5 non-cliched Valentine’s Day date ideas
Movies are ok, and a picnic is cute – but it’s been done! There, we said it. This Valentine’s Day, we’re going left of field and sharing our favourite, non-cliched activities to try on February 14. From cooking classes to pottery throwing and even rock climbing – consider this your unofficial guide to unexpected date ideas.
1. Spice things up in the… kitchen! Try a cooking class together.
The relationship status: Perhaps you’ve only been dating for a few months and are trying to establish what this new flame is like in the kitchen or under high-pressure situations.
The activity: Let’s be real, sharing a delicious meal on February 14th is always great. But everyone has the same idea – your local restaurant will either be booked out, or you’ll arrive and have to walk through the sea of other couples who have the same idea. Even though you know you’re all there for the same reason, there’s something a little awkward about it, right? You’re probably more likely to bump into an ex in this situation too. Not ideal. May we suggest an alternative option that still allows you to enjoy a tasty meal but also sharpens your skills in the kitchen? After all, there’s something so romantic about being able to express love through homemade food. A cooking class is a great idea especially if it’s early days in the relationship; you can gauge quickly if this person is a toasted-sandwich-for-dinner kind of guy or girl or a culinary master who’ll make you the best meals of your life. If it’s the former, then a cooking class is definitely a great idea. Not only that, you’ll get to work as a team to create something à la Masterchef style (cute), things could get hot and steamy (we mean on the stove, cheeky!) and at the end of the class you’ll both be able to sit down and enjoy your hard work.
2. Put your relationship on the rocks (kinda). Go rock climbing!
The relationship status: Two weeks in! It’s fresh, it’s fun and you’re still trying to work out what the hell is going on. This could make or break it (or your collarbone), but you’ve got to risk it for the biscuit.
The activity: You gotta establish trust in the relationship early, right? And nothing says ‘trust’ like being a belayer for your new lover. What is a belayer? Don’t worry, we had to Google it too. It’s the person who controls the rope you’re attached to while clutching onto a rock climbing wall for dear life. No big deal. This Valentine’s Day suggestion has all the elements you could hope for on a date: an activity that doesn’t involve too much small talk (probably cause you’ll be out of breath), an opportunity to show off your peak physical fitness (those Pilates classes paid off) and if you have a fear of heights it’s a good way to test if your new friend can handle you at your worst as you hyperventilate and shout ‘I want to get down now!!’. Classic.
3. The art of love – check out your local gallery together
The relationship status: We’re talking long-term. It’s been a few years now, and you’ve ticked off just about every type of Valentine’s Day date that’s out there. You also know they’re more of a renaissance fan and you’re a post-modern lover from way back – so you can pick your exhibition accordingly.
The activity: Some of the greatest love stories ever written weren’t actually written at all – they were painted. So in honour of that, we suggest taking your partner to a gallery this Valentine’s Day. You can meander hand-in-hand through the halls of paintings, sculptures and installations chatting quietly about your favourite pieces as you do. There’s something about viewing art together with someone you love that’s pretty special. You’re both viewing something often inspiring, emotional or moving together, and although art can be admired alone, it’s also nice to share the experience.
4. Hike your way to their heart – get outdoors and go for a hike.
The relationship status: One year of blissful courtship – you’re certain they’re ‘the one’ but to be sure, you want to hike up a mountain and see if you can both navigate the route. Because if you can’t navigate a hike together how the hell are you going to navigate life together?
The activity: Hiking boots on, backpack fully stocked – it’s time to head off on an adventure with your person. There are so many fantastic things about a hike: panoramic views, cute wildlife, waterfalls and the feeling of being at one with nature. There are also some challenging things about a hike: the gradual climb that makes you want to turn around, snakes, confusing signage and blisters. Now, not to talk you out of this date idea – after all, we suggested it – in fact, all these elements are the perfect way to strengthen you as a couple. If you can manage a hike in the wilderness together and put up with a little discomfort, tired muscles and the odd wrong turn then you’re doing well. But that’s not all – similar to art, we think sharing the wonder of the Australian landscape together is a beautiful thing.
5. Recreate that scene out of the movie Ghost. What we actually mean is a pottery class.
The relationship status: You’ve been hanging out for about three months. You’ve both agreed this thing is exclusive, but you want to make it official with a pottery wheel and subsequent handmade vase for your future home (too much?). Stop dreaming and start throwing down that clay.
The activity: ‘Woah, my love, my darling, I've hungered for your touch…’ Ok, maybe you don’t have to go full Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore during this date, but you can still have a hell of a lotta fun in a pottery class! What’s not to love? You get to use your hands, learn a new skill, probably laugh a lot, get a little messy and create something tangible that’ll always remind you both of Valentine’s Day ‘23. There are plenty of ceramics studios to check out for this, and most will be run by skilled teachers who will have you feeling confident in front of that pottery wheel. Not only that, a pottery class date is a great way of seeing if your potential long-term partner is a) good with their hands and b) is naturally creative. It’s also a great way to tell if they’re a 90s romantic film buff, because if they are you better believe Dirty Dancing is on the cards when you get home.