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Valentine’s Day is built for couples who like to go out for a romantic dinner and then watch a rom-com while snuggled up to their partner. But what about those of us who aren’t into all that?
My fiancé and I have our moments when we like to cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie or go out for a candlelit dinner, but when it comes to celebrating Valentine’s Day, we like to mix it up a bit. Plus, we’re not huge fans of packed movie theaters or waiting an hour to get seated at a restaurant, so we like to steer clear of the traditional activities during busy times.
If you and your SO are like us, I’ve got your back with some fun and different V-Day ideas that you can pass off as your own.
Video Games and Chill
Even if you aren’t a huge fan of video games, it’s always fun to spend a night eating snacks, drinking beer or wine, and getting competitive with your partner. There are tons of cooperative and multiplayer games that everyone can enjoy. If you’re new to video games, stick to simple games like Minecraft or Mario Kart, while more experienced gamers may prefer killing each other on Call of Duty or Halo.
Playing games together helps promote communication, and you can both laugh about hilarious game glitches and jokes. I grew up as a gamer and was lucky enough to find someone that loves games as much as I do. We love to spend our date nights blocking out all other distractions and playing games like BattleBlock Theater. Players have to be in sync for a game like that, and I swear we communicate better after playing that game.
Go Go-Kart Racing
If you’re competitive but video games aren’t for you, then maybe you’d enjoy challenging your partner in the real world. Go-Kart racing is the perfect, unique thing for a couple to do during Valentine’s Day or just on a regular date. It’s not every day that you can go as fast as you want in a tiny car — and you can finally settle the debate about who’s the better driver.
You can make it even more fun by agreeing on a prize for the winner. My fiancé and I once decided that the last person around the track had to make dinner for a week. (I totally lost on purpose because I’m the better cook, but he refuses to believe it.)
Learn Something New
I consider myself a forever student. Not because I’ll be in school my whole life, but because I absolutely love learning. You’d be surprised how many museums are located around you, and many of them are completely free. Museums can cover a huge range of topics such as Native American culture, military or flight history, and fine art.
Going to a museum as a couple will surely make for an interesting date night. Not only do both of you learn something new, you may also discover new things about your partner you never knew before. My fiancé and I went to a Native American museum and I got to tell him everything I’d learned in my college courses. In return, I got to learn everything he knew about the military and I was blown away — we’ve been together for over a decade, and I never knew he had this passion.
Get Nostalgic at Your Local Arcade
Arcades used to be a huge thing when we were kids — I can remember spending hours slipping tokens into machines where I would usually lose (or maybe I just have bad luck?). Either way, visiting a local arcade with your partner will put both of you in a shared nostalgic mood that can have its own romantic benefits.
Some arcades are run by local business owners, so you’re also giving back to the community. Plus, you get to play old games like Dig-Dug, the original Gauntlet, and even some air hockey. If you don’t have a local arcade, there’s always larger places like Dave and Busters or even Chuck E. Cheese to let your inner child loose and play some skeeball.
My fiance and I started going to an arcade on our date nights and we became friends with the owner, who everyone lovingly calls Pacman. We love spending time together playing games that we grew up with — and there’s nothing wrong with some healthy competition, too.
Spice Up Your Love Life
I always love cooking with my fiancé because it gives us some time to talk about what’s been going on in our lives while doing something mindless, like chopping an onion. We also enjoy teaching each other cooking techniques we’ve learned throughout our lives or online. Sure, we’ve started a few food fights along the way, but isn’t that how you’re supposed to know pasta is done — by throwing it at the wall? We never fail to make a giant mess, but at least we have fun making it.
Cooking together is always fun — but taking a cooking class is even more fun because you don’t have to buy all the ingredients, and you don’t have to clean up afterward. At the end of the course, you can dine like royalty. Plus, the recipe is an easy addition for future dinners and provides a great chance to reminisce.
Skate and Share
When was the last time you went skating? I grew up skating everywhere — you’d rarely find me without my in-lines — but I haven’t been to a roller rink in years. Get back in touch with your inner child and go check out your local roller or ice skating rink.
Even if you fall, you can enjoy re-learning and making complete fools of yourselves. Plus, you have to admit that watching people fall around the rink is half of the fun. My fiancé and I love going to a skating rink, grabbing a frozen coke, and watching people skate around while talking and enjoying each other’s company.
Find Some Comedic Relief
Nothing relieves stress and starts the evening off right quite like a big belly laugh. Comedy clubs are a great place to discover comedians that haven’t yet made it big and have some great material. Even if the comedian bombs, it’s still fun to talk about how bad they were.
I’m a huge comedy fan, and my fiancé and I constantly bring up jokes we’ve heard from various specials or clubs we’ve been to throughout the years. One of our favorite memories is seeing Robin Williams during his Self-Destruction tour. It was a night we’ll never forget.