We’ve all done the obligatory Valentine’s dinner out before; and while that can certainly be a lovely evening, sometimes you’re just ready to try something different. So for those looking to change up their usual plans, I’m sharing a few nontraditional ways to spend your Valentine’s Day evening. Enjoy!

1. Cook an creative dinner
Make a real production of your meal by finding an exotic recipe that you can prepare together. Think of your grocery trip as a scavenger hunt for the “just right” ingredients and be adventurous. When you get home, pop open a bottle of wine, turn on some themed music (to go with your meal) and get cooking. No big deal if you mess up, at least you had a great time.

2. Be artistic
My husband loves to draw and I like to paint, but we hardly ever have the chance to do that anymore. However, a quiet evening at home is a great opportunity to get creative. Again with the wine (or tea or cocktails) then set up a space where you can work side-by-side admiring each others work and enjoying each others company.

3. Learn something new
Now is as good a time as any for that first dance class or tennis lesson. Trying (and potentially being awful at) something together makes it way more fun. You can support or tease each other for your successes or miscues. Either way, it makes another great story to share and don’t forget to celebrate afterward with cocktails.

4. Go bowling
This is a seriously underrated activity! I’ve never not had a good time bowling because there’s always a cool vintage vibe and great people watching at these places. Besides, I dare you to not have fun while being silly wearing funny shoes and enjoying a few beers. Sounds good to me. Other options along these lines – TopGolf and shooting pool.

5. Shop for gifts
Okay this isn’t as weird as it sounds. I’ll explain – if my husband and I know that we’re going to buy gifts but perhaps can’t decide on what to get, we’ll sometimes shop for them together. That way, he can choose something he really loves, and I can do the same. It says “hey, I care and I want to see the smile on your face when you pick something out.”

6. Spend time with Mother Nature
Bundle up good and enjoy being outside. Crisp air can just be incredibly refreshing, so fill a thermos with hot chocolate and enjoy a walk around a local park. Besides, you can always warm up with a fireside snuggle when you get home!

7. Have a cozy night in​
Speaking of, if you have a fireplace – use it! Cover the floor with all the blankets, prep a cheese and charcuterie board, pop some champagne, kick back with your love, and watch the fire crackle. Does someone play an instrument? If so, a serenade would be lovely. Most importantly though, turn off the phones to focus on each other!

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