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5 Creative Valentine’s Gifts That Go Beyond Chocolate and Flowers

Couple taking a dance class with other couples.
Lakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

Feeling bored by the usual Valentine’s Day gift options? Go ahead and mix it up by doing something different this year. Try gifting experiences, classes, or adventures you can do together as a couple.

If you’re worried that gifting a future experience won’t be as exciting as busting out a full bouquet, consider including a small gift as well (like some chocolate). That way, your partner gets the best of both worlds—something to enjoy right now, plus the promise of fun adventures together.

Dance Lessons

Tired of the same old dinner and movie dates? Consider learning a new style of dance together!

You don’t need rhythm, grace, coordination, or experience to enroll in a dance class together. Just look for a course geared for beginners, set aside time on the calendar, and you’re all set! (Check to see if you need to buy special dance shoes).

Here are some popular options to consider:

  • Salsa
  • Swing
  • Waltz
  • Tango
  • Rumba
  • Foxtrot

Just think, the two of you will be the hit of the dance floor at future weddings and events!

Outdoor Adventures

The great thing about giving an “outdoor adventure” gift is that you don’t have to plan it right away. It can be a gift card for a horse carriage ride this spring, or a camping trip in the mountains during the summer. It’s your gift—make it as simple or extravagant as you want!

Make sure to find something you’ll both enjoy. If you’re an avid camper, but your partner hates everything about it, consider renting a luxury cabin in the woods—one where you can enjoy the rustic views, and she can have a proper bath. Or perhaps you both love roughing it and getting closer to nature, in which case you can buy your loved one a new tent or even sleeping bags that zip together.

Here are some of our favorite outdoor adventure gift ideas:

  • Hiking: Buy a National Parks pass or a book about local hikes.
  • Horses: Find a romantic horseback carriage ride or even book in to go horseback riding.
  • Ice skating: It’s okay if neither of you has gone before, that’s part of the fun!
  • Skiing: Plan a weekend away with the snow. Don’t forget to book your beginner lesson if you’ve never skied!
  • Kayaking: This one will have to wait until the summer, but it’ll be well worth it!

Cooking

Couple working together in a cooking class.
Flamingo Images/Shutterstock

Embarking on a cooking adventure with your loved one can be a wonderful experience. Not only will you broaden your cooking skills (and thus expand your palate), you’ll get to spend quality time together without screens or other distractions.

Look for cooking classes in your area, such as at community centers, churches, even at restaurants.

We highly recommend attending a class or series together, as opposed to trying to make it happen at home. It’s hard to consistently find time to experiment with new foods at home, especially if you have kids running amuck. But by learning in a dedicated facility, you’ll be able to hone in your skills, while bonding with your partner.

Learn a Foreign Language

Think about a travel destination you both have in mind and learn a new language based on that. For example, if you’ve both talked about visiting France, then maybe it’s time to start learning French.

Attending a class is the best option. It ensures you’ll both remain committed to this adventure, allowing time to do something together outside of the house.

Take it a step further by creating a “dream journal” where you write down the trips you want to take, key phrases to remember to use, and how much money you need to save to make it happen. This will help inspire you to take your language learning skills seriously, setting aside time to practice every day. And don’t forget to renew those passports!

More Class Ideas

There are endless ideas of experiences you can gift your loved one. Being creative, silly, and learning new skills together is a great way to connect, leaving behind the stress of work, bills, and kids. The sky’s the limit here; if you see a class and it seems appealing, be brave and sign up!

Here are some more ideas:

  • Art: There are often events where you have an evening of painting and drinking wine. Take your date there.
  • Comedy Improv: Have a good laugh while making fools of yourself. If you can’t be ridiculous with your partner, then what are you doing?
  • Singing: Join a local choir, or take semi-private lessons together, so you’re prepared for the next karaoke jam!
  • Yoga: If you find a partner yoga series, great! Otherwise, you can both enroll in a regular class, setting aside time to stretch and unwind together.

Valentine’s Day is about appreciating the love and connection you share with others. Finding ways to spend more time together, engaging in something fun and exciting, is a sure way to strengthen your bond. Go forth and enjoy this day of love.

Jill A. Chafin Jill A. Chafin
Jill A. Chafin is a freelance writer, aerialist, dancer, food enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, and mama, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Read Full Bio »

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