It’s easy to stay busy during summer evenings when there are patios to dine on, BBQs to attend, outdoor concerts to check out, and beach bonfires to snuggle around.But when the weather turns frigid, it can be hard to want to leave the cosiness of home for a proper date after dark. There’s, like, snow and slush out there. *shudders*
If your couch has a permanent dent, it’s time to hit pause before Netflix queues up that next episode, and get ready to take your sweetheart out amongst the three-dimensional people.
Here are three dates to try on the North Shore this winter, including creative ways to package them up as a surprise gift …

 

THE “I Can’t Believe This Isn’t Real” DATE

WHO’LL LOVE IT:
Couples who like video games, couples who appreciate cool tech, couples who are young at heart.
WHAT IT INVOLVES:
Spending an hour or two immersed in a virtual reality experience you won’t soon forget. While one of you is wearing the special VR headset and “walking through” an invisible world, the other person can watch what’s happening on a TV screen. It feels so darn realistic that even experienced gamers can get quite emotional.
PLANNING DETAILS:
Call ahead to book your VR room so it’s waiting for you when you arrive. Levels Game Loft in Truro rents out VR rooms on an hourly basis, and you can jump between dozens of different games.
HOW TO PACKAGE YOUR GIFT:
Go to the nearest craft store and buy a couple of cardboard or ceramic letters: a V and an R. Wrap them up and have your sweetie guess what they mean.
SIMILAR DATE IDEAS:
Have you ever tried an Escape Room? You get locked in (not really, don’t panic) for an hour and need to solve clues to get yourself out before time’s up. Try Trap Door Escape in New Glasgow.

 

THE CLASSIC “Dinner and a Show” DATE

WHO’LL LOVE IT:
Just about everybody enjoys going out for dinner, so no worries there. And even if someone hasn’t seen much in the way of live theatre, it’s almost always an experience they’ll enjoy.
WHAT IT INVOLVES:
A romantic dinner for two, complete with appetizers and a scrumptious dessert with two forks. Then it’s off to the theatre to see a fabulous play — or maybe a live music performance.
PLANNING DETAILS:
Start with buying tickets to a show. Check out upcoming performances at The Marigold Centre in Truro, Theatre Antigonish at St. FX University in Antigonish, and the deCoste Entertainment Centre in Pictou.
Then decide where you’ll take them for the meal, and make a reservation if they’re required. Maybe pick a place you’ve never tried? There are SO many wonderful restaurants in Truro, New Glasgow, Antigonish and the surrounding areas.
HOW TO PACKAGE YOUR GIFT:
Gifted tickets should never just be handed over in a plain ol’ envelope. Too obvious (and boring). Fill a large box with tissue or crinkle-cut shredded paper, and then start layering in the following items: a bottle of the wine you might order at the restaurant, a printed copy of the menu, a gift card for their favourite clothing store so they can buy something new to wear, and — of course — the tickets, tied with a ribbon.
SIMILAR DATE IDEAS:
Not into live theatre? What about a special dinner-and-a-movie date? Or maybe an evening trying out interesting craft beer varieties and pairing them with yummy appetizers. The point is to plan an evening out you can share together.

 

THE “Try Something New” DATE

WHO’LL LOVE IT:
Couples who are always saying “We should find a hobby,” couples who like trying new things, couples who find themselves sitting around Netflix-ing (without the “and chill” part).
WHAT IT INVOLVES:
Pickleball is a fairly new (hilariously-named) game that’s usually described as a combination of tennis and badminton. You play with a ball and paddles on a badminton-sized court with a low net. It’s said to be easier than tennis, but still a great workout. How could it NOT be fun when it’s called Pickleball?
PLANNING DETAILS:
Call up your local Rec department to find out where you can learn to play. Try Douglas Street Rec Centre in Truro, the Cougar Dome Multi-Sport Facility in Truro, Arisaig Parish Community Centre in Antigonish County, St. FX University in Antigonish, and St. Andrew Junior School in Antigonish.
HOW TO PACKAGE YOUR GIFT:
Buy a jar of pickles and a ball – any ball – and wrap them up together inside a box. When your special someone opens it up, tell them to guess what the clues mean. They might laugh and think it’s silly,
but… well, it is! But we bet you’ll have
a great time learning how to play Pickleball together.
SIMILAR DATE IDEAS:
Not feeling Pickleball? There are tons of activities you could learn to do together. What about a yoga class? Or something creative, like pottery or painting? It’s always fun to learn something new, and it’s a great way to bond as a couple.

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Heather Laura Clarke
Heather Laura Clarke is an award-winning journalist and columnist living in Truro, and in this issue she’s stretching out on area rugs. Never far from a sewing machine, paint brush, or mitre saw, she shares stories about living, working and parenting creatively on her blog, HeathersHandmadeLife.com.