The longer you’ve been with your partner or significant other, the easier it becomes to sweep Valentine’s Day aside as just another day. Some couples make it a point to go out for a nice dinner – but that’s just because that’s what’s expected. It’s what everybody does.
And let’s be honest, Valentine’s Day is pretty much the worst night to hit your favorite restaurant.
It’s crowded. There’s no way you’re getting in unless you made a reservation weeks in advance. And once you’re there, you just might face the worst thing of all: the dreaded Valentine’s Day menu.
Want to do something a bit more interesting this year?
This V-day is the perfect time to rekindle that romance with the love of your life or show your new love interest that you know how to plan an incredible date.
This year, skip the dinner reservation and plan something new. Here are 38 unique Valentine’s date ideas that aren’t boring.
Vacation in your Hometown
You don’t have to book a flight and pack a week’s worth of clothing to go on vacation. Instead, pack an overnight bag, call an Uber, and book a hotel room right in your hometown.
If you live in a big city, you’ve got it made – there are probably dozens of fabulous hotels you’ve never stayed in because you live close by.
V-day is the perfect opportunity to spend a night away from home. Depending on your mood, you don’t even have to leave the room once you check in. Just order room service, get cozy in that king-size bed, put on your favorite rom-com and make it ultra-romantic by standing indoors!
Not in the mood for a hotel? Book an Airbnb instead. Just look for one that has a hot tub, a pool, a California King bed, or some amenity that you don’t already have in your own home.
Head to the Planetarium
If we learned anything from La La Land, it’s that planetariums are oh-so-romantic. Head to your local planetarium to listen to music and star gaze – all from the comfort of a warm and cozy theater seat.
The stargazing aspect of this date makes it perfect for Valentine’s Day. And while it may seem more romantic to do that outside under the real stars, it can get pretty cold in February. Save the actual stargazing for the spring and summer months.
Take a Helicopter Tour
Book two tickets for a helicopter tour if you really want to create a memorable date. This date can get a bit pricey, but if you can afford it, it’s totally worth it.
There’s almost nothing better than getting to enjoy your city from a perspective you’ve never seen before. And if your heliport happens to be by a bar or restaurant you love, double up on the date and do drinks before or dessert after.
Visit a Shooting Range
Heading to a gun range might not scream romance, but it is a great way to get outside your comfort zone and do something different. It also requires a certain level of trust to be around someone with a loaded weapon, and that’s a definite declaration of love.
This can be an exciting date, and it can definitely get your adrenaline pumping. Perfect if you want to heat things up when you get home, and it is totally different than your average game night!
Have your Very own Chopped Competition
If you and your significant other aren’t afraid of a little competition, have your very own Chopped competition at home. From foodies to Food Network fans, an in-home
Chopped comp is the best way to prove who’s boss in the kitchen.
Agree on a few key ingredients, set a timer on your phone, and go head to head to see who can make the best meal. Unless one person is far superior, it’s usually best to declare a tie. (You don’t want your Valentine’s night turning into an argument).
There are also plenty of virtual cooking classes to check out if you want someone else to handle the planning!
Volunteer your Time
Most people are inclined to volunteer around Thanksgiving and Christmas. But Valentine’s Day is the perfect time of year to volunteer. Not only is it a meaningful way to spend time with your partner, but it’s a great way to let strangers and those in need know that they’re valued and loved!
Contact local soup kitchens and homeless shelters to see who might be in need of volunteers in your town.
Take a Dance Class
Dancing can be super sensual, and getting close to your partner on the dance floor is a great way to heat things up.
Ballroom, salsa, tango, hip hop… whatever style you’re into, a dance class is a fun and memorable way to spend time with your partner. It’s a great date for new couples looking to experience something out of the ordinary together. It’s also a perfect date for couples who have been together for years (but haven’t danced together in a while).
Enjoy Some Live Music
Instead of going the quiet, romantic route this Valentine’s Day, go see a band! Who knows? Your favorite rapper, singer or group just might be playing in your town this February 14th.
Check Live Nation, Ticketmaster and StubHub to see if anyone you like is playing a live show that night. If not, grab your partner and head to a local live music venue. Together, you might be able to discover some brand new talent!
