Whether you have been collectively three months or three a long time, it is no secret that developing with some nice Valentine’s Day Ideas can be can be traumatic. (We would even go so far as to say it causes extra anxiety than figuring out tips on how to plan the proper first date.) That is true in regular instances—however maybe even more so amid the coronavirus pandemic.
There’s good news, though. While things could look and feel different this year, there are nonetheless loads of ways to make Valentine’s Day special to your partner, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, or spouse, and even somebody you are not relationship…but. (Many of the inventive Ideas on this listing can be loved from the consolation of your personal residence, While the general public occasions have new security protocols in place—however examine the social distance tips earlier than reserving).
If meals is the best way to your vital different’s coronary heart, skip that fancy-schmancy dinner and take a digital cooking class collectively or deal with her to a candy breakfast in mattress. Maybe you possibly can discover ways to do the salsa (there are on-line courses for that, too), paint a museum-worthy nonetheless life, or make a imaginative and prescient board. To not point out that there are additionally loads of things you are able to do when you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day on a low funds (suppose: a scenic hike, a aggressive game night, or a mind-blowing at-home massage).
Forward, we have compiled a listing of the most Unique Valentine’s Day date Ideas—from a weekend getaway to a yard tenting journey to a romantic film marathon—so now all it’s important to do is pick a sultry outfit (and a few equally romantic make-up), queue up a playlist of temper setting-tunes, and buy the proper present (don’t forget to include a thoughtful love note!).
Make a Vision Board
Carve out a few hours to focus on what you both want for the future of your relationship. But don’t think of it as a study session—try making a collaborative vision board, says Scott-Hudson. You’ll be surprised by how much fun the process is, plus you’ll get to know your partner more deeply and have a chance to discuss your shared goals.
Have a Karaoke Night
Though an activity like karaoke might make you feel a little self-conscious, it’s a great bonding experience. “When one partner is feeling adventurous or afraid and they are stepping out of their comfort zone, this gives the other partner an opportunity to show their comforting or protective side,” says Sassoon. (Suffer from serious stage fright? Purchase this bestselling karaoke microphone and enjoy singing your favorite sultry tunes—from the comfort of your couch.)
Go Camping—in Your Backyard
If you have an outdoor space that’s bigger than a barely-there balcony (lucky you!), consider turning your backyard into your own personal campsite. Just hang some string lights, grab a couple cozy blankets, fill these Oprah-approved, triple-insulated mugs with a delicious hot drink (think: mulled wine, spiked hot chocolate, or Irish coffee), and build a roaring fire pit, and you’ll have everything you need for an at-home adventure—complete with stargazing, of most importantly, s’mores (pro tip: swap peanut butter cups for chocolate bars).
Hit aTrampoline Park
“As we grow older, sometimes things can feel safe, but also predictable and routine,” says Scott-Hudson. Shake these feelings by doing something playful together, like visiting a place like Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park.
Go to Your Local Bookstore
Are you and your partner total bookworms? Us too! Head over to your favorite local bookstore and spend some time picking out a book for your plus one to read. Might we interest you in a new romance novel? If you do go in that direction, take turns later reading each other your favorite (or cheesiest) passages.
Watch a Valentine’s Day Movie
Pop some popcorn, make some cheesy snacks, light a mood-setting candle, open up a bottle of wine, and watch a Valentine’s Day movie while snuggling under a blanket in the comfort of your home. (Want to make it feel extra special? Decorate your space with a paper heart wreath, an origami bouquet, and a love letter banner.)
Go Vintage Shopping
The right vintage thrift shop is like a treasure trove of old goodies waiting to be newly discovered. Grab your partner and go on a scavenger hunt in your local vintage shop—even if you don’t find something to buy, the items might spark conversation, or nostalgia from beloved bygone eras.
Make Chocolate Fondue
What’s more romantic than making your own chocolate covered strawberries at home with hot melted fondue?
Take a Scenic Train Ride
If you get wanderlust looking at all those beautiful travel posts on Instagram, use Valentine’s Day as the perfect excuse to take your significant other on a scenic train ride date where you can marvel at the great outdoors.
Visit Your Local Brewery
Spend the day sampling a selection of local brews at a nearby brewery. Or, hit up the grocery store’s beer aisle and create your own flights at home.
Stream a Virtual Concert
After you finish making a Valentine’s Day playlist for each other, take date night to the next level with a local concert. (If your favorite music venue is closed, consider a virtual concert instead: Josh Groban has already announced he’ll perform songs from his new album, as well as some classics, during a special livestream concert on Valentine’s Day, and it’s likely that many other musicians will follow suit.
Have an At-Home Trivia Night
According to Psychology Today, the bond that forms from teamwork releases the brain chemical oxytocin in humans, “which is also linked to experiences of empathy, generosity and orgasm.” So, use an app like HouseParty, which features fun trivia, or JackBox games to recreate that pub feel at home.
