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.