5 Spring-Inspired, Mostly Outdoor Dates Around Vancouver

Snap out of that seasonal affective disorder with a little spring fling! Here are five (cheap) outdoorsy dates to put that skip in your step.

Grab your partner, lover or pal and embark on one of these inexpensive, outdoorsy springtime dates around Vancouver

5 outdoor date ideas for spring

Daylight savings has kicked in, the clouds have lifted and the skies are still light after 6 p.m. You and your partner have survived another round of seasonal affective disorder and are itching to kick winter in the pants and embrace the romance of spring. We feel you!

Just in time for the frisky season of spring, when everyone can’t help but have a little extra “spring” in their step, we've put together some inexpensive, outdoorsy must-do spring date ideas.

So grab your lover, your friend or that cutie in HR, and get outside before the clouds roll back in!

Date idea #1: English Bay, Ramen and Romance on a Log

It is difficult to argue a better view from the downtown core than the one from English Bay; with the sparkling ocean, kites flying at Vanier Park across the water, the shores of Kitsilano, Point Grey and the cliffs of UBC, there's a reason people flock here in good weather.

Take advantage of springtime and enjoy this prime real estate before the summer crowds move in.

Grab your partner or a friend and go for a stroll along the waterfront. Pull up a log or a boulder and quietly enjoy each other’s company (and the simple fact that you survived the winter without killing each other) as the sun sets—roughly between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. through March and April.

Wrap up your evening at Denman Street's Motomachi Shokudo, where you can warm up with a giant bowl of steaming ramen. The door to this tiny little place is usually fogged up and the lineup is shorter than its neighbour Kintaro. Inside you will find cozy tables for two and a long sharing table, where you can bump elbows with others. Heaping bowls of ramen average about $10.

Date idea #2: Snacks, Art and the Steps of the VAG

How can a place nicknamed the VAG not be included in a post about dates?

The Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG, pronounced vadge in this case) is one of the best places to have an afternoon snack while studying the riff-raff traipsing along Robson Street.

Before hitting up the south side of the gallery to bask in the afternoon sun, grab a falafel wrap or donair from Babylon Café on Robson between Howe and Granville. The crowded, take-out only shop is an experience worth lining up for.

If BBQ is more your thing, join the masses at Re-Up’s pulled pork sandwich truck on the north side of the gallery, but try to refrain from licking each other’s fingers clean.

If you want to class the date up a notch, skip the steps and hit the VAG patio (arguably one of the best patios in Vancouver) for some eats and drinks before fork out the $19.50/person admission fee to check out the latest exhibits inside the gallery.

Date idea #3: Snowshoes, T-shirts and Life-saving Thermoses

Before you recoil at the mere mention of snow, just hear me out. Springtime on the top of a snowy mountain is heavenly and the view from any of the North Shore Mountains is superb.

Before the slopes start getting sloppy, take your partner on a snowshoeing adventure. On a nice day you can get away with trekking in hiking pants and a t-shirt. Just don’t forget a warmer top to throw on when you stop moving.

Snowshoes rentals on the hills range from $18.75 (Cypress) to $26.50 (Seymour) or grab them from Mountain Equipment Co-op before you head up and save yourself between $6 and $12. Don’t worry about footwear. If you don’t have hiking boots or snow boots, try wrapping your running shoes in plastic bags. It aint sexy, but it works.

Take plenty of water, some snacks, sunglasses, sunscreen and a thermos full of something to warm up your insides (we like whiskey).

For the more extravagant snowshoeing couple, try a fondue tour. Mount Seymour offers a guided chocolate fondue tour with rentals and trail passes for $55.

Date idea #4: Cruisers, Dykes and Fisherman

Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke right? But we suggest you ride that dyke all the way to Steveston in Richmond.

The fishing docks are a great place to visit, but parking is a major issue. Instead, shine up your bicyclette and cruise along the Fraser Arm past protected marshlands, prime bird-watching habitats and jumbo jet runways. There are endless bike trails in Richmond. Try the Middle Arm Trail past YVR and connect to the West Dyke Trail.

Lock up at the docks and dig into some fresh-off-the-boat seafood chowder or fish and chips at Dave's Fish 'n Chips or Pajo's.

If you are looking for a romantic canoodle on the way, lay down a blanket in one of the many fields around the airport while the 747’s roar overhead.

Date idea #5: Quary Rock, Great Vistas and Honey Goodies

Escape the city on a gorgeous spring day and drag each other’s butts up to the top of Quarry Rock above Deep Cove.

The great thing about Deep Cove is that it is so close to the city, yet feels so far—the perfect day-trip to escape the buzz of city life.

If you don’t have a vehicle, take the SeaBus to Lonsdale Quay and hop the #229 to Phibbs Exchange and transfer to the #212 straight through to Deep Cove.

The Quarry Rock hike is actually an easy walk at just under 2 kilometres each way. It starts along Panorama Drive at the Trailhead sign and takes you to a lookout above Deep Cove that shows off the view of the ocean, Burnaby Mountain and the city skyline.

After your mild calorie-burning excursion, treat yourselves to a couple of honey-glazed donuts at the famous Honey Doughnuts and Goodies, a Deep Cove institution. They also offer great sandwiches, soups and gelato.

For a more upscale meal, the Arm's Reach Bistro has a scrumptious menu, a nice little wine list and blankets at every patio table.

More springtime date inspiration:

  1. Bike the Blossoms, April 16, 2011
  2. Spring Soundwalk, April 10, 17 & May 1, 8, 15, 2011
  3. A foodie tour à la Erin Ireland
  4. A public art tour à la Richard Tetrault
  5. A nice long walk and a soak in one of Vancouver's best public baths
  6. A daytrip up to Harrison Hot Springs

  7. What are your favourite springtime date spots and activities? Leave a note below!