Staff Picks: Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

Romance doesn't have to be all fine wines and candlelit dinners. Make your date's heart skip a beat with these unique ideas.

Valentine’s Day is Tuesday, and you’re still scrambling for last-minute plans. Should you try and get a reservation at the hottest restaurant in town? Buy out your local florist’s rose supply? Melt all your leftover Halloween candy and shape it into a colossal chocolate heart?

Fear not. Whether you’re coupled up or single this Valentine’s Day, you’ll fall in love with these unexpected date ideas.

Hit the Town

Photo courtesy of Pexels.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to take your date night up a notch. Have a good laugh at the Stanhope House on February 14 with a special holiday comedy show from Paterson native Floyd “Uncle Floyd” Vivino. Dance cheek to cheek during The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s Dancing & Romancing concert at Count Basie Theatre on February 10, NJPAC on February 11 and State Theatre on February 12. Sing and sway during the Valentine’s Soul Jam featuring Russell Thompkins Jr. and the New Stylistics, The Dramatics featuring L.J. Reynolds, The Intruders and Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes, at the Tropicana Showroom in Atlantic City on February 11. With these love-themed events, you and your sweetheart will have a V-Day you won’t forget.–JK

Get Cheesey

Photo courtesy of Cherry Grove Farm.

From one restaurant lover to another, allow me to share a little secret with you: Your favorite restaurant just isn’t itself on Valentine’s Day. They’re overcrowded and often only offer a limited prix fixe Valentine’s menu. That’s why I’m the biggest advocate of just staying home. Grab a few wedges of New Jersey artisan cheese and a bottle of wine, and spend the night in.

What will adorn my cheese platter this year? A dense wedge of Valley Shepherd Creamery’s Oldwick Shepherd, a Pecorino-style cheese made from pasture-raised sheep, and Bobolink Dairy’s Drumm, a raw-milk, semi-firm cheese that’s oozy under the rind and funky in all the right ways. I’ll also have a wheel of Cherry Grove’s Buttercup Brie, made with grass-fed cows milk, which is best for slathering across a slice of fresh baguette and topping with a drizzle of local honey.–SV

Enjoy the View

A hiker gazes across Worthington State Forest near the intersection of the Appalachian and Rattlesnake trails.

A hiker gazes across Worthington State Forest near the intersection of the Appalachian and Rattlesnake trails. Photo by Bryce Gladfelter

If you and your significant other are willing to brave the cold on Valentine’s Day, why not head out for a hike? Saffin Pond in Jefferson Township offers convenient parking and a wide path for those just looking to enjoy nature. Adventurous types can head an extra 20 miles up Route 15 to Stokes State Forest in Frankford. The Appalachian Trail passes through Sussex County up here—more than 12 miles of it. Hikers can traverse the trail to climb up Sunrise Mountain and reach the picturesque overlook at the top. When the wind picks up, you’ll have each other to keep warm.  —AE

Namaste and Cheers

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: Quinn Dombrowski.

What’s more romantic and relaxing than a fresh cold beer…and yoga with your partner? I’ll admit I was a little skeptical and nervous the first time I contorted my body like Stretch Armstrong in public. But any yogi can tell you the feeling you get afterwards is therapeutic. And just about anyone can tell you the therapeutic feeling you get after drinking a beer. Czig Meister Brewery in Hackettstown is hosting a couple’s edition of “Yoga on Tap” on February 12th. For 20 bucks you receive a one-hour yoga class and one pint of beer.–CG

Get Competitive

Photo courtesy of Pole Position Raceway.

My dude and I are very lax about Valentine’s Day. This year, we’re forgoing the fancy dinner and using the holiday as an excuse to do something with a little more adrenaline. We’re going to Pole Position Raceway in Jersey City, an indoor go-karting facility with vehicles capable of speeds of 45 mph. He loves cars, I love winning at every cost, it’s a perfect fit! After we cross the finish line, we’ll throw down at Barcade, also in Jersey City, to determine who is the one true master of The Simpsons Arcade Game. I love my man, but I also must destroy him.—MM

How are your planning on celebrating Valentines Day? Let us know in the comments!

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