Couple kayaking in Cornado

Valentine’s Day – whether you love it or consider it a greeting card holiday, it nevertheless comes around every year. Instead of opting for a box of chocolates or trying to stress over dinner reservations, how about something a little different this year? We’ve rounded up seven great Valentine’s Day activities that are fun now and later.

1. Plan a cooking class.

Disconnect, learn to make a new dish, and enjoy the experience of doing something together by taking a cooking class. Many cities have cooking schools and events offered at culinary institutes and non-profits, but even major retailers Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table offer cooking classes around every type of cuisine imaginable. Often these classes are capped at a certain number of people to keep the environment cozy and manageable for chopping and prepping. Budget: $20+/person.

Dinner cruise in Dubai

2. Go on a dinner cruise.

There’s nothing more romantic and relaxing than spending time by the water. If you live in a warmer area, consider planning a dinner cruise for your Valentine’s date. You can even go the extra step and arrange for a private charter, where you can enjoy dinner, quiet time, and even a night aboard. Relax the night away with the sound of gentle waves lapping at the side of the boat. Indulge yourselves! Budget: depends on location, but generally starting at $20+/person.

3. Go for a hike and pack a picnic.

There’s nothing quite like getting outside for some fresh air and good conversation. Not a big fan of rugged terrain? Try an urban hike, which is perfect for city dwellers. It’s a great way to see the sights, take a break from screens, and do something together that inspires conversation and connection. You can pack a picnic to enjoy during your hike – always delicious after working up a sweat – or make plans to stop at a cool new spot for a bite to eat. Just make sure you check the weather, pack layers, and check the map ahead of time! We’re big fans of MapMyHike to ensure you don’t get lost. Budget: $0+.

SUP boarding

4. Learn something new as a couple.

Make memories together that you’ll cherish. Book a kayaking tour in San Diego where you can see sea lions, dolphins, seals, and other wildlife. Sign up for an art class together, where you’ll embrace your creative sides. Learn to stand up paddleboard on your favorite lake. The opportunities are endless. You can even plan to decide on an activity together. Imagine your Valentine’s Day spent inside with your love, curled up on the couch deciding on something fun to do together. It turns this greeting card holiday into something truly special. Budget: $10+/person.

5. Train for and run a Valentine’s Day race.

Get fit together and make your running debut on February 14th. If you live in a warmer part of the world, you can train outdoors in the weeks leading up to the race. If it’s cold and iced over where you are, you can opt for bundling up and running outdoors or taking to the gym for some indoor training. It’s a great way to promote healthier habits in one another, and the benefits of being happier and healthier are excellent for relationships. Find a 5K near you. Budget: depends, but typically ranges from $20-50/person.

6. Go on a brewery tour.

Not into beer? Try a winery tour, or a distillery tour. With craft breweries, local wineries, and bespoke distilleries popping up all over, you should be able to find something easily. You’ll get a chance to learn more about your beverage of choice, but plan to stick around for a tasting or meal to make it a special date. If you’re in a popular wine region, you could plan to make several stops at nearby wineries with lunch along the way. Breweries and distilleries often put roots in more urban areas, which are great for finding a delicious meal afterwards. Budget: $5+/person for tour and tasting.

7. Start binge watching a show that’s been on your list.

Netflix or Hulu? It’s up to you! Valentine’s Day falls on Tuesday in 2017, which makes it a bit tricky. If you and your Valentine are more low key and prefer quieter nights in, then how about dinner delivered with a new TV show to watch and discuss? Stranger Things, House of Cards, The Americans, and Jane the Virgin are great starting points, depending on your favorite TV genre. Budget: up to $11.99/month for Netflix, up to $11.99/month for Hulu, and the price of dinner.

Have a wonderful holiday! Which of these Valentine’s Day activities appeals most to you?