Make a Whole Day of It
Sometimes daytime dates are even more fun than evening dates. Plus, they have the potential to last a whole lot longer!
If you can, take the day off from work and plan a whole day of activities that you and your loved one can enjoy together.
Visit historical sites or tourist spots around your city that you never go to. Check out a museum. Have a fancy brunch or lunch, then spend the afternoon day drinking at your favorite bar.
Take a walk in the park. Go bowling. Book a tee time. Shoot hoops together. Whatever it is you like to do as a couple, do it! And do it all day long.
By the time dinner rolls around, you’ll probably be so tired all you’ll want to do is head home and climb into bed. And that’s pretty much the best way to end Valentine’s Day!
Go on a Chills and Thrills Date
Ever wonder why couples on the Bachelor and Bachelorette always do things like bungee jumping and diving off insane cliffs? It’s because all the adrenaline these activities release literally makes people feel more attracted to each other.
And the good news is, it even helps to stir things up for more long-standing couples. And hey, what’s more bonding than facing a fear together?
Yes, we realize not everyone can afford to go to a racecar class or go skydiving, but there are plenty of other ways to get that adrenaline flowing. Go to a rock climbing gym, find the biggest rollercoaster in your town and ride it, take a ghost tour, take a trapeze class or if winter sports kind of scare you, try taking an ice skating or ski class.
By the time the adventure is over, you’re bound to feel closer than ever.
At Home Karaoke Night
Love to sing but don’t like to embarrass yourself in front of total strangers in a bar? Then just make your own private concert at home. Sure, you could get fancy and buy a machine. But it’s way easier to access YouTube from your smart TV and let the off-key crooning begin.
To make it more romantic, create your playlist together. Or you can even surprise each other with meaningful songs from your past.
I recently did an impromptu quasi-karaoke night with my husband by using Spotify’s lyrics feature. Sure, we were still singing over the original artists, but I think that actually made it better. Singing off-key is much less noticeable when you have a major rockstar to back you up.
Whichever method you choose, serenading each other is a sure-fire way to keep those sparks flying.
Related: 7 Fun Date Nights To Do At Home While Social Distancing
Make a Tent Fort
A major part of keeping romance alive is staying in touch with our inner child. And besides, who doesn’t like a good tent fort? So get out those sheets and pillows and start erecting your own little temple of love with a little DIY project in your living room.
Make sure to toss in some rose petals and a few electric candles to set the mood. Then you can have a picnic in there, spend the night drinking champagne, read to each other, play card games or get up to something a little saucier. May Han, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with Spark Relational Counseling, says indoor picnics are a great way to think outside of the box. “Putting together a delicious charcuterie board with your favorite goodies and a nice glass of wine and some music, you can take the time to slow down and indulge in the moment you share with each other. You can even pair it up with some gratitude practice. Take turns sharing a moment in the last year that made you feel connected and loved.”
Of course, if you have kids around, you can always keep it PG and invite them to share in the fun. For a little inspiration on making your tent fort and picnic extra special for the whole family, check out the movies The Holiday and No Reservations. Too cute!
Chocolate Making Class
Shakespeare may have said that music is the food of love, but it’s definitely chocolate for some people. Sure, the idea of it being an aphrodisiac may be a myth, but there’s no denying that feeding your love a tasty truffle is definitely romantic.
All the more reason to skip the cheap stuff and learn to make it yourself, a live class near you will give you hands-on practice with a teacher. But you can also take private classes online at places like Roni-sue.com.
Plus, when you make the bonbons yourself, you never have to guess what filling they have inside!
Blind Test Tasting
And while we’re focused on the foodie approach to romance, let’s take it up a notch and add some blindfolds. Part of being a more sensual person involves awakening all the senses – and taste is one of the most rewarding. For this idea, you’ll need to take a little trip to the gourmet store to buy your mystery treats.
When Valentine’s night rolls around, you’ll titillate your partner’s taste buds and test their palate by feeding them little bites while their eyes are covered. The challenge will be to see if they can identify what they’re eating.
Oh, and adding a bottle of wine won’t hurt either. Tasty, sexy and fun!
