When the second week of February rolls around each year, Adam and I inevitably look at each other a little bewildered and ask "So... what should we do for Valentine's Day?" Most of the traditional ideas can feel a little cheesy (not to mention overpriced), so I'm always on the hunt for unexpected Valentine's Day date ideas that will still feel romantic and special.
I remember the first year we celebrated Valentine's Day as a couple, we cooked a really fancy dinner at Adam's place complete with steak and chocolate soufflés, and it was so memorable that we've tried to do something outside the box every year since. Whether you're coupled up or single, keep scrolling for 14 unique ideas that will ensure your Valentine's Day is actually fun, with no clichés in sight.
Date Idea #1: Find and go to a drive-in concert.
Bonus points for dressing up and bringing your own lawn chairs and snacks.
Date Idea #2: Create a private movie theater in your house with a projector and screen a romantic movie.
Just add popcorn, Raisinets, and two pairs of cozy socks.
Date Idea #3: Go roller skating.
Or ice skating. The goal here is to channel your favorite hand-holding scene in just about every classic rom-com.
Date Idea #4: Host a karaoke night in your living room.
This personally sounds like my vision of hell, but I know it's right up some of your alleys. Plus, if you were born with the voice of an angel, this could be a great strategy for making him/her fall in love with you on the spot. If you want to be super professional with it, check out this Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Mic.
Date Idea #5: Take an early morning hike to watch the sunrise.
I know, I know - sounds kind of painful. But there's nothing more magical than watching the sun come up, and getting up that early to break a sweat is a totally bonding experience.
Date Idea #6: Host an at-home art night.
Date Idea #7: Put together care packages for the homeless.
Stuff paper bags or shoe boxes with food, water, socks, hand wipes, etc. and keep them in your cars for the next time you drive past someone in need. It's pretty cool to see your S.O. serving others and sacrificing his free time for a worthy cause. You'll likely fall in love with each other all over again.
Date Idea #8: Take a virtual cooking class.
Bonding over pots of marinara and pans of tiramisu? Sign me up!
Date Idea #9: Schedule a tasting at a winery or brewery on Zoom.
We love visiting wineries and are missing our little excursions. This year, I want to plan a virtual tasting where we can have the wine shipped to our home and recreate that feeling. Another fun activity is to buy three bottles of wine: one that is $20.00, one that is $10.00, and one that is $5.00. Cover the bottles in foil and mix them around, then try to guess which is which! It's pretty surprising sometimes.
Date Idea #10: Pick up your favorite take-out and drive to a scenic location for stargazing.
When was the last time you and your S.O. really looked at the stars together? There's something about gazing at the nighttime sky that is such a reminder of the vastness of the universe -- and how lucky you are to have found each other in it.
Date Idea #11: Take a "staycation" at a favorite local hotel.
I think every couple should splurge once in a while and spend the night away, even when a full-blown vacation isn't in the cards. Order room service, watch a movie, jump in the hot tub, and sleep in.
Date Idea #12: Take a virtual dance class.
Check out youtube instructors that offer salsa or swing instruction. Perfect your dance moves for the next time you go to a wedding or a country bar.
Date Idea #13: Recreate your first date.
For Adam and me, this would involve a dive-y Chinese restaurant, Peking Duck, and one too many glasses of chardonnay. If you've been together a long time, you'll undoubtedly have fun laughing about those early days, and it may even be a valuable reminder of why you fell so deeply in love in the first place. Be creative about how to recreate your dates at home! Pick up takeout from the restaurant, dim the lights, use tablecloths, or any unique aspects that a specific restaurant has.
Date Idea #14: Pack a Picnic and Bike Ride to Somewhere Special Together
There is something so special about riding bikes together to a special spot to indulge in a picnic together. Pack your favorite cheeses with dips and snacks in a picnic basket—don't forget the bottle of wine!
This post was originally published on February 9, 2020, and has since been updated.