Valentine’s Day dinner dates are boring. Yep, I said it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually up for a good meal and potential suitors can never go wrong with roses and chocolates, but when the idea of going out to dinner alongside millions of other Americans on Valentine’s Day presents itself, it sounds to me like more of a crowded, stereotypical snooze-fest than a celebration of love. When it comes to Valentine’s dates, or dates on any day of the year, for that matter, I like it when my significant other throws in a little creativity.
And luckily, if you’re planning at the last minute, there are tons of quirky, offbeat and innovative date ideas in the Northeast sure to charm your loved one, spark some fun and ignite some passion this Valentine’s Day. For those looking to go the extra mile, we’ve included some great tips to get you extra brownie points.
Play like a kid at Legoland Discovery Center
Hit up Legoland for a night of fun – without the kids. One Wednesday night a month (held Feb. 13 this month) Legoland hosts an adults-only, themed evening of youthful fun at the attraction that will rekindle childlike wonder. Team up with other couples for a group date and get discounted rates, or get a sweet deal through AAA.
Bonus points: Give all the prizes you win to your significant other as sweet souvenirs.
Pick a star at Frosty Drew Observatory & Sky Theater
Wait to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Friday night and bundle up for a visit to this observatory for a night of stargazing with your sweetie. Enjoy views of the starry sky through one of the several telescopes on clear nights or head indoors for presentations by astronomers in the Sky Theater during inclement weather.
Bonus points: Want to get super romantic? Pick a star together and call it yours (cue the “awws!”).
Make a new friend at Mystic Aquarium
Is your loved one an animal lover? Don’t pass up the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the aquarium’s famous residents, including sea lions, seals, penguins and beluga whales. Visitors will learn more about their favorite aquatic creatures from scientists and trainers and, in some programs, can even get in the water with their new friends. Plus, you can get a discount on tickets with AAA.
Bonus points: “Adopt” an animal in your beloved’s name.
Toss an ax at Kick Axe
Is your honey a wannabe lumberjack? Does the seemingly forbidden idea of throwing sharp objects excite you? Look no further than Kick Axe, an indoor ax-throwing range where you and your date will learn how to throw from the pros. Compete in games against each other, then round out the experience with snacks and pizza.
Bonus points: Buy a couple of fake axes so you can clown around at home without risking beheading your significant other.
Bowl back in time at BreakTime Bowl & Bar
Challenge your date to a game at this vintage bowling alley, which claims to be the oldest industrial recreation duckpin lanes in the Northeast. The restored alley – first built for employees of the Hope Webbing Company mill in the 1920s – provides a night of fun alongside the full bar and sizable food menu sure to satisfy your appetites.
Bonus points: Brush up on your game before heading out on your date and wow your partner!
Unleash your creativity with a graffiti lesson
New York, N.Y.
Pair up with a graffiti pro for a lesson in all things street art. You’ll feel super cool creating your own graffiti masterpiece as you learn about the art form and the techniques of aerosol painting. Classes take place at a local park in order to further immerse students in the street art experience.
Bonus points: Paint something romantic for your loved one. A simple “I love you” is always a winner.
Compete in go-kart racing at X1
Hit up the track at one of the open racing sessions for a drive experience that will excite both you and your date. Choose from multiple challenging tracks featuring turns, hills and tunnels as you speed off in pursuit of the finish line and, hey, maybe even romance! Finish off the date with a meal at the complex’s Ascari Bar & Grille.
Bonus points: Challenge your date to an after-dinner game in the billiards room and, just this once, let them win.
Attend a glass blowing class at Brooklyn Glass
Choose from a wide selection of one-day classes led by professionals at this unique glass blowing studio. Make a vase, shot glass, terrarium, beer mug or ice cream dish alongside your sweetie.
Bonus points: Make it a competition! Whose creation comes out the best?
What are your favorite, unique, quirky and off-the-wall date destinations? Tell us in the comments!