Rideau Canal
Credit: Canadian Tourism Commission

While all those lazy lovebirds are nestled up inside and crowding the restaurants this Valentine's Day, couples who spend more time outside than inside won't want to be packed into a building this weekend.

Why conform to the dinner-and-a-movie date night for Valentine's Day when so many great romantic ideas lurk outdoors?

Ice Skating — Rideau Canal in Ontario

In the warmer months, Ontario’s Rideau Canal connects Kingston and Ottawa via ferry. However, when it freezes over, it turns into the largest ice rink in the world. Start at Ottawa or Kingston and conquer the scenic, 7.8-km expanse (which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Set dinner reservations in either city or have a winter picnic halfway.

Tobogganing at Les Glissades de la Terrasse — Quebec City, Quebec

You’re never too old for a few hours of tobogganing. And for those that crave the best sled-slopes in the East, Quebec City has what you need. Located in the city's most scenic area — the famed Les Glissades de la Terrasse, next to the beautiful Fairmont Chateau Frontenac is a very popular tobogganing spot. Spend the day on one of its three toboggan trails then head inside for a romantic night at the Fairmont.

Dog Sledding — Banff, Alberta

Nestled in the Canadian Rockies, Banff certainly has romantic appeal for Valentine's Day. However, instead of hitting the slopes of nearby Lake Louise Resort, spend Valentine's Day with the dogs. Sled-dog tour operators like Kingmik Dogsled or Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours take couples on an exciting tour of the massive park during a full day of exploration. After speeding through the countryside, take in a solid soak at the charming Banff Upper Hot Springs. Between cuddling up on a dogsled to cuddling up in a hot spring, it will definitely be a Valentine's Day that your sweetheart will not soon forget.

Ice Climbing & Northern Lights — Whitehorse, Yukon

There are a number of great adventures in the Yukon. This Valentine's Day, consider joining tour-operator Equinox on their ice-climb/zipline adventure. Then, after an active day, view one of the most amazing natural phenomena — the Aurora Borealis. This amazing light show can be enjoyed while doing some night skiing on a number of great local trails, or from the comfort of a hot tub outside of a secluded cabin. It is one of the most awe-inspiring — and romantic — experiences in Canada.

 

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