As a person who's celebrated six Valentine's Days with the same awesome guy, it can be challenging to come up with new, unconventional Valentine's Day date ideas to celebrate the occasion, especially since our anniversary is just a few weeks later. Additionally, Valentine's Day as an institution walks a fine line between romantic and incredibly corny, and with it falling on a weekend this year, there are that many more hours to fill with playful, romantic, and photogenic activities. These unique Valentine's Day date ideas should get you through the whole weekend without so much as a minute of feeling boring or basic.
Dinner and a movie is so 2015. Leave the long-stem roses in that weird seasonal section of the grocery store, and embrace the most romantic activity of all — trying new things with your special someone. And I don't just mean a new chocolate truffle filling or something with a blindfold. Some of these adventurous options don't even require leaving your house, for you couples that just want to stay home and enjoy each other's company.
So, as the creative and collaborative feminists that we all obviously are, run these ideas by your Valentines, and see if any of them strike your fancy.
1. Horror movie marathon
Go totally against the grain by having a horror movie marathon. A bunch of amazing horror movies have come out in the past few years like It Follows and The Babadook. Pop some popcorn, grab a few cold beers, and make a night of it. Plus, you can cozy up to your Valentine whenever you get spooked.
It Follows, $9.99, Click Here To Watch
The Babadook, $4.99, Click Here To Watch
2. Laser tag
I've never actually done laser tag, which probably means I didn't have a childhood or something, but a laser tag date does sound like a good time. It's a fun way to get your blood flowing, and it's dark so you could steal a kiss when no children are around to see.
Nerf Laser Tag Blasters Bundle, $134.99, Amazon
In the yard, the living room, or in an actual campground — camping is a wonderful excuse to snuggle up to your Valentine. Stay warm by the fire, and end the evening with some freshly roasted s'mores. If your Valentine is the outdoorsy type, this is a memorable way to mark the occasion.
Coleman Sundome 2-Person Tent, $44.96, Amazon
4. Spice things up — literally
Track down the hottest dishes in your town, and challenge your Valentine to go toe to toe with the Scoville scale this February the 14th. Ghost peppers, Carolina Reapers, and Habanero salsas await you as you heat up Valentine's Day in a completely new way.
Reaper Sling Blade Hot Sauce, $11, Amazon
Mrs. Renfro's Mango Habanero Salsa, $3.95, Amazon
5. Gift all the things you couldn’t open in public
Every couple knows that there are some gifts that you just can't open in front of mom, dad, grandma, and the children. So, take advantage of the inherently romantic nature of Valentine's Day to exchange your naughtier gifts.
Gydoy Bullet Vibe, $11.99, Amazon
Novelty Erotic Dice, $5.49, Amazon
6. Try a home makeover
Everyone has those upgrades that they've been meaning to make to their homes. Maybe you've been meaning to deck out a barren bookshelf or swap out your sink fixtures. Use Valentine's Day as an opportunity to collaborate with your Valentine on improving the home that you share. It will feel that much more like your place when you're done.
Decorative Ceramic Cabinet Knobs, $23.99, Amazon
7-Piece Gallery Frame Set, $23.99, Amazon
7. Get in some swings at the batting cage
I love batting cage dates. Getting some serious swings in is cathartic, and you'll be crushing those patriarchal "for a girl" comments when you square one up and it lands on the roof.
8. Go on a pedestrian adventure somewhere new
You learn so much about a neighborhood when you walk through it. Take your Valentine to a neighborhood you have yet to explore, and just walk around. Find your destination along the way and keep things spontaneous. I bet you'll find a new coffee shop, a bookstore, or a killer sandwich counter that you never would've spotted otherwise.
9. Try beer flights at a local brewery
If you're both into trying new beers, getting a flight at your local craft brewery can be a real adventure. My boyfriend and I recently discovered our shared love of stouts doing just that. It's amazing the variety you'll find between different kinds of beer — it's almost like people in that way. So, do some day drinking this Valentine's Day, and discover your new favorite brew.
This one is really simple — nothing says "I rrreeeealllly trust you" like letting someone you care about hear you sing, especially on stage with a microphone.
11. Go to the zoo
Witness the love of the wild kingdom up close at your local zoo. The Los Angeles zoo actually has a special 21 and older event on Valentine's Day for couples, who can enjoy a five course meal, drinks, and learn about animal mating customs, which certainly sounds... informative.
12. Order a takeout feast
There is something really appealing about ordering several different kinds of takeout, and assembling an amazing spread from all of the delivery spots that will likely be less busy with every couple in your town out on a fancy date. When else will you have an excuse to eat pizza with General Tso's chicken and a boatload of tacos, all at the same time?
So, however you choose to spend your Valentine's Day and night, be safe and keep things interesting!
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Images: Manu Prats/Stocksy, Kristin Rogers Photography/Stocksy, Lumina/Stocksy, RADiUS-TWC films; Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images, Sean Gallup/Getty Images