Are you getting cabin fever and wondering what the best winter date ideas in Vancouver might be, that would allow you and your partner to stay safe but still go out and have some fun – or maybe even have fun indoors? When it comes to staying safe during COVID-19 while still enjoying a romantic winter date night and getting into the holiday spirit, we’ve got you covered.

While many holiday events that couples enjoyed last year have been cancelled this year due to COVID-19, there are still some exceptional winter date locales open throughout Vancouver that follow health protocols. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best winter date ideas for couples in Vancouver who want to go out safely during the pandemic:

1. Miracle on Granville (The Pawn Shop YVR)

Miracle on Granville is Vancouver’s exclusive Christmas Miracle Pop-Up bar throughout December of 2020, hosted by local downtown Vancouver restaurant The Pawn Shop YVR. In the spirit of Christmas, The Pawn Shop has temporarily expanded, offering a winter-wonderland themed pop-up experience next door to the restaurant. Complete with snow-capped magic mushrooms, floor-to-ceiling Christmas lights and rows of decorated Christmas trees, this is one of the best winter date ideas to put you in the holiday spirit. (And, you’re supporting local charities by attending!)

Think of it as a miracle walk on your way into the restaurant; a holiday-themed winter stroll that leads you to a unique dining experience. Yes, the tacos are delicious, but the festive drink menu might be the best part of the experience.

Expertly crafted holiday-themed cocktails are served to you in novelty mugs that will instantly put you in holiday vacay-mode. For example, the “Bad Santa” is a spiced mulled wine cocktail served in a Santa mug, and “Santarex” is a tequila and mezcal concoction poured into a dinosaur mug, wearing the cutest little Santa hat.

If you’re looking to enjoy holiday-themed cocktails and dinner in a festive setting with the ultimate Christmas ambience, look no further than Miracle on Granville by The Pawn Shop YVR. An East L.A inspired taco and tequila bar located on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver, The Pawn Shop is a fantastic date spot all year long, even when the Miracle Pop-Up concludes its season.

Their all-out holiday decorations from floor-to-ceiling make this establishment look like a movie set, and it’s sure to transport you into holiday-mode faster than you can say, “Santarex”.

The Pawn Shop YVR is committed to public safety. Only one couple goes through the Miracle walk at a time, social distancing is in place during the entire Miracle Pop-Up experience, hand sanitizer is stationed throughout the venue, and plexiglass barriers separate each table inside the restaurant. Reserve your spot for Miracle on Granville here.

2. Date Night In

Set the mood for a romantic date night in by planning out the ambience, the menu, the cocktails – all of the details. For ambience, consider using an essential oils diffuser from Saje Natural Wellness. I personally love using their Goddess diffuser blend for date nights at home, not just because Saje describes this blend as being the one to help you “feel deeply connected to yourself and others” but also because this scent makes me feel balanced, with just the smallest drop of ecstasy seeping into my mood due to the subtly mood-altering scent.

Scent adds a lot to an ambience and can help set the mood for a cozy and feel-good date night at home. For cocktails, try your hand at a Christmas cocktail such as a peppermint mocha martini if you find an interesting recipe online, or just serve the simple yet festive brandy with eggnog. Menu wise, it’s totally up to you if you want to order in or cook something.

3. Grouse Mountain’s Light Walk

At the top of Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver, a stunning light walk has been set up amongst the snow-capped trees and remains open during the pandemic. Because this is one of the most beautiful and romantic walks you could go on with your significant other, it makes our list of best winter date ideas in Vancouver.

The entrance of Grouse Mountain’s snowy light walk is marked by a glowing tunnel, just off of the mountaintop Skating Pond. 

It begins at dusk, and you can walk in the snowy winter night while marveling at the beauty of the Christmas lights and snow surrounding you. You can rent snowshoes at Grouse, or simply wear a good pair of winter boots.

This beautiful light walk on top of Grouse Mountain in the open air allows plenty of space for social distancing.

Please stay six feet apart from other couples while participating in Grouse Mountain’s winter light walk.

4. Live Music at Water St. Cafe (2nd Floor Gastown)

Water St. Cafe is one of the most iconic restaurants in Vancouver, located in the charming neighborhood of Gastown on historic Water Street. Did you know that the second floor of this restaurant is decorated with Christmas lights and offers state-of-the-art live music on select nights of the week?

Not only does Water St. Cafe have a world-class dining menu and legendary craft cocktails, but they also have a stage up on the second floor, where you can enjoy fine dining and twinkling lights while listening to live music.

You’ll enjoy performances by amazing local artists such as Cassandra Maze, who is extraordinarily talented, and genius at creating a romantic and mood-altering vibe with her music. 

Water St. Cafe is one of the only live music venues still open during the pandemic, which makes it one of the best winter date ideas this season.

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Water St. Cafe is one of Vancouver’s best date locations because of the incredibly romantic ambience and the exquisite menu.

The ambience consists of views of Gastown’s iconic steamclock, street lamps and cobblestone streets, as well as live music from some of Vancouver’s best artists. During the holidays, you can even look forward to Christmas-themed live music. Book your tickets here to secure your spot to dine at Water St. Cafe with live music this winter.

Water St. Cafe is committed to public safety. Plexiglass barriers separate each table inside the restaurant, both upstairs and downstairs. Hand sanitizer stations are on both levels, and all staff wear masks.

5. Granville Island Festive Light Display

Granville Island is one of the most romantic locations in Vancouver, and in the winter they have a beautiful and elegant light display that’s festive, fun, and cheerful. The outdoor light display is so amazing that it of course makes for one of the best winter date ideas in Vancouver.

Since the grounds of Granville Island are almost 40 acres, there is plenty of room to social distance in the open air. Dress warmly, and grab a hot chocolate on the way there!

This is also a great option for couples on a budget, since it’s free to stroll through Granville Island and look at the festive lights. Their light display includes a stunning oversized star in the center of the Public Market courtyard, a canopy of lights above you in certain walkways, lit-up trees surrounding you all throughout the grounds, and giant sparling music notes hanging in the trees that surround the theatres.

If you get hungry during your romantic stroll, you can always stop for dinner at the Sandbar, a romantic restaurant in Granville Island with stunning views.

Please make use of the spacious grounds and stay six feet apart from others.

6. Bacchus Lounge (Wedgewood Hotel)

Bacchus restaurant and lounge located at the charming Wedgewood Hotel in downtown Vancouver is an ultra-romantic winter date spot. This boutique hotel’s quaint lounge is one of the best winter date ideas in Vancouver because the live music is a vibe, the seating is cozy and comfortable, and the food is delicious.

Bacchus lounge is always beautiful with its dim lighting, stunning Venetian décor, and charming arch windows. However, during the winter holidays, they add Christmas lights, Christmas trees, and various other holiday decorations in the lounge. There’s even a cozy fireplace and a talented piano man performing live music for all to enjoy.

The Wedgewood Hotel is following health and safety protocols. Socially distanced tables in the lounge are separated by plexiglass, there is hand sanitizer available to guests as they enter and exit, and all staff wear masks. The lounge is generally first-come-first-serve, as they do not take reservations. You can reserve a table at the restaurant here.

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