Stop Giving, Start Doing

For those of you with significant others, Valentine’s Day can induce emotional states of hysteria and horror. It is, without a doubt, the most highly anticipated holiday of the year by many couples. According to Time Magazine, Americans were expected to spend approximately $126.03 a person on Valentine’s Day last year. However, 82% claimed that they would rather receive an “experience” than a gift from their sweetheart. So this year, dazzle your darling, astonish your admirer, or blow away your beau (no pun intended) by doing instead of giving. After all, flowers die, chocolate gets eaten, but memories (and diamonds) are forever.

Create Your Own Scent
Perfect for: the creative couple running out of cologne and/or perfume; alternatively, those who want to hint subtly at showering more

Essence Workshop is a two-hour experience that begins by being introduced to the olfactory world of essences. Following your introduction, you and your partner will be aided by the on-site chemist to create your very own fragrance! You’ll leave with 50 ml of your personalized scent, the formula archived for future orders. Workshops are held upon confirmed reservation only, at L’Hôtel Place d’Armes in Old Montreal. Visit their website for more details: http://essenceworkshop.com.

Night Skiing
Perfect for: couples that have stuck to their New Year’s resolutions about being active; alternatively, a subtle hint to work out more.

For the sporty couple, what better way to celebrate V-Day than hitting the slopes by moonlight? Bromont (not a joke) is just one hour from Montreal and can be easily reached by bus via https://transdev.ca. Ski Bromont is the largest lit skiable area in America, with 156 different runs spread out over 450 acres of white bliss. Finish off the evening by enjoying après-ski in the chalet before heading back to the city.

Splurge on a Night in Snow Village
Perfect for: adventure-seeking couples who love body heat as a source of warmth; alternatively, those who desire to #elevate their lifestyle.

If you want to make this Valentine’s Day extra special and have a little extra money to spend, spend the night at Montreal’s very own hotel on ice, “Snow Village”. For $199/person, you will receive a high-tech thermal sleeping bag to cuddle up with your lover in a beautiful room at the ice hotel. In addition, you will receive a welcoming cocktail in an ice glass, access to a spa under the stars with a magnificent view of Montreal, and a continental (read: internationally hungover) breakfast.  Reserve online today at http://www.snowvillagecanada.com!

Check Out CookandDate
Perfect for: couples with a passion for cuisine

Montreal business CookandDate is a dating network for 364 days of the year, but this Valentine’s Day, they’re offering a couple’s event with Chef Dino Cordileone. Couples will learn from the chef and help him prepare a four course meal consisting of stuffed fig alla coeur de lion, homemade cavatelli in a tomato basil sauce, grilled filet mignon served with chimicuri salsa and homemade vinocotto, and berry tiramisu. This hands-on dining experience is sure to be a fun and delicious evening of learning for any couple. Register with http://www.cookanddate.com to sign up.

Kick Back at the Spa
Perfect for: the couple with too many midterms

If relaxing seems like a foreign concept and you and your beau are in dire need of some TLC, Strom Spa Nordique is the Valentine’s destination for you. Located on Île des Soeurs, surrounded by water and forest, this beautiful spa lets you escape the city but is still accessible by public transit. Strom Spa is offering a Valentine’s Day special of all day access for two, cider, and dessert for just under $100, or access from 6-10 p.m. for two, cider, and dessert for $85.

Skating and Hot Chocolate
Perfect for: hopeless romantics on a tight budget

Montreal is home to a multitude of beautiful outdoor skating rinks that serve as the perfect venue for a Valentine’s Day date. To escape the concrete jungle, make your way up to the top of Mount Royal to enjoy free skating on Beaver Lake surrounded by trees and nature. For the ultimate urban skating experience, take a stroll down to Old Port to skate on Bonsecours Basin and enjoy a most amazing view of La Belle Ville. If the Plateau is more your scene, head on over to Parc Lafontaine to glide through one of Montreal’s most romantic and charming parks. When finished skating, don’t miss warming up at Juliette & Chocolat over their to-die-for nutella hot chocolate and chocolate fondue.

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