Nothing is worse than a bad date. Those of us who have been on enough of them know the unique pain of grinning and bearing it through the requisite hour of polite small talk before pulling the plug. But we keep going on them, awkward date after awkward date, looking for that white whale: the perfect date. Nothing compares to the heady rush—and nothing is quite as addictive. If you’ve got a date on the horizon and really want to impress, check out these unique ideas for a great date in Vancouver.
#1 – Cruise a craft beer tour in historic Gastown
Re-discover the beauty of historic Gastown on a craft beer tour. When you combine classic architecture, warm streetlights, and lots of delicious craft beer, magic happens. You’ll discover the secrets of the brewing process and the history of craft beer while munching on snacks and learning about the best beer-food pairings. Try some of most delicious craft beer the northwest has to offer as well as sampling some exotic international ones.
#2 – Show off your axe throwing skills at Bad Axe Throwing
Axe throwing is like darts’s hip younger cousin. If you’ve ever played darts before, you’ll know what we mean. This is a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and have a laugh—because axe throwing is not as easy as it looks! Thankfully, Bad Axe Throwing is a laid back venue with a friendly atmosphere and awesome staff. Since there are just two of you, visit them during their drop-in hours, Thursdays 8:00pm–10:30pm. Bad Axe is located in Surrey, so make this date a mini adventure.
#3 – Get cozy in the kitchen at cooking school
There’s no denying that dinner out is one of the classic date night options—so why not turn this old standard on its head with a cooking class? Bring an interactive element into dinner together at the Dirty Apron in Gastown. At the Dirty Apron Cooking School, you can learn to master the art of classic Italian cuisine, French bistro fare, local seafood cooking, or even a delicious brunch class for a day date. Work together to make the perfect meal while enjoying delicious appetizers and stolen glances. This is a pricey option at $170 per person, but considering dinner is included, it’s a pretty good deal.
#4 – Play detective together at SmartyPantz
Who wouldn’t want to get locked into a room together on a date? That’s exactly what will happen at SmartyPantz in Gastown. One of the best escape rooms in downtown Vancouver, SmartyPantz combines excellent puzzle design with full room immersion to create an awesome escape room experience. Choose from Spies & Lies, Doomed Submarine, Dream’scape, and Morning Never Comes, all varying in difficultly and scare factor. Just don’t pick something too spooky—after all, you’re still getting to know each other! You’ll want a minimum four people, so double date for this one, and have a beer after in nearby Gastown.
#5 – Get fast and furious at indoor go-karting
Whether you’ve got racing experience or not, go-karts are easy to maneuver and super fun. Speeders Indoor ProKarts has one of the largest indoor go-kart tracks in Richmond. You can drop in here for a few races and get the competitive juices flowing before going out for some post-race drinks. It’s an adrenaline-fuelled activity that will shake you up and make room for some real bonding. A three-race pack here, with each race lasting 8–10 minutes, is $16, so bonus points for affordability.
#6 – Take them out for a drink (and some painting)
There’s no reason to be afraid of painting in front of total strangers when you’ve got a glass of wine in your hand! Painting nights are a great way to do something fun together while also enjoying a drink or two. Paint Nite organizes relaxed painting workshops at bars and restaurants all over Vancouver, and you’ll be guided step-by-step through the process of creating a masterpiece.
#7 – Learn how to make the perfect cocktail
Shaken or stirred is only one of the mysteries you’ll uncover at Brandywine Bartending School. Take a recreational cocktail making class here and learn how to use the best ingredients to make the tastiest cocktails. You’ll get a chance to make something on your own while also getting tipsy together.
#8 – Hit the wall—the rocking climbing wall
You know what they say about moving mountains for love, well how about climbing one? Okay, so it’s not actually a mountain, but a rock climbing date is definitely a unique way to change up your date night. At The Hive indoor rock climbing in downtown Vancouver, you can drop-in for some bouldering for just $20. But if top-roping is more your thing, check out Cliffhanger Climbing just next door. If you’re both beginners make sure you check out the intro to climbing options for maximum safety. The only falling here will be in love!
#9 – Shake things up at Extreme Air Park
Trampoline jumping certainly beats dinner and movie on a fun-o-meter. Just remember to eat after jumping, not before. You don’t want to bouncing around on a full stomach! A trampoline park is definitely outside the norm for date night—but it’s a total blast. Check out Extreme Air Park with locations in Richmond and Langley. You can drop-in for open jump for just $14 and enjoy an hour of free jumping. For those with a competitive edge, check out their 3-D Dodgeball League Night and drop in for a wild game of trampoline dodgeball.
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