What’s more fun than running a 5k? How about dressing up like Cupid, meeting some new running buddies and having a celebratory beer at the finish line? Valentine’s Day races are taking place throughout the weekend, in locations all across the country. Cities like Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver, and more than 200 others are hosting their own versions through Sunday. Whether you’re already coupled up or you’re ready to meet someone new, a race is the perfect atmosphere—especially one with a goofy theme. Now strap on those costume wings, grab that fake bow and arrow and hit the starting line.
Whoever started the rumor that yoga is an easy women-only workout should really try it sometime—it’s tough! And although you might prefer that the date ended in sweaty body-twisting positions, starting off that way can be a great icebreaker. Guys will score huge points for giving it a try with a yoga-loving girl and ladies can show their dudes just how obsolete plain old squats really are. If yoga isn’t your thing just pick your favorite class and bring your valentine along.
Roll back time and revisit some of the things you loved to do when you were 12. These sports aren’t just for kids; they’ll give you a pretty serious work out and some hardcore welts, to boot. Perfect for couples who don’t care how they look wielding a laser gun and taking out eight-year-olds or people who love showing off battle scars (huge purple bruises). Look into arenas by you and keep in mind you might need to make a reservation. Just remember, padded shorts won’t protect your bruised ego when that eight-year-old kicks your butt.
Reach new heights in your relationship—literally. Rock climbing is a great activity for two. If you or your date is a beginner, hit an indoor course and race each other to the top. If you’re a couple of thrill seekers take a course in outdoor climbing. Experts say that it’s such a popular activity for couples because it relies heavily on communication and trust, two important aspects in relationships. And as an added bonus it’s a great full-body work out. Professional instruction is strongly recommended, let’s hope neither of you are afraid of heights.
The process of finding new and interesting places is sure to help you discover the best in each other… failing that there will be plenty of Instagram-worthy photo-ops. A scavenger hunt is a playful and adventurous date that could take you all over your city or town. If you have the time (and are an overachieving perfectionist) you could custom-make a special Valentine’s Day hunt. Or you could check the web for a version of this genius NYC-centered scavenger hunt guided by an App.
First clue: what’s stylish, underappreciated and always there for you? We hope you didn’t say your date—it’s actually your sneakers, which you will most definitely need on this date.
Nothing says sexy like public service, so show off your selfless side and burn a few calories by volunteering. We know—typical volunteering programs aren’t necessarily all that active, but REI hosts an outdoor volunteer program where you can help preserve the great outdoors and there are countless other organizations right in your backyard that are always looking for help. Check out awesome volunteer opportunities in Arizona, Colorado and all over.
Don’t have a date? Volunteering is a fantastic way to meet someone just as awesome and altruistic as you. And keep in mind, opportunities to help out won’t expire like that cheap Valentine’s Day candy, get out there year-round.
Are you obsessively binge-watching Olympic figure skating? Take a break from the TV on Friday and hit the ice for real. Beautiful outdoor arenas make the perfect setting for your Valentine’s Day date and since you set the pace there’s plenty of room for conversation—or showing off your triple axel. Don’t forget to bundle up and bring an extra sweater for your date. Hand holding and hot chocolate optional but recommended.
Dancing used to be a thing people did on dates. Don’t believe us, ask your grandparents. Somewhere along the line, taking dates to the dance floor lost the popularity contest in favor of gorging on food in restaurants and paying $40 to see a movie on a 80-foot screen. Dancing needs a comeback. Not only is dancing the single most romantic thing you can do with clothes on, it’s also a killer calorie burner. Round out the evening with some cuisine from the country where the dance originated and make even your grandparents envious of your thoughtful, retro date plans.
The people marketing romantic ski resort getaways are definitely onto something. Love is in the thin high-altitude air and couples are falling for each other faster than the snow that quickly lines the slopes. It’s tough to find a winter date as romantic as a trip to the mountain and it’s a great way to showcase your athleticism. Bonus points if you can teach your boyfriend or girlfriend how to ride. Major deductions if your teaching comes off as condescending—it happens, don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Not so skilled on skis? Beginner snow bunnies can get lessons from either their beau or a professional instructor. Or ditch the boards altogether and opt for tubing, sledding or cross-country skiing.
Strapping a board (or boards) to your feet not your style? Prefer the uphill trek? Hiking or snowshoeing is a fun date idea. Both options will provide a vigorous workout, with ample time to talk and gorgeous views. Go above and beyond by packing a small picnic in a backpack. Bonus points if it’s cold and you remember the flask of whiskey—or if you’re up to carrying it, a bottle of wine.
Nervous about that first date? Check out The Dos and Don't of Adventure Dating.