Yes, working out keeps us in shape and makes us feel good about ourselves (which is definitely sexy). But it also increases blood flow to the sexual organs, helps with lubrication and slashes stress which is a big-time libido killer.
All great reasons for ditching the dinner date and getting your bodies moving! Strength training is excellent because it increases testosterone – the hormone responsible for sexual arousal and muscle development.
But if that’s not your thing, any form of exercise will do. Sign up for a yoga class together, go for a run or bike ride. You could even take a lesson in a sport that’s new to you, like tennis or snowboarding.
Not only will you get to share some good bonding time together, but you may start feeling sexier than ever!
If the outdoors is your idea of romance, but you can’t get away, try camping out in your own backyard. Sure, it’s not a national park, but you will get to leave your everyday world a little bit behind, which makes it all the easier to focus on just the two of you.
And as we all know, there’s nothing more romantic than a fire. So if conditions allow, gather that firewood and some marshmallows, chocolates and graham crackers for the perfect s’mores fixin’s and get cozy. Don’t have the room for a bonfire? Try using a mini concrete fire pit!
Either way, you’ll get to enjoy gazing at your partner through the golden glow, which has a high probability of igniting the flames of love with a backyard getaway!
Bucket List and Paper Lantern Ceremony
Okay, maybe this isn’t your year to go big, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dream. Since part of building a relationship is creating shared experiences, focusing on those things you fantasize about doing is a great way to spend Valentine’s Day.
Of course, you’ll want to set the scene with some nice food (maybe your favorite takeout?), music and candles first. Then get those pens out and let your imaginations go wild.
Write down everything you’d like to do before your time on this beautiful planet is up. You may discover some things about your partner that you never knew. And you also have some fun things to look forward to!
When you’ve finished writing your list, pick one of your dreams, write it on a small slip of paper and then send it off to the sky in a paper lantern. Yes, you’ll also need to do some practical planning to make your wishes come true. But lanterns are a super romantic way of helping to materialize your dreams.
Not only will you get some exercise, but visiting a trampoline park is a super fun way to keep your childlike nature alive. I mean, you will literally be jumping up and down for each other. Does it get any cuter?
Sexy Subscription Box Date
Maybe you’re looking to spice it up this Valentine’s Day, but you’re not quite sure how. This is where ordering a sexy subscription box ahead of time can really come in handy.
Many of them come with toys, games and even costumes if that’s your jam. And the best part is, there’s no awkward stroll through a sex shop involved! Spicy but discreet! Cue up some love songs and enjoy the evening.
Adopt a Pet
Sometimes the best way to rekindle your love is by sharing it with others. And when you adopt a pet, you’re guaranteed to get that love back in return. Okay, maybe less with a cat, but still….
You can make a date to go to the local animal shelter and adopt your furry friend. Then have some fun picking out names and maybe buying some cute toys. Getting a pet together is not only a unique way to spend the day, but it’s also a long-term way to bond.
And just think of all those cute moments you’ll share walking the dog at the park or cuddling up with your kitty on the couch. Our suggestion for a name? Valentine!
P.S. For those couples not wanting to make that much of a long-term commitment or whose lifestyle doesn’t allow for pets, many animal shelters will allow you to schedule a visit with the animals. It’s a great short-term way to share the love and cozy-up with some cuddly animals!
Romantic Photo Shoot
Who says it has to be your wedding to book a photoshoot that’s all about you as a couple?
Yes, we can all take a decent selfie by now, but that’s not the same as making a date for a formal session. A good professional photographer will be able to capture you in your best light and create a work of art that you can frame for all eternity to relive the most romantic Valentine’s Day forever.
Of course, to make the most of it, you’ll want to meet your photographer ahead of time to talk about makeup, location and wardrobe. But the little time investment will be worth it when you see the results. And you won’t need a selfie stick to get the job done!
The Embrace the Cheese Date
You know all those touristy things you always tell your guests to go out and do while they’re visiting your city? The same things you never do even though you live there all year round? It’s time to start checking them off your list.
And Valentine’s Day is a great time to start. So go out and ride that Ferris wheel on the pier, take a super corny carriage ride, ride the elevator up to the top of that famously tall building or visit the petting zoo.
