An afternoon-to-evening horse riding date boasts beautiful scenery and a campfire cookout

10 Ways to Plan a Unique Date Night

By Craig Moy

With so many award-winning restaurants across Alberta, it’s easy enough to plan a romantic dinner. To take your union to the next level, try something a little more unusual on date night. These eclectic activities are bound to make a memorable evening.

Science is even more stimulating at TELUS World of Science Edmonton’s bimonthly Dark Matters evening. The themed adults-only event gives attendees the run of the centre’s permanent galleries accompanied by a live DJ, cocktails and grown-up science experiments so you can test your chemistry.

In Calgary, grown-ups can also test their chemistry at TELUS Spark’s monthly Adults-Only Nights. On the second Thursday of every month, the two-storey space opens its doors to the big kids, offering music, food and drinks. Although the evening has a party vibe, science takes centre stage: Attendees can learn about space, explore the chemistry of cooking or test their urban survival skills.

Test your wits—and maybe the strength of your relationship—at one of Edmonton’s most immersive escape-room challenges. Escape City features four unique scenarios, including a cabin in the woods and a magician’s exam, which can be played by two to six participants. So go on your own, or make it a double or triple date!

It’s hard to plan a more relaxing date than an evening at the Miette Hot Springs in Jasper National Park (open seasonally). The mineral-infused water is the hottest in the Canadian Rockies: it flows from the mountain at 54 degrees Celsius, but is cooled to a balmy 40 degrees, perfect for soothing muscles after a long hike—or just the stress of the everyday.
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Ride into the sunset with your beloved on a horseback riding tour in beautiful Banff. Offered year-round (weather permitting), the seven-hour trip will have you riding along the tranquil Spray River Valley, where you’ll stop along the banks of the river to enjoy a barbecue cookout before returning to the stables.

They say creativity and spontaneity are among the traits we most covet in a partner. You can demonstrate both at Vingogh. The Calgary “paint and sip” studio hosts easygoing parties where trained artists teach you how to paint one of a number of pretty pictures—while you imbibe from a nicely curated list of international wines. Arrive early to get a bite or two from the tapas menu.

It’s under renovations until midsummer, but once the Banff Gondola’s upper terminal redevelopment is complete, the soaring cable car will again become one of the Canadian Rockies’ quintessential experiences. The ride is all the more romantic in the evening, as the sun sets behind the snow-capped peaks.

Another sky-high way to take enjoy an evening—and Alberta’s beautiful vistas—is on a hot air balloon ride. Sundance Balloons before-sunset flights over Edmonton and Grande Prairie. An hour-long voyage reclaims the bygone romance of air travel and affords endless photo opportunities for the shutterbug in your relationship.

Forget lying on the hood of your car at “Lookout Point.” Gazing into the starry night is way more interesting when done through a high-powered telescope. On Thursday nights from September to April, the University of Alberta’s Astronomical Observatory is open for free public viewings. Just drop in and volunteers will set your sights to the heavens.

If you’re a golf lover in central or western Alberta, it’s likely that you’ve played your way through many of the region’s top courses. Airdrie’s Live Golf offers the chance to take a swing at Pebble Beach, St. Andrews and more, on one of its high-definition simulators. Open late, it’s a great spot for adding a little friendly competition to your night.
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