Dating around the holidays is like a freshly fallen snowflake—each outing, delicate and unique, needs to be handled as such, or you might just watch them fade away. On that festive warning, we’ve rounded up the hottest spots in Canada to take your date during the holidays—for those who embrace Canadian winters and the ones who enjoy it from their windowsill with a mug of hot chocolate—plus the appropriate holiday attire, for every romantic status this season.
Winter 2012 holiday date idea #1. Go skating on Ottawa’s Rideau Canal
Date rundown: Grab your skates on a Saturday afternoon and head to Canada’s famed and loveliest outdoor skating rink. Don’t worry if you’ve never learned how to skate, all the more reason to hold on tightly. Keep up the adorably festive romance and make your way to the Byward Market together to split a piping hot and cinnamony Beaver Tail.
Where: The world’s largest skating rink on the Rideau Canal that runs through downtown Ottawa.
Date style: Wrap yourself in your favourite knits: scarf, mitts and Canadian-style toque. Your
favourite Christmas sweater (the one with the huggable holiday polar bear) is both totally appropriate and subtly irresistible.
Winter 2012 holiday date idea #2. Hit the slopes in Whistler, B.C.
Date rundown: Could there be anything more Canadian than spending the day at Whistler Blackcomb, then heading back for late-night fondue at The Chalet at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Hotel—with your ski instructor?
Where: The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, 4599 Chateau Blvd., Whistler, B.C.
Date style: Lots and lots of layers. Strap on a pair of your warmest winter boots and puffy down-filled coat and you’re ready for a day on the hills.
Single this holiday season? Read on to the next page for more Winter 2012 stylish holiday date ideas…
Holiday date idea #3. Take a holiday craft class together
Date rundown: Whether you’re a seasoned gift wrapper or haven’t made a Christmas card since the third grade (which your parents still proudly display), you’ll both benefit from spending an afternoon together making plaid gift wrap heart cutouts and learning how to tie a silk bow.
Where: The Centre for Crafts in Halifax is hosting free holiday craft nights on Fridays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. through Dec. 21. All materials provided. 1061 Marginal Rd., Suite 140, Halifax.
Date style: Stay practical yet romantic with a lovely lace-embroidered top. Don your favourite leather gloves to keep your crafting hands toasty.
Holiday date idea #4. Have a fancy cuppa hot chocolate
Status: #boysandchocolate #cantgowrong
Date rundown: Spend an afternoon indoors watching the snowfall from Yorkville’s Moroco Chocolat. Enjoy high tea with a twist—try champagne and sipping chocolate with truffled mac and cheese finger sandwiches and lemon scones for dessert. Then take a box of macarons to go.
Where: Moroco high tea ($58), at Moroco Chocolat, 99 Yorkville Ave., Toronto.
Date style: Bring out your favourite fifties-inspired date dress (we’re thinking a black and white patterned Giambattista Valli number) and chic pair of party heels for the Parisian-inspired occasion. And a sparkly clutch doesn’t hurt.
Holiday date idea #5. Throw a holiday party
Date rundown: Think about it: you, your sequined LBD and a strategically placed bowl of eggnog surrounded by an army of your closest friends—all in the comfort of your own decked-out home. Invite your crush along with a few of his best-looking mates, and you have a recipe for loosely titled holiday group date. Cheers!
Where: Any place you can plug in an iPod and hang mistletoe (naturally).
Date style: No June Cleaver hostess look here—step into an oh-so-fitted Hervé Léger bandage dress paired with your most fabulously practical yet sparkly low heels, for classy double duty of mingling and hors d’oeuvres serving.
Holiday fashion: Radiant jewellery under $500
Our 15 favourite LBDs from the Fall 2012 runways
Gift Guide 2012: ELLE Canada editors’ picks
Holiday essentials: 8 staple pieces for holiday parties
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's bi-weekly newsletter