Racking your brain trying to figure out how you’re going to spend Valentine’s Day this year (FYI, it’s on a Wednesday)? Or haven’t thought about it yet? Sick of the overpriced candlelit dinners at packed restaurants?
At the end of the day, it’s just a day like any other so try thinking about it like that and plan something you enjoy doing! To help you out, I’ve put together a list of 5 outdoor date ideas. If you’re not sure you can squeeze one of these activities into a Wednesday evening, plan it for the weekend before or after! If you’re single, grab some friends and have fun.
1. Picnic at the Park
Picnics are always fun. Pack up your favorite meal or pick up some take-out and head to a park. Lay out a blanket or set up your camp chairs and enjoy each other’s company. Catch the sunset or do some stargazing while you’re out there! Pack warm clothes in case it gets chilly and bring some hot water to make hot chocolate, tea, or add some liquor and make hot toddies to keep yourselves warm!
2. Bonfire at the Beach
This might require some planning ahead and some supplies (such as wood and matches) but it might be easier to grab a bonfire pit on a weeknight rather than on the weekend when beaches are more crowded. Pack s’mores or banana boat supplies and you can get a taste of the campfire without spending the night in a tent. Still want a tent experience? Find a campsite on the beach!
- Check out this list of California beaches where you can have a bonfire
3. Spend Time on the Water
If you and your partner enjoy being active, rent a kayak/canoe/paddle boat/stand up paddle boards and explore together. Depending on the location and the time of day you’d like to go, you may have to plan this for a weekend day.
4. Take a Stroll on Two Wheels
Grab your bikes and go for a ride! Ride to your favorite dessert spot, ride along the beach, or hit the trail on your mountain bikes. Don’t have bikes? Rent them! Many neighborhoods across the United States have a bike-share program. If you’re in LA or SF, play tourist for a day and rent a bike and ride along The Strand or across the Golden Gate Bridge.
5. Listen to Tunes
Southern and Northern California are home to some famous outdoor music venues (Hollywood Bowl, The Greek Theater, Shoreline Amphitheater to name a few). Check out these lists of outdoor venues and explore their calendars. It may not be possible to catch a concert outside on Valentine’s Day but buy tickets for a date in the future! As an alternative, find a local bar with outdoor space that either has live music or plays sweet soundtracks. If you’re in Los Angeles, there’s always 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. If you are musically inclined yourself, find a pretty spot and play some tunes!
This list is definitely not exhaustive but hopefully it got you thinking about outdoor date possibilities! Remember that it really is just another day of the week so there’s no reason why you can’t hold off on celebrating until the weekend when you have more time and can travel out of town to try mountain biking on a new trail or camping on the beach. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy the outdoors and the time spent with your significant other or friends or family!