From romantic outings like gourmet meals and spa treatments, to unique options like cuddling with cats or cracking up, couples (and singles) can easily find their perfect match this Valentine’s Day. Here are just a few things taking place throughout the Ottawa area on and around Feb. 14, 2018:
1. Atomic amour
The Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum asks “How deep is your love”? It can be 80 feet deep when you’re on the Underground Wine and Cheese Tour on Feb. 17! During this special guided tour of this National Historic Site, you’ll stop at several locations to sample delicious cheeses and wine pairings hosted by sommeliers. Take memorable selfies along the way and at the photo booth in the Tunnel of Love (aka Blast Tunnel), and treat your sweetie at the dessert bar after the tour!
2. Set the stage for love
What’s more romantic than a night out to see one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history? Head to the beautifully renovated National Arts Centre to see the Broadway musical Les Misérables between Feb. 13-18. Grab a drink at one of the bars and cozy up in your seats to experience the new and reimagined staging of this Tony Award-winning show. (And may we suggest you start your evening at one of Ottawa’s great restaurants?)
3. Tasty tours
If you’re having trouble choosing from all the great Ottawa restaurants, book a dining tour! During these progressive tours, you visit multiple restaurants in one night, enjoying one course at each venue (some with wine and local craft beer pairings). Each tour focuses on a foodie neighbourhood like the ByWard Market, the Glebe or Hintonburg. Options include private tours (for two people), group experiences, self-led evenings, or the assistance of a knowledgeable guide. All the arrangements are made for you by dining tour companies like Ottawa Tasting Tours and Experience Food, so you can enjoy quality time with your main squeeze!
4. Dining, gaming and partying
The Casino du Lac Leamy has everything you need to woo that special someone – without even stepping outside! Dine at one of its multiple restaurants, including the high end Le Baccara; try your luck at the casino games; and dance the night away at the VIP club Aléa. For the full experience, stay at the on-site Hilton Lac Leamy and book a spa treatment with your sweetie. If you’re staying over until Sunday morning, don’t miss the brunch at Banco Bistro!
5. Spa mecca
If a relaxing, romantic day or evening are what you’re after, consider spending Valentine’s Day together at Nordik Spa-Nature. Located at just a short drive north of downtown Ottawa in Chelsea, Que., Nordik is the largest spa of its kind in North America! Here, you’ll find some of the best Scandinavian-inspired facilities like cold and warm pools, hot tubs, saunas, as well as massages and treatments. Try the Källa treatment (the only salt-water floating pool in America) or the tranquil, heated infinity pool that overlooks Ottawa’s twinkling downtown cityscape. Once your stress has floated away, grab your robe and enjoy complimentary green tea by one of the spa’s many wooden fireplaces. With multiple dining spaces on site, you’ll never want to leave…
6. Rustic romance
Consider a romantic rural getaway at Strathmere Retreat & Spa located in North Gower, Ont. just south of downtown Ottawa. Their “Urban Love Retreat” package from Feb. 10 to Feb. 11 includes a workshop on aromatherapy hot stone massage, one night in a cozy king room, and dinner as well as breakfast in the Retreat Café. You can also join an optional yoga class in the morning and enjoy the outdoor trails and hot tubs. Short on time? Opt for the Valentine’s Day 8-course dinner with optional drink pairing on Feb. 14.
7. Mythical sculptures and magical skating
Create lasting memories by taking someone to a new and magical experience: Mosaïvernales – Gatineau 2018 (Jan. 26-Mar. 4, 2018 at the South end of Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau). Stroll along a 1-kilometre path surrounded by approximately 25 gigantic snow and ice sculptures that are lit up in the evening, creating an ethereal and romantic atmosphere. Don’t miss this special event!
For more excuses to cuddle up outdoors, explore official Winterlude sites. Ice sculptures of all sizes (also lit up in the evenings) await in Confederation Park, which is also known as Winterlude’s Crystal Garden. Or skate hand in hand on the moonlit Rideau Canal Skateway and share an iconic Beavertail pastry as you glide down the world’s largest skating rink. It may be cliché, but proposals do happen on this famous ice. And the best part? Access to Winterlude sites is FREE!
8. Purr-fect evening
Whether you’re single or in a relationship, the Feline Café in trendy Hintonburg has you covered (potentially in cat hair) over Valentine’s week. The evening of Valentine’s Day is Girls Night (great for singles and besties) including a yoga practice and chill time in the lounge with the cats. Couples can book a Date Night package on Feb. 13, Feb. 15 or Feb. 16 to enjoy treats and a one-hour reservation in the cat lounge. Best of all, a portion of each ticket supports a local cat charity and all the kitties are available for adoption!
9. Laugh away Valentine’s Day
Whether you and your date love to laugh or you’re single and looking to giggle, hilarious (and bilingual) comedian Derek Seguin will have you in stitches at the Yuk Yuk’s Valentine Special event on Feb. 14. Book a dinner and a show package, or just get tickets to the show.
10. Just for singles
Still looking for that special someone? Sign up for one of the Truly, Madly Deeply Valentine’s Day Speed Dating events on Feb. 14. They include a cocktail, an icebreaker game, a secret admirer gift exchange and professionally hosted speed-dating with pre-screened eligible singles in your age range.