Go on a Bike Ride
If the weather allows, take a mini adventure in your own neighborhood or city. You may discover some hidden gems on your new route. Plus, the physical exercise releases endorphins. Alternatively, you can go to a spin class together, try yoga, or have some fun doing dance cardio.
Take a Virtual Cocktail Class
More likely to order a piña colada than a pilsner? Then you’ll raise a glass to this date idea: Craft your own cocktails—with some help from a virtual mixology class. Renowned bartenders Lynnette Marrero and Ryan Chetiyawardana teach the essentials of cocktail making—including how to mix the perfect old-fashioned, whiskey smash, martini, and sherry spritz—in a series of Masterclass courses, while New York City-based mixology company Liquid Lab offers a variety of interactive Zoom classes, in which you can learn how to make everything from their signature (and seasonal) Rudolf Spritz and Jolly Gingersnap to classic tiki drinks and whiskey cocktails.
Watch a Comedy Show
If the daily grind is interfering with your ability to connect, watch a comedy show, says relationship expert Rori Sassoon. A study in the published in the journal Human Nature found that the very act of laughing together helps people open up. Chicago’s legendary improv theater The Second City offers a variety of weekly online shows, Denver’s well-known Comedy Works is livestreaming a select number of performances, and Nowhere Comedy Club, which launched shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began, has an impressive lineup of stand-ups nearly every night. (Of course, you can also skip the live part entirely and stream specials from some of the best comedians on Netflix.
Whip Up Breakfast in Bed
The ultimate sweet something for your sweet someone? Breakfast in bed—featuring a spread that only includes heart-shaped treats. (We recommend picking up these heart-shaped pans, cookie cutters, and/or mini treat molds.) Think: red velvet pancakes or waffles, breakfast pizza, frosted doughnuts, raspberry streusel muffins, peanut butter cookies, freshly-baked bagels, cheesy egg toast, and just about anything else you can come up with. Oh, and, of course, we’ll make an exception for mimosas.
Have a Cook-Off
If you prefer to stay home, consider a fun and interactive cooking experience instead of ordering takeout. Try a “cook off”—you each make a dish, then fill out score cards to determine whose skills are superior. Or, you can bring the show Chopped to life, says Sassoon. Give each other a mystery basket of ingredients, and see what you can come up with.
Go on a Hike
Want to step up your Valentine’s Day date? Put on your warmest winter coat, lace up your hiking boots, and hit your favorite local trail—or an entirely new one. Either way, you’re guaranteed to see some stunning scenery, and you’ll have a chance to have a deep, meaningful conversation (start with these thought-provoking questions), without any interruptions or distractions. And if it’s not too chilly, make sure to pack some sandwiches, pasta salad, potato chips, and chocolate chip cookies, so you can stop at a particularly gorgeous overlook and set up a picnic lunch.
Take a Painting Class
No art skills to speak of? No matter—studies show that when couples do activities, like take a painting class together, their bodies release more oxytocin. You can look for studios like Painting With a Twist or Pinot’s Palette in your area, or participate in one of Yaymaker’s virtual paint nights.
Have a Dance Party
For a more interactive evening, Mary J. Gibson, a relationship expert for DatingXP, recommends dancing to get your heart rate up. A variety of dance classes are now offered online: Learn how to fox trot, tango, and two step during one of Ballroom Dance Chicago’s Zoom lessons; Dancio teaches beginners how to do a plié and pirouette; and CLI studios offers lessons on everything from tap to hip-hop. (Pro tip: Just make sure to put on some romantic background music.) You can also, of course, fire up YouTube and learn choreo to some of your favorite music videos.
Get a Couples Massage
If you have the time, plan a romantic day to relax and focus on each other, says psychologist and relationship expert Paulette Sherman. Some spas offer a full day fee that includes a massage, as well as access to hot tubs and indoor pools. If that’s not in the budget, a cheaper alternative is to fill your bathtub with essential oils, line it with candles, and take a couples bath. Or, give each other a massage. You can find tips for that here.
Work Out Together
Raise those feel-good endorphins by getting in some outdoor exercise, if weather permits, says Sassoon.
Play Board Games
Put on your coziest pajamas, grab plenty of snacks, pop a bottle of bubbly, and play your favorite board games. It’s not just a fun way to pass the time—studies show that having fun together is one of the most important factors when it comes to marital satisfaction.
Use an App to Stargaze
Put on your warmest gear, bust out a blanket and take some time to admire the universe with the help of the Night Sky app which will actually show you what constellations you’re looking at while you wax poetic.
Plan a Mini Getaway
With Airbnb, you can inexpensively get a place away from home at a moments notice, says Sherman. Book a place with access to activities and amenities you wouldn’t otherwise have at home, like, say, a fireplace.