This isn’t about planning the perfect fancy date; it’s about embracing the cheese and having fun while you’re doing it. Try it, and you may find yourself falling in love with your city and each other all over again!
Bonus points for exploring the city with a fun scavenger hunt to previous date spots.
Related: The 50 Best Two-Player Board Games [For All Ages]
Go Horseback Riding
There’s a reason why horses are constantly showing up in movies, steamy novels and over-the-top weddings. There’s just something intrinsically romantic about them. So why not live the fairy tale and saddle up?
Whether it’s in the mountains, along the beach or through the forest, a guided horseback tour can be an adventurous and fun way to spend the day.
Feel a little horse shy? Taking a lesson at your local equestrian center can be a great way to get started and help you to overcome those nerves. And who knows, you may even discover a new shared passion!
Create a Blast from the Past
Yes, it’s always wonderful to build your future dreams together. But sometimes, remembering your favorite moments from the past can be a great way to rekindle the romance. Try visiting your favorite meaningful spots from around your hometown or even go back to the scene of your first date.
If you’re married, you could watch your wedding video or re-read your vows to one another.
And, of course, pictures are one of the best ways to bring all your best moments flooding back. You could even do a surprise slide show for each other by picking your favorite photo ops and explaining why that picture is one of your favorites. If you have any saved love letters, this is a great thing to throw in as well.
Whatever you do will be right because it’s all about you. And it’s always nice to remember just how far you’ve come together!
Browse the Stacks at Your Local Library or Bookstore
If both of you are verified bookworms — or if maybe just one of you is and you’re trying to convince the other half of your couple to read a little more — head to your local library or favorite bookstore and browse the stacks. Maybe you discuss books you’ve read, or you split up and join up after a set amount of time with books you want to give one another as your Valentine’s Day gifts.
Want to give this date night idea a fun (and kind of immature, even if it’s sure to get some giggles) twist? Head to the romance section, pick some books off the shelf at random and read aloud the sexiest scenes you can find. The first one to back out for fear of other shoppers overhearing loses.
Get Your (Romantic?) Rage On
Rage rooms have been growing in popularity over the last few years. While Valentine’s Day should be, more or less, a happy occasion, especially if you’re spending it with your favorite sweetie, you can still have fun at one of these rage rooms during your date. Head on in, smash some stuff and work up a sweat.
Strap on your hiking boots, pack your bag with all your hiking gear and hit the trail as you go on a hike to a scenic vista this Valentine’s Day. Look for a nearby hiking trail that fits both your activity levels (because you don’t want one of you to be rushing ahead while the other one is dying in the back — that doesn’t make for a romantic time), and specifically look for trails that offer beautiful views.
If you’re particularly adventurous and have hiking experience, you might want to plan a sunrise or sunset hike for extra romance. Just make sure to pack your headlamps as a necessary safety measure when hiking out or back in the dark.
Otherwise, consider packing a picnic to take with you. All the fixin’s for a charcuterie board will fit into a backpack-sized cooler.
(Not into hiking? You can do the same thing with a scenic bike ride!)
Take a Mixology Class
You don’t even need to leave home for this Valentine’s date night idea! Just purchase the class of your choice via Uncommon Goods. The platform offers a range of virtual mixology classes and will even send you some of the gear you need to make your cocktails during the class in advance.
Make a One-of-a-Kind Date Night Dinner
If you and your honey have been a couple for a while, then you’ve probably already done the cooking-at-home dinner date night a thousand times, especially if you’re avid home cooks anyway. However, ditch your favorite meal or standard steak and salad or pasta for a one-of-a-kind date night dinner that’s a little more hands-on.
Strap on your aprons, get in the kitchen and whip up something delicious and experiential. Think a baked potato or mashed potato bar (yeah, potatoes aren’t very sexy, but they are tasty); taco bar; waffle bar; fondue — if it’s something top-able or dip-able, it’s likely an easy option that doesn’t require too much technical cooking, but that’s still pretty fun, interactive and hands-on.
Plan a Destination-Themed Date Night
If you two have traveled together, then plan a destination-themed date night that will bring back memories of your favorite cities or countries.
