15 Romantic Valentine’s Day Ideas That Aren’t Dinner

Don't be that guy on Valentine's Day. Here are 15 ideas more creative than just going out for dinner.*

Don't be that couple. Be the exciting couple, the one that everyone secretly wishes they were part of. Here are 15 Valentine's Day ideas WAY more exciting than booking a table at whatever overpriced restaurant will have you. *But hey, no judgement! Much.
Red Balloon

1. Go on a hot air balloon ride.

It's romantic, it's memorable, and you can do it from nearly every major city. Bonus points: it's not as expensive as you think. Adrenaline has dozens of deals on hot air balloon rides, many of which come with yummy extras like breakfast or bubby. Win-win!

mario kart

2. Have an all out Mario Kart battle at home

Or Super Smash Bros. Or any game that's *relatively* easy to play (FIFA / Madden probably not included). Friendly rivalry pumps you full of feel good endorphins, plus you get to spend money on a console you can continue to use.* *This is not a trick to buy yourself a Nintendo Wii, I swear.

love honey

3. Or get drunk and order naughty things online.

If Mario Kart is the PG version of Valentine's, this is the X-rated. You know all those weirdly delicious fantasies you kind of get into, but never really dive all the way in? Fix that. Now. Get your significant other, a bottle of wine, and a credit card. This is going to be interesting. Check out Lovehoney or for ideas.


4. Experience an adrenaline rush. Skydiving, perhaps?

Did you know that nothing brings people closer together than a surge of adrenaline? Go as mild as watching a scary movie, or as hardcore has skydiving, bungee jumping, or diving with sharks. If the latter suggestions take you fancy, check out the aptly named Adrenlin's thrill-list of experiences.


5. Book a romantic weekend away.

Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday this year, so that's a solid reason for a weekend escape right there. Expedia has a whole section on short breaks (hotels and flights included), so all you have to do is decide on a place and book. Bonus round: tell your partner you're planning dinner Friday night. Then pack their bag in secret and drive to the restaurant airport.

blue sydney

6. Or simply book a hotel room in your own city.

Hotels aren't just for holidays. Get a room on the Saturday night (with late checkout, of course), and spend time in the pool, the spa, your room... and find somewhere nice for brunch the following morning. Check out for what's on offer.


7. Score tickets to a sold out show.

Festival, concert, comedy night, whatever. Score two tickets to a sold out show and it will definitely be a Valentine's Day to remember.

coastal walks

8. Get sweaty.... in the great outdoors.

Sometimes it takes a tourist to make us remember the ridiculously beautiful nature right in our backyard. Take a hike and get back into nature. Science says it helps you de-stress within minutes, and common sense says if you plan a picnic, your date will love it. Check out your city's website for a list of nearby walking tracks (Sydneysiders, this is yours).

fuji instax

9. Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

This one's easy, fun, and saves you the trouble of thinking of a present AND something to do. All you need is a Polaroid camera (and film), a canvas, and a willing partner. Take some time on Valentine's Day to take polaroids of each other and whatever weird quirks that make your relationship tick. Pin the Polaroids on the canvas and voila! Adorable Valentine's gifts you can both keep. You trendy kids, you.


10. Indulge in a couples massage.

Never had one before? It's the most indulgent thing you can do while still including another person. You literally sit in a room while a stranger rubs things on your skin, and your partner is cool with it because they're three feet away doing the same thing. You don't even have to return the favour.

P&O Cruises

11. Book a last minute cruise and leave, like, tomorrow.

Did you know that cruises heavily discount their prices in the last week or two before they leave? It makes sense, because hey – once the ship leaves the harbour, that money's not coming back. Check out article on where to book cruises online, and see if you could be sailing away in a matter of days.


12. Get creative, and print something meaningful.

It could be an inside joke on a tea mug, or a picture of the two of you on a phone case. Sites like Zazzle or Vistaprint have hundreds of options to print something cute, quirky, and unique to the two of you onto something that you'll treasure forever.


13. Stay home and cook. Just kidding – stay home and make cocktails.

There should be some form of food too, of course, but why not order a few spirits, a cocktail shaker, and a packet of ridiculous mini umbrellas (optional), and spend an evening attempting to recreate Cocktail. Dan Murphy's has a hefty collection of cocktail recipes online, or you can pick up a stylish looking mixologist's cocktail book.

14. Hunt through Groupon for inspiration

Stuck for ideas of things to do? (Me? Never.) Luckily that's where sites like Groupon come in, who boast a host of fun experiences to do in your city. Choose from activities like cocktail classes, spa days, jet packs, burlesque classes, and more. And yes, they do dinners. But in this case, they're dinners from a ferris wheel


15. Book plane tickets. Anywhere.

Are you gunning for the Big Gesture? Are you trying to out-romance Romeo? Do you want to sweep– oh, you get the point. Go big or go home, right? Book plane tickets. Anywhere. Just get a couple tickets, print them out, pop 'em in a card, and start planning an adventure.

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Alex Bruce-Smith

Alex Bruce-Smith is a publisher at, taking care of shopping & travel. She funds her addiction to online shopping by hunting coupon codes like a pro, and can usually be found waiting anxiously for a package to arrive. #notevensorry

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