5 Valentine’s Date Ideas that Aren’t Dinner and a Movie

Valentine's Date Ideas

If I’m honest, I’m not a huge fan of traditional Valentine’s Day celebrations. Going out to dinner and receiving chocolate and roses makes me feel like I’m in a Hallmark movie rather than in a real relationship. That being said, I’m sentimental and romantic, so using the holiday as an excuse to say I love you is something I’m totally on board with.

Valentine’s Day is a little strange for us because David’s birthday is the 16th, so we don’t celebrate in a fancy way, but we also don’t let the holiday pass without finding a way to remember that what we have is special.

Whether you have a bad taste in your mouth about Valentine’s Day being “fake” or want to break away from dinner and a movie, these are five unique Valentine’s date ideas to shake things up this year.

1. Unplug and Walk to Cocktails

Go somewhere? Without your phones? Trust me, you’ll survive, and it just might be the best thing you’ve done for your relationship all year. It’s the exception these days to be without our devices—I think about this every time I walk onto an airplane and 99% of people are scrolling. David and I are no different, so some of my favorite date nights with him are phone-less. We like to walk to a nearby bar (we live near a large shopping center) for drinks. It’s hard not to have a sweet time when there aren’t digital distractions physically present.

2. Reminisce At Home

If you’re not up for leaving the house at all, pour two glasses of wine and watch your wedding video or screencast old photos from vacations and special moments together from your laptop/iPhone to the TV.  We love looking back through old pictures as there’s so much we forget! Nothing makes me realize how special David is to me than remembering all the adventures we’ve had together.

3. Try a Class or Activity

Sure, cooking classes are fun, but think outside the box! Some active date nights we’ve done in the past include: rock climbing, concerts, arcade bars, workout class followed by smoothie date, wine tastings, basketball games, and spa dates. These are so fun and can be free or very low cost. In Raleigh, we love SkillPop classes, The Umstead spa, and Boxcar barcade.

4. Exchange Handwritten Notes

Equally the simplest and most timeless gesture: the handwritten note. David and I still exchange handwritten notes occasionally “just because,” and they give you that warm and fuzzy feeling inside. Notes can be cute, sincere, cleverly funny, silly with cartoon drawings, or very romantic. Pick that path that feels right for where you are in your relationship!

5. Order Takeout & Make Dessert

Cooking dinner together is a sweet idea in theory but, honestly, it’s laborious. I’d rather throw on comfortable clothing, pick up chinese or pizza, and be one another’s sous chefs for dessert. It can be as hands off as picking up your favorite flavor of break and bake cookies. We also enjoy homemade brownies and splitting a pint of vanilla bean ice cream.

Bonus: Exchange Gifts

I was surprised to find that many of your requested Valentine’s Day gift guides when I polled (date ideas vs. gift guides) on Instagram! A gift can can be a really sweet gesture when picked thoughtfully.

If you need ideas, check out my gift guides from December:

 gift guide for him // David’s obsessed with this razor, backpack, and charger.

 gift guide for her // Just bought the coffee cup!


Were these Valentine’s date ideas helpful? Let me know in the comments! I love hearing from you guys and am always trying to tailor the content to your needs and interests! xo

Photos in this post by the amazing Elisa Bricker.