Flowers, chocolates, poems, kind words, memories, jewelry, massages, and romantic dinners are a given. But, here are some tried and true ideas to put a memorable spin on this year’s Valentine’s Day.
1. Personalized romance novel
If your lady (or your man) likes romance novels, you can have a personalized romance novel created specifically for you two with your names and things you know and like.
2. Treasure Hunt
This idea makes a small budget go a long way. Clever clues and good hiding places can turn 5 small gifts (flowers, chocolates, stuffed animal, Valentine’s card) into an afternoon of searching your apartment, car, a park, wherever. It’s fun to fake them out sometimes, too, like send them searching for a hard clue and leave nothing there but an “I love you” and another clue.
3. Hot Air Balloon Ride
This is a bit more extravagant but the Napa and Sonoma wine countries boast hot air ballooning when you Google this romantic activity. Or, for the more extreme couples, consider hang gliding, sky diving, or bungee jumping, although it’s kinda cold in February. There’s a first time for everything.
4. Customized Valentine’s Basket
Following an obvious theme. If your fella is a gamer, get some accessories and batteries for his controllers, maybe he needs a new headset, a new game, or get his name on a pre-sale list for a sick new game (but maybe make him pay for the actual game).
For your lady, if she likes cooking, well, get kitchen supplies. If you’re at a loss, make a basket full of panties (that FIT her) or a romantic basket with candles, lotion, oils, and bubble bath.
5. Indoor Picnic
You don’t have to cook, although it’s always nice to eat something your significant other made specially for you. You can order out your partner’s favorite meal and turn your bedroom or living room into a romantic indoor setting for a picnic. This is another relatively low-budget idea that converts a room you normally don’t eat in into a candle-lit dining room.
6. Chocolate Body Paint
This is fun but it can get messy. I suggest that along with the chocolate body paint, and any other wild bedroom-type activities that might get sticky or create laundry, that you also book a night at a nice hotel room. Let them clean up the mess! They also make glow in the dark body paint, black lights, glow in the dark bubbles if you feel like re-creating a mini-rave. Make a playlist, bring bubble bath, order in, turn the sink into a cooler with ice and champagne. You know, think creative and romantic.
7. Get Outdoors
Go for a hike, bike, zipline, or rock climbing. Check out Bay Area Hiker to get started planning your day outside.
8. Weekend Getaway
Because it’s been a little rainy in the Bay, you could plan an escape for the Valentine’s weekend to somewhere warmer, down south a little bit near the beach like Monterey or San Louis Obispo. Or what about a cabin with a fireplace up in Tahoe or somewhere else in the snow? Go to wine country and do some wine and cheese tasting for a day! And take me with you.
9. Valentine’s Bay Cruise
Someone once told me that she and her boyfriend were going to a candlelit dinner at Alcatraz for Valentine’s Day, but I can’t seem to the tour she was talking about. Maybe she was a pathological liar. It sounded so dark and original – eating in an empty, historic prison! But, here’s the San Francisco Valentines Day Brunch Cruise and Tour link as an alternate option that really does exist from Alcatraz Tours.
10. Remember to Share Valentine’s Day
Women tend to expect to be the sole recipient during this holiday, but they might be confusing Valentine’s Day with their birthday. If you’re in a relationship, it should be equal. Both of you should make romantic gestures for each other!
Ladies, plan a trip to the auto museum if your hunny is a gear head. Or plan a tour of the Hangar One distillery in Alameda, or arrange a tour at a local brewery: Anchor Steam, 21st Amendment, etc. I found this site Bay Area Brewery Tours. Sounds so awesome!
If you’re alone on Valentine’s Day, treat yourself to a little pampering. Or round up your other single friends and take over your local pub. See if the establishment will allow a no-couples policy that evening!
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