A romantic candlelit dinner may be the most popular way to celebrate February 14 with your valentine, but that doesn’t have to be the default. Let this list of alternate date ideas be your guide to mixing up the usual routine this year.


The couple that sweats together stays together, right? Pick an activity you’ve never tried before and enroll in a class or workshop together. Kickboxing, pilates, indoor rock-climbing, trapeze lessons … the options are only limited to what is offered in your area.

What to wear: Leggings, a comfy athletic top and your favorite pair of sneaks.


Bring out your competitive sides with an afternoon of game play. Try indoor mini-golfing or bowling, or go to an arcade and see who can rack up the most points in pinball or score a toy from the claw machine. This one is sure to bring back some early dating nostalgia.

What to wear: Army jacket or vest, colorful top, scarf and jeans.


It is entirely acceptable to order takeout and watch TV for Valentine’s Day, provided you mix up your routine from an ordinary weeknight. Order delivery from a restaurant you’ve never tried before and press play on a fresh series that you can binge-watch together from the beginning.

What to wear: Cozy sweatshirt and knit pants.


Stroll the grounds of your local zoo and get your fill of cuddly pandas, kooky chimps and regal tigers. If there’s not a zoo nearby or it’s closed for the winter, visit the local pet store and prepare for cuteness overload with a walk through the puppy department.

What to wear: Cable-knit sweater, jeans and boots.

Grab a sled or tube and hit the closest sledding hill, or lace on ice skates and glide hand-in-hand on a frozen pond or outdoor rink. If winters are warmer in your neck of the woods, go to an open skate night or curling night at an indoor ice rink.

What to wear: Puffy jacket, a hat and gloves!