Top Valentine’s Day Date Ideas for Couples of All Types
Valentine’s Day… the most romantic day of the year. Just reading those words is likely to conjure images of velvety roses, decadent chocolates, and jaw-dropping sunsets. It all sounds so tender. So beautiful. So… boring?
Let’s face it, traditional Valentine’s Day activities are nice, but not especially original. And as a couple, you deserve to do something unique, something that will create lasting memories. Something that will bring a smile when you recall it: “Remember the year we…”
And sure, that could happen at your typical Valentine’s dinner at a fancy restaurant. But it’s more likely to happen when you think beyond conventions.
Take a moment to think about who you truly are as a couple before making your big plans for Valentine’s Day. Are you thrill seekers? Animal lovers? Puzzle solvers? Whatever your couple vibe may be, there is a date out there for you. To help you pick just the right date, we’ve put together our “14 for the 14th” list of unique date ideas.
1. Go Karting
Did you ever try go-karting as a kid? Do you remember laughing into the wind as you navigated the twisting track? Now imagine trying it with a date, with your hearts racing and smiles spreading as you wait for the green light to “Go!” Sounds pretty good, right? That’s because it is. Go-karting is an interactive, laugh-filled date.
Before you pick a track, do your homework. Go online and look at pictures of the track. The best tracks have a number of twists and turns to challenge even the best driver. This will only add to the excitement of driving a go-kart. You and your date can race each other and the other drivers – just for fun, nothing too intense!
Go-karting is a relatively safe activity, as long as you follow the track’s safety guidelines. You don’t need any prior experience to go-kart. In fact, most slow- to medium-speed tracks don’t even require a driver’s license. You and your Valentine’s Day date will, however, be asked to sign a liability waiver and wear a helmet.
Go-kart tracks can be indoors or outdoors. There are two types of go-kart tracks. The first one is usually attached to some sort of arcade or mini-golf attraction. These go-karts are designed to be fun and easy for all ages. The second type of go-kart track is a stand-alone track. These usually attract a more intense clientele, people who are there to race and win. They are intent on speed and completely focused on the race.
Since you are taking your Valentine’s Date with you, you should probably choose option A. You and your sweetie can still have all of the fun of go-kart racing, without the competitiveness.
BEST FOR: Speed Demons
2. Paint & Sip
Feeling more like a finger-painting kindergartener than a budding Picasso? That’s okay, these instructor-led painting classes will bring out your inner artist. With clear, easy-to-follow directions, even painting newbies are sure to produce something that deserves a little wall space.
Upon arrival, you and your sweetie will be shown to your easel. Everything you need to enjoy the night is ready for you – paints, brushes, canvas, even a smock to keep your date night outfit paint-free. Other supplies – snacks and possibly a bottle of wine – are up to you. Just make sure you call ahead to be certain that alcohol is allowed on the premises.
Everyone in the group will be painting the same picture (another reason to sign up beforehand – you and your Valentine’s date can pick a painting you love). The instructor will patiently guide you through the entire painting process, offering suggestions and guidance along the way. If it sounds monotonous, don’t worry – it’s not! You will get plenty of freedom in color choices, and no two paintings ever turn out the same.
Unleashing your creativity creates a bond with you and your date. It’s romantic, in a “look what we did together” kind of way. When you’re done with your painting, ask your date if you can trade them and keep theirs. They might blush, but they’ll be flattered that you want to hang their artwork on your wall.
Most of these classes require reservations, so make sure you sign up online beforehand. This will also give you the chance to choose a night with just the right project. Sure, a sunset is beautiful, but there’s something about that cuddly sloth painting that will make your date feel like the “heart eyes” emoji!
BEST FOR: Creative Types
It’s so romantic, it’s almost like a movie. Picture your date, pink-cheeked and breathless. You look them right in the eyes and with all the tender emotion you can muster – BANG! Direct paintball hit. Good thing your Valentine has a sense of humor…
Paintball might not be your usual pick for a Valentine’s Date, but it’s definitely one worth considering. It’s fun, exciting, laugh-filled, and you get to spend plenty of time in the fresh air with your Valentine.
Paintball is exercise – hiding, running, chasing. And we all know the saying: “exercise gives you endorphins.” But it’s more than just a saying, it’s a scientific fact. Exercise, including paintball, does help your body produce those feel-good emotions. What could be better than being with your Valentine while you are both in a post-exercise, endorphin-filled state of bliss?
Paintball will also create a strong sense of “us vs. them” if you decide to pair up against another team. There’s something about working together to fight a common enemy that just deepens your bond. It also showcases to your sweetie that you’ve got their back – literally, when you cover them as they run across the field.
