The winter season may be cooler and darker than other times of the year, but with the right mindset, there are plenty of couple-friendly activities to enjoy. With the abundance of blue skies and warm chinooks, you need to take advantage of this gorgeous winter season while it’s here. With a little creativity and open-mindedness, you and your partner can get outside and truly enjoy the beautiful winter season in Calgary.
Here is your guide to the top 20 outdoor date ideas to spend your winter in Calgary. Grab your significant other, new match, or even a close friend and enjoy an outdoor winter date today!
Hold hands as your cruise alongside one another on the Bowness Park, and North Glenmore skating trails, or admire the downtown skyline at Olympic Plaza. Calgary is home to numerous great rinks that you can show off your skating skills.
Snowshoe at Pearce Estate Park
Pearce Estate Park houses an interpretive wetland that offers some gorgeous snowshoeing trails over the winter season. You can bring your own snowshoes or rent for only $7.00 a day from Bow Habitat Station (closed during Alberta Health Measures). Along the way, you may even get the chance to see some friendly wildlife.
Address: Pearce Estate Park, 1440 17a St S.E.
Go for a scenic walk or hike
Calgary is known for its plentiful sunny days over the year — might as well take advantage of these as early in the year as possible with some scenic walks. Bring a hot thermos of coffee or hot chocolate to enjoy on your adventure. Some popular scenic walking locations include Fish Creek Park, Nose Hill Park, Porcupine Alley, Aspen Grove, and so many more.
Rent a fat bike
For those adventure-seeking couples, fat biking is the perfect winter activity for you! As a bonus of being a great way to get around the city, it’s also a ton of fun. For the best fat biking conditions, it’s recommended to ride after a fresh snowfall. Some popular fat biking destinations include the Glenmore Reservoir loop, Prince’s Island Park, or even along the Bow River.
Glow Winter Festival
Glow, the Downtown Winter Light Festival 2021 will be the fourth year of bringing over a dozen installations to the downtown core. Enjoy artists’ ideas and provocations, memories and interpretations of downtown during Family day weekend.
Go cross country skiing
There are plenty of dedicated cross country skiing tracks all over the city that you and your partner can venture out to. Enjoy the gorgeous winter landscape as you ski through these trails. Many of the top golf courses are transformed into ski trails such as Shaganappi Point Golf Course, Confederation Golf Course, and Maple Ridge Golf Course.
Sit around a fire
Cozy up with your partner by an outdoor firepit right here in the city. There are plenty of drop-in locations that you can attend for free. You can even order some take out food from the many local restaurants in town to bring to the fire pits. Otherwise, all you need is some wood and maybe a few marshmallows for roasting.
Drop-in firepit locations:
- Bowness Park, 8900 48 Ave N.W.
- Prairie Winds Park, 223 Castleridge Blvd. N.E
- Edworthy Park, 5050 Spruce Dr. S.W.
Firewood can be purchased at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary at 2425 9 Ave. S.E.
Go ice biking
Perhaps you and your partner want to get out and enjoy the rinks but skating just isn’t your style. Not to worry because Bowness Park has new ice bike rentals for their skating rinks and trails. As a safe and stable alternative, ice bikes are all the rave this winter in Calgary.
Address: Bowness Park, 8900 48 Ave N.W.
Head downtown for an art walk
If you and your partner are into the local art scene, you need to head downtown to check out the murals on the Riverwalk. With over 60 pieces to admire, it makes for a fascinating bonding experience. Start your walk at Simmons Building in East Village and head west along the river towards Centre street.
RiverWalk starting point: Simmons Building, 818 Confluence Way S.E.
Enjoy some bird watching
The bird watching sanctuary located in the heart of Inglewood is the perfect date for those nature-loving couples. With an astonishing 270 species of birds, 21 species of mammals, and 347 species of plants, this outdoor attraction is a great way to get in touch with nature. The sanctuary is open to guests all year round with free admission.
Address: Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, 2425 9 Ave S.E.
Spend a day at the Calgary Zoo
The well-known Calgary Zoo is another great attraction that’s open all year long (open during Alberta COVID–19 restrictions)! Rain or shine, the zoo is a local favourite for your next date night. Only a short commute from Inglewood, you can tour the zoo and admire the many animals both indoors and outdoors. The zoo lights are also still up and running until January 10, 2021, so make sure to book your tickets soon!
Address: Calgary Zoo, 210 St. George’s Drive N.E.
Play around at the tobogganing hills
For those couples looking to spark the inner kid in themselves, a tobogganing adventure is the perfect date activity for you. Calgary is home to numerous hills in every quadrant of the city. Grab a two-person toboggan and enjoy the ride.
Top tobogganing locations in the city:
- Confederation Park, 905 30 Ave N.W.
- Prairie Winds Park, 223 Castleridge Blvd N.E.
- Stanley Park, 4011 1a St S.W.
- Elgin Hill, 180 McKenzie Towne Dr. S.E.
Build a snowman
Those extra snowy days provide the perfect opportunity to build yourselves an adorable snowman. Get outside into your backyard or venture out to a nearby park. You can even get creative and add some food colouring to a spray bottle to make your snowman (or woman) extra fun!
Check out the frozen waterfalls
Venture out to the many frozen waterfalls around the city to experience this truly stunning scenery. Some popular locations nearby include the Bowmont Park waterfalls and Rainbow Falls in Chestermere. These waterfalls freeze over almost fully in January providing you the perfect season to go check them out.
If you and your partner are looking to step up your fitness on your next date, park running is a great outdoor activity that continues all through winter. There are well-maintained trails along the Bow River and the Elbow River that offer amazing views along the way. The city works hard to keep these routes clear of ice and snow for your safety.
Check out Winsport
A great location for new or seasoned skiers and snowboarders is the Canadian Olympic Park. Located just off the Trans Canada Highway, Winsport is perfect for your next skiing, snowboarding, and even tubing date. The tube park is planned to open on December 21, 2020, and require tickets to be purchased in advance.
Address: 88 Canada Olympic Rd S.W.
Play a game of disc golf
If you’re missing golf this time of year, a fun sport for you to enjoy all year around is known as disc golf. In an interesting mix of frisbee and golf, you and your partner will throw a frisbee towards the disc targets in as few attempts as possible. There’s always room for a bit of friendly competition on your next date.
Address: Bonavista Downs Community Disc Golf Course, Lake Huron Crescent S.E.
Grab a coffee or hot chocolate to enjoy in the park
Take a walk downtown to grab a coffee or hot chocolate at one of the many local coffee shops in the area. From here, you can venture down along the river or into the parks nearby. Nothing like a hot beverage to enjoy outside on a sunny winter day.
YYC Hot Chocolate Fest runs the entire month of February.
Watch a sunrise or sunset
Calgary has an abundance of gorgeous sunset and sunrise views which sets the perfect theme for your next date. Take a drive to a cozy sightseeing location to experience some of the most romantic views this city has to offer. Places to check out include the top of Nose Hill Park, Crescent Heights, and Tom Campbell’s Hill Nature Park — to name only a few.
Explore Some Night Lights
Drive around the city and see some of these art displays that light up the winter night. Whether you’re checking out the new Telus Sky art display or the lights at Reconciliation Bridge, you’ll be amazed at these hidden gems across the city.
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