Freelance writer, mum of two who loves living in sunny Perth.
Published February 3rd 2014
Because candlelit dinners are so last year
Are you looking to take your Valentine out somewhere special this year, but are seeking something a bit different than the traditional candlelit dinner? If so, perhaps these suggestions will help you think outside the box to plan a date with a difference.
Ice/Roller Skating Hit up your local rink and take your special somewhere for a dance on skates. Pros: This is a relatively cheap date, and hand holding is almost guaranteed; so if you've been waiting to make the first move with someone, skating will definitely help you make steps in the right direction. Just feign clumsiness, and your partner will be holding your hand in no time. Cons: This is not for the seriously uncoordinated, unless you want to spend your Valentine's date holding on to the rink wall as you meander your way around.
Indoor climbing centres are the perfect date venue
Rock Climbing This is a great bonding activity for couples and if you are into adventure sports, this makes for a perfect date night. Pros: Climbing together is a great trust exercise. For the person who is climbing you are trusting your partner to look after your ropes and ensure that your safety is taken care of. If you've not been before, ask the centre staff for safety instructions and demonstrations. Due to the adrenalin surge that often comes from climbing this is a great date activity where you can both share your achievements together. Cons: The climbing harnesses do absolutely nothing for one's figure or for looking one's best, so if vanity and looking good are top priority for you, best give this one a miss. Same for those scared of heights, a panic attack isn't the greatest look for romance.
Not the cheapest date, but great for couples who are burnt out and seeking some rest and relaxation. Look out for deals closer to the day to get the most value for money. Pros: Lots of spas have a couples room specifically designed so that couples can receive treatments at the same time. Both couples come out feeling thoroughly relaxed. Cons: Not an ideal environment if you were hoping for a deep and meaningful chat, or if you wanted to look deep into your date's eyes. Also not a great choice if you have a habit of falling asleep during the massage (me). Snoring might not set the soundtrack for romance.
Do Something Spooky Have a look what's in your local area paying special attention to haunted house tours, ghost tours etc. Getting spooked together can be pretty romantic; you hold hands, you both get frightened and it's all a bit of fun too. In my local area, you can do a torchlight tour of the Fremantle prison, but just have a look at what is local to you. In London, the ghost tours or the London Dungeon could be great options. Pros: You both get to experience the thrill of the supernatural which will almost certainly guarantee some hand holding. Cons: Not recommended for the seriously faint hearted if you don't want your date thinking you're a total wimp.
Spooky Fremantle Prison. Photo: Sean Mack - Wikimedia Commons
Donate Blood The colour most associated with Valentine's Day is red, which also happens to be the colour of blood, so the link here is not so tenuous, although perhaps blood donating isn't the first choice for date nights, except perhaps for the vampirically inclined. That said, for some couples who have been there, done that and got the T-shirt, why not spend your Valentine's date giving back to others. Contact your local blood bank service before February 14th to find out if you are both eligible to donate. Pros: Get the feel good feeling of blood donating together. Share the love, this Valentine's Day. As your might feel a little faint afterwards, you can always go and grab coffee and a cake afterwards to make yourself feel better. Cons: Not an ideal date choice if you are scared of needles. Fainting on a date tends to kill the mood.
Volunteer Together Sticking with the spirit of giving back, volunteering together truly is a great way to spend a Valentine's Day with your partner. Discuss what your favourite charities are, and then contact them directly to see how you might be able to assist. Pros: When asked, 'What did you do for Valentine's Day this year', you'll have a truly marvellous answer. Moreover, this is a great way to bond with your partner, and achieve something together. Cons: Are there any cons? Perhaps not the most romantic of choices out there, but surely that is in the eye of the beholder.
Learn a New Skill A great fun way to spend a Valentine's date is by signing up for a class to learn a new skill, and there are plenty of choices out there. A quick google search will have you filled to brim with inspiration about what you could learn together. Easy options are an art class, cookery class, foreign language, dance class even learning a water sport. There are more options than I can name, and what a great way to kick start a new hobby. Pros: Learning something together suddenly gives you a whole new world of conversation topics. This would be a great option for a couple who've got bored of doing the same things over and over again. Cons: Some classes don't come cheap. Cooking classes particularly seem to be on the expensive side. However, not all classes need to be a regular commitment; you can just go to a one off skills class, and then continue learning at home.
What will you be doing this Valentine's Day? Do you have anything alternative planned for your date?
Nice article Helen. I was thinking on the Rock Climbing that if the date goes really bad (which I have had my fair share of)- just push him off the wall. He will have one hell of a fright, gain a new appreciation of respect and will probably feel a little pain to remind him how bad the date was from the life line he was attached to! LOL! Just food for thought.