As a lot of my friends become involved in romantic relationships, I find that conversation now often moves towards the subject of dating. A lot of high school students are new to the world of relationships, and I guess our views are slightly warped on what exactly ‘going out’ entails — Should we buy flowers and dress up for the opera, or just stay home and feel each other up on the couch? It’s hard to come up with good ideas; luckily The Reckoner is here to do it for you. Even if you’re not in a relationship, it’s fun to do these things by yourself.
1 – Go to the Theatre:
Going to the theatre is a very classy sort of thing to do, but it doesn’t have to be daunting or expensive. hipTIX is a program offering $5 tickets to a number of small shows across Toronto. You can find their listings at www.totix.ca/golive/hiptix.
Soulpepper Theatre offers $5 rush tickets for anyone under twenty-one. Show up thirty to sixty minutes before the performance. You can chill in the distillery district until the show starts (I know the Distillery’s expensive — but you don’t need to eat, just walk around). The show playing right now is Parfumerie (which I have not seen yet and know nothing about), but they usually change it up every month. The performances at Soulpepper are generally really good and make for impressive dates.
If improv is more your thing, Second City sells student tickets for $15.00, and Bad Dog runs Theatresports every Saturday at the Comedy Bar for $10.00. Big theatre companies will often have pay-what-you-can nights or other student discounts, although they are usually far and few between. It’s just a matter of doing the research.
2 – Admire Some Artwork
The Art Gallery of Ontario has free entrance for high school students after 3:00PM, Tuesday through Friday. The art will give you something to talk about, and the building itself is just beautiful. Even if art’s not really your thing, you should still check out the impressive collection of model boats, located in the basement.
3 – Go for a Walk
Just because Winter is approaching doesn’t mean walking season is over. Yes, it’s cold, but there are a lot of indoor destinations (see #4), and being cold gives you an excuse to get physically closer. Toronto is a great city for walking around; we’ve got a number of beautiful parks and neighbourhoods with fun little shops and cafés. Around Christmas time there are some really nice window displays to look at too.
4 – Stop By St. Lawrence Market
I love St. Lawrence Market. No matter which direction you approach St. Lawrence Market from, it’s a lovely walk. There is always good cheap food and, more often than not, there are plenty of free samples. The market is always fun, festive, and very cozy.
5 – Make Supper
Who needs to go out for dinner? Cooking together, or cooking a nice meal by yourself and eating together can make for a very special evening. You can make it as fancy or as cozy as you like. The only hard part is managing to get your family out of the house…
6 – Watch a Movie
I’ve always felt that movie theatres are a big waste of money and don’t make good dates at all. It’s much more romantic to curl up on the couch at home. The Toronto Public Library has an extensive collection of films, and if you keep a whole list on hold, you’ll have a new movie coming in at least once a week. You can keep a film out of the library for one week before you have to start paying fines — and even then it’s only 15¢ a day.
7 – Watch a Movie at a Movie Theatre
Okay, so if you must go to the movies, Rainbow Cinema is a viable option– $7.00 everyday, $5.00 on Tuesdays, and you can go to St. Lawrence Market beforehand, though the Carlton is probably nicer; same prices as Rainbow, usually a better movie selection, and a less sketchy venue. If you want a really nice movie theatre date, I can’t think of a better cinema than the TIFF Lightbox. Tickets are more expensive — $10.00 for regular screenings and $15.00 for premium ones, but your date will be a lot classier. The screens are huge, the sound systems are great, and the movie selection is generally impeccable.
8 – Hear Some Music
Toronto is a great place for concerts. You can generally find a list of pop concerts at www.soundscapesmusic.com/tickets. It’s more romantic, however, to go to something like the symphony, somewhere like Roy Thompson Hall; the Toronto Symphony Orchestra offers $14.00 student tickets here.
9 – Go to the Opera
It may sound lame, but the opera is a lot of fun and very impressive. The COC sets aside special $22.00 tickets for anyone under 30. There are ways to get tickets for less money — I get them for $15.00 through the UofT English department, and there are special rates for dress rehearsal nights too.
10 – Play Laser Tag
Need I say more?