Maybe you absolutely loved your trip to Paris. So, for your Valentine’s Day date, recreate a favorite Parisian meal, turn on some French radio or make a French love song playlist, watch a French romantic movie and pop open a bottle of French bubbly.
Relive Your Very First Date in a Fun Way
Maybe you haven’t been together long enough to have done many at-home dinner dates or long enough to have traveled together, but you do have a first date. Relive it by doing the exact same thing.
Whether it was just going to Starbucks for coffee, stargazing at the park, takeout and a movie or dinner at a favorite restaurant, while it might seem more low-key than big and extravagant, reliving your very first date is likely to bring back all sorts of fond memories.
Plan a Favorite Places Date
So maybe your first date wasn’t a big hit. If you don’t really want to relive it, create a date of another type by compiling all your favorite places into one fantastic itinerary for the best Valentine’s Day yet.
Maybe you go to one restaurant because they serve your partner’s favorite cocktail. Then, you head on over to another because they serve your favorite appetizer. Then, it’s on to the next for favorite entrees, and then finally, another favorite spot for the perfect dessert — because who says you have to spend an entire date all in just one or two spots?
Make a Couples Vision Board
Stock up on craft supplies, cuddle on the couch and flip through some old magazines and catalogs as you create a perfect couples vision board. Where do you see yourselves in the next year? The next few years? Make a board that reflects your collective hopes and dreams, and then place your board somewhere special that you can both see.
Live apart? Make two boards so each of you can enjoy a daily reminder of where your relationship is headed and the future you’re both dreaming of.
Head to your local thrift shops and see what treasures await. The key to making this a unique and fun Valentine’s Day idea, though, isn’t to search out the most valuable or best find you can. Instead, split from your partner and look for something you want to gift them — whether it’s a heartfelt and serious present or you want to buy them the wackiest, weirdest antique out there.
For even more fun, go thrifting for secondhand or vintage clothes and pick out one another’s outfits to wear to dinner afterward.
Spend the Day at the Spa
Indulge in a little self-care this Valentine’s Day with a trip to the spa. Whether you just pop in for an hour-long couples massage or you make a whole day of the excursion and stick around for facials, body wraps and more, it’s an excellent way to relax alongside your sweetie and leave feeling rejuvenated, refreshed and better than ever.
Try Something Totally New
When looking for Valentine’s Day date ideas, you might fall back on looking for something you both already enjoy doing. However, it’s known that couples form closer bonds when they experience new things together. So, this Valentine’s Day, try something totally new for the both of you.
Maybe it’s a hobby that you’ve both always considered but never actually tried, or just going to a brand-new city, restaurant, museum or local attraction. As long as it’s new to both of you, it counts. (But, no, just watching something new on Netflix or during your movie marathon does not count — you have to actually go out and do something!)
Teach Each Other Something New
Another similar option that’s sure to create some bonds and memories? Rather than try something new for the both of you, take turns introducing the other person to something you love.
Maybe if your hobby is video games, but your significant other has never really gotten into them, you give them a tutorial on all things to do with your favorite game. Same thing with board games. If you love wine and wine tasting, give your significant other an intro to wine tasting at home with a bottle of wine or two (or three).
Do Something Crazy
Sometimes, the best memories are made when you do something totally nonsensical and unexpected. Get together with your loved one, throw out some crazy ideas for Valentine’s Day and see what sticks.
Maybe you drive to the ocean for a single-day getaway — even if the ocean is a six-hour drive away. Maybe you truly test out the limits of that all-you-can-eat buffet. Maybe you try out boondocking for the first time.
If it’s a little (or a lot) weird or out of the ordinary and something that’ll make your friends scratch their heads when you tell them about it later, it might just end up becoming one of your favorite memories as a couple.
Tips for Planning the Perfect V-Day Date
Did one of our 38 unique suggestions above catch your eye? Before you make that purchase or make those reservations, take a look at these tips for ensuring your romantic Valentine’s date — no matter what you end up doing — goes off without a hitch.
Try to plan as far in advance as you can.
