10 great dates at Amherst Winter Carnival

If the last "romantic date" you had involved binge-watching Netflix in your yoga pants, it's time to shake things up. Lucky for you, Amherst Winter Carnival is next week, and the schedule is packed with great ideas. Here are the top 10 cupid-approved winter date plans for you and your love:

1. Make your heart race with a high energy POUND! class at the YMCA. No ordinary fitness class, this one's a combination cardio and strength class that sees participants drumming, squatting, lunging, and sweating to a high-energy beat. Sound like something you want to try? There's a free class on Tuesday, February 13 at 6:30 PM.

2. Does your sweetheart love to laugh? Surprise them with Valentine's Day tickets to the Ed Ratelle hypnotist comedy show... it's guaranteed to be the best laugh you've had in a long time. 

3. Embrace the snowy weather by borrowing snowshoes free of charge at the library, YMCA or the Amherst Stadium. Hike around the beautiful trails at the Amherst Point Bird Sanctuary, and take some birdseed with you. You might even coax a chickadee to feed from your hand!

4. Build a snow sculpture and snap a photo to share on social media. Tag @AmherstWinterCarnival for a chance to win a $100 gift card!

5. All that outdoor activity really works up an appetite! Enjoy "steak and stein" night at Bella's Bistro with live entertainment by Mike Blakeney on Friday, February 16 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.

6. Tempt your tastebuds with gourmet handcrafted chocolate and wine pairings at The Apothic Inn. Staff from NSLC will be there to describe each of the six wines that pair up with the flavour profiles of six chocolates from Cacao Chocolate. 

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7. Work off those calories with a romantic skate under the stars at the outdoor ice surface in downtown Amherst. It's at the corner of Victoria and Maple, and it's open daily until 10:00 pm, weather permitting.

8. If a tropical vacation is more your style, but outside of your budget, take a fake-ation at the Hawaiian Luau skating party at the outdoor ice surface on Saturday Feb. 17 at 2:00 pm. Music, fresh fruit, leis, and grass skirts will set the mood!

9. How do I love thee? You can count the ways at a fun production of Shakespeare: A Musical Comedy at the CCU Business Innovation Centre on Saturday afternoon at 4:00. After the show, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant, and then return for the Live Bait Theatre production of Love Letters.  It's a simply staged, heartwarming and heartbreaking play that follows the 50 year correspondence between two lifelong friends and love interest. Birkinshaw's Tea Room & Coffee House will be there with spectacular desserts available for sale as well.

10.  Bundle up for a cozy (and free!) horse-drawn wagon ride around downtown Amherst on Sunday, February 18 between 2:00 and 4:00 pm.