Before we have to go into hibernation for the coming winter, my boyfriend, Nick, and I decided to go out for a date night and make use of the gorgeous fall weather. We don’t usually go out super often, so it was nice to spend a good amount of time out of the house and not have to cook dinner. The plan was to go for dinner, then enjoy a long walk as we headed over to Ripley’s Aquarium.
We started off the night getting poutine at Poutineville. Poutine is his favourite; second only to a good burger. Poutineville is a chain that’s come from Quebec, and I thought it was a pretty good poutine! We started off with the goat cheese bruschetta as an appetizer. It was delicious, but you only got 4 tiny pieces for $8, which I thought was a little pricey, considering the rather large poutine they brought us for our mains was only $12. I got the “Hawgs Town” poutine which was julienne fries with cheese curds and gravy along with roasted red peppers, corn and pulled pork in BBQ sauce. I thought it was quite good, especially since they started with a base of really good crispy fries. You have to start your poutine off with real crispy fries in order to get a good end result. Nick got the “Rocky” which was regular cut fries with the cheese curds and gravy along with shaved steak, and nacho cheese sauce. I couldn’t finish my poutine though, so Nick had to help me out with that. I would come back to this restaurant again - I had my eye on the Mexican poutine and want to try that one next!
After dinner, we started walking towards the aquarium. It took us about 45 minutes to leisurely walk through Harbord Village, China Town and the Entertainment District until we reached the aquarium. It was a perfect temperature for walking outside, and it was nearing sunset, which is my favourite time to go for a walk.
We finally got to the aquarium just before our scheduled entrance time of 8pm. The Sharks After Dark tickets that we bought were cheaper, but that meant that you had to pick an hour time slot that you would be entering the aquarium at. It sounds kind of inconvenient, but with just a little planning, we had no problem getting there on time!
The aquarium was pretty busy, even at that time, but we still had a good time seeing all the aquatic life. You’re even able to pet horseshoe crabs, which is kind of cool, even if it does just feel like you’re petting a rock.
I tried to get decent photos, but just had my iPhone with me, so some of them didn’t turn out quite as well as I might have wanted, but I think it still gives you a good sense of how interesting it was to see all these different creatures!
I took a lot of photos while we were on the slow moving conveyor belt that goes through a kind of walkway under the tanks. It’s actually a really great idea, because then it prevents people from standing in front of any tank and blocking it for a long period of time. It was also really cool to be able to see things swimming above your head. There were also able to see lion fish, leafy sea dragons, and piranhas among other things.
After we saw all of these fun fish, we came to the room where all of the jellyfish were. They looked so surreal floating there in a tank where you couldn’t see the walls. There was also a light in the tank that caused the jellyfish to change colour, which looked strange, yet beautiful at the same time.
The jellyfish were definitely my favourite part of the entire aquarium! I would love to go back when it’s not so busy and take some great photos with my SLR camera.
After we finished at the aquarium, we sat in a nearby park for a few minutes to decide what we were going to do next. Nick wanted ice cream (obviously) so we ended up at Dolce gelato, and ate our treats on our walk home.
I love doing something like this for a date because it actually incorporated a lot of walking into it. Much better than just sitting in a restaurant or a movie theatre. Plus, we had perfect weather for our evening walks!
Next time you’re planning a date night, if you’re looking for a fun and more original date idea, I would definitely give this a try!