Whether you love or hate Valentine’s Day, these unconventional events offer up something for everyone

Whether you love or hate Valentine’s Day, these unconventional events offer up something for everyone

Couples challenge, Vancouver Mysteries

Love is a mystery, and nothing says ‘Be my Valentine’ quite like solving a murder together. On February 14, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., couples can search for clues scattered across Gastown to solve a 'Crime in Downtown' murder mystery. Or take part in the spy game 'Secret Mission' and crack codes to discover hidden messages together. Tickets cost $25 plus tax per person for a two-hour adventure. Book online at Vancouver Mysteries.

50 Shades of Grey dinner, Rainier Provisions

50 Shades of Grey dinner, Rainier Provisions

If you’re not in the mood for vanilla this Valentine’s Day, try a more adventurous flavour with a romantic 50 Shades of Grey-themed three-course dinner at Rainier Provisions. The 2015 movie was filmed at the cafe and you can recreate Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele’s first coffee meeting (or at least a PG version of it) from 6 p.m. until late. Tickets cost $40 (tax, tip and handcuffs extra): email reso.irishheather@gmail.com to make a reservation.

The Massacre, Vancouver TheatreSports League

The Massacre, Vancouver TheatreSports League

The Vancouver Theatre Sports League will help you shake off your relationships stress at the Improvised Song Making class, part of the 28th annual TheatreSports Massacre Festival. You can sing away your frustrations with funny tunes during this one-day master class on February 13 at Granville Island.

If a whole day is too much of a commitment, the February 14 show of the festival is an evening performance featuring international improv teams. Check online for tickets and more details.

For the love of the craft, Vancouver Brewery Tours

For the love of the craft, Vancouver Brewery Tours

Nothing ignites the flames of passion quite like copious amounts of booze, so why not spend a Valentine-themed afternoon with Vancouver Brewery Tours on February 14? Between 2 p.m. and 5.30 p.m., the 'For the Love of the Craft' tour visits Big Rock Urban Brewery for appies and samples before heading to Storm Brewing to try Valentine-themed beers and finishing up at Thomas Haas for a chocolate pairing with tipples from Strange Fellows Brewing. Tickets cost $85 per person, plus tax, and are available online.

Hugs & Fishes, Vancouver Aquarium

Hugs & Fishes, Vancouver Aquarium

The thought of sleeping with the fishes is a less-than-romantic notion, but Vancouver Aquarium’s annual Hugs & Fishes event is a seductive sleepover amongst the whales and other sea mammals. Tickets for the overnight stay are sold out, but there are still some spots available for a three-course dinner in the aquarium. Options include braised beef short rib or ling cod (line caught, of course), plus a mountain of chocolate treats for dessert. Call 604-659-3552 to book or go online for more information.

Anti-Valentine’s Day dinner, Medina Cafe
Credit: Medina Cafe

Anti-Valentine’s Day dinner, Medina Cafe

Avoid all the lovey-dovey couples taking up all the prime table real estate in restaurants and head to Medina Cafe for a communal Anti-Valentine’s Day dinner. With Mediterranean-inspired dishes such as spiced duck breast or black cod on the five-course menu, there’s plenty of tasty offerings available (and that might even include your fellow dining companions if you’re lucky). Tickets for the five courses and sparkling wine on arrival cost $69, plus tax and tip.

Chocolate Lover’s box, Beaucoup Bakery

Chocolate Lover’s box, Beaucoup Bakery

It’s traditional to buy your beloved a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day, but who says you have to miss out on the gluttony just because you’re single? Beaucoup Bakery’s Chocolate Lover’s Box ($35), contains two salted rosemary chocolate cookies, two Valrhona chocolate brownies, one Valrhona 64 per cent Tainori chocolate tart and an exclusive jar of White Velvet Hot Chocolate Mix. Pre-order one day in advance (604-732-4222) from now until February 13. Gather a group of friends together and stay in, or just eat your feelings away and have it all to yourself. You deserve it.

 

Yoga Date Night at YYoga
Credit: YYoga

Yoga Date Night at YYoga

Because Vancouver is Vancouver, there are not one but two couples-only yoga date nights in the city at YYoga's downtown (February 12) and Kitsilano (February 13) studios. Classes cost $50 per person and involve duo asana, basic ‘flying’ techniques and end with some Thai massage techniques. Bring a partner, share a mat and sweep them off their feet this Valentine’s weekend. Just try not to drop them.  Register online.