Spending the night out in the Tri-City town just east of Vancouver doesn’t have to be dull and boring. If you aren’t an avid drinker, don’t worry — Coquitlam still has plenty to offer. You don’t need to be boozed up to spend the night out with that special someone. It probably does seem so much easier to have a laugh and let the conversation flow with a couple of beers in your hand (and in your veins), but the city has plenty of attractive alternatives that won’t leave you feeling the next morning.
Oh, and don’t let this mean that your Friday night is going to be spent indoors, having dinner (probably takeout), exchanging subtle glances and touches–no! Surely you can do better than that! The city is teeming with all sorts of alternatives to a dull, trite dinner, and whether you’ve lived here your whole life or are just a passing tourist, there’s something for everyone in Coquitlam.
You’ve probably exhausted all of your usual dating jaunts in Vancouver, anyway–most of them are just full of hippies and bros, and there just isn’t any thrill in going to those places anymore. With summer just around the corner, why would you want to be holed up in some bar, boozing yourself up when you could instead be intoxicated by the golden rays of light and outdoor activities?
So put down that fermented grape juice and instead check out this list of what’s waiting for you in Coquitlam. An upgrade from the cliche dinner date, and you won’t miss that beer!
1. Place des Arts — 1120 Brunette Avenue
Get your creative juices flowing at the Place des Arts — a nonprofit arts center packed with art programs and classes, music, and theater. From creating your comics to having a go at Zen drawings, there’s something for every couple here. Cost: depends on the selected program
2. Mackin House Museum — 1116 Brunette Avenue
In this fast-paced digital world of the 21st century, it’s always nice to take a breather–and maybe even just step back in time! Having been restored to life in the early 1900s, the Mackin House Museum is a quaint snapshot of a home in the Edwardian era. Perfect for lovers of history, or even those who only want to step back in time for a few hours. Come down for a free tour of the house, or make it a day with the scheduled tours around the neighborhood! Cost: House — free, Scheduled — $2
3. Giggle Dam Theater — 2616 Shaughnessy Street
Face it — your only exposure to the SNL is on your couch, staring at the screen while shoving dinner in your mouth. And since most of us just can’t afford the luxury of going there ourselves, why not bring a little of SNL to you? You don’t need to catch a plane to NYC for laughs — the next best thing is the Giggle Dam Theater! With 4 hours of non-PC life, musical comedy served with dinner, you’ll forget all about the real thing real fast. Cost: $57/person
4. Hard Rock Casino — 2080 United Boulevard
Coquitlam’s Hard Rock Casino is more than just its name — gambling is only part of the excitement here. With consistent live entertainment in the Asylum Sound Stage, great dining, shopping, and even wrestling matches, who says all the fun’s in Vegas? Throw on your best threads and get it down at Hard Rock! Cost: depends on how “dangerous” you’re willing to be in those slots
5. JJ Family Spa — 3000 Christmas Way
This Korean-style bathhouse features a dry and steam sauna, hot and cold tubs, a salt room … that’s just a taste of the indulgence before being pampered and sent off with a luxurious massage. Treat yourself and your date to a relaxing, rejuvenating spa day before a night out into town! Cost: varies per service
6. Trapped — 1300 Woolridge Street
What’s better than 3D? 4D, you say? Nah. 5D is the name of the game at Trapped — the game being 5D escape rooms! One of the biggest escape rooms in North America, Trapped prides itself in giving you the genuinely terrifying and exhilarating thrill of being trapped. Trapped for 60 minutes in a locked room, you can get to know someone. Are you and your date ready for the challenge? Cost: $25
7. DVC Ventures — 1655 Broadway Street
Unleash your rage and vent your frustrations at the only indoor shooting range in BC that rents guns to the public! No firearm license required–just merely roll in, and live out your zombie-shooting fantasies as Bond and his Bond girl. Cost: $30
8. Coquitlam Farmer’s Market
Couples who support local together stay together! Come down to the Farmer’s Market and scope out everything wholesome, organic, and handcrafted, from necklaces, fresh-cut flowers, food, and more! The Market is open from now until October 29th. Cost: Free
9. Como Lake Fishing — 700 Gatensbury
Come down and fish at one of Coquitlam’s most popular fishing lakes! With summer swiftly, approaching, this is an excellent activity for you and your date–and what’s more fun than catching your dinner? Como Lake is chock full of glistening rainbow trout you can either catch and release, or you can take them home and BBQ them up for a tasty meal, with a nice salad on the side. Cost: Free! (unless you need fishing gear … but you can call my dad for that)