There are literally hundreds of unique and beautiful ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in our stunning province. The choices can range from one-on-one time in a swanky city hotel, to cozying up with the entire family in a rustic rural cabin after a day of skiing or snowboarding. However you choose to spend your Valentine’s Day make sure that you are with people you love, and that you do something to make that day extra special.
I have been researching both classic and unique Valentine’s Day ideas around the province to share with you. My findings show that there are several types of romantic and family getaways in Nova Scotia, I will outline a few fun and interesting excursions in the following categories: Adventurous, Traditional and Foodie. Depending on your personality and what sort of activities (or lack of activities) you prefer, there is definitely the perfect Valentine’s Day for you just waiting to be planned!
Looking to bring some excitement into the picture this Valentine’s Day? Try an adventurous getaway with your significant other or the entire family. Get out on the hill for a snowboarding or skiing adventure at Martock or Ski Wentworth – just be sure this year to check into their limited capacity due to being 2011 Canada Games venues. Ski Wentworth also offers Dog Sledding – postpone that adventurous Valentine’s Day celebration just a little bit and join in on this unique activity. Available dates are listed on the website.
Snuggle up with your loved one and create a little heat – to stay warm during your romantic winter camping voyage. Kejimkujik National Park has campgrounds that are open year-round. Show off your outdoor skills and tackle our Nova Scotia winter climate, together!
Rather make s’mores and then sleep in your cozy, warm indoor bed? Spend time on the lake at home or with friends. I recently attended an outdoor skating party on a spectacular lake in HRM. Make a bonfire, indulge in some Nova Scotia mulled wine, cook open-flame food, and skate hand-in-hand under the stars.
This next activity is not for the faint of heart. For the truly hardcore couples, taking a winter surfing lesson together could be the ultimate Valentine’s Day escapade. Nova Scotia boasts some amazing surfing conditions and waves – and winter is one of the best times to get out there. Surf companies like One Life Surf are open year-round and offer lessons by appointment.
February is a fantastic month in Nova Scotia for foodies. Dine Around is in full-swing for the month in participating restaurants throughout the province and involves an offering of very reasonable prix fixe menus. Dine Aroud is the perfect opportunity for splurging on an intimate Valentine’s Day dinner at a high-end restaurant.
The Nova Scotia Winter Ice Wine Festival runs from February 3-13 this year, so wine lovers should prepare to celebrate the day of love a little early. This unique festival boasts a variety of events throughout the province (many of the romantic nature) such as Valentine’s Chefs Night at Sugar Moon Farm where lovers can travel to Earltown for an evening of gourmet food, ice wine tasting and live jazz. Top off the evening with a dreamy horse-pulled sleigh ride through the country snow. Visit the festival website for a complete listing of other wineries, restaurants and distinctive venues holding Ice Wine celebrations.
Speaking of wineries – wine lovers can plan their own their own romantic escape to one of the province’s many charming wine regions for dinner, tastings, winery tours and nearby cozy rural accommodations (think Bed & Breakfasts in the Annapolis Valley).
For the more self-sufficient and culinary savvy couple, make a trip to the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market or your local farmers’ market to stock on up locally-produced ingredients, desserts and wine or beer. Light some candles and embark on an intimate stay-at-home evening of sipping wine and cooking together. Not much of a chef? No worries – you’ll be surprised how much fun getting in the kitchen together will be and how delicious a seasonal, locally-sourced meal will taste!
The Traditional: Cityscape, Seaside and Country Romance Packages
No time to leave the city? Prefer to stay downtown in the largest city East of Montreal and celebrate in style? Plan a swanky getaway in a hotel suite. This is the time to splurge on that hotel Romance or Valentine’s Day package. Be greeted with a bottle of sparkling wine, decadent chocolates and flowers in your upgraded Executive Suite. Follow up with an intimate dinner and then a romantic stroll downtown to Celebration Square, where in honour of the Canada Games there will be free concerts starting on Valentine’s Day. Listen to East Coast tunes amidst the sparkling lights of the city.
Having so many picturesque locations at our fingertips is one of the best things about living in small and beautiful province like ours. Plan a quick getaway to a cabin or chalet on one of Nova Scotia’s beautiful coastlines. Atlantica Hotel & Marina Oak Island will be offering a theme weekend from February 11-13 where you can enjoy A Weekend in Paris. A reception, breakfast, dinner, welcome gift and wine all make this romantic getaway carefree and fun. Visit Atlantica Oak Island’s website for more information.
Looking for a country-style traditional evening of romance? Escape to Hatfield Farm in Hammonds Plains for their Valentine’s Day dinner and dance, followed by a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow-laden trees.
Of course many of these fantastic excursions I’ve described can be enjoyed in Nova Scotia during other seasons as well! Get out there and plan your romantic Valentine’s Day occasion soon; and be sure to try out the other activities with friends and family for year-round fun.