Visit a Rock Climbing Gym
Activities like rock climbing not only release endorphins, but also require couples to lean on teamwork skills and trust one another, says licensed psychologist Michele Leno, Ph.D.
Have a Ping-Pong Match
Competitive activities have two big benefits—they allow you to empower your partner by rooting for them to play their best and they encourage playful competition and banter, says Sassoon.
Try an Escape Room
Challenges like escape rooms require trust, support, and teamwork, says Dr. Dana Dorfman, PhD, psychotherapist and co-host of the podcast 2 Moms on the Couch. While your local spot may be closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are several virtual options that are just as fun as the real deal: Puzzle Break—well-known for its in-person escape rooms—has created an equally tricky virtual challenge, called The Grimm Escape, which takes places in an enchanted forest accessible via Zoom; Pennsylvania-based company Expedition Escape! offers Bank Heist, in which you’ll be part of a crime syndicate that’s on a mission to unlock a safe (just make sure to have a calculator handy); and Mystery Escape Room has five different adventures—from one inspired by Nancy Drew to another based on Sherlock Holmes—all of which come with a live guide and can accommodate groups of four to eight (meaning it’s perfect for a double date).
Go Ice Skating
Try something out of your comfort zone—like ice skating or even sky-diving, if you live in a warmer climate. “Novelty is good for couples,” says marriage and family therapist Christine Scott-Hudson.
Play Old-School Video Games
According to research, couples feel closer and even look happier when they share nostalgic memories—which is exactly why you should dust off your controllers, turn on your vintage video game system, and pop in one of your favorite throwback titles (think: Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, the Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Kart) for the ultimate old-school video game night. (If your Nintendo 64, Playstation, or Sega Genesis is long gone, you can also find many games, like Donkey Kong and Pac Man, online.) And to take your healthy competition to the next level, make a bet on the final score, like, say, the loser has to cook dinner.
Take a Cooking Class
Most major cities (and even some local restaurants) offer cooking classes where you can learn to make anything from pizza to sushi. (For Valentine’s Day, we recommend indulging your sweet tooth with a dessert-making class.) But you can also take advantage of the wide variety of online classes, too: Places like Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table , and The Chef & The Dish all offer online options. Or you could learn how to make chicken and potato curry, greek meatballs aloo paratha, or pillow-soft gnocchi via League of Kitchens, a (now virtual) culinary experience where immigrants teach intimate cooking workshops from their own homes.
Enjoy Game Day—at Home
You may not be able to root for your favorite sports teams in person—but, luckily, you can have just as much fun watching “the big game” from the comfort of your couch. Just make sure to serve a variety of game day staples (think: fully-loaded nachos, ultra-cheesy fries, and crispy chicken tenders) and cheer just as loudly as you would in person to really recreate the stadium experience. (Want to get in on the action? Face off against your partner during a round of beer pong, tabletop pool, foosball, or air hockey. Or, if you live somewhere warm, you could also challenge your significant other to a game of HORSE.)
Check Out a Museum
If you default to conversation about the kids or the long to-do list at home, try an activity—like a visit to a local museum—that will spark thoughtful conversation way outside the realm of your day-to-day responsibilities.
Take a “Trip” to France
You may not be able to take your significant other on a dreamy, once-in-a-lifetime French holiday—but you can pretend you’re visiting the City of Love with a French-themed date night. Kick off the evening with a glass of wine (like a Pinot Noir or a Sauvignon Blanc) and a couple hors d’oeuvres (we recommend French onion soup or a charcuterie board featuring some of the country’s finest cheeses, like Comté, Camembert, or Roquefort, and, of course, a freshly-baked baguette), before whipping up a tasty main course (think: ratatouille, beef bourguignon, or coq au vin). After that, turn on a film set in France (you can’t go wrong with Amélie, An American in Paris, or Charade) and enjoy crème brûlée, crêpes, or chocolate mousse for dessert. Bon Appétit!
Surprisingly, focusing your attention on others can have a positive impact on your own relationship. Through volunteer work—like painting schools or serving meals at a soup kitchen—you’re showing each other that you have compassion and empathy for strangers, says Sassoon. Plus, you’ll walk away feeling grateful for the many blessings you share.
While many in-person volunteer opportunities are out of the question due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there are plenty of virtual volunteer opportunities: Tarjimly is a nonprofit with a free app that connects refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers with multilingual volunteers via video chat; contribute to the Zoological Society of London’s essential conservation efforts via Instant Wild, which asks volunteers tag animals in images and videos; transcribe and review field notes, diaries, ledgers, logbooks, manuscripts, and other historical documents for the Smithsonian Institute; and Be My Eyes is a free app that connects visually impaired people who need assistance with everyday tasks (think: reading an expiration date) with sighted volunteers through live video chat.