5 Unique Date Ideas for Valentine's Day

There's no dinner-and-a-movie on this list.

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Photo by Getty Images/UpperCut Images

If you and your partner have been together for years, the usual dinner, flowers, and chocolate-box routine may seem a little predictable. But Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about the expected. This year, celebrate with one of these unusual, but still romantic, options.

Take A Cooking Class
Instead of sharing a meal in a crowded restaurant, try a cooking class. Hone your knife skills and learn a new recipe or two, then enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of your labors. Check out the Culinary Institute of America, Sur la Table, or local restaurants (such as Ninety Acres in New Jersey) for classes.

Volunteer
Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday this year—why not fill the day with a service project? Sharing your time and skills with others can intensify your own bond, so find a local food bank, Habitat for Humanity project, local humane society, or other neighborhood organization, and get to work.

Embrace Your Inner Teenager
The intensity and novelty of young love doesn’t last forever, but you can recapture that rush by regressing a little. Hit the arcade, spend an hour playing laser tag, or hop on go-karts. Get cotton candy and a Big Gulp and hold hands. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you can even steal a kiss.

Work Up A Sweat
Go for a hike, try a yoga class, or take a bike ride together. Burn some calories and work up an appetite before you head out for dinner. The endorphins will put you in a great mood. And you might want to keep it up past the 14th: Recent research suggests that couples who get healthy together are more successful than those who go at it alone.

Let Fate Decide
Throw plans out the window and hit the town with nothing but your wallets and a quarter. Flip a coin to make every decision—turn left or right, step into a bar or keep walking, eat at a pub or a nice restaurant, drink wine or beer, catch a late movie or go back home—and see what happens. There’s something freeing about leaving it all to chance. After all, that’s probably how you met in the first place.