Get ready to watch sparks fly and say goodbye to all clichés on these unconventional dates for Valentine's Day. I find that it can be really exciting thinking of unique ideas for a romantic outing that still encapsulate what the day should be about: spending time with someone you really care about. If it's your first date, it's especially important to make it a memorable one. These sweet unconventional dates for Valentine's Day will not only get you and your partner on your feet, they will also give you guys something to smile about!
Outdoor enthusiasts will get a kick out of this first choice for unconventional dates. When the word "Valentine" comes to mind, people often think that the movie outing is mandatory. While I am a film aficionado and will use any excuse to catch the latest movie, I say that there is nothing wrong with combating this thought and going on a hike! Nothing will pump your adrenaline faster than this!
2. Farmer's Market
This next idea may sound strange but is loads of fun. Browsing your local farmer's market with your date can be a romantic experience; you can both pick out different organic foods that you love and work together to create the perfect meal. The very essence of this date is utter cheesiness but that doesn't have to be a bad thing! This is also a great excuse to eat in.
There is no better way to ring in this day of new beginnings and old time love than helping out those who really need it. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or spend time at a nursing home. Being able to show kindness and generosity to strangers is a great way to honor love.
4. Party with Friends
Who says that you can't celebrate Valentine's Day with both your partner and your friends? Get a group of your best pals and throw a "Friendship Day" party! Being single doesn't mean that your friends don't deserve some love on this holiday too!
5. Wine Tasting
While this is not too unconventional, I wanted to include this idea on the list because of its utter elegance. A calm and joyful feeling will definitely consume you as you visit different wineries in the area with your beau. To make it more interesting, I would suggest setting up camp at home and each bringing your own diverse wine collection served with a platter of cheese. I've always wanted to throw a wine and cheese party and would have no qualms using Valentine's Day as an excuse to do it!
I can't be the only person who loves competing in games on this holiday. Get your blood pumping by going paintballing; while this is generally seen as a summer sport, you won't feel the winter elements with the amount of running that you'll have to do.
7. Beach Picnic
Having a picnic on the beach can be a relaxing experience. Depending on where you live, there won't be too many people around, giving you the perfect chance to get some privacy. Because I live in New York, I know that the beaches are relatively empty this time of year.
This is kind of like the hiking idea, but since half the U.S. will be covered in snow for Valentine's Day, skiing or snowshoeing would be the next best thing. Lots of state parks offer twilight skiing or snowshoeing on weekends, with cocoa at a bonfire warming station half-way through.
9. Craft Night
Most men might not savor the idea of joining your Friday Night Knitting Club, but they might be up for papier-mâché, pottery, or painting, so why not add a craft night to the list of possible Valentine's Day dates?
10. Photo Session
Why not schedule a photo shoot on Valentine's Day, or just bring along your own camera and capture some sweet, romantic, or silly moments on your dinner date? Another photo-related option? Boudoir photos, with your man behind the camera. Oh la la!
11. Spa Day/Night
When was the last time you and your sweetheart enjoyed a couple's spa day? Pamper yourselves and reconnect with massage and more.
Get your Vegas glam on, no matter where you are! Wear your best slinky, sequined LBD, sky-high heels, big hair, smoky eye, and be his Lady Luck for the night.
I'd suggest outdoor star-gazing if it's not too cold, but if the weather's freezing, head to the planetarium for the next best thing. Outdoors, bring a thermos with cocoa and a blanket to snuggle under. Indoors, bring your favorite fruity-flavored lip balm for sneaky smooching.
14. Celebrate Valentine's Day as They do in a Different Culture
Why not change things up this year and celebrate the day of love as they would in a different country? For example, in South Korea Valentine's Day is celebrated by a woman buying a man a gift (usually chocolate). However, the 14th of March is known as "White Day" which is the day that a man buys a woman a gift as a token of their affection. Additionally, 14th of April is known as "Black Day"and is a day to celebrate singles.
15. Watch the Sunrise Somewhere Beautiful
Choose one of the most beautiful settings in your city - a beach, a mountain or even just a view of the city lights. Relax together and wait for the beautiful sunrise.
16. Make a Romantic Video for One Another (or Together)
No, no - not a "sexy" video - just a cute little video telling stories about one another. You could do it together or apart, and it could include how you met, why you love each other etc.
Karaoke is undoubtedly one of the most fun things ever! Go have a laugh with your man and sing until your heart is content.
The arrival of the Valentine season has always made me cheery for reasons that I can't explain; I just love the positive vibes that are in the air at this time of year. What are your plans for Valentine's Day? What are your go-to date ideas?
This article was written in collaboration with editor Jennifer Knightstep and updated by Helena Lorimer.