Disclaimer: This article is geared towards coffee dates with your pals, but you may find some inspiration for romantic dates here too!
The last few weeks, I have become irritated by how many coffee catch-ups I’ve been on with friends. I know, that sounds horrible. I should feel so grateful that I have loved ones who want to get coffee and chat with me, but the mundanity of getting coffee is wearing me down. So, on my last coffee catch-up with two of my best friends, the three of us sat with our steaming drinks in hand and brainstormed how we could creatively catch-up from now on and swore-off coffee shops for awhile. Here is what we came up with:
Now that the weather is getting better, you can totally do this outside, but being that we live in rainy Victoria, we have a backup plan. Every saturday at Eagle Ridge, there’s a 12pm rollberblade meet-up where you can rent skates and skate around the rollerrink with your pals. For some extra pezzaz, dress up in an 80’s theme outfit and keep your ear open for a disco-night!
2. Affordable theatre
I recently got asked to catch-up with a friend over a show. If you are a UVic student like myself, try one of the SATCO shows at the Pheonix Theatre when they are in season, or check-out Intrpeid’s production schedule! You can talk before the show while you’re waiting for the lights to fade and after swap thoughts about the performance.
3. Yoga or a dance class
If you sit at a desk all day, like every student ever, then consider a Yin class (stretching/relaxation). They offer some great Yin classes twice a week by candlelight at FoundCity Yoga at Tuscany village. Or, another great option is doing a Barre class. This class gets derives from ballet but is catered to non-dancers who are just looking for a great workout!
4. Attend a stand-up or improv show
I’m biased, because my best friend is on the team, but Vikes Improv is AMAZING. I always enjoy myself and their themed shows are hysterical.
5. Have a DIY spa night
Just the other night, in fact, I did this with some of my best friends. We had calming tea, fruit-infused water, steamed our faces with essential oil in hot water, played a ‘spa playlist’ and then did face masks… oh, and the best part? I didn’t spend any money on our spa stuff because we just got free samples from Sephora and Bath and Body works! Gotta love samples.
6. Rock climbing
I may be partially afraid of heights, but I still love the thrill, and my friends love it too.
7. Go to a listening party
This is a little more unusual, but I heard about it from a friend. Occasionally in Victoria there are ‘listening parties’ where a bookstore or record store will host a musician to play at their shop. This is a cool way to get introduced to a new genre or artist and de-stress from your studies.
8. Flying squirrel
Who doesn’t love trampolines? Am I right?
9. Go for a hike
There’s nothing a hike up Mt. Doug can’t fix when you’re feeling overwhelmed with midterms, and all the more fun to do with a friend!
10. Picnic at the park
It’s better on a sunny day, of course, but picnics are simple and sweet.
11. Themed painting night
Fired Up is a fun place to paint pottery as is… but did you know they also host themed painting nights? Last month’s was Harry Potter and on February 17th they have a “Feather’s and Lace Canvas Class.”
12. Getting a facial at Sephora
There’s this magical thing about Sephora where you can get free facials… okay, technically they expect you to purchase a product, but they never check or get mad if you don’t. So, free facial, sorta?
13. Cook/Bake together
My friend was dying to try my famous protein ball recipe that always helps me subside my hunger between lunch and dinner time, so last Saturday evening, we did just that! We laughed everytime we goofed on the recipe and had delicious food to share when we were done.
19. Explore a new area of the city
Although you may feel like you know Victoria like the back of your hand by now, most students I know only visit the downtown hub or campus. There are a bunch of other fun areas to explore like Fernwood and Oak Bay. Take a buddy and explore the shops on a leisurely stroll. You might be surprised what hidden gems you discover.
20. Late-Night Swim
Gordon Head Rec Centre and Oak Bay both have late night swim sessions. Not only is it the cheapest time to go but typically no one is there at that time so you and your pals can have the whole place to yourself.
21. Attend a workshop
There are some awesome workshops hosted on campus like Bystander Intervention and an upcoming workshop called Queer in the Classroom. I’ve taken a couple over the years and I would highly recommend them!
22. Go to an artisan’s market
I know in the summer there’s a weekly artisan market in Fernwood, but even during the fall/winter/spring seasons there are markets around the city.
23. Journaling at the beach
I once got an invite from a friend to journal at the beach. It was an unusual invite, but super relaxing. It was a nice way to hangout and also facilitate a space of self-care.
24. Have a crafty night
If your feeling like you want to collage or just colour, pick up some supplies at the nearest craft store and hangout with your friends while doing some low-key art.
You don’t have to be the best at a sport to pick up a racquet or ball and play with friends. You can always rent equipment from CARSA and play field hockey when the turf is open or play a couple matches of tennis.
26. Board Games
Whether you want to play at the Board Game Cafe or just at home, board games appeal to most people and always evoke a dynamic atmosphere.
And lastly… don’t overlook those Facebook invites! Sometimes there are some really creative events that you may really enjoy. Keep an open mind and channel your creativity into unique ways to catch-up with friends. Plus, it doesn’t have to be expensive to be fun. Remember that DIY spa night I suggested? Yep, I didn’t spend a dime on supplies, we just used what we had.