Despite not being a big city there are plenty of romantic things to do in Vancouver. If you and your partner (or potential partner) like outdoors dates then there are even more Vancouver date ideas available to you!
This city is home to spectacular scenery as well as some cool indoors date ideas revolving around fancy cocktails, nice meals and great coffee. If you’re looking for romantic things to do in Vancouver for Valentine’s Day or for some special date ideas in Vancouver then you’re in the right place! Take a look at these romantic ideas which include day date ideas, double date ideas, and fun date night ideas.
Outdoors date ideas
A romantic date idea doesn’t mean doing something indoors. As an outdoor loving city, there are tonnes of good date ideas that you can do outside. The best thing is most of them are free date ideas that are perfect for a first, second date, or whether you’ve been together for years. These are some perfect outdoor date ideas in Vancouver and some fun things to do on a date in Vancouver.
AmazingCo Mystery Picnic
If you’re looking for a unique date idea in Vancouver, look no further than AmazingCo’s mystery picnics! Designed for couples this experience has you working as a team to solve clues and pick up food for your picnic from local producers in the Mount Pleasant area of Vancouver. The destination remains a surprise too until you’ve completed all the clues. Delicious food and an adventure? Sounds like the perfect Vancouver date to me!
Sunset at Lighthouse Park
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Besides the seawall, a trip to Lighthouse Park makes for a great outdoors date. Pack a picnic lunch if it’s a day date, or take a blanket for a sunset. It’s a beautiful spot that looks out on to the Howe Sound and the sunsets are spectacular – opt for this if you’re looking for cute date ideas.
Plan a mystery roadtrip with Guess Where Trips
Treat your partner, your friend or yourself to a mystery road trip that you don’t have to plan! Guess Where Trips is a fun idea where you pick a mystery itinerary and they’ll send you the details, either by mail or by email, which you open the day of your trip to find out your itinerary.
There are mystery trips all over Canada with the BC versions featuring waterfalls, delicious food and beer, scenic drives and hidden spots across the Lower Mainland.
At each stop in your itinerary, you’ll visit a new destination, get specific recommendations, maps, travel tips, fun facts and exclusive ‘Guess Where’ discounts at select local businesses.
Another great date idea in Vancouver for Valentine’s Day or any time of year is to head over to Granville Island. Granville Island is one of the best places to visit in Vancouver and you can make it cuter by catching the AquaBus from downtown over to Granville and then spend time wandering the shops and the food market.
My favourite stops are Paper-Ya and Make for bits and bobs and, of course, grabbing bagels and coffee!
This is great if you’ve been together a while and just want something nice to do together.
Go on a date hike
Vancouver is full of fitness-loving, adventurous couples. If you happen to be one of them then definitely head out for a romantic hike near Vancouver! I personally think a hike makes a great second date idea in Vancouver, especially if you both love the outdoors.
Picnic in the park
If the weather’s nice then pack up a fancy picnic and head out to one of the city’s great parks. I think this makes a good first date idea and I’m sure I’m not alone in that.
Queen Elizabeth is a great pick to watch the sunset over the city as is Burnaby Mountain (personally I think that’s even better!). Or, of course, head to a spot in Stanley Park and enjoy watching the cyclists, runners and dogs go around the seawall.
Sunset at the beach
One of my favourite mini-dates in Vancouver? Watching the sunset on the beach. It doesn’t have to be summer (but if it’s not you’ll want a blanket) as this is a great year-round date idea.
My favourite beaches for watching the sunset and enjoying this free date idea in Vancouver are Sunset Beach and Jericho Beach. Top marks if you pick a night where the sky turns all shades of pink before finally going dark. One of my all-time favourites cute date ideas in Vancouver.
Find this secret sunset spot!
This secret sunset spot is perfect for those of you looking for romantic dates in Vancouver. Take a drink and some snacks and watch the sunset from this sunset lookout spot in Vancouver.
Bike the Vancouver Seawall
Looking for more of an active date? Check out this idea for what to do on a date in Vancouver.
