ICYMI: Take it outside: YK’s Best Outdoor Dates

For a lot of men in YK, winter weekends are spent sledding on the trails or laid out on the couch, beer in hand, watching football or hockey. Weeknights are even more “full.” Wednesdays on a bar stool at the Black Knight, Coyote’s, or Boston Pizza and various other nights tied up with recreational sports and the obligatory beers that follow. Netflix, HBO programming, late nights at the office… the list of things drawing us inside is endless.

All of these commitments rob men of precious time with their significant others.

“We never do anything,” and “we never go out anymore,” are two phrases men often hear during winter. Contrary to what some men may think, enduring a couple hours of “The Bachelor” or buying the occasional flower bouquet from Extra Foods will not keep women content and committed. With June’s extended hours of daylight, warmer temperatures, and the added energy that ushers in, it is finally time to break the spell.

Even with a desire to please, a lack of innovation, ingenuity and romanticism can cripple the most well-intentioned boyfriend or husband. Fear not, lazy and clueless men of Yellowknife; using a near-perfect mix of imagination, passion and activity, the EDGE team has assembled a list of easy-to-follow date ideas that we encourage you to try.

While written from a heterosexual male’s perspective, these dates are guaranteed to please regardless of age, gender, sexual preference or orientation.

Date One

Trip to Arctic Farmer Nursery
YK Golf Club
Driving Range
Fire at Fred Henne Park

Perfect for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, this date blends sensitivity and masculinity. Kick things off with a tour of the Arctic Farmer greenhouse, hit a bucket of balls at the range, and end the evening with fire-roasted sausages and s`mores at Fred Henne’s day-use area.

Tips:

1) While you don’t need to go overboard, we recommend purchasing a seedling or bulb, with the promise to nurture it together. Delivering on this promise is optional.

2) If your golf stroke isn’t up to par, spend a few nights prior perfecting it on the range. Possibly even consider a lesson. Unless she is a scratch golfer, no woman wants to be with a man she can out-drive.

3) Make sure you can start a fire! If you are not confident in your ability to do so, bring lighter fluid. Also, bring a warm blanket, a stocked cooler, and portable speakers as these could make or break the evening. If the date goes exceptionally well, a tent and a couple sleeping bags could extend your evening.

GIRLFREND’s TAKE:

Delivering on a promise is not optional. A promise is a promise. And scratch golfer or no, I’d be fine out-driving my guy, as long as he is too. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.

Date Two

Early Morning Garage Saleing
Brunch on the Dancing
Moose Patio
Old Town Glassworks Workshop

Description:

While some people cannot totally comprehend why anyone would want to sift through other people’s discarded items at 8 a.m. on a Saturday, garage saleing is a popular pasttime for many during YK`s summer months. Begin the date early with some bartering and perusing, then treat your date with a delicious brunch at the Dancing Moose, before heading across the street for some arts and crafts at Old Town Glassworks.

Tips:

1) This date will require an early rise, so do your best to keep things tame the night before. Either way, don’t forget to grab a couple lattes or double-doubles before you pick up your date. Caffeine is a necessity when garage saleing and affords one the focus needed to navigate YK`s confusing neighbourhoods. Also, to showcase your green side and keep things hot, use your own travel mugs.

2) Be sure to call ahead and reserve a table on Dancing Moose’s lakeside patio. The hot rays of the sun, landing float planes, and gently crashing waves will no doubt impress, and the noise could help fill any potential awkward gaps in conversation.

3) Show how brave you are by not wearing gloves while sandblasting your glass (they’re totally not necessary, but she doesn’t have to know). Before ending the date, suggest a night cap to test out your beautiful new glass creations.

GIRLFRIEND’s TAKE:

Making something tangible on a date is a great idea. That way, every time she uses the glass you’ve made together, she’ll remember the day you created it. Nice call on the coffee’ed up travel mugs…thoughtful and environmentally sensitive.

Date Three

Canoeing on Back Bay
Picnic on an Island
Drinks on the Wildcat patio

Description:

As demonstrated in the 1989 Disney classic, The Little Mermaid, women love to be wooed on the water. So borrow a buddy’s canoe, or rent one from Overlander’s if need be, and set out on your own romantic voyage on Great Slave Lake. Once you get a bit restless, head to a secluded island or rocky shoreline for a carefully prepared picnic. Finally, hop back in the canoe, paddle your partner back to shore, and conclude the date with drinks on the patio of the Wildcat.

Tips:

1) While it isn’t necessary to be an expert, you must be competent in the canoe. Read Bill Stirling’s canoeing story for inspiration. Also, if you want to impress her with your knowledge of the area, download the Old Town Soundwalk app from Google Play or iTunes before heading out.

2) Your choice of food and drink for the shore-side picnic says a lot about you – choose wisely. For an occasion like this, Luluz Market is a great place to pick up gourmet sandwich and snack ideas, or if you’re in a hurry, they have a lot of premade options, as well.

3) Contrary to common sense, it is actually cheaper to purchase beer by the pint at the Wildcat – we’ve tested this. By ordering your lager a pint at time, you will save dough and keep the beer cold in the warm sun.

GIRLFRIEND’s TAKE:

This date combines all of my favorite things – the lake, a picnic, and beer! I never saw The Little Mermaid, but since it’s Disney, I’m guessing she sat and looked pretty while he rowed her about. I’d definitely want my own paddle.

Date Four

Hiking on the Ingraham Trail
Roadside Fishing
Backyard BBQ

Description:

More than simply an inexpensive date, hiking and fishing demonstrate a love of the outdoors and nature. Strap on your boots and a plaid shirt and cruise down the Trail to Cameron Falls. After the hike, stop in at the YK River for some roadside fishing and, if you are feeling adventurous, a jump off the bridge into the water below (nothing says spontaneous, with a hint of abandon, like a little his and hers freefall). To conclude the day, head back home and fire up the grill.

Tips:

1) Be prepared! Make sure to bring bug spray, an extra sweater for her, water and snacks. Attending to your date’s needs and comfort demonstrates an ability to protect and provide for – essential characteristics of any mate. Brand new hiking books are a dead giveaway that you’re not a seasoned outdoorsman, so if you have to buy some, scuff them up a bit first.

2) Re-runs of Maximum Limit Fishing run incessantly on Channel 20, so there is no excuse not to be prepared for your fishing excursion. Watch a few episodes prior, so in the very least you can appear and sound like an experienced angler. If you’re unsure how to fillet a fish, many simple tutorials are available on YouTube.

3) Although the aim is to cook the day’s fresh catch, make sure you have a Plan B in case you aren’t able to reel one in. Barbecued Jerk chicken, blackened whitefish, or Asian-style beef short ribs are excellent choices, as they demonstrate both culinary skill and exotic taste.

GIRLFRIEND’s TAKE:

I can’t stress enough how important it is to be prepared. No one wants to be alone in the woods with a cold, hungry, and complaining woman. It would take a lot to get me to jump off that bridge, major fear factor, but taking the leap together, hands held tight, might just be the most memorable and romantic thing I could ever do.

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