Because paintball usually centers around capturing the opposite’s team flag, you and your Valentine’s Day date will also spend quite a bit of time strategizing – even more teamwork between you and your date.
Comfy clothes and sneakers are a given for a paintball date, so keep in mind the need to clean up if you intend to go out for dinner afterwards.
BEST FOR: Sharpshooters
4. Pet Shelter Visit
What could be a better playdate than actually playing – with puppies or kittens? We just couldn’t create this list without including our furry friends for an awwwww-inducing Valentine’s Day date.
Most shelters have more dogs than they do employees, and those dogs need to go for a stroll around the block several times a day. That creates a lot of opportunities for you and your sweetie to come to the rescue as volunteers. You can “borrow” one (or more!) of their dogs and take them for a long, brisk walk. Dogs do need to be walked more or less on a schedule, though, so make sure you call the shelter ahead of time to find out what times they need volunteers.
While you’re there, show your date your softer side while the two of you indulge in a puppy play session. Those lively fur babies have more energy than they know what to do with. Play fetch, chase them around, or just spend some quality time cuddling. Those puppy-dog eyes will be brimming with gratitude.
The dogs and cats won’t be the only ones to benefit from your volunteer time. You and your Valentine will get the physical benefits, sure: fresh air and exercise. But playing with a pet also has emotional benefits; it alleviates anxiety and reduces stress. Plus, you and your date will be creating tender memories together.
Just don’t blame us if you end up going home with a pet!
BEST FOR: Animal Lovers
5. Ice Skating
Ice skating might actually be the perfect winter date – it’s fun, it’s chilly, and you get to hold hands. What more would you want from a Valentine’s Date?
Depending on where you live, you can choose between indoor and outdoor options. If you’re ice skating outdoors, opt for layers. Sure, it may be cold outside, but once you start skating you’re bound to warm up pretty quickly. You’ll want to shed the scarf and jacket in no time. Speaking of what to wear, here’s a pro tip: make sure you wear extra-tall socks. If the skates are rubbing on your calves, they could leave a blister.
If you or your date have never ice skated before, try to choose a time that might not be as crowded – you’d be surprised at how fast a teen in hockey blades can whiz by you. Or opt for some skating lessons. Most ice skating rinks offer lessons for new skaters. We don’t want any injuries!
Of course, if you and your honey are both experienced ice skaters, you can liven things up a little bit more. Maybe a race? Or see who can skate backwards the furthest? A little healthy competition is a good thing, as long as you can both keep it fun and light.
Any kind of physical exercise you share with your Valentine will bring you closer together, as long as it’s something you both enjoy. Not only are you creating memories of times that you spent laughing and learning, but your brain will associate your sweetie with those exercise endorphins. When you think of them, you’ll remember how great you felt.
BEST FOR: Snow Bunnies
6. Non-Professional Sports
You and your sweetie don’t have to be the ones playing. It’s still considered a play date even if you’re watching someone else in action.
For this date, choose your local minor league or college team. The fans are rowdier, the tickets are more affordable, and the pretzels are just as tasty. Or, if you still live near your hometown, consider catching a high school game at your alma mater for the ultimate trip down memory lane
As for what to watch, you could pick a sport that you or your sweetie (or both of you!) love… but how about trying something completely different? If you’re both football diehards, try checking out the local college’s volleyball game. Or if you’re both big fans of college basketball, go watch your first minor league baseball game. You’ll be able to bond over learning all the rules to a new sport together.
Once you’ve picked the sport and team, it’s time for some fan apparel. Do a little sleuthing beforehand and find out the team colors, or surprise your honey on your date with a quick trip to the sports shop for some fan gear. Tee-shirts, baseball caps, and giant foam fingers are all fair game.
And sports are never complete without some serious snacking. Go ahead and indulge on your stadium treats. Let other couples go out to crowded restaurants, you and your sweetie are kids at heart who munch on Cracker Jacks, cotton candy, or nachos.
Want to up the ante? How about a little side bet? Don’t cheer for opposing teams; that would potentially make the date much too contentious. But you can make a friendly bet on the point spread, which player would score first, etc. Loser has to buy dessert after the game!
BEST FOR: The Fan Club
7. Video Game Arcade
Let’s go old school on this one… gather up your quarters and let’s play some Donkey Kong!
Video game arcades are an ideal date. You’re moving around, chatting, and motivating your date: “Don’t let the ghost eat you, Pac-man!” But make sure you don’t get so wrapped up in your own games that you end up ignoring your Valentine. Take breaks now and then from playing to touch base and hang out with your date. Or pick a game you can both rock at (Guitar Hero, anyone?) and take turns playing. Just because you’re having fun doesn’t mean it’s not a date, remember?