Vancouver is a great city for biking in thanks to all its bike lanes. The ultimate cycling route in Vancouver is the sea wall! Grab your bikes, or hire a tandem, and hit the seawall. Getting a tandem is one of the most fun things to do for couples in Vancouver on a budget – you’re sure to laugh trying to get going at the beginning!
The best part is that cycling around Stanley Park since it’s super scenic (see a guide incl. where to rent bikes & where to stop here).
Stop off halfway for a hot chocolate or cool drink at Prospect Point. Date ideas don’t get much more Vancouver than this!
Stroll Through VanDusen Botanical Garden
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Another day date idea in Vancouver is the VanDusen Botanical Garden. VanDusen is beautiful whatever the season (although arguably best in spring when the cherry blossom comes out!). Try your hand at the maze, stroll through the gardens hand in hand.
If you’re planning this as a winter date idea in Vancouver, then head to VanDusen in the evening for their beautiful Christmas lights.
Have a Skate Date at Robson Square
In the winter there’s an outdoor ice skating rink in Robson Square from early December to the end of February which is perfect for Valentine’s Day activity in Vancouver.
If you and your date already have your own skates then it’s completely free. Otherwise, you’ll just need to pay for the rental to take part in this fun couples activity in Vancouver.
This is a great thing to do at night in Vancouver as there’s sometimes live music and laser light show to accompany you while you skate.
Cross the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge
The Vancouver area isn’t short of suspension bridges. There’s the fancy Capilano Suspension Bridge (that’s also super expensive), or there’s the free, less busy Lynn Canyon bridge. This makes a great fall date idea when the leaves are gorgeous and golden.
Take your date up to Lynn Canyon for a wander through the forest, a dip in the pools if it’s a summer date in Vancouver, and a drink and/or ice cream and The End of the Line general store.
Planning an extra special date? Perhaps it’s an anniversary date ideas or a birthday date idea you’re looking for? If so then take your date to Scandinave Spa up in Whistler.
I was recently treated to this date for my birthday and it’s the ultimate relaxing date. While you can’t talk since it’s a silent spa, sometimes it’s just nice hanging out with your significant other and not saying anything (plus, you can whisper now and again!).
I’d recommend going in the evening when it’s quieter and it’s even more romantic with the pretty lights and stars above.
Watch movies at the drive-in theatre or twilight
Pack your car or van with some blankets and snacks and head to a drive-in movie near Vancouver. The Lansdowne Centre have a drive-in movie series every summer, as does Twilight Drive-In. This is the ultimate old-school date and it’s sure to go down well.
Catch a game
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Get sporty on your date night in Vancouver! If you’re looking for winter date night ideas then a great one is heading out for a date at the hockey. You can go for the Canucks downtown, or for a seat that’s cheaper and closest to the action head out to Langley to want the Vancouver Giants.
If you’re looking for summer date ideas in Vancouver then watching the Canadians at the baseball stadium is an awesome date. To make it even more special lookout for the special fireworks nights where you’re treated to fantastic fireworks show with music after the game.
Indoor date ideas, Vancouver
Wondering what to do in Vancouver for indoors dates? Or perhaps it’s rainy and you need some rainy day date ideas? Check out the following which includes some cheap date ideas, that are great for Valentine’s ideas or just things to do in Vancouver, BC with your significant other.
Just make sure the date doesn’t go horribly wrong of you may end up being the target for your partner’s axe…
Axe throwing is a great group date and makes is certainly one of the most fun date ideas. It’s perfect as a date idea for couples if you and your friends are coupled up.
I love Bad Axe Throwing in Surrey and once you’ve thrown the axe a couple of times it’s a lot less scary than it sounds.
Does your boyfriend or girlfriend have a creative flair? Head out on a Paint Nite in Vancouver for one of these fun dates. How’s that for a creative date idea?!
Painting can make for a pretty romantic date and there are loads of Paint Nites in Vancouver all taught by a local artist and all materials are provided.
