9 Romantic Valentine’s Day Date Ideas to Escape the Crowds

A couple who used one of these Valentine's Day date ideas, sitting on a hill watching the sunset.

It’s almost that time of year again when heart-shaped chocolate box commercials clog the airwaves of every channel and each restaurant in town is booked with an overpriced prix fixe meal. Yep, Valentine’s Day is back, and it’s your one and only shot to show your significant other you care. Just kidding, although Valentine’s Day is a good excuse to spend a day with your partner and remind them that you care with a gift or a thoughtful gesture.

Your only problem? Every spot you thought of is already crowded with couples who planned this date months in advance. Don’t worry. We have a list of our craftiest Valentine’s Day ideas that are equal parts romantic and creative so you won’t have to deal with the February love rush.

1. Candlelit dinner at home
Can’t get into a restaurant? No problem. Pick a recipe, shop for the ingredients at your local grocery store, and prepare for a long night in with some good food and good wine. When the time is right, light the candles and you have your restaurant experience in the comfort of your own home. Who said anything about leaving the house?

2. Winter picnic
Bundle up in your warmest winter clothes, pack some blankets and your favorite fruit and cheese and you’re ready to go. If you can, go somewhere where you can light a fire and snuggle up.Because the weather is colder than usual, most people won’t want to put in the extra effort and you’ll have a good chance of being alone.

3. Romantic scavenger hunt
For the type-A folks out there, a romantic scavenger hunt can be a great way to put a little effort into your display of affection. Hand your significant other the first clue in bed in the morning, then let the games begin. The best part is, it’s totally up to you how big you want to make it. Whether you keep it in the house or take the scavenger hunt all around town is entirely up to you.

4. Chocolate making class
How many times have you given or received a box of chocolate for Valentine’s Day? Now how many times have you made the chocolate? Right. There’s a class for everything these days and chocolate making is no exception. Google chocolate making classes near you and you’re bound to find one at your local chocolatier or rec center. It’ll be messy, fun, and romantic. The best part is, well, eating chocolate. It’s a win for everybody.

5. Stargazing hike
If you’re feeling up for the challenge, bundle up and get hiking. You’ll probably want to pick a shorter trail, because of the cold but few things beat a clear starry night with your partner.

6. Acroyoga course
As if yoga alone wasn’t trendy enough, now you can do it with a partner—your partner. You’ll want to do research on the best studios in your area, but acroyoga is a fun way to get a workout in and get physical in a sensual (but not sexual) way. If someone gets dropped, at least it’ll be worth a few laughs.

7. Bed and breakfast getaway
Itching to get out of town? Book a bed and breakfast somewhere within driving distance. It’s a good way to get a change of scenery and away from the hustle and bustle of your hometown. And your breakfast gets taken care of so you can relax the morning away.

8. Couples spa day
A spa is the epitome of relaxation and pampering, and your partner will thank you for it. Nothing says I love you like a deep herb scrub and essential oil massage, followed by a few minutes in the sauna and nice dinner to top it off.

9. Volunteering at the SPCA
If you can’t get a pet but miss having animals, this is your ticket. You’ll get to the spend the day hanging with the pups that don’t have emotional support humans and you’ll win bonus good citizen points. I guarantee you this has not been suggested as a Valentine’s Day date before.

There you have it—our 9 favorite ideas. Whatever you end up doing, remember that it’s about spending time with your partner, the actual date is just part of it. If you’re genuine, sweet, and present with them, that’s a good date.  

Alex Bocknek

Alex Bocknek is the senior editor of The Date Mix and works at Zoosk, the online dating service. He’s also a recovering music critic and an aspiring fiction writer (probably lost) on the way to an independent bookstore near you. He can be found occasionally musing about politics, philosophy, and love in the modern world.

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