Take Me Out: 10 Non-Traditional Valentine’s Date Ideas

This Valentine’s Day will be the 7th “anniversary” of mine and hubs first date.  Yep, that’s right, we had our first official date on Valentine’s Day at a little booth at Applebee’s..  But before you get all sappy on me, I must tell you that it had nothing to do with the holiday and everything to do with timing.  You see, we were both in college and working; I was taking 18 credits and working 25+ hours per week and he was in his senior year working at Target early in the mornings [we’re talking the 4 a.m. stock shift] so finding a time that worked for us both proved to be difficult.  Not to mention I was a little reluctant to go on the date in the first place [boy am I happy I did, though].

There’s something I should also tell you all:  we are not the couple who celebrates Valentine’s Day.  Yea, I get him a quirky little card every year [one that usually has to do with how studly he is], but we don’t go planning some extravagant dinner date to celebrate.  That’s just not our style.  I tried one year making a special little dinner and dessert with some wine, sitting together at our dining room table [which never gets used for eating] over candlelight and the response I got from him:  “oh this food is good but this feels a little awkward at the dining room table” as he finished his plate and left to play video games.  Because I know his style I wasn’t offended, but I’ll always remember that I don’t need to waste my time pulling out the fancy moves for Vday.

So, the point to that story?  Rather than sit down at a traditional Valentine’s dinner, where items are usually way over-priced anyway, we like the idea of celebrating with non-traditional date ideas… if we celebrate at all.  So here are some of my favorite “non-fancy dinner” date ideas for this Friday’s Hallmark holiday, also known as Valentine’s Day.  And just in case these don’t appeal to you already, most of these don’t require a reservation!

Valentine Date Ideas

1.  Pizza, beer and bowling – what could better than greasy pizza, gut-filling beer while wearing shoes and using balls that hundreds of people have touched before you?  If you’d like to spruce the game up a bit, make some sexy bets for your nightcap!

2.  Tour a local brewery –  we have had a couple new breweries open around the Twin Cities areas so sampling some local beer flavors would be a fun night out.  Because the holiday falls on a Friday this year, you won’t have to worry about curing a hangover for work the next morning.

3.  Dinner and a movie at home – if you’re looking to keep it low-key, why not stop at your local Redbox and pick out a movie together.  Order your favorite take-out and veg in front of the TV for the night, just enjoying each other’s company.

4.  Try your hand at mini golf and arcade games – remember how fun mini golf and laser tag was when you were growing up?  I bet it’s just as fun now that you’re an adult. Like bowling, make some friendly bets to make it a little more interesting.

5.  Set-up an at-home spa for the night – Spend a couple of hours pampering each other with a full-body massage and follow it up with some wine and apps.

6.  Go go-karting – if you’re both thrill-seakers this would definitely be a fun date night.  When you are done, head over to your favorite drinking establishment and consume a few adult beverages while you rehash who’s the better go-kart driver.

7.  Ice Skating – Minneapolis has this cool ice-skating ring in the heart of downtown that’s actually indoors so you stay a little warmer [which is perfect for the weather we’ve had] that would be great for a Valentine’s date.

8.  Create a picnic in the living room – I absolutely adore this idea!  Push the furniture to the corners and enjoy a night of picnicking together.  This is the perfect idea for anyone living in a cold-weather state who dreams of warmer days.

9.  Find some local live music – there’s no better way to prep for your Vday nightcap than getting all hot and sweaty together on the dance floor… if ya know what I mean! 😉

10.  Do a workout together and follow it up with making a healthy dinner – whether you take a class or plan a session that the two of you can do together, what a great way to spend some time encouraging each other than working out together.  Post-workout, stop at the grocery store and pick up items to prepare a healthy stir-fry or other meal and head home to make it together.

There you have it – 10 date ideas that don’t include an overpriced meal but are sure to be memorable!  I hope I’ve inspired you to step out of the “restaurant” rut and get creative with your plans.  If not, well, there’s always next year! 🙂



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