Valentine’s Day can be a chance to shower your lover with lavish gifts and revel in sentimental clichés – like booking a table at your favourite restaurant, presenting breakfast in bed with a bouquet of flowers, or cuddling up together on the sofa with a bottle of Merlot and cry-laughing your way through Marley & Me.
For many couples, though, the thought of simply going through the motions with microwave meal kits for two or gifting coupons saying ‘I owe you one foot massage’ sounds utterly groan-inducing. With that in mind, here are some ideas for unconventional couples who dream of doing something a little different to celebrate their love…
Tandem bungee jumping
What could be more romantic on Valentine’s Day than taking the plunge? We aren’t talking about getting hitched, though, but rather lovers leaping off a 160ft platform! A tandem bungee jump is the perfect activity for thrill-seeking couples – strapped together by the ankles and holding each other tightly, this exciting activity will bring you closer together, both literally and figuratively. Fewer things make you feel more in love than going through a ‘life or death’ experience together.
Instead of bottling tensions up, use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to smash bottles up – as well as items like old TVs, crockery, printers, keyboards and more. Rage rooms provide a cathartic opportunity for couples to release pent up emotions by grabbing a weapon, putting on some protective equipment and taking out their anger on unwanted household items. This adrenaline-fueled activity is a smashing way to get couples feeling hyped up and loved up.
As fun as it is to obliterate inanimate objects, it can be just as fun to create things. A Valentine’s couples pottery class, offers a chance to therapeutically knead and wedge clay (and, of course, live out that iconic scene from Ghost). When you take to the wheel, there will be plenty of laughter as you mould your formless blobs into either ornate masterpieces worthy of the Louvre or, more likely, slightly less formless blobs.
Hot air balloon ride
What’s the most romantic mode of transport you can take on Valentine’s Day? A horse and carriage? A gondola? Wrong! It’s a hot air balloon. As you and your partner gently drift up, up and away into the clouds, you’ll feel your stresses shrink until they’re as miniscule as the people on the ground below. High above a bucolic patchwork of hedgerows and fields, you can crack open bottle of prosecco and toast your love. It’s the perfect opportunity to bask in both the beauty of your beau and breathtaking panoramas.
Meet some meerkats
The feeling you get when you stare into the eyes of an adorable, bug-eyed animal is exactly the same as when you experience love, and it’s caused by the same chemical: oxytocin. Across the UK, you and your Valentine can get up close to all kinds of cute creatures. For example, mingle with meerkats at Millets Wildside, pet alpacas at Frankly Alpacas, or feed giraffes at Chester Zoo.
There’s a reason why so many couples on Strictly Come Dancing end up having steamy affairs. Nothing screams romance more than drawing your lover close for a raunchy dance routine. Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion for couples with four left feet to get together and learn this universal language of love. Depending on your vibe, you can participate in all kinds of classes from ballroom to salsa.
From carrying out a beach clean to helping to redistribute unwanted food to those in need, couples can share the love around by volunteering. It’s a great opportunity to get to know your loved one’s nurturing side. Particularly adventurous couples can even help out with a range of worthwhile projects abroad.
Dine in the dark
London restaurant Dans Le Noir offers a date experience like no other – the chance to dine in complete darkness. Without your sense of sight, all your other experiences will be heightened, allowing you and your partner to taste gourmet cuisine like never before. It’s the perfect spot for long-term lovers to indulge in deep conversations or even potential new pairings to head on a blind date. Quite literally!
Whether you’re in a long-term, loving relationship or making your first forays into a blossoming romance, there are plenty of exciting date ideas you can enjoy this Valentine’s Day that go beyond the norm.
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