The formula to romance includes a good dose of excitement. So pass on the tired dinner and a movie routine for something fresh and different. After all, studies show that new experiences bring couples closer together—and isn’t that what we’re after? I’ve rounded up some enticing options for the long Valentine’s Day weekend so you can spend the days in a lovey bliss.
New York City
If your love affair with New York City is strong, get some perspective from the Brooklyn Promenade. Enjoy the views and then walk over to Grimaldi’s to split a margherita pizza. After all, that’s amorè!
Cozy up at the Lodge at Gallow Green for a night like no other. The bar on the rooftop of the McKittrick Hotel is now a cabin, complete with fireplaces, rockers and warm drinks that will heat up the night.
They say the fastest way into someone’s heart is through their stomach. Take a Sweetheart Cupcakes baking class together Valentine’s Day weekend. From mixing to icing, this 2-hour course covers it all. Plus you go home with a dozen cupcakes!
Want to see if you and your date have a little chemistry? Head to Miracle of Science near Cambridge for the evening. This quirky bar has great atmosphere that will have you feeling sparks. Consider it pregame before heading to a lecture nearby.
Say it with me: Dance! Dance! Dance! Dance! is on the docket for Valentine’s Day weekend. Four Boston-based companies showcase diversity of dance in the region including Daniel McCusker Dance Projects. Let the music move your feet!
This isn’t romantic in the traditional way, but an evening of watching old Looney Tune cartoons is enchanting. The 21st Annual Bugs Bunny Film Festival starts on February 12th and goes through the 21st of the month. Give it a chance—you might end the night having your heart beating out of your chest Bugs Bunny-style.
This warmer winter weather is the perfect excuse for a friendly competition between paramours. Check out the country’s oldest continually-operated mini golf course near the Jefferson Memorial. Hidden from tourists in the East Potomac Park, this sweet little course is perfect for a few rounds followed by a few rounds at a nearby pub.
If your love interest is more artsy, head to DC Arts Center for their Drawing Board exhibit. See the creative mind at work in search of that “a-ha!” moment. Using pen and paper to work, artists show their work, decision-making moments and trial and error notes. These drawings are normally meant for public viewing which makes this peek into the artist’s process even more arousing.
Experience Old World romance with a night at the Viennese Valentine’s Ball. This classic Austrian celebration is meant for a night of dancing to everything from Strauss to current Euro-club DJ mixes.
It may seem like an obvious choice but spend Valentine’s Day evening at Philadelphia’s LOVE Park. Take selfies, people watch and feast from an assortment of local food trucks. Easy peasy!
What’s not to love about the Schuylkill Riverfront? Take a stroll by the 19th-century boat houses that line this river before heading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Top off the day with a glass of wine at the museum’s Granite Hill restaurant.
Learn the love rituals from yesteryear including Aztec aphrodisiacs and Voodoo love potions. Join Grim Philly for a steamy tour of taverns while discussing the sordid history of Valentine’s Day. This tour runs daily through the end of February.
Strip down to your skivvies and take part in Chicago’s annual Cupids Undie Run. This 1-mile course takes you through Wrigleyville and ends with a party, all in support of the Children’s Tumor Foundation. If you’re not in Chicago, this run take place in other major cities as well.
If your funds are low, doesn’t mean your fun is low as well. Grab your ice skates and go to McCormick Tribune Ice Rink for a few loops on the ice. Rentals are only $10 and you can feel extravagant drinking rich hot chocolate to warm up after.
I’m particularly excited by this Scavenger Hunt at the Art Institute of Chicago. Team up and you’ll be looking at sirens and Picassos in a whole new light. Get your ticket online today!
While there isn’t anything planned for Valentine’s Day, The Wild Detectives should be on your itinerary. The bookstore bar venue in Oak Cliff has just the right atmosphere to start your night. Stop in for cocktails and browse the bookshelves for your favorite passionate proclamations.
The vibe at Alamo Drafthouse is always great whether you’re there to see a movie or not. Take your date on Valentine’s Day for a board game night. You can even set up private wagers on who wins Settlers of Catan to make it more interesting. Game night starts at 5pm.
Kick up your heels! Swing by The Free Man lounge to see Savoy Swing the Band. This free show is a great way to enjoy some dancing and not blow your budget on cocktails.
For star-crossed lovers, San Francisco Amateur Astronomers is hosting their City Star Party on Saturday, February 13. Spend the night staring up at the universe through their telescopes and connecting with your shining star.
They say getting active is the quickest way to find some chemistry with a new beau. So put on your leggings and your sneakers and head to Sweatin’ to the ’80s, a throwback outdoor fitness class. Don’t forget to RSVP! Leggings optional of course.
Line up a partner for the couple’s skate and then head over to Skatin’ Place in Golden Gate Park. From noon to 5pm on Valentine’s Day you can boogie with your latest flame. Follow it up by sharing a milkshake with two straws.
The right lighting can set a romantic mood. Take a cruise through the Silver Lake neighborhood and visit the Chandelier Tree, a local gem. Bask in the warm glow and enjoy time with your sweetheart.
Downtown Los Angeles has a blossoming art community. Start your Valentine’s Day weekend with a stroll through their monthly Art Walk Gallery Tour. Learn about local artists, soak in the creativity and get inspired together.
Break open a bottle of bubbly while taking in gorgeous views. Malibu Wines’s Malibu location is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a week-long special tasting room fit for a romantic couple.
Made a date with your one and only to experience the Georgetown Art Attack on Saturday, February 13th. As one of the oldest neighborhoods in the Seattle area, these blocks are full of history and character. Take in visual and performing arts and then nab drinks at one of local bars.
Grab a pair of oars and head out to Lake Union on Valentine’s Day. Every Sunday the Center for Wooden Boats offers free public boat rides. Get there early because sign-ups begin in person at 10am and space limited. Pack a picnic and make a day of it.
It’s all about couples at this Valentine’s Day concert featuring local classical musicians. Grab some tickets to On Stage with Classical King FM and see duets including Allen and Laura Vizzutti. You’ll be head over heels.