If you’re done with the commercialised, sickly version of Valentine’s Day (think bouquets of roses, giant teddy bears and enough candles to set the fire alarm off), then you’re not alone.
Luckily, we’ve rounded up the top 10 date ideas that you’ll actually want to do – whether it’s with your long-term partner, casual Tinder date or Galentine’s Day BFF. Tons of laughter, frame-worthy snaps and fun memories, guaranteed. No teddy bears in sight.
Valentine’s Day without booze is like an East End hipster without a beard – just not a thing. And the great thing about wine tasting is that you don’t have to splash out on an overpriced bottle at a restaurant – there’s literally wine everywhere. Your partner likes white while you prefer red? No probs. From wine tasting in a library in Manchester to an anti-Valentines wine night in Fulham, you’ll find wine events up and down the country on V-Day.
Looking for something fun and interactive but still want delicious food? Your answer is a cooking class, my friend, and on 14 February you’re totally spoilt for choice. Head to websites such as designmynight.co.uk to filter by your location.
Thrill-seekers rejoice, because the UK’s host of theme parks are the best place to get your kicks on a date. From Thorpe Park in Surrey, Alton Towers in Staffordshire and Paultons Park in Hampshire to M&Ds in Lanarkshire, there’s literally theme parks up and down the country.
Go to the zoo
What’s better than looking at adorable animal photos? Looking at adorable animals IRL. Take your best pal/ reluctant partner to the zoo and spend the day crying at how cute the penguins are. Head to buyagift.co.uk where entry prices for two adults to zoos including London Zoo and Bedfordshire’s Whipsnade are currently discounted.
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Strolling around a gallery is the perfect romantic date for art-lovers, but make sure to check out your local gallery’s website – many throw classes and workshops to mark the special day.
Go to a gig
If you and your other half bonded over a love of music, then what better way to celebrate your ❤ than with a gig? Head to ticketmaster.co.uk where you can select ‘music’ and browse all concerts across the country for specific dates.
Visit an arcade
Add some old-school charm to your date and head to one of the UK’s quirky, charming arcades. Have your coppers ready and tie it in with a visit to the seaside (the weather might hold out – maybe) at destinations such as Brighton Pier and Adventure Island, Southend-on-Sea.
Go to a comedy show
Couples that laugh together stay together, so ditch the Valentine’s Day clichés and head to a side-splitting stand-up show. If you’re near the capital, check out Comedy Carnival’s Valentine’s Day Comedy in Leicester Square, where you can enjoy a three-course dinner (plus Prosecco) while watching a line-up of comedy geniuses.
Gin tasting session
You know what we said earlier about booze? Yeah, we really meant that. Which is why an evening of gin-tasting is just as perfect as a date spent sipping different wines (just pick your poison, as they say). From Gloucestershire to Cumbria, there’s a gin event for you and your gin-loving lover.
Why not combine your love of your SO/ best pal with your love of the outdoors? Check out all the tent, yurt and glamping options at coolcamping.com and campsites.co.uk, or head to airbnb.co.uk where you can filter homes by ‘property type’, including ‘tipi’, ‘yurt’, ‘treehouse’, ‘tent’ ‘camper/ RV’ and even ‘cave’ (who doesn’t want to stay in cave on Valentine’s Day?)
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