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Unexpected Valentine’s Day ideas that will take your date by surprise 2020

Valentine's Day is usually dinner and roses - and while there's nothing wrong with that, sometimes it's fun to step outside the box.

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Couple at a festival holding their hands up in the shape of a heart.

Sitting down to dinner together at home can be a sweet way to spend Valentine's Day, but there are plenty of options that will liven up the evening if you feel like stepping out of your comfort zone. Get your camera ready, because these ideas will have you the envy of all your friends.

Where will you be this Valentine's Day?

Looking for inspiration on things to do in your area? We've got tons! Read our city-specific guides for the best things to do in cities across Australia.


Hot air 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.

RedBalloon has dozens of deals on hot air balloon rides, many of which come with yummy extras like breakfast or bubbly. Win-win!


The CBD zone of Melbourne city, Australia.

2. Book a romantic weekend away

Valentine's Day falls on a Friday this year, which couldn't be better timing.

To save you the effort, Flight Centre has a dedicated section for flight and hotel packages so all you have to do is decide where you want to spend the weekend.

Bonus tip: tell your partner you're planning dinner Friday night and to clear the weekend because it'll be a big night.

Then pack their bag in secret and drive to the airport instead.


Couple having romantic getaway holiday in safari lodge

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

Staycations give you all the benefits of a holiday without the lengthy travel time.

Spend your mini-getaway in the pool, the spa and your room without ever having to worry about making the bed or washing dishes.

The next morning, indulge in breakfast in bed or head to a new spot for brunch.

Search below to see what's available.


Young man performing on stage for an audience

4. Tickle their funny bone

Laughter is a great way to get to someone's heart and a night at a comedy club pairs well with dinner and drinks.

See a headline act or discover your new favourite up-and-coming comedian at a stand-up or open-mic night.

For ideas, head to TodayTix to see what cheap tickets are floating around.


Shot of a mature couple enjoying a relaxing massage

5. Indulge in a couples massage

Schedule in an hour or two of total relaxation with your date without needing to return the favour.

You'll still get all the brownie points of helping them unwind without having to lift a finger.

If you're up for a challenge, try something new like a hot stone or Thai massage. See what's on offer on Groupon.


Picture not described

6. Cook up some love

Shop local and head to your nearest market for all the ingredients you'll need to create a romantic, home-cooked meal.

Or, take some notes from the experts at a couples' cooking class where you can learn to make authentic Italian, Spanish, Moroccan, Indian or French dishes.

Check out what you can book at Groupon or ClassBento and you'll leave with recipes to recreate the magic at home.


Woman making a cocktail.

7. Failing that – 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 your favourite cocktail.

Dan Murphy's has a hefty collection of cocktail recipes online, or you can pick up a stylish looking mixologist's cocktail book.


Young couple

8. Or leave it to the professionals and get wined and dined

You could stay classic and treat your sweetheart to dinner at their favourite restaurant or step outside your comfort zone and try something completely new.

It could be exotic cuisine, a dessert-only restaurant or a dinner completely in the dark.


man skydiving

9. 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 as skydiving, bungee jumping, or diving with sharks.

If the latter suggestions take you fancy, check out the aptly named Adrenaline's thrill-list of experiences.


Couple hiking in the Blue Mountains.

10. Get sweaty.... in the great outdoors

Sometimes it takes a tourist to make us remember the ridiculously beautiful nature that's in our backyard.

Go on a digital detox this weekend by going for a hike. 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).


Young women drinking red wine

11. Brewery or wine tasting

Whatever your poison, there's a vineyard, cellar or distillery out there that'll make for a perfect date night.

RedBalloon got dozens of tours on offer from the bar crawl variety to posh private tours with limo service.

If you're searching for something a little more pocket friendly, Groupon features heavily discounted tours and tastings, too.


Hand holding a ticket

12. Score tickets to a sold-out show

Festival, concert, the big game, whatever. Nab two tickets to the event they haven't been able to stop talking about and it will definitely be a Valentine's Day to remember.

Head to TodayTix or Ticketmaster to start your search.


Young couple playing chess

13. Challenge each other

Seek out a nearby board game cafe or bar and spend a couple of hours with something classic and lighthearted like Monopoly or really up the ante with a match of Settlers of Catan.

See what they're made of under pressure but try to keep things civil.


Milford sound cruise

14. 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.


Diverse group of people waiting on a train. Senior couple using phone and killing time while waiting for the train to come.

15. Book plane tickets. Anywhere

Are you ready to make the Big Gesture? 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 of tickets, print them out, pop 'em in a card and start planning an adventure.


Woman's stocking.

16. Or get drunk and order naughty things online.

It is Valentine's Day afterall. AKA the most loved up day on the calendar. So what are you waiting for?

Get your significant other, a bottle of wine, and a credit card. This is going to be interesting.

Check out Lovehoney or Adultshop.com for ideas.


Valentine's Day gift ideas

Nookii: The Hot Game for Passionate Lovers
Nookii: The Hot Game for Passionate Lovers

Lovehoney

Hot Air Balloon For 2 With Breakfast - Gold Coast
Hot Air Balloon For 2 With Breakfast - Gold Coast

Adrenaline

8pcs Stainless Steel 350ml Cocktail Shaker Mixer Kit
8pcs Stainless Steel 350ml Cocktail Shaker Mixer Kit

Catch

11 day Ovation of the Seas cruise from Sydney
11 day Ovation of the Seas cruise from Sydney

CruiseAway

Retro Drive-In Movie, Overnight Stay and Breakfast
Retro Drive-In Movie, Overnight Stay and Breakfast

RedBalloon

2 Night Rainforest Retreat with Breakfast and Wine in Tweed Valley
2 Night Rainforest Retreat with Breakfast and Wine in Tweed Valley

RedBalloon


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