Great Dates in 50 States (and Canada!): Halifax, Nova Scotia

Planning a trip to the East Coast? Already a resident there? Perhaps you’re familiar with Halifax, the student mecca of the entire Atlantic region of Canada, with more students per capita than Boston. This explains why it’s also the geek capital of the region, particularly when you consider the computer and technology-related colleges in the area.

So when you’re a geek in the heart of Atlantic Canada, what are you going to do on a date that’s a little bit more original than walking up and down Barrington Street? Well, this largely depends on your individual brand of geekiness, for a start, and on the season! As you probably know, an outdoor date might not go over so well in February if your date is more of the console gaming type.

Here are a few ideas that should carry you through any season!

1. Laugh the night away at a comedy club

There are a few great comedy clubs in downtown Halifax – try Joker’s or Yuk Yuk’s for some comedy that won’t disappoint. This can give you an astounding insight into your date, as the comedy we find funniest tends to reflect our personality. What’s more, if your date likes very crude jokes but you like sophisticated jokes that are difficult for anyone who doesn’t have a degree to understand, you’re not likely to last too long. There will just be awkward pauses all the time, and you’ll frustrate yourselves and each other. Do this crucial bit of recon into your date’s personality early on and make sure you click while having fun all night!

2. Explore the waterfront… by canoe!

Nope, this isn’t the usual advice to head to the boardwalk and explore, take pictures by Theodore Tugboat, and get ice cream at COWS, though that can be fun. If you’re looking for something different than the usual waterfront walk, you can even canoe along the Northwest Arm, thanks to the St. Mary’s boat club on Fairfield Road (off Jubilee in the South End). Assuming you can both swim, this could be a blast! At $8 an hour for a weekend rental, it’s cheaper than any dinner date, but it’s only available until late September, naturally.

3. Go to the farmer’s market together

It seems cliche by now, since you’re probably used to meeting up with friends there, but thanks to the recent addition of the second farmer’s market location, the crowds are much more reasonable. There are fewer stalls at the old Brewery location on Lower Water Street, but the rest are still kicking – just visit Pier 21 to find them. Delicious food from many ethnic backgrounds, handmade crafts, and hey – you can get your grocery shopping done together. For bonus points, plan out and cook a meal together if you’re going on a second or third date – buy the veggies from the farmer’s market, head to one of your places, cook, and enjoy!

4. Board games at the Paper Chase

You might have seen or visited the Paper Chase cafe on Blowers Street before – it’s a cozy spot for dates, with enough privacy to let you spill your life story and enough visibility that you can see the servers approaching with your hot chocolate or snack. The food is good, the drinks are better, and there are board games on shelves tucked in the back corner near the computer, so if your date is a geeky type, the two of you can enjoy a little friendly rivalry. Afterwards, walk to Strange Adventures on Sackville for some geeky comic indulgence together.

5. A food adventure in downtown Halifax

One of the advantages of living in the largest Atlantic Canadian city is the great variety of cuisine available here. If you and your date share a love of restaurants and eating out, meet up on a Friday or Saturday and go for a day-long food adventure. Breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner – restaurants exist to cater to just about every taste. For something traditional, try the Fireside for dinner; if you’d rather explore a little, try Indochine Banh Mi for Vietnamese cuisine and bubble tea as a late afternoon snack. Pick up fries from street vendors or get donairs at one of the famous donair shops that dot Halifax. There’s a lot to eat, so you’ll never get bored!

You, too, can avail of the plentiful interesting date locations and get out of the standard “Second Cup for coffee and a chat” rut. These are just a few ideas for the geek who happens to find himself (or herself) in downtown Halifax and searching for geeky Halifax date ideas… explore more on your own and have fun!

What unique and interesting date locations have you stumbled upon while wandering throughout Halifax? There’s definitely a South End bias here, because I don’t know much about the North End… where are the best spots to hang out there? Share your thoughts and experiences here to help your fellow Halifax geeks out!

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