snow? Here are some fun activities to enjoy during the winter! If you are a thrill seeker, you can go ice climbing at Tiffany Falls as a member of the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) or by attending an ice climbing class with One Axe Pursuits (weather permitting).
You could also go tobogganing at these hills
If you’d rather show off your skills and can keep from falling down, you can go ice skating at Pier 8 or at Spencer Smith Park in Burlington. Don’t worry if you don’t own skates, you can rent them for $7.50 with a government issued ID at Pier 8 and it is open till 10pm! If you get too cold, William’s Coffee is right beside to satisfy your hunger and hot chocolate needs.
Got a bit of time? Take a mini road trip out to Niagara on the lake and check out Wayne Gretzky Winery and Distillery. They have an ice skating rink and you can also warm up by trying out their whiskey cream.
2. If you want to nerd it up
Did you know that Hamilton has a virtual reality arcade? Ctrl V has 16 VR stations and has up to 20 games (5 new games are added every month). It’s $25 for one hour and you can play as many games as you want. They have multiple player games as well. In February, they are offering BOGO on Tuesday nights (and on Valentine’s day). It’s a must try! If you like shooting zombies, play Arizona Sunshine or if you think you’re tough, try Affected The Manor.
If you prefer the classics, you can go to Arcade on the 2nd floor of Moodys and enjoy drink and food specials (you can build your own nachos) while playing all your childhood favorites. They are open everyday from 8pm to 2am.
More of a Dungeons and Dragons fan? Then game cafes like Gameopolis and Mancala Monk Board Game Cafe are up your alley. They serve snacks, coffee/tea, alcoholic beverages and are open till late so you can come after you’re done adulting. If you prefer more of a bar atmosphere, places like Winking Judge, The Brain and The Coop Burlington offer some board game options or cards to keep you entertained.
If you are all about working out your brain and like puzzles, Escape Canada Hamilton will be offering a special price and extended hours on Valentine’s day – $45 for couples and $80 for double dates from 3pm to 12am.
3. If you’re doing it for the ‘Gram
Enjoy the royal life at places like Taylor’s Tea Room for $26 per person. We all know nothing photographs as well as afternoon tea.
Grab yourself a fancy gift set from Hello Baked. For Valentine’s day, they will have a candle & cookie gift set for $24 and a special 12-pc caramel based chocolate set inspired by rose petals for $45 (limited quantities available).
If you’re looking for the perfect “local” vday package, Cake and Loaf offers Sweetheart Packages for $65 which includes; flowers from I Fiori, Jewellery, a card from Mixed Media and C+L sweets.
Looking for premium packages? Buffed nail bar + Fiorella Floral Design + The Dessert Room put together 2 different options for you. “My Love” package at $80 includes a Classic Manicure & Glass of wine gift certificate, a bouquet of flowers, and a rose gold Macaron Set (12 in a box). The “My Darling” package at $140 includes the above but with floral centerpiece instead of bouquet and Smith & Cult nail polish in Vday shades. Limited quantities are available so call to pre order at The Dessert Room or Buffed Nail Bar.
4. If you want to eat your feelings away
Photo credit – Quatrefoil
Are you looking for a fancy over the top romantic dinner? Quatrefoil in Dundas will be doing a really elegant 5 course menu, plus amuse bouche and petit fours on Valentine’s day for $120 per person (Menu). Those of you who are busy during the week, (they thought of you too), they will be offering a 4 course menu on Friday and Saturday of Valentine’s day week for $75 per person (Menu)
If you are looking for an affordable and drool worthy set menu for Valentine’s day in downtown, check out Big Tobacco Kitchen & Whiskey (Menu) for $125 for two and Born and Raised (Menu) for $55 per person.
Like charcuterie? Toast Wine Bar is offering shareable dinner WITH 4 wine pairings for 2 for $150 (Menu). What makes their EPIC charcuterie & cheese board (Pic) extra special? You get to take home the board after you are done with dinner!
Guess what? Hambrgr on King William St. brought back their Tabletop S’Mores but this time with Banana, Nutella, marshmallows to roast and Voortman’s cookies (Pic). You need minimum of 2 people to get this and it is $6 per person!
If you are sick of all these Valentine’s day things, Nique is hosting an anti Valentine’s event. Think dirty finger foods and don’t expect any swooning, roses and hearts. They won’t be accepting any reservations, it will be walk ins only!
If you are on a budget but need your steak cravings satisfied, Rousseau House is offering Steak and Lobster Tail feature for only $25 (Pic). It is only available on Friday and Saturday nights in Feb and March. I suggest making a reservation as soon as possible!
Too busy or prefer to celebrate after the 14th? Taste of Burlington is running from Feb 19th to March 11th and you can try prix fixe menu at 36 participating restaurants because love should be celebrated everyday!
5. If you want to hibernate and be a blanket burrito
Photo credit – Pintoh
We all know winter sucks. It gets dark early and let’s not forget…it is cold! My fellow hibernators I got some cute ideas for you! Obviously every plan should start and end with Netflix, right? Thanks to Skip the Dishes and UberEats, you don’t have to put pants on to go get food. You can order anything from McDonald’s (I’m not judging you) to local favorites for pizza, sushi and burgers.
If you’re feeling ambitious or love to cook, how about a nice meal at home with your friends or your bae. Pintoh (in Burlington) offers take home kits for Pad Thai for $20 with their recipe, house made sauce for 5 portions, noodles, and veggies. All you have to buy is your favorite protein and eggs!
If you hated reading this article because you’re going through a break up, we got you, boo! Pick up a Smashed ice cream from Bread Bar (take out only) for $12, put on your comfy PJ’s and watch a marathon of romantic comedies. What’s a Smashed Ice Cream? It is a pint of ice cream smashed with one of their desserts or pies. The flavor changes weekly but imagine their delicious chocolate chip cookie and brownies smashed into ice cream.
Maybe it’s time to unwind and have a little R & R time. Try a bubble bath with house made bombs from Burlap & Twine (on James St. N) and delicious sweets from local chocolatiers at Chocolat on James, Candy Werx, Heaven’s Kitchen and Beanermunky Chocolate.
**Disclaimer – This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and suggestions are of my own. The information provided in this article is correct as of Jan 27, 2018**