Valentine’s Day can put a lot of pressure on couples. It’s hard not to think about the holiday without associating it with expensive dinners, extravagant bouquets of flowers, and heart-shaped jewelry. It has become so commercialized, it’s easy to lose sight of what Valentine’s Day is really about: Celebrating the love between you and your significant other.
This Valentine’s Day, forget expensive gifts and focus on spending quality time together. And guess what? You don’t even have to drop a lot of money or make a dinner reservation weeks in advance to make it happen! Plus, spending time together will mean a lot more to you and your S.O. than a Michael Kors watch you’ll probably drunkenly misplace next time you have a girl’s night in Banff. Here are some unconventional and inexpensive Valentine’s Day date ideas that focus on having fun with your one and only.
1. Go to the Hitmen Game
Cost: $13 – $26 per ticket.
The Calgary Hitmen are facing off against the Tri-City Americans on February 14 at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The boys are hitting the ice at 7:00 pm. What’s more fun than donning your jerseys, and grabbing some Dome beers and pocket dogs with your main squeeze? If you’re still wanting to have some fun after the game, head over Cowboys Casino. Grab a cocktail, and throw a few bucks down at the roulette table.
2. Play Some Arcade Games at The Rec Room
Cost: Admission is free.
Set your own budget for food, drinks, and games. Located in Deerfoot City, The Rec Room is 50,000 square feet of fun. The space contains arcade games, bars and restaurants, an augmented climbing wall, ping pong tables, a VRX car simulator, and more.
3. Go Skating Cost: Free (plus skate rental, if needed). Sharpen your skates and head to one of Calgary’s outdoor rinks. Take in the city lights at Olympic Plaza, enjoy some beautiful winter scenery at Bowness Park, or get the best of both worlds at Prince’s Island Park. If you don’t have skates of your own, rentals are available at Olympic Plaza and Bowness Park.
4. Go Bowling
Cost: $6.25 – $7 per game, plus $3 – $3.75 for shoe rental.
Heat up your relationship with some healthy competition and hit one of Calgary’s many bowling alleys. My personal favourites are Mountain View, Let’s Bowl, and Paradise Lanes.
5. Eat Some Wings
Cost: $0.25 per wing and up.
Have a casual night out and take advantage of the city’s many Wednesday wing specials. Check out Jameson’s, the Rose and Crown, or 1410 Bier Haus, who all have cheap wing night coinciding with Valentine’s Day. This is a perfect way to kick back and have a low-key night out with your boo without all the Valentine’s Day pressure.
6. Check Out a Comedy Show
Cost: $10 – $59.95
Enjoy some laughs with your bae. Shows coinciding with Valentine’s Day are happening at Oak Tree Tavern ($10), The Comedy Cave ($12), and The Laugh Shop ($59.95).
7. Go to the Theatre
Cost: $20 – $99
Head to Arts Commons and check out some theatre. Theatre Calgary is presenting Shakespeare’s comedy The Twelfth Night ($53 – $99) at the Max Bell Theatre. Or if you want to enjoy a show in a more intimate setting, check out The Listening Room by local playwright, Michaela Jeffery, in Arts Commons’ Motel Theatre.
8. Check Out Some Local Music
Cost: Free – $4
Rockin’ 4 Dollar$ at Broken City is the most fun you can have on a Wednesday night. The weekly local music event involves eight bands signing up and each playing a 15 minute set. At the end of the night, the bands spin the wheel to win an array of prizes. Prizes range from free drinks, all the way up to a cash prize that can grow up to $1000. With an entry fee of $4, this is one of the cheapest ways you can treat bae to a fun night of beer and music.
If the $4 price point is too high for you, we got you covered. Head to The Ship and Anchor for a free show featuring local heavyweights Jason Famous & Le Fame, Pancake, and Future Womb. All of these bands are must-sees. Lucky for you, this Valentine’s Day, they will all be at the same place at the same time, for free. Go early with your BF/GF and grab a couple pints, Ship Burgers, and some deep fried pickles before you take in the show.
9. Have a Romantic Night In
Cost: Set your own budget.
A sexy night in is my personal favourite way to spend Valentine’s Day. Cook dinner together. Uncork a nice bottle of red wine. Savour some decadent desserts. Instead of watching Netflix, light some candles and play some music. Play a board game. Give your boo a sensual massage. And I’m sure you and your boo can figure out where else to take the night from there…
Kelsey is a twenty-something year old writer and marketing professional, living in Calgary. When she isn’t working, she enjoys drinking wine, biking, and watching live music.