Mini-putt, drive-in movies and romantic dinner outings may have been original date ideas in say, the 1950s, but these outdated excursions just won’t cut it for today’s modern woman. An impressive date involves thoughtful planning and strategic execution that goes beyond a glance at movie listings in your local newspaper. Lucky for you, it’s summertime in Montreal, so use this city’s flawless outdoor backdrop and a speck of creativity to make yourself stand out from the rest. Whether she is a vegan naturalist or a female Lance Armstrong, there is plenty of outdoor fun to be had.
The Earthy Woman
Known locally as Les Tam-tams du Mont Royal, this weekly outdoor drum circle brings together Montrealers from all walks of life: African vendors selling original wooden jewelry and bongo drums, (mostly) talented drummers and dancers and hundreds of spectators. Sit down in the grass near the Sir George Etienne-Cartier monument in Mont Royal Park and surprise your earthy lady-friend with a relaxed (and probably vegan) picnic-lunch and take advantage of the free entertainment. Although typically a Sunday event that runs throughout the summer, the tam-tammers can be found on pretty much any sunny day.
The Athletic Woman
As you have probably noticed, BIXI bikes have taken over Montreal, growing to over 5,000 bikes with 400 stations scattered conveniently throughout the city. Start off at Maison des Cyclistes, enjoy a healthy breakfast and browse through their retail store of bike gear and trail guides. Grab a couple bikes in Old Montreal and take the 15km Lachine Canal Recreational path between Old Montreal and Lachine. Head to the bridge for the islands in the St. Lawrence River, and race around the F1 racetrack. There are BIXI stations on both St. Helen and Notre Dame islands so you won’t have to worry about the 45-minute limit. The relaxing ride back over Jean-Drapeau Bridge provides a beautiful view of the city and a flawless ending to an active and ever-so thoughtful date. ($5/24 hours).
The Culinary Woman
Does your foodie-girlfriend get more turned on by food than by you? Well, then a trip to Jean Talon Market is a strategic means to get her in the mood. The market turns into an open-air food emporium come the summer months. Buy her the classic boiled corn rolled lightly in butter offered by an array of vendors to get her taste buds going. Taste your way through the market’s 300 vendors offering an array of stimulating treats such as the decadent dark chocolate squares at Chocolats Privilège. Pick up some local Quebec cheese at Fromagerie Hamel, and bring it home to enjoy on the patio with a chilled bottle of white wine. Be sure to do some research before you go and use this as an opportunity to show just how cultured you are.
Whether she enjoys a good laugh or is a hardcore Dungeons and Dragons geek, the Montreal’s Medieval Foam Fighters – will be sure to entertain you both. Mount Royal Park turns into a battle zone with dozens of people dressed in elaborate costumes charging at each other with hefty weapons made of foam. If your lady is the playful type, bring a couple of costumes and pay a few dollars to rent a weapon. The rules are very basic: if players are hit in the leg, they drop to one knee, and if in the arm, they tuck it behind them. Be aware, this is no joke. If you want to participate, be prepared get dismembered by a foam sword.
Image courtesy of Aschaf.