While the weather may be cold and snowy, there are plenty of great ways to warm up with your special someone this Valentine's Day in Montreal. Whether you prefer to keep it simple with a small gift and a nice dinner or want to treat your partner to a relaxing day at the spa, there's no shortage of great activities and events you can enjoy together in February. From museum tours and fancy dinners to private getaways in the mountains, these date ideas are sure to make your Valentine happy.
Whether you're looking for a couple's massage or want to fully immerse yourself in a day of relaxation with your loved one, there are several resorts and spas in and around Montreal that offer special deals for Valentine's Day. However, if you're looking for a truly unique and equally romantic experience, head to Bota Bota in Montreal's Old Port.
Located in a boat overlooking Old Montreal's heritage buildings, Bota Bota is a full-service spa complete with massage therapy, facial and body treatments, manicure-pedicures, yoga sessions, and the pièce de résistance: a Nordic water circuit.
Apart from Bota Bota, there's another way to swim outside in a heated pool in Montreal in the dead of winter: Book a room at Hôtel Bonaventure and access to the pool is yours.
If you'd rather get out of the city and into some fresh winter air, a forest trek atop Mount Royal on snowshoes that starts after the sun goes down is a great way to explore the city with your partner on Valentine's Day. Led by a guide who teaches participants about the plants and animals of the mountain and shares historical anecdotes about Montreal, the two-hour journey is also accompanied by mulled wine.
After your trek, you can hop in a cab and head down to bring-your-own-wine restaurant La Raclette, which coincidentally is not too far from Mount Royal and only two blocks away from Parc La Fontaine. The Swiss-themed restaurant is known for its eponymous house specialty, melted Swiss raclette, the perfect winter dish. For the bring-your-own-wine, splurge on either an Austrian Grüner Veltliner or an Alsatian Riesling to bring out the meal's flavors.
For those who would rather not venture up the mountain, the nearby lake at Parc La Fontaine freezes over in the winter, turning into an ice skating rink that's free to enjoy. Located on avenue du Parc-Lafontaine below Mont-Royal in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood, Parc La Fontaine is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. While admission is free, you can also rent ice skates for periods of one to three hours and buy other equipment at a shop set up on-site.
Please the cultured Valentine in your life with a visit to the Redpath Museum and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The Redpath Museum is a small, free-admission natural history museum with a smattering of Ancient Egyptian mummies and dinosaur bones. Just a few blocks away, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is the city's most illustrious art museum, complete with a collection of pieces and replicas from Ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece, Persia, and Japan as well as a sizeable collection of Pre-Columbian artifacts.
If you're looking for an exquisite meal and don't mind spending a little extra, there are two highly-rated restaurants nearby: Maison Boulud, one of the best restaurants in Montreal, and Europea, often cited as one of the city's top restaurants.
For those looking to save a little money on dinner but still want to enjoy a romantic meal, you can leave the Museum of Fine Arts, head to Sainte Catherine Street, and go west. There is an assortment of delicious cheap eats, like Kazu, which has some of the best Japanese izakayas in the city, or Sammi & Soup Dumplings, which offers a cheap meal in its xiaolongbao dish.
Montreal is a city of music, especially jazz, and as a result, there are a number of great clubs where you can set the mood for your romantic evening with some smooth jazz performances. Dièse Onze offers a sleek, intimate atmosphere where you can enjoy a menu of French bistro fare while local musicians play from a stage in the corner. Meanwhile, Modavie is one of the city's best-rated restaurants, which also offers live jazz performances in an elegant venue.
If you're looking to attend a party like no other that puts an emphasis on the holiday's kinkier side, look no further than the famous Cirque de Boudoir's annual Valentine's Day bash. Following the success of its New Year's Eve celebration Carnavalesque, Cirque is throwing a special "Pin-Up Valentine" party. Featuring local and international DJs, fetish and burlesque performers, and a variety of visual artists, Pin-Up Valentine will take place at Cabaret Lion d'Or in Old Montreal on February 4, 2020.
One of the best things about the restaurant industry in Montreal is that service is usually open late and comes with a hefty discount at some of the city's best upscale establishments. If you've missed earlier dinner services, there are still plenty of great places where you can treat your loved one to a late-night meal.
For some great Greek cuisine, check out Milos in the Villeray neighborhood, which offers special discounts on its top-rated menu starting at 10 p.m. each night. On the other hand, you can also sample some of the city's best Portuguese food at Ferreira Café, which offers specials for less than $30 from 10 to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday nights.
Before you go, make sure to call and check that the late-night menus will be available on Valentine's Day. More than a few restaurants are known for voiding their usual discounts to make room for a special Valentine's Day menu, which is typically more expensive.
Although you can always head to the free rink at Parc La Fontaine, Bonsecours Basin in the city's Old Port neighborhood is one of the most romantic spots you can go on Valentine's Day. After skating, you can take a five-minute walk from the Basin to La Champagnerie, a champagne bar that offers by-the-glass cocktails and bubblies at different price points alongside an eclectic food menu. Fusing Asian, French, Italian, and Quebecois influences, meals at La Champagnerie include foie gras lobster filet mignon poutine and a high-end pho with scallops, shrimp, muscles, clams, octopus, and tempura crab as well as lobster and filet mignon.
If you're not into Valentine's Day but still want to treat your loved one to something special in the month of February, you can stop by the Montreal Botanical Garden's Butterflies Go Free exhibit any time after February 26, 2020. This annual event offers guests a chance to hang out with thousands of butterflies in climate-controlled greenhouses, which has a certain romantic charm.
Afterward, you can stop by Fête des fromages d'Ici, the Montreal Cheese Festival, which takes place around the same time each year and offers guests the chance to sample made-in-Quebec cheeses.
With over 80 resorts within a few hours of Montreal, there's no shortage of great destinations for you and your loved one to escape this Valentine's Day for an intimate retreat. Voted as the top ski resort in Eastern North America by Ski Magazine many years in a row, Mont Tremblant is perhaps the best choice for an action-packed Valentine's Day getaway complete with picturesque views and freshly-powdered slopes.
On the other hand, Mont Saint-Sauveur, which is located less than an hour from Montreal, offers a great vibe and cozy accommodations for a weekend ski trip for two—especially if you and your loved one want to enjoy some nightlife events while you're in town.