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Calgarians weigh in on their favourite dating activities
Calgary Zoo, Telus Spark and walks in the park at the top of the list

First published February 27, 2014 | Click here for the original online article

The age-old trope is true — going for dinner and a movie are the top two things Calgarians like to do on dates. However, it's time to get out of the classic dating scene, and try something new.

In early February, The Calgary Journal created an online survey that asked Calgarians where they prefer to go and what they prefer to do on dates in Calgary. The survey elicited 285 responses with a near even split between male and female participants, with a strong majority between the ages of 18 and 35. The bulk of the respondents were in some form of relationship, while just over a quarter were "single and ready to mingle" and 7 per cent were "single and loving it."

 The survey's final question asked participants where their favourite places to go on a date in Calgary were, requiring a minimum of one fill-in answer. Over a third of the answers listed specific restaurants or dinner as their favourite date idea. Although no particular restaurant stood out as the number one place to go have dinner on a date, landlocked Calgarians seemingly prefer to check out sushi joints over any other specific restaurant type.

So where can you go on a date in Calgary to break free of the worn out dinner and a movie idea? Here are the top suggestions from Calgarians.

1. Go for a walk

The number one response for a date activity was to go for a walk. Calgary has a number of pathways, parks, green spaces and interesting city streets that you can utilize for a romantic stroll with your current, potential, or soon-to-be significant other. Walks are great because you can chat with your partner and get to know them better, while also getting some much-needed exercise. The top three suggested locations in Calgary to go on a walk were Prince's Island Park, 17th Avenue and Stephen Avenue.

2. The Calgary Zoo/Telus Spark

Another top suggestion for a great date activity in Calgary was to check out the Calgary Zoo and/or Telus Spark, located right next to each other off of Memorial Drive. With such a close proximity why not make a day out of it and check out both? It can get kind of pricey, but thankfully the zoo and the science centre offer an adult flex-pass for $32, available online only.

3. Bowling

It turns out Calgarians love to bowl. The third most popular response for a date activity was to go bowling. Participants suggested Century Bowling, Chinook Bowling, and National for their top favourite places to bowl in Calgary. Although National has a great atmosphere, don't plan on dropping in for your bowling date, as you need to book lanes weeks in advance. If you're looking to bowl last minute, you're better off at a smaller bowling alley, such as Mountain View Bowling. Most bowling alleys in Calgary have neon or glow bowling on Friday and Saturday nights, so don't forget to wear white!

4. Skating/bikingVictor and Olga Minayev, originally from Kazakhstan, enjoy going for walks with each other along the Bow River. 

More heart-healthy activities! Ice skating and biking were the next most popular date ideas. Just like going for a walk, biking allows you to check out the various trails and parks throughout Calgary, such as Edworthy Park, situated along the Bow River Valley in southwest Calgary. On a trail surrounded by trees you hardly feel as if you're in the centre of a major city.

The top two suggestions for places to skate were Olympic Plaza and Prince's Island Park. Both of these venues are outdoor rinks that are only available for use during the winter. For extra allure, go at night — both venues are lit up by a dim orange glow, which makes for a rather romantic evening.

5. Honourable mention

Although not as popular as the other answers — The Shooting Edge, Calgary Climbing Centre and Speeders tied for fifth place overall, and are certainly some of the more creative locations for a date in Calgary. Out-shoot your date at The Shooting Edge's firing range. Enjoy the view as you and your date scale the indoor climbing wall at one of Calgary Climbing Centre's two locations. Or leave your date in your dust as you race around the indoor go-karting track at Speeders. These three locations are sure to win you some creativity points with your date.

And at the end of the day, if none of these ideas are quite your cup of tea, just remember it's pretty safe your date will still be happy if you choose to simply go for dinner and a movie.

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