6 Valentine’s Dates That Aren’t Just Fancy Dinner

Valentine’s Day is my (Summer) least favorite holiday. Although the historian in me knows that most holidays are inventions with a grain of authenticity, I can’t seem to get past the inherent fakeness I feel accompanies this one in particular. It doesn’t help that I am not a fan of red and pink, hearts, or overtly expressing emotions. What I DO love is fun dates with my fiancé, so I figured I’d enlist some help from Kat and we came up with some date ideas—with outfits to match—that aren’t just a fancy dinner at an overcrowded steakhouse.

/ Kathryn: I, however, love all things red, pink, hearts, and overtly expressing emotions, so Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. /

1. Pink Scallop sports bra (XS-XL), leggings (XS-3X) / 2. Mahomes Jersey – women (S-2XL), men (S-2XL) / 3. Black & Red Floral Wrap Dress (S-XXXL), Red Bell Sleeve Dress (14-28) / 4. Pink or Burgundy Pajama Set – plus size (1X-3X), straight size (S-XXL) / 5. Tie Dye Lounge Set – plus size top (1X-4X) / pants (1X-4X), straight size top (XS-XXL) / pants (XS-XXL) / 6. Heart Patch Sweatshirt (S-4X), White Jeans – plus size (16-30), straight size (0-20)

1. Rock Climbing

My fiancé used to love going rock climbing when we lived in Texas. In Mississippi, we were too far from any climbing gyms for him to keep up his hobby. But recently the university we work at opened a new rec center with a rock wall! I know he’d love if we got the chance to go together, plus it’s a great chance to get a new valentine-themed workout outfit (like this sports bra and these leggings). If your partner isn’t into rock climbing, try another sort of physical activity with them you wouldn’t normally do, like hiking, yoga, or bowling.

2. Attend a Sporting Event

Me and Travis at the SMU vs. UNT game a year after we met at the same rivalry game! (Spot Joe in the background)

You guys have probably noticed that we are big on football around here. We go to college games, play in a fantasy league, and are fiercely competitive—I once didn’t talk to Joe for two days because he drafted a player I wanted. Obviously there aren’t many football games happening on February 14th, but a pair of tickets to a future game with their favorite player’s jersey (obviously Mahomes for Kathryn) would make a great gift idea. If they are into a winter sport, this is the perfect time to let them share their love of the game with you (and if you really hate it, there’s always a concession stand to look forward to).

3. See a Magic Show

This one might seem a little out there, but magicians aren’t just for kids parties anymore! Kat, Joe, and I saw a great magician in Dallas at a magic and wine night. We were a bit skeptical of how much we’d be into the magic, but figured the wine would keep it interesting. The show ended up being so good; the performer was funny, witty, and completely blew our minds. Put on a new dress (like this floral wrap dress or red bell-sleeve showstopper) & treat your partner to some of that old black magic called love.

/ Kathryn: Joe and I liked this show so much that we’re going to see Trigg’s wine and magic show for Valentine’s Day this year! /

4. Cook at Home

Kathryn and Joe cooking their favorite: homemade alfredo sauce with broccoli, in my tiny kitchen in Edinburgh in July 2018.

This one is my favorite: Travis and I started dating two weeks before Valentine’s day so he had to navigate a new relationship and a girl who hated the holiday. He’s pretty nervous in the kitchen but he came to my house with an armful of groceries and got to work making me tortellini with spinach and pink sauce. It was so sweet that he went out of his comfort zone to make me something I’d love, and now that has become our annual tradition and one of my favorite meals. He even found the ingredients to make it for me in my tiny Edinburgh kitchen last Valentine’s Day. Get comfy in some new pajamas (like these in plus or straight sizes) and cuddle up to watch something on the couch after!

5. Camping

Kathryn and Joe pitched a tent in the living room back in 2017, one weekend when she was too sick to go on her friend’s camping trip!

If there is anything I dislike more than this holiday, it is camping. BUT I do love camping indoors! Building a fort or pitching a tent inside, roasting marshmallows in the backyard, cuddling up with some candlelight and unplugging is the perfect recipe for a night of just focusing on each other… and isn’t that what Valentine’s day should really be about?

6. Datebox

/ Kathryn: I’m a huge fan of subscription boxes, so Datebox from Happily.co is right up my alley. The box comes prepped with a date inside: instructions for a fun activity you can do at home, some goodies to do said activity, and usually a corresponding Spotify playlist it links to! Sometimes you need a few perishable supplies or kitchen utensils, so the box comes with a prep card on top that tells you what you’ll need for your date to make sure you have it all. For instance, Joe and I once did a craft cocktail Datebox that required us to have alcohol, fresh limes, blueberries, and ginger beer. It came with a little cocktail shaker and bar tool set! (Fun fact: I helped make the “here’s what you’ll need” prep card happen! When Datebox as a company was just getting started, I subscribed and ended up chatting with Brett, the CEO, on the phone to give him some user feedback. I told him it would be nice to be able to unbox the date together and do it right then, but I needed to know what sort of supplies we needed first.) Joe and I own about 5 dates-in-a-box that we haven’t done yet, and I’m super excited to be able to pull one of them out on a rainy day or when we want to do something different! /

Whatever you’re doing this Valentine’s Day, we hope it’s a chance for you to spend it with the one (or ones, if you’re celebrating Galentine’s Day!) you love the most. If you try any of these date ideas, we’d love to hear about them!

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