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Valentines on a Budget: Melt the Ice, but Save Your Wallet

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By Jillian Clark –mtltimes.ca 

February in Montreal; are you ready to take on the month of love in Canada’s most romantic city? February marks the final stretch of winter – hearts across the city are warmed by Valentines, the days grow longer, and the blasting winter wind becomes weaker. Although it may not seem like it, spring is on the horizon – spring in Montreal is still hidden by a thick layer of unwelcome ice – but the end of winter is coming!

Check out these fun February activities, and let the love in the air melt away Montreal’s ice, without melting the money in your wallet.

  1. Chocolate Festival: Je t’aime en Chocolat

Although the Chocolate Festival takes place the weekend before Valentines, it may just be the perfect Plan B date spot if you and your beau can’t get together on February 14. The festival will take over Marché Bonsecours in Old Port February 6, 7 and 8. We love chocolate!

Last year, this chocolaty festival brought in more than 38 000 chocolate lovers over the course of a single weekend. The upcoming 4th annual edition promises brunches, speeches, seminars and truffles, all focusing on our favourite sweet treat. Also featuring many free activities for both children and adults, the chocolate festival will warm your families or your lovers.

Find more information at www.jetaimeenchocolat.com.

2. Snow Yoga

Every Saturday in February, and continuing to March 7, snow yoga sessions will be held in Park La Fontaine. Perfect timing for you and your fit-geek boo to get your sweat on Valentines’ morning! The class is 60 minutes long, and begins at 10:30 sharp. Yogis will meet before class at Espace La Fontaine. Bring your own mat, water and Kleenex, and get ready to get bendy!

3. L’Oasis Musicale

Whether you and your beau are musical gurus, or just enjoy a great show, include L’Oasis Musicale in your downtown tour of February events. Every Saturday, including Valentines, Christ Church Cathedral hosts free classical concerts starting at 4:30pm. All are welcome to enjoy at your leisure. Check out www.montrealcathedral.ca for more information and other calendar listings.

  1. Barbegazi

At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Montreal’s Barbegazi: an extreme winter sports festival. Barbegazi takes place February 14-15 at the Olympic Park. Entrance is free, and grants you access to watch extreme sledders, snowskaters, and all sports icy united against the extreme cold. Log racing and real-live lumberjacks will keep you and your lovebird on your thrill-seeking toes from noon-5pm both Saturday and Sunday.

The festival is still looking for volunteers if you would prefer to be behind the scenes at this extreme snowy event! Find more information at www.barbegazifest.ca.

  1. Special Valentines Menus

Many Montreal restaurants help those struggling with Valentines plans by creating Hallmark-worthy romantic menus meant to be shared in twos. While not free, when in doubt, trust the fine-dining experts.

You will find noteworthy Valentines menus at restaurants such as: Le Nil Bleu, Tartufo D’Oro, Yas, Tandem, Casa Galicia, Branzino, Casa de Matéo, Sa-Fran, La Villa Bella, or L’Antre Nous.

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