While sometimes it’s just not possible, if you can, try to plan in advance. If Valentine’s Day is two weeks away, don’t wait until next week to make those reservations or order a gift. Do it now. You may just find that what you wanted to do suddenly isn’t an option anymore if you wait until the last minute.
Check (and double check) that you have everything you need.
A lot of the unique Valentine’s Day date ideas that we suggest above require extra items. For example, if you’re going hiking and want to have a picnic at the trail’s summit, you’ll not only need the picnic items but also the appropriate pack to store it all in, etcetera. You’ll also need the right hiking attire and safety gear. If you’re planning breakfast in bed, you’ll need a serving tray.
Whatever you plan on doing, think about what extra items you’ll need beyond just a reservation or ticket and make sure you have them.
Dress appropriately (and give your date the wardrobe details, too!).
And on that note, when you’re thinking about needed items for a unique date experience, think about what you’ll wear. While you might have a go-to date night outfit, it might not be the best fit for whatever you plan to do.
However, even if you’re going on a date that requires a little physical activity, that doesn’t mean you need to settle for grimy workout gear, ratty sweatpants or your favorite sweatshirt with a hole in it. Likewise, even if you’re just spending a game night in the living room, you should still try to look your best for Valentine’s Day.
Additionally, make sure you tell your date — if you’re planning a surprise activity — what exactly they need to wear. Don’t keep it vague with “casual” or “formal.” If you’re going hiking, they need hiking boots and hiking-appropriate clothing, not just casual jeans and sneakers. If you’re going ice skating, they need warm wear suitable for being out in the cold for a long period of time.
Keep your significant other in mind.
While it should be obvious, it’s not always the case that well-meaning partners plan Valentine’s Day while taking their significant other’s likes, dislikes and related factors into account. Sometimes, they get caught up in the idea of what should be romantic or what they might like to do, and they accidentally lose sight of the real goal of Valentine’s Day: celebrating your relationship and the love you share.
As you solidify your Valentine’s Day plans, really think about whether or not those plans will be a perfect fit for both of you and your interests. If you have any hesitations, it might be best to pick another activity or date idea.
What Are Some Unique Valentine’s Day Date Ideas?
Instead of booking a romantic dinner reservation and having to fight the crowds, or watching the same romantic movie, do something different this Valentine’s Day. Go somewhere that you love to go together or go somewhere and do something that you’ve never done before.
Do yourself and your partner a favor and book that fancy dinner reservation for the 15th. That way, you can actually enjoy a quiet table for two at home or something new and different and create the best Valentine’s Day for both of you.
You might also be interested in: 19 Valentine’s Day Gifts For Your Sweetheart
38 Unique Valentine Dates Ideas:
- Vacation in your Hometown
- Head to the Planetarium
- Take a Helicopter Tour
- Visit a Shooting Range
- Have your Very own Chopped Competition
- Volunteer your Time
- Take a Dance Class
- Enjoy Some Live Music
- Make a Whole Day of it
- Go on a Chills and Thrills Date
- At Home Karaoke Night
- Make a Tent Fort
- Chocolate Making Class
- Blind Test Testing
- Workout Date
- Backyard Camping
- Bucket List and Paper Lantern Ceremony
- Trampoline Park
- Sexy Subscription Box Date
- Adopt a Pet
- Romantic Photo Shoot
- The Embrace the Cheese Date
- Go Horseback Riding
- Create a Blast from the Past
- Browse the Stacks at Your Local Library or Bookstore
- Get Your (Romantic?) Rage On
- Go Hiking
- Take a Mixology Class
- Make a One-of-a-Kind Date Night Dinner
- Plan a Destination-Themed Date Night
- Relive Your Very First Date
- Plan a Favorite Places Date
- Make a Couples Vision Board
- Go Thrifting
- Spend the Day at the Spa
- Try Something Totally New
- Teach Each Other Something New
- Do Something Crazy
Jessica Hestonview post
After 15 years in the fashion industry, this Philadelphia native ditched her corporate career to focus on writing full time. Jessica is a TV junkie, whiskey lover and true crime addict. She finds inspiration from Broadway musicals, Hitchcock films and The Beatles. She is happily married without children, which she credits as the reason for her professional success, youthful attitude and solid eight hours of sleep every night.view post