If retro isn’t your thing, how about a Virtual Reality (VR Cafe)? VR cafes have been popping up all over; there’s sure to be one near you. This is relatively new tech, so it’s quite possible that neither you nor your Valentine have ever tried VR. And doing something for the first time, together, is a lovely Valentine’s Day idea.
VR Cafes are a bit more expensive than the local video game arcade, but they’re worth it for something completely different. Bonus: you’ll get to see your sweetie looking silly in a bulky headset, reaching for objects that don’t exist and talking to people who aren’t there.
Another option along these lines is the gaming room concept. Unlike the video game arcade, which was filled with all different games, gaming rooms are usually just a setup of televisions with game consoles. You pay per hour, and can choose a video game to play, either together or separately. Sure, you have your Xbox at home, but now each of you gets your own tv!
BEST FOR: Gaming Geeks
8. Goat Yoga
We’ve talked about fitness, and we’ve talked about animals. Now it’s time to combine the two for the ultimate Valentine’s Day experience: goat yoga.
Goat Yoga is pretty much the same as regular yoga, but there are baby goats walking around loose. You might be in the middle of holding your favorite pose and feel a little nudge by your side. Or you might have a little extra company when you hit the mat. Don’t worry – they’ll be gentle with you.
If the concept of yoga seems a little intimidating, don’t let it worry you. Most yoga studios offer classes that are adaptable for all levels. Talk to your instructor beforehand to let them know that you’re new – they can offer modifications for poses that require a little extra flexibility. And don’t try to impress your sweetie by pushing your body into any position that hurts. You’re there to have fun, not to injure yourself.
Don’t worry, either, about what to wear. Sure, your insta is full of yogis in their perfectly matched yogawear, but that’s just a photo, not reality. Wear something you can move around in, and you’ll be just fine. Just try to avoid wearing buttons to goat yoga!
One of the best things about goat yoga is that most classes are offered early on weekend mornings. When you’re done, you and your date can indulge in a yummy Valentine’s brunch and still have the rest of the day to enjoy together.
BEST FOR: The Enlightened Ones
9. Escape Room
So far, we’ve taken on a lot of physical exertion, but not much mental exercise. Well, escape rooms are here to change that.
Escape rooms are a relatively simple concept. Your group is locked in a room. The only way out is to find all the clues and solve them, so you can unlock the door and exit the escape room. You and your group will have to cooperate fully in order to piece together the clues. Oh, and it’s timed – you usually have only 60 minutes to escape. The pressure is on!
Pay attention to everything you see and hear from the moment you walk into your escape room. Even the instructions from your host could hold a valuable piece of the puzzle.
Escape rooms are notoriously messy. That’s because they are crammed with objects, making it even more difficult for you to determine what’s a clue versus what’s just clutter. Try to notice anything that seems “off.” And make sure you look everywhere: under furniture, behind artwork, everywhere.
Escape rooms often have a theme: international espionage, jailbreak, rescue mission – you get the idea. Talk to your Valentine to try to find one that sounds like fun for both of you. Keep in mind the theme of the room when you are looking for clues. If an object doesn’t fit in with the room’s theme, it could be hiding a clue.
This sort of activity offers you the perfect chance to do some brainwork with your sweetie. It’s an ideal opportunity to share your thoughts and ask for theirs. There’s nothing more romantic than intelligence at play.
Best For: Potential Sherlock Holmes
10. Rock Climbing
This one is for the serious athletes! A rock climbing experience will certainly make for a thrilling Valentine’s Day date.
If you’ve never tried rock climbing before, you’re in for a treat – and a challenge. This endurance sport combines physical work with mental work. On the one hand you need to have the muscle power to hoist yourself up. But, you and your Valentine also need to strategize as you figure out the easiest, most efficient way to scale a wall.
Beginners should start out with a local club or gym that offers indoor rock climbing. There, a trained instructor will explain safety precautions and make sure you and your date have the proper safety equipment. Helmets are a must. Then they will help you step into your harness.
Once you are in your harnesses, you are good to go. Don’t be nervous – remember there is a mat underneath you. Concentrate on progress, however slow. Even though it may seem more natural to use your hands and arms to pull yourself up, remember that our lower bodies are much stronger than our upper bodies. So make sure that you push with your legs to power up, too.
Depending on the capacity of the gym where you are climbing, you might be able to climb side by side. If not, you can take turns going up the wall. Either way, don’t forget to cheer each other on and offer words of encouragement.
Being each other’s number one fans will strengthen any relationship!
BEST FOR: The Brave Ones
11. Zip Lining
Where are the adrenaline junkies? Here’s the perfect date for you! Zip lining will give you an adrenaline rush and leave you grinning ear-to-ear – just as a Valentine’s Day date should.
