5 Fun, Alternative Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day

We’re entering February which reminds most of us of Valentine’s Day, aka that time of year where it’s always a mad dash to plan something epic for our partners.


Is anyone else growing tired of the same candlelit dinners that end in an expensive check, leaving us with a bug-eyed look on our faces? I know it can’t just be me.


While I may be in the “I don’t need a specific holiday to show my husband some love” camp, I do think there are fun, alternative ways to reinvent Valentine’s Day to work for you.


Take a Hike

No, not in your relationship. I mean take an actual hike outside. If you’re in the northern states, your winter hike may look more like a winter survival day but the fresh air totally makes it worth it.


Hiking is also a great way to distance yourself from technology, especially for couples who have a hard time putting down their phone and computer. (I’m raising my hand sheepishly too!)


While parks and trails are all around us, you could take a more low-key approach and walk around your neighborhood. Look at how your neighborhood is laid out and how other people decorate or landscape.


You could also explore a neighborhood you dream of living in someday while chatting about why you love the area and houses. What better time to dream of what the new year might bring for you and your partner than Valentine’s Day?


Zoo / Aquarium / Conservatory

Experiencing nature is even more important during the cold winter months. Being near plants and getting lost in watching animals play in their habitat has a naturally calming effect, perfect for couples who are always on-the-go.


Going to the zoo or aquarium is also a great way to get to know more about your partner. What was their favorite animal growing up and has it changed or stayed the same? At the conservatory, you can ask what plants are their favorite and discover what plants you could use more of in your home or in next summer’s garden.  


For my local Twin Cities friends, I highly recommend a day date to the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. The views in the conservatory greenhouse are to die for and they have winter-friendly zoo viewing.


Take a Class

If you and your partner want to get outside of your comfort zone and are looking for an excuse to try something new, spend Valentine’s Day trying that class you’ve had on your mind.


A great place to look for classes is Facebook events, Groupon, and Living Social. They have hundreds of classes specifically made for couples who want to learn and grow together by trying something completely new.


To get the ball rolling, think about signing up for a cooking class to learn how to make the best tater tot casserole ever (Yes, this is a Minnesotan thing!), painting to have something you made together hanging on your wall, pottery for something you can pass down someday to your kids, or paint ball if you want to let go of stress and just have fun!


With most classes, you don’t even have to plan too far in advance. You can see what you feel like doing leading up to Valentine’s Day and quickly book your spot in the next class.



There’s nothing more gratifying than spending a holiday helping others in need. I wholeheartedly believe that you can tell how a person will treat you by how they treat others who are less fortunate. There’s more than one way to spread the love this Valentine’s Day.


You could volunteer together at a local soup kitchen or help build a house through Habitat for Humanity. You could pack bags of food through Feed My Starving Children or sort through donated clothes at a local shelter. There are dozens of opportunities to lend a helping hand this Valentine’s Day in your area.


Stay Home

Who said you have to go out on Valentine’s Day? If you don’t want to deal with crowds this year and don’t care about having a selfie-worthy celebration, stay home to spend quality time together and reconnect. This is an introvert’s dream!


There are still ways to make staying home feel special and not just like every other day. Order in your favorite food or cook a meal together in the kitchen. Stay in your PJs all day and watch your favorite movies.

Sometimes pillow forts consist of your four legged love too.

Sometimes pillow forts consist of your four legged love too.


If you want to get extra playful, build a blanket and pillow fort. End the day by reading your favorite novels next to one another. The possibilities are endless! The most important thing is knowing what you and your partner desire most from Valentine’s Day this year and then actually doing that.

How will you be spending Valentine’s Day this year? I want to hear about your plans in the comment section below!