If the thought of fighting for a reservation at the latest upscale restaurant on Valentine’s Day makes you cringe, you’re not alone. You can still give her the Valentine’s Day of her dreams with a little thought and creativity. If you’re looking for a fun date night idea that doesn’t involve sitting at a restaurant blowing money on food and drinks, then this list is for you!
Here are 20 genuinely amazing dates to take her on Valentine’s Day that aren’t just dinner and drinks:
1. Take a fun community class together. This is definitely a hot trend to try! Some ideas to get you started include: cooking, painting, pottery, dancing, or fitness. This is especially great if you’re both trying something new for the first time together.
2. Bake a dessert together. I never knew how much fun baking could be until a date suggested we bake a cake together on our first date. It required coordinating with each other to assemble the ingredients and then working together to achieve the finished product. The added perk of this date is that you get to eat cake at the end of it.
3. Watch a sunset together. So cliché, I know. It’s cliché for a reason. Watching a sunset together is a timeless romantic activity. It is so relaxing and a reminder that life is in constant motion.
4. Build a bonfire. One of my favorite date night ideas is to roast s’mores by a bonfire on a chilly night! February is the perfect time of year to enjoy a relaxing evening by the fire.
5. Go for a hike. Hiking is great because it’s a physical activity that allows you to talk freely while also getting your endorphins pumping. It’s a no-pressure way to talk for hours without being forced to stare at each other awkwardly across a dinner table. You’ll both feel a sense of accomplishment once you’ve completed a trail.
6. Volunteer together at an animal shelter. This date will show you if the person you’re dating has a compassionate heart or not. Added bonus: animals can sniff out mean people/narcissists/sociopaths. Don’t ask me how, they just know.
7. Watch airplanes take off and land at an airport overlook. Some airports have designated overlooks where you can park your car for free and watch the planes take off or land. Pack a blanket and spend the evening under the planes and stars.
8. Head to the zoo. The zoo is a fun place if you’re a kid, but it’s still fun as an adult, too! Most zoos now offer special adult themed nights geared towards adding extra incentives to visit them.
9. Throw axes together. Lumberjacking is a thing now. Never heard of it? Yeah, I hadn’t either but I was pumped when a recent date suggested it. It’s exactly how it sounds. You each take turns throwing axes at a block of wood. There is scoring involved (much like a game of darts, except extremely dangerous). Talk about an adrenaline rush!
10. Explore your city together. If you live in a relatively large city, there are all kinds of new places popping up all the time. Create a list of places you’d like to check out, and check one or a few off the list. Take it up a notch if you’ve been dating for a while and turn it into a scavenger hunt of places that are meaningful to both of you.
11. Check something off your bucket lists together. This will vary depending on the people involved, but most of us have ideas of things we’ve always wanted to try. Adventures are always more fun when the memories are shared.
12. Do something silly together. The first thing that comes to mind is a karaoke night. It can be subjective based on what the two of you find silly. Pick an activity that both of you find slightly embarrassing. Enjoy laughing at yourself (and each other).
13. Quiz each other. You know those silly personality quizzes you see floating around the internet? They exist because people LOVE taking them, even if they have no validity to them whatsoever. It’s even more fun to find couples quizzes that allow you both to get to know each other. You don’t even have to leave the house for this fun date night!
14. Play the night away at the arcade. An arcade brings out the inner child in all of us. It’s impossible to NOT have fun on an arcade date. It will also reveal whether your partner is competitive or not. We all can appreciate a friendly competition, am I right? As Ricky Bobby famously stated, “If you’re not first, you’re last.” Ok, maybe I’m a little bit too competitive.
15. Check out a comedy show. Who doesn’t enjoy a night of laughter? When I think about the one most important trait I need to have in a partner, it’s the ability to laugh together. A relationship without laughter sounds depressing as hell.
16. Head to trivia night at your local pub. Trivia night is so much fun because you get to see what kind of random knowledge your lover has floating around in their head. You will almost always learn something new about each other while working through trivia questions!
17. Have a picnic at the park. No extravagant meal needed, sandwiches and fruit will be just fine. Pack her favorite bottle of wine and you’ll be scoring major brownie points with this date night idea.
18. Game night! Pull out your favorite board or card games and spend the evening engaging in some friendly competition. It’ll definitely leave you feeling nostalgic for those carefree years of your youth.
19. Make her favorite dinner. This is one of the most simple, most romantic displays of affection in my opinion. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but I think this is true for women too. Bonus points if you run her a hot bath to enjoy while you’re cleaning up the dishes.
20. Get a couples massage. We all could use some major de-stressing in our hectic lives. Sign-up for a couples massage and leave all electronic devices in the car so you can truly disconnect. This will leave you both feeling relaxed and connected with each other.