Zip lining only looks scary; it’s actually quite safe (just be sure to go to a reputable place). Safety equipment such as helmets, harnesses, and safety nets are required. But that doesn’t make it any less exhilarating. Flying across the sky will put almost as much of a flush in your cheeks as your date does.
To make this date even more fun, add in a road trip by looking for a zip lining course outside of your local area. When you’re done with your adventure, let your heart rates return to normal while you explore a new city.
Most zip lining courses are outdoors, which is an added bonus. Fresh air is known to be a powerful mood enhancer and stress reducer. Having your Valentine’s date associate you with a good mood and lack of stress can only be a good thing, right?
Zip lining, like most physical activities, will leave you and your date hungry, so make sure you check out some local restaurant reviews beforehand. Or, if you’d rather stay in the great outdoors, pack a picnic. Don’t forget the candles – this is a Valentine’s date, after all!
BEST FOR: ADRENALINE JUNKIES
Geocaching: think of it as a giant outdoors escape room. But instead of trying to escape, your goal is to find the hidden cache. All you need is a GPS device (your cell phone will do) and a sense of adventure, and you and your honey are off on a Valentine’s Day date with a treasure-hunting twist.
In theory, geocaching is easy. Go to one of the many geocache websites and enter your zip code. A list of geocaches and their coordinates will pop up; you and your sweetie can pick the one that most appeals to you. Enter the coordinates into your GPS, and you’re off to find your first geocache.
Of course, it’s not quite that simple. Once you arrive at the coordinates, you’ll quickly find that it’s actually quite a large area. This is where the real geocaching fun begins. You and your Valentine will have to actually hunt for your treasure.
Geocaches have been found under park benches, up in trees, underwater… pretty much anywhere. It can be as small as a film canister or as large as a beach bucket. You and your date will have to use your imaginations as you hunt high and low to find the cache.
Most geocaches will contain a logbook, but occasionally the cache owner will have an actual object for you to take – your treasure. Make sure you bring something to leave in its place, should this be the case.
Exploring, sleuthing, enjoying nature – geocaching has everything you need for a great Valentine’s date!
BEST FOR: Treasure Seekers
13. Horseback Riding
Can you see it now? You and your Valentine, sharing a saddle, the sea breeze whipping through your hair, the magnificent stallion beneath you kicking up sand as he gallops along the sandy shore…
Not to burst your Valentine’s Day date bubble, but the reality will probably be quite different. Think less secluded beach, more charming trail. Less exhilarating gallop, more pleasant trot. But regardless, you and your date are sure to have fun and get in some serious bonding time during this sweet date.
Search online for local stables to book your horseback ride. Most stables and ranches will offer group tours, but since you’re going for romance, inquire about private tours. It’ll be worth the extra expense to have your sweetie to yourself!
Unless you are both expert riders, forget about galloping or trying to jump. Stick to a fast trot at most. Which is a good thing, since you can ride alongside one another more easily, talking and enjoying the surrounding landscape.
The tranquility of being in nature with your date will be sure to have hearts melting all around.
BEST FOR: Would-Be Cowboys and Cowgirls
14. Take a Class
No, not physics (unless you really love Einstein’s Theory of Relativity). You can take classes – online or in person – on just about any subject. Use this Valentine’s Day Date not only to bond and have fun with your Valentine, but also to plan for your future together.
For inspiration, think about what experiences you and your date would like to share in the near future. What’s on your bucket lists? What interests and hobbies would you like to be better at?
If you know your partner dreams of a trip to La Belle Paris, consider taking French lessons together.
Do you both have phone cameras full of pictures of the sky and the beach? How about a course on nature photography?
Have you talked about opening up your own business? Try a course on branding techniques for small businesses.
If you are taking your classes in-person, this will give you both something to look forward to each week. You’ll know that you have something interesting to do together, a weekly date planned out for you. On the other hand, if you are taking a self-paced online course, it would be easier for each of you to do it on your own and then discuss it later. Don’t give in to that temptation. Make it a weekly (or as often as you’d like) date. Remember – the whole point of this is to spend quality time with your Valentine and flourish, together.
With weekly dates and the promise of a future project together, this date is truly the gift that will keep on giving!
BEST FOR: Big Dreamers
You and your date have a unique relationship, worthy of equally unique dates. When you are laughing and enjoying new experiences, you are also growing closer as a couple. Your brains are learning to associate the other person with good memories and good times, deepening your bond. And trying new activities will keep the spark of spontaneity alive in your relationship.
So this year, instead of going for over-the-top romance, focus on having more on FUN with your honey. We promise you, laughing together is its very own form of romance.
So how about it? Are you feeling inspired to try something other than the traditional “fancy dinner and sunset” Valentine’s Day date this year?