February 8, 2017

8 Footloose and Fancy Free Valentine's Dates

Welcome to Valentine’s bliss, or the Valentine’s Crunch as some would coin it. The dreaded day of romantic obligation and impending disappointment is almost upon us. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can participate in the day of Saint Valentine without pressure to stage some epic romance novels gone wild event. It shouldn’t be. It should be fun. That’s the whole point.

The key is that you can’t force romanticism. Romance is rooted in mystery. The very act of expecting something devastatingly romantic creates a conundrum and a statistical improbability of success. Of equal importance — expecting your person to all of a sudden morph into Fabio coming back to the homestead after toplessly muddying about in the fields all day to carry you out to bathe under a wisteria tree and make love on the river bank atop his rumpled silk shirt is not going to happen either, so manage expectations.

1. Brewery/Wine Tour

This is a great opportunity to learn something new. Get the intel on wine varieties and become a sommelier by the end of it (imagine the possibilities for dates to come). Or, get cozy and knowledgeable about all things beer while you imbibe and snuggle up to your person. Grab some grub afterward or partake in one of the following activities for an elongated experience.

2. Bookstore + Record Store + Vintage Shops

This is a great opportunity to get a feel for your date’s tastes. Go to the bookstore and pick out a book for each other (then you later have the chance to talk about them as you read). Next, hunt for some vintage records for evening listening. Then hit up a thrift shop and challenge each other to fish out the best Bowie outfit. 

3. Visit the Spa

The spa is the best place in the world. Who doesn’t want to have a swim, steam, sauna, get massaged and then go eat all the cheese and wine? Somebody out there, but for most of us, a date at the spa is a great treat and a superbly relaxing way to spend an evening with a lover or solo.

4. Hit the Pub, Shoot Pool, Play Darts, Get Inquisitive

There’s something to be said for playing some good, old fashioned pub games. Have a casual dinner and throw a few darts. Challenge each other to a pool tournament. Bonus points if you can find a quiz night. Embarrassing as it has the potential to be, if your date has a tantrum over something as trivial as musical bingo, probably best to move on and leave them to date some other sucker. Those that triumph the awkward win the prize of your on-going affection.

5. Go Bowling

This one is a classic that never gets old. It’s dorky, it’s easy (ish), it’s reminiscent of childhood (which usually equals good mood) and if you’re having the best time ever, you can just keep playing until you tucker yourselves out. Maybe it’ll become a tradition.

6. Adventure Camp or Rent a Suite

Getting out of your regular space can be a welcome respite from the every day. If you can get out of work early, go for a hike and camp in a breathtakingly romantic setting. If not, get a cabin or a hotel room and go be pampered for the night. Use the hot tub, eat at the restaurant, order room service, live in your robes and drink all night. Go for a stroll. Escape. If you really want to spice it up, rent a fancy car or take the chopper out for a rip.

7. Go for a Skate

If you have access to an outdoor skating rink, it’s a great activity to wobble around. Drink hot chocolate and fall into each other’s arms.

No ice? No problem. Try on a pair of rollerskates and zoom around in your best disco shorts.

8. Be Amused

If you have a fair, amusement park or carnival you can go to, GO! There are endless things to do that release endorphins and set the stage for canoodling. Scream and laugh on a rollercoaster, wage a bumper car war, win a giant oversized flamingo in ring toss, whack some moles, get your palms read, eat weird nachos and cotton candy, have a brush with death and then make out on the ferris wheel.

If all of that reeks of effort and you both actually would just love a night in, forget calorie counting and make a delectable dinner together. Bonus points if you pick a movie in advance so you don’t end up scrolling Netflix for 2 hours before passing out halfway through watching Braveheart for the 6th time.

Happy V-Day, lovers!

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