Valentine’s Day 2012: YP Alternatives to the Generic Dinner Date

We have to admit that we kind of hate the idea of fighting for reservations at a restaurant on Valentine’s Day, spending the evening within earshot of countless other couples, slower than normal service, and being rushed through our meal due to scheduled seatings. Furthermore, we are advocates of dates that facilitate interaction and that deviate from the expected. So, if your favourite restaurant has been booked solid for February 14th for weeks or you’d rather try something new, thankfully there are a few fun options for Valentine’s Day 2012 for the Toronto young professional couple.

Tasty Tours’ Valentine’s Day Sweets & Chocolates Tour
We love the option of Tasty Tours’ Valentine’s Day Sweets & Chocolates tour through Kensington Market. Toronto young professionals and their significant others can take a stroll through Kensington Market and sample a variety of sweets, including some Valentine’s Day favourites. The tour introduces couples to an assortment of vibrant bakeries and chocolate shops in Kensington while they learn about the history of Valentine’s Day and fun facts about the treats that touch their lips. The Valentine’s Day tours are on Sunday, February 12th at 11:30am and 2pm and reservations can be made in advance on the Tasty Tours website. The tour costs $30 per person, lasts approximately two hours, and includes food as well as discounts at select merchants.

Splendido Cooks Up Valentine’s Day at Home
For couples wanting a more low-key night in, Splendido Executive Chef Victor Barry gives food-loving YPs the opportunity to re-create the Splendido experience at home with a three-course meal inspired by his fiancée’s favourite romantic film, Serendipity. Barry created three – appetizer, main, and dessert – easy-to-follow recipes inspired by the dessert shop visited in the film and the city of New York itself. Barry suggests starting the meal with a Waldorf salad – a fresh mélange of fruit and vegetables – followed by New York-style pumpkin ravioli, made from scratch. End the meal with a playful ‘splendipity’ ice cream sundae with all the fixings. Couples can enter the “Love is Splendido” contest for a chance to win all of the ingredients plus a private cooking lesson with Chef Victor.

Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks
A basketball game provides the perfect option for the YP couple who isn’t into the whole mushy Hallmark holiday aspect of the day or the couple who has not been dating for very long (which always makes for an awkward first Valentine’s Day).  Unlike a dimly lit restaurant, a basketball game takes away from the forced romantic feel of the day and provides a casual and far-from-rigid way to enjoy each other’s company. If you want to grab a bite or drink after, Real Sports won’t be filled with as many mushy couples staring at each other over their shared desserts compared to other places in the city. 

Les Femmes Fatales Burlesque Show
For the unconventional YP couple who appreciate both live performances and the art of burlesque, Dainty Box presents Les Femmes Fatales at the Gladstone Hotel Melody and Ballroom Cafe on February 14th for a special Valentine’s Day performance.  Candy, art and prizes accompany the sensual burlesque show. Be warned; this is not for the conservative YP, as the show promises to be raunchy and sexy (yet all in good fun). This is typically not a good idea for the new couple because it could go horribly wrong if the other isn’t into that sort of thing.

SPiN’s Bloody Valentine’s Massacre
For those who get stomach-queasy at the very mention of the term “Valentine’s Day,” perhaps you’d like to attend SPiN’S Bloody Valentine’s Massacre, the ultimate “anti-Valentine’s Day party,” which is more reminiscent of a Halloween party than a romantic night out. Dedicated to singles and couples alike, the event features free ping-pong after 9pm, a “killer” photo booth, bloody drinks and a prize for the goriest costume. There will be no shortage of fake blood or bleeding hearts at this event, but we are beginning to think this just may be the best option for certain YPs we know this year….

Whether you love it or hate it, we wish all of our fellow YPs a Happy Valentine’s (or Anti-Valentine’s) Day!