www.iamcalgary.ca I Am Calgary Derek + Christa Two Jack Lake

Derek’s 11 Inexpensive Winter Hot Date Destinations in Calgary

“The kids are with their grandparents and we have a few free hours to go on a date.  Do you have any suggestions of what we can do in the frigid winter weather that won’t break the bank?”  I’ve had numerous friends ask me this in recent months, so it seems appropriate to explore a few ideas for you.  Here are my suggestions to get you out and about and to offer you a change of scenery with your significant other, or to connect with friends, while it’s still cold outside and our options feel limited.


If you’re from the suburbs and want to venture into Downtown to explore, remember that riding the LRT is free between these stations:

  • Blue line trains between City Hall Station and Downtown West / Kerby Stations;
  • Red line trains between City Hall Station and 7th Street West Station
CTrain Map courtesy of the City of Calgary showing the Downtown Free Fare Zone

The cost of parking is significantly reduced after 6pm on weekdays and on weekends.

If you’re driving Downtown, here is a convenient link to the Calgary Parking Authority website that offers many helpful tips and links.  Download the parking app for convenient parking payment options.

Here are our Downtown picks.

❤️ Plus 15 artwork

The public artwork downtown is varied and abundant, and browsing it is free!  Discovering artwork throughout the Plus 15 is a unique and fun way to explore Downtown.  And you get to stay warm!  You can either plot a route for yourself using the …  Alternatively, you can enter the Plus 15 at a location that is convenient to you and then just explore.  You’ll be amazed at what you will come across.  There is no shortage of variety peppered throughout the more than 12km of walkways.  Whether you saunter or stay focussed you may be surprised at how many steps you cover on that pedometer of yours which makes this a great exercise outing, too!

One of many Plus 15s in downtown Calgary
www.iamcalgary.ca IAmCalgary Jamieson Place Winter Garden
Spectacular glass chandelier artwork at Jamieson Place Winter Garden

For the more adventurous, you can explore the outdoor public art using the City of Calgary’s public art map as a very convenient, non-exhaustive reference guide.  Alternatively, download this helpful Downtown art guide.

Here is an interactive link to the Plus 15 map.

For new-comers, find out more about the Plus 15 here.

❤️ Central Public Library

Discover Calgary’s newest talk-of-the-town and, indeed, even the global architectural world.  Voted as #20 on the New York Times’ “52 places to go in 2019”, you will be in excellent company if you choose to visit the iconic and trendy new Central Public Library.  With diverse offerings of services, places to sit, exhibits and artwork to explore, and even a great coffee shop to pick up a refreshment, you will likely find yourself with too little time available to make the most of your visit here.  Entry and exploring is free.  The architecture and infrastructure is impressive.  The diversity of atmosphere and use of spaces within the edifice is extraordinary.  You would do well to explore and marvel at this new city icon with your date.

www.iamcalgary.ca New Central Library
Central Library

❤️ Ice skating at Olympic Plaza

Enjoy this classic downtown activity.  Open from mid-November to mid-March (weather conditions permitting), there is something positively romantic about cutting the ice, hand-in-hand with your Bestie, amidst the bustle of this iconic downtown Olympic Plaza location.  Skating is free and skate rentals are available nearby.  For other neighbourhood ice skating rinks around Calgary refer to our blog.

Winter at Olympic Plaza, courtesy of Calgary Skate Rentals

❤️ Devonian Gardens

Escape to a little corner of tropical tranquility at the Devonian Gardens on the fourth floor of the CORE Shopping Centre.  Pull up at a bistro table alongside the koi-filled ponds with a book and just enjoy hanging out.  The nearby food court has a wide selection of fast food offerings for you to share together.  Navigate here to the Devonian Gardens and the CORE Shopping Centre.

Tropical tranquility at the Devonian Gardens

❤️ The Glenbow Museum

Visit the Glenbow Museum for free on the first Thursday night of the month, from 5pm until closing.  With four floors of diverse art and artefacts to peruse you will run out of exploring time, so plan your evening well.  You will not be disappointed.  Visit their website to check out what the current exhibits are featuring.  Navigate to the Museum here.

Glenbow Museum (Stephen Ave entrance)

❤️ Calgary Home & Garden Show

The four-day Calgary Home & Garden Show is always an encouraging reminder that winter will pass!  Visit this event that takes over Stampede Park’s expansive BMO Centre with diverse offerings and ideas of what you and your significant other can do in your home and garden in the season to come.  The 2019 show runs between February 28th and March 3rd.

Photo courtesy of Marvel Cabinetry, exhibitor at the Calgary Home and Garden Show

Here are our neighbourhood picks.

❤️ Snowshoeing

There is still opportunity to be active outdoors during the remaining wintery months.  Try some urban snowshoeing, or venture out a little farther beyond Calgary if time and opportunity allows.  Refer to our blog for some great snowshoeing destination options.

www.iamcalgary.ca I Am Calgary Snowshoeing Troll Falls
Whose shoes are these?

❤️ Calgary Farmer’s Market

With a diverse selection of offerings, visit the ever-popular Calgary Farmer’s Market for some good food, fresh produce and unique art and nick-nacks.  Open Thursdays through to Sundays year-round the is a little something for everyone to enjoy.  There is also a lot of hype in Calgary ahead of the opening of the Market’s second new location in the NW on highway 1 in the spring of 2020.  Bring it on!

Blog Date - annie-spratt-773853-unsplash
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

❤️ Games rendezvous

It’s true.  You can always rig up a game or two at home.  But why not escape for a date night with your Bestie and try out a few new games that you might not own at home?  Here’s a list of possible destinations where you can also order your fav hot beverage and just chill for a few hours in the ambience of the passing public.

www.iamcalgary.ca IAmCalgary Blog Date - alex-holyoake-467148-unsplash
Photo by Alex Holyoake on Unsplash

❤️ Live Music & Food

www.iamcalgary.ca IAmCalgary Blog Date - john-matychuk-491429-unsplash
Photo by John Matychuk on Unsplash

❤️ YYC Hot Choc Fest

Get into the groove with this limited season event at over 70 participating cafes and restaurants around Calgary!  Locations have submitted their most decadent hot chocolate creations for us, the Consumer, to order, enjoy and vote to see who will be awarded the best hot chocolate winner in three categories.  But hurry!  The YYC Hot Chocolate Fest only runs for the month of February with proceeds from every signature creation supporting Meals on Wheels.  To make things easier for you, download the iPhone app with a map showing the locations and descriptions of each of the decadent delights!

www.iamcalgary.ca IAmCalgary YYC Hot Choc Fest PZA Parlour
The decadent deconstructed Ferrero Rocher submission from PZA Parlour (“Pzarrero Rocher“) for the 2019 YYC Hot Choc Fest

We’d ❤️ to hear from you about YOUR suggestions for cool, low-budget, hot-date winter ideas in Calgary. Leave your comments and suggestions in the REPLY section below and tell us what makes it a great destination of choice.


  • artifacts

    24 October, 2019

    Hi, yup this piece of writing is reɑlly pleasant and I have ⅼearned lot of things fr᧐m it
    conceгning blogging. thanks.

  • Greg Escaper

    31 October, 2019

    If you want to go out in winter and don’t want to spend all the time in the cold, then I will suggest you to go to escape room. It is the only fun thing that you can do while staying indoors.


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