18 Unexpected Valentine's Day Date Ideas

AKA not dinner and roses.

More From Valentine's Day 2017
15 articles
GIF
20 Thoughtful Gifts for Your Coworkers
26 Creative Valentine's Day Gifts for Her
The Marie Claire Galentine's Party Playlist

On Valentine's Day the last thing you want to do is get stuck in a Netflix and takeout rut—or worse, end up at a cheesy, overpriced, and decidedly unoriginal prix-fixe dinner. Whether you're single, coupled up, or somewhere in between, ensure your V-Day is free of clichés and not at all boring with these ideas.

1. Dancing.

Not at the club—we mean real dancing. You can take a class, hit a salsa club, or go see live music that makes you want to groove. For the former, we suggest something like the Valentine's Day Dirty Dancing Party in Chicago.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

2. A ghost tour.

The convenient thing about ghosts is that they tend to hang around old cities everywhere. See what's going on near you and bonus points if you find a spooky event that includes booze like Portland's Haunted Brewery Crawl, which comes with beer samples and a guided tour. (Two awesome reasons to sign up.)

3. Ice skating and après skate.

More From Valentine's Day 2017
15 articles
GIF
20 Thoughtful Gifts for Your Coworkers
26 Creative Valentine's Day Gifts for Her
The Marie Claire Galentine's Party Playlist
Fret Not: Here's What to Gift Any Guy for V-Day
GIF
What to Wear for a Valentine's Day Date Night

There's a reason why couples are always hitting the rink in our favorite rom-coms. Whether you're holding on to your S.O. the entire time, or you two are gliding while holding hands, you're pretty much guaranteed to get close. And once you've had your fill, you can enjoyed some hard-earned drinks. (Hot toddies, anyone?)

4. A wine bar crawl.

Instead of sticking to just one spot, hop from place-to-place, grab seats at the bar, and order different kinds of wine and tapas all along the way. It's waaay more interesting than a boring ol' sit-down dinner.

5. A scavenger hunt.

You can make up your own, complete with creative challenges, photo missions, and sexy prizes. (Bow chicka wow wow.) Or, look for a local public event like the Amazing Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt in New York City.

6. A themed museum trip.

When museums stay open after-hours, they tend to spice things up by throwing a party or holding a special event—especially on V-Day. Take an after-dark art tour for two like the one offered by the San Diego Museum of Art, complete with a picnic basket for two, chocolate truffles and champagne, accompanied by live music.

7. A themed dinner and movie night at home.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Watching Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck fall in love in Roman Holiday is definitely more satisfying when accompanied by a big plate of homemade spaghetti and meatballs.

8. An old-fashioned radio program party.

Turn down the lights, open a bottle of wine, light some candles, and get ready to emulate the eras of yore. Whether you're in the mood for a murder mystery or sci-fi epic, go to RadioLovers.com to listen to hundreds of vintage radio shows for free.

9. Roller skating.

It's just as romantic as ice skating, but with a little more pizzazz. And since it's V-Day, your local rink will likely have a lovey-dovey theme. Look for a rink that's kind of retro and caters to an older crowd, like the Valentine's Day Late Skate in Oklahoma City.

10. A burlesque show.

Before things heat up at home, spend the night flirting with the art of tease! Check out a burlesque show near you for a Valentine's striptease, like the Dolce Dream Valentine's Day Burlesque Show in Austin, Texas.

11. A poetry reading.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Channel your inner Carrie and Big by visiting the local library and checking out the love letters and love poems of great writers and famous figures. Open a bottle of wine (or, y'know, flask it up) and take turns reading each other your favorites.

12. Karaoke.

Leave behind the friend group and head to the karaoke bar with just you and the boo. After all, what better way to celebrate your chemistry than singing classic couples duets such as "'03 Bonnie & Clyde" and "I Got You Babe" together?

13. A second first date.

Throw back to where it all started by recreating your first date. Order the same foods, request the same songs, and see how many details you can recall from your first kiss.

Most Popular

14. A comedy show.

Laugh the night away with a Valentine's Day themed show at a local comedy club. Upright Citizens Brigade (AKA where Amy Poehler got her start) in Los Angeles and NYC tend to have a variety of funny V-day options.

15. A relaxing spa day.

Tons of spas capitalize on the romantic holiday with specials for couples (and extended hours), so take advantage of the reduced fares to chill out with your S.O. Viva Day Spa in Austin, Texas offers everything from a couple's massage to a facial package and an all-day access package. Pure Spa in Pennsylvania offers a range of specials, from an affordable massage for pairs to a deluxe "total indulgence" rate.

16. A tandem bike ride for two.

Most big cities have bike rental websites online, including tandem bikes, that have affordable hourly rates. Yes, while a bike ride for two might seem difficult/cheesy, if both of you are first-timers it could be a genuine and funny bonding moment to look back on.

17. A hotel night.

To experience the feeling of a home away from home, book into a romantic hotel that's free from roommates, dirty dishes, and paper-thin walls. Many inns and hotels host their own Valentine's specials, from champagne service to three-course meals at the hotel restaurant. W Hotel locations in New York will be launching a program with a matchmaker in residence for Valentine's Day and offering bookings for their erotic Awaken Your Senses suite.

18. Take a tour of an unexplored town or venue.

Whether it's a new restaurant that's too far away for the typical lazy weekend, or an up-state venture to a state park or museum, take a Valentine's Day weekend excursion somewhere that will get you both exploring the unfamiliar. Book an Airbnb if you want to save on pricy hotel fees and enjoy the escape.

Follow Marie Claire on Facebook for the latest celeb news, beauty tips, fascinating reads, livestream video, and more.

More from Marie Claire: