Valentine's Day Adventures
Valentine’s Day can be a polarizing holiday—people either love it or hate it. We caught up with Whitney Casey, relationship expert at Match.com and author of The Man Plan, to get the skinny on Valentine’s Day plans that defy the holiday’s cheesy stereotypes. Casey suggests that you tailor your V-Day plans based on where you are in your relationship -- new relationships, budding relationships and established relationships each require a unique set of standards for the holiday.
Being in a new relationship can pose its own challenges because you don’t want to come on too strong. But Casey advises against ignoring the holiday altogether; instead, keep things simple and fun with such quirky present as an old-school board game like Connect 4, Battleship or even Twister if you want to get a bit naughty. “It’s a clever way of saying, ‘I don’t know where this is going, but I hope these are the only games that we play,’” explains Casey.
Every couple can benefit from injecting some excitement into date night. Many couples, especially those in budding relationships, go the safe route with the standard romantic dinner plans. Casey suggests that couples opt for something active instead. “Try something exciting, like learning how to shoot a gun, climbing a mountain or even watching a thrilling movie. The chemicals you get from that thrill are the same as a new love or a new kiss,” she said. “Studies show that sexy, novel things can really increase the feelings of newness again.”
Seasoned couples can benefit from switching up the routine for Valentine’s Day, for example by staying at a sexy hotel, even if it’s just a few miles away. “Not everyone can afford an exotic trip, especially after the holidays, but you may have things right down the street or in your neighborhood,” suggests Casey.
Here are our picks for a Valentine's Day romantic adventure to get those endorphins flowing.
Take a Leap
Soar through the air during a trapeze class alongside your sweetie. The Trapeze School
has locations in Manhattan, Boston, DC and Los Angeles. Though you may not be able to jump side-by-side, the shared experience is sure to bring you closer together.
Put your trust in your mate as you get certified to belay your rock-climbing partner while scaling the wall at an indoor rock-climbing facility. Look for an indoor climbing gym
in your area and leave your fear of heights at home.
Extreme Winter Adventure
Get an endorphin blast on an extreme winter-sports adventure. If you’re both experienced skiers, challenge your sweetheart to a race downhill on a NASTAR
course and see how you compare with other skiers and boarders on any of the NASTAR racing programs around the country.
Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing
Enjoy winter fun with your favorite snow bunny on a snowshoeing or cross-country skiing excursion. Trillium Lake
in Oregon has great scenery in the Northwest, while the Trapp Family Lodge
in Vermont has the largest system of groomed and backcountry trails in Stowe
Hot-Air Balloon Ride
The early wake-up call may not sound so dreamy, but gliding over sleeping towns and towering mountains on a hot air balloon ride can be a romantic break from the everyday. Find a hot-air balloon guide near your hometown, or head to favorite ballooning spots in Albuquerque, NM
, or California’s Napa Valley
Get a rush out of helping others with a volunteering date for unconventional Valentine’s Day fun. Contact nonprofit organizations or find a good cause through the Corporation for National and Community Service
with options including building homes, feeding the hungry or assisting with a children’s program.
Run a Race
Break a sweat and fuel the competitive spirit with your local running community at a Valentine's Day race
. Cupid's Chase 5K Run
races through 24 cities to raise money for Community Options, Inc., a nonprofit that provides resources for people with disabilities.
Lose your inhibitions and take a few spins around an ice-skating rink, either in the center of a big city or a natural frozen lake. Take advantage of couples’ skate to hold hands or show off your skills before warming up with some hot chocolate, a known aphrodisiac.
Explore the sexy side of any city—faraway, nearby or your own hometown. Stay at any of the luxurious boutique Kimpton hotels
around the country and splurge on the “Robe-Mantic” retreat, which pampers couples with signature leopard-print robes to take home and a credit for food or drinks at the hotel.