You’re welcome to drink while you paint and make a long evening of it by grabbing some dinner beforehand.
Comedy nights are great fun plus it gives you a chance to suss out your date’s sense of humour before you try cracking too many jokes that are just going to sink.
Classic Movies At The Rio Theatre
A movie date might seem like a stereotypical date idea, especially when it comes to first date ideas. However, when it’s at The Rio Theatre in Vancouver it’s a bit different. The Rio is not only an impressive old building but they show cult classics and independent theatre that you’re unlikely to see in your nearest Cineplex which makes it a bit more special.
Head to a brewery
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Vancouver has so many different breweries and I swear I learn about a new one weekly.
They’re all over the city but there’s a higher concentration of them in the east around Main Street. Grabbing a flight of beers is a great way to try a few and it’s pretty inexpensive too! Most breweries offer some sort of food to keep you from getting too drunk…
Some of my favourites are 33 Acres with a pizza truck outside, Main Street Brewing and Red Truck Brewing all between Main & 1st-7th. I also like Brewhall which has a great selection of beers as well as some arcade machines to play on!
Stargaze at HR MacMillan Space Centre
Did you know Vancouver has its own space centre? The HR MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver is “like no place on earth.” Gazing at stars is a pretty romantic thing to do on a date in Vancouver.
In the evenings, it costs $13 for adults to see a Planetarium Star Theatre Show and the Gordon Southam Observatory. The centre is open on Friday and Saturday nights from 8 pm to midnight and they often do special events if there’s something super cool going on up there.
You’re welcome to use the Cassegrain telescope so you can stargaze along with your date. Brush up on your constellation knowledge beforehand to impress them even more.
Board games night
If your date likes board games and you’re looking for a unique date idea in Vancouver then check out Pizzeria Ludica in downtown Vancouver. This is such a fun thing to do in the evening in Vancouver. You can enjoy wine, beer and pizza while you play the game of your choice.
Act like you’re in the movies with a milkshake date
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Who doesn’t love a milkshake?
If you and your date don’t drink, or just really love milkshakes, then this is a great option. There are plenty of places to grab a delicious milkshake in Vancouver but a couple of top recommendations are Off The Grid Waffles which also has Jenga at every table. And, if your girlfriend is a fan of Netflix’s “To all the Boys…” you can take her for a milkshake at The Corner Cafe in North Vancouver which features in the film.
And if you’re really looking for cute things to do in Vancouver then get a milkshake to share with two straws a la Lady and the Tramp!
Try rock climbing at the gym
If you’re both active then try your hand at rock climbing. This date idea puts your trust in each other to the test since you’ll be belaying and making sure the other doesn’t fall too far! Thom and I like Cliffhanger over on Industrial Avenue – it’s usually pretty busy but it’s always fun challenging yourselves together! It might not seem like one of the most romantic things to do in Vancouver but you’d be surprised.
Head to the Vancouver Lookout
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Yes, I’ve only been up there once, but the Vancouver Lookout is one of my favourite spots in the city. It’s one of the top Vancouver attractions and you get such a good view from up here on a clear day. You can see the North Shore Mountains and beyond, Mt Baker, the ocean – it’s beautiful!
Combine with dinner and/or drinks for an excellent Valentine’s date night idea in Vancouver.
Go for cocktails
Where to start when it comes to cocktails? You’re spoilt for choice! Some of my favourite picks for cocktails on a date in Vancouver are; Long Table Distillery, The Botanist for fancy-pants cocktails, Prohibition as you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled across something secret, and, of course, a summer frosé at the Cactus Club in English Bay as the sunsets. How’s that for romantic date ideas?
Play Ping Pong
I recently discovered Vancouver has a Ping-Pong bar in Gastown and I had NO idea. A night at Back and Forth is a great idea for a fun date in Vancouver. The beer is cheap, there’s plenty of tables to chat, Jenga with dares on it and the Ping-Pong tables! It’s one of the best couple things to do in Vancouver and makes a great double date idea too.