So, you’re tired of the same old dinner and a movie date for Valentine’s Day? So are we. So we’ve scoured the Web and called upon a number of dating and lifestyles experts to help make your Valentine’s Day date planning even easier this year. Instead of a run-of-the-mill dinner and a movie date, consider these unique alternatives for the Valentine holiday or any romantic date occasion.
One thing to keep in mind as you plan your alternative Valentine’s Day date: make your significant other the focus. Plan something that you know the two of you will enjoy, or something that you’ve both never done that you can experience together. Planning a Valentine’s Day date can be a time-consuming task if you plan to go all out, but it can also be a snap if you plan to keep things simple this February 14.
“Do something original,” says Paul A. Falzone, CEO of The Right One and Together, a well-established personal introduction service. “Be yourself; cater to the unique desires of your loved one. Anything you can do to be creative and personalize the day should be attempted. Think of some of the things you discovered you both liked when you first began dating each other. Maybe you both have a passion for jazz music or crave warm brownies with ice cream at midnight. Whatever it may be, somehow work it in to the day or night. Creating a wonderful Valentine’s Day is not rocket science. By concentrating on the little things, you’ll ensure romantic fireworks.”
And just a reminder, while we’ve crafted this article with Valentine’s Day in mind, these romantic date ideas can work for just about anyone anytime. If you want to surprise your sweetheart with a romantic date for any reason or for no reason at all, consider these romantic date ideas on Valentine’s Day or all year long.
Creative, Unique, and Unusual Valentine’s Day Date Ideas
Attend a craft class or couples activity like Sips n Strokes, a bring-your-own-beverage paint class where couples can take home their masterpieces. Classes are two hours long and cost between $25 and $40. Available Sips n Strokes locations currently include Alabama, Georgia, and soon will include Tennessee. For more information, visit www.sipsnstrokes.com.
Go on a wine tasting excursion. Plan a chauffeured winery tour with some pals or fly solo with your sweetheart. Just be sure you either (a) drink in moderation for safe travels, or (b) set up transportation or a designated driver.
- Life Love Beauty
• Buy a bird-watching guide that has local species and maps, and plan a birding expedition to a local park or bird sanctuary.
• Pick a new sports activity — such as rock climbing, sailing, or trapeze–and take a lesson together.
• Buy a shiatsu or Swedish massage DVD and be each other’s test subject.
• Cook dinner together — but try a cuisine, such as Thai or Ethopian, that neither of you knows how to cook.
• Volunteer at the local animal shelter or food pantry as a couple.
- Nicholas Aretakis, author of Ditching Mr. Wrong: How to End a Bad Relationship and Find Mr. Right (Next Stage Press, www.DitchingMr.Wrong.com)
• Enjoy ice skating under the stars and hot chocolate.
• Find a musical concert.
• Hire a personal chef to make a special dinner at home.
• Go out dancing! (I live in Washington, DC that has every dancing imaginable.
• Take a drive to the beach and walk along the boardwalk.
- Amy Schoen, MBA, CPCC, Heartmind Connection Coaching, Life Coach and Dating/Relationship Expert, www.heartmindconnection.com
“Frankly, in the great running history of romance we all have in our heads, another action flick with a side of spaghetti doesn’t even register a blip,” says author Lisa Daily. “So whether you’re on your first date or your forty-first, pass on the popcorn, the bouquet of a dozen long stems, and the usual dinner out. Below you’ll find six dates that will get your heart pounding in more ways than one.”
• Roller-Skating at a Roller-Skating Rink Date – Take your date back to the fifth grade—to a world where glittering disco balls, neon shoelaces, and doing the Y.M.C.A are still cool. Sure, neither one of you will be able to skate backwards, and first-graders hopped up on birthday cake will probably leave you in the dust, but at least you’ll know you’re hooked up when they turn down the lights for the “couples skate.” So geek, it’s chic.
• Habitat for Humanity Date – You’re not just a great date; you’re a great human being! Nothing brings people close together like doing something for others. You’ll be tired; you’ll be proud; you’ll be an ace with a circular saw. For a project near you, check out www.habitat.org. The atmosphere is great; you can pack your own picnic; and you’ll both have the chance to show off your better side. Whether you help out for a single Saturday or dedicate yourself for a lifetime, it will be a date neither one of you will ever forget.
• Ballroom Dancing Date – With the popularity of crooners on the rise, it only makes sense that ballroom dancing would be making a comeback in a huge way. It’s romantic; it’s fun; and most girls adore a guy who can really twirl them on the dance floor. Not only that, it’s a great way to get close (and get your heart pounding) in a nonthreatening way. There’s nothing that makes a woman swoon like a guy who can cut a rug. Lots of studios have beginner nights and one-time lessons; for a dance studio near you, check out DanceNet (www.havetodance.com), which offers links and info on studios in the United States and Canada.
• The Flying Wallinskis Date – There are a bunch of new “experience” sites cropping up online, offering everything from flying-trapeze lessons, where you learn to “fly” like circus performers, to Nascar driving, where you can actually do a couple laps in a real Nascar race car, to cave exploring, where you, well, explore caves. What’s surprising is that many of the options are quite affordable (as in, under $50). Check out Wallbounce (www.wallbounce.com), Great American Days (www.greatamericandays.com), and Total Experience (www.totalexperience.ca) for an adventure near you. Offerings vary by region and season, so you never know what thrills may lie in your own backyard.
• Horseback Riding – Pack a picnic lunch, and take advantage of a chance to slow down and enjoy the ride. Most riding stables will let you rent for an hour or a half day. We ladies love cowboys. Even if it’s temporary.
• Book Signing Date – It’s different. It’s interesting. And it’s going on at a bookstore near you. And as long as you don’t pick a title like Twenty-Five Years of Cute Cats or Encyclopedia of Mold and Spores, your date will think you’re smart, and you’ll have something to talk about when you get coffee afterward. Most authors do book signings, but even the famous ones hardly ever draw more than
a few people (except that damned dog Mr. Winkle—his book signings usually have crowd-control personnel worthy of visiting royalty and a line of screaming fans around the block). Get your books signed (as long as you’re there, you might as well get a couple—personalized books make great holiday gifts); enjoy the discussion and the free coffee; and spend some time chatting with the author. You’ll have a souvenir from your date, and you might just start your own book club for two.
- Lisa Daily, excerpts from her new book, How to Date Like a Grown-Up, www.stopgettingdumped.com
Romantic, Sweet, and Sentimental Valentine’s Day Dates…