Non-traditional ways to spend Valentine's Day

Wining, dining, red roses and candlelight are all very appropriate and highly acceptable for Valentine’s Day. But this year, why not take the whole thing a little less seriously and indulge in some good old-fashioned fun? Here, seven great suggestions.

Sing for your supper

The great thing about karaoke is that it’s an inhibition-breaker: so dress up to the nines, strengthen your nerve with a couple of knock-out cocktails at a glitzy bar then head to the nearest karaoke bar. Want to take the fun up a notch? Consider wearing fancy dress (added bonus: you might not get recognised).

Cook like a pair of kids

Forget serious grown-up food for the night. Instead, think about all the food you both loved as children (we’re talking sugar-laden favourites here), shop on the weekend, then, on Valentine’s Day night, get in the kitchen together and cook like you did when you were five. Make a mess, eat raw biscuit dough, lick the beaters – and don’t feel an ounce of guilt for indulging.

Ticket to ride

Want guaranteed fun? Borrow a friend’s kids (think how grateful your pals will be to have an adult night to themselves) and hit an amusement park, such as Luna Park in Melbourne – open until 11pm on Valentine’s Day – or Wet’n’Wild Sydney (until 8pm on February 14). You’ll be surprised how quickly your inner child comes out when you’re seated next to a screaming six-year-old on a roller-coaster. 

Bring out your inner dork

What about a night of nerd fare? Head to a games arcade, hit the Boogie Lights dance-floor and try other classic arcade fare: then use all the tickets you win to buy each other the worst gifts in the display cases. Channel The Big Lebowski and have a bowl-off at a tenpin bowling alley. Hot dogs and beers compulsory. Or find out where your nearest Dungeons & Dragons “meetup” is (an internet search is the easiest way) and indulge in a little fantasy role-playing. 

Think like a grandparent

We love the idea of a little old-fashioned fun, the kind that your grandparents might enjoy. A game of barefoot night bowls at your local bowlo club is ideal. Why not go the whole hog: dress up in Nan and Pop attire, drink shandies and order schnitzels (pineapple and beetroot mandatory). Spread the love and ask a single elderly relative or friend to join in.

Let the games begin

An at-home games night is the perfect fun-filled date (and great for those on a budget). Challenge each other to a Super Mario play-off; dust off the Monopoly board and see who’s the real money manager; take to the back yard for a leisurely game of boules; see who can remember the rules of backgammon. A tip: don’t take it all too seriously – you don’t want your competitive streak to ruin the romance.

Boogie the night away

Yes, this year Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday, but don’t let that stop you from hitting the dance floor. Whether it’s a hip inner-city club, a sexy salsa night or a disco at your local RSL, let your hair down, don’t think about work the next day and dance until you can dance no more.

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