Now that the hysteria surrounding the Super Bowl is fading (at least outside of Philadelphia), it’s time to turn your attention to the next big event, Valentine’s Day. Now, if you’re single you may not care (or you might even experience a burning rage whenever it’s mentioned) and if you’ve been married for decades it might not be necessary to do anything special. But if you are in the middle and need or want to mark the occasion, ask yourself if you really want to pick up a box of candy and some flowers on the way home, then head out to a crowded dinner where the rest of Hoboken is similarly packed in like sardines—or do any number of other 100% unsurprising and expected things?
In other words, why not get creative? It doesn’t have to be dinner and wine and candy. Although, heck, those ain’t bad ideas—though we really shouldn’t need an excuse to have a nice dinner with a glass of wine and some candy for dessert. Life is short. Eat all the dinners and candy. On Valentine’s Day, escape the crowds and the sense that you’re following some marketer’s master plan and do something unexpected. Here are five quick suggestions that could be just as romantic as a candlelight dinner, with the right attitude.
Go Rock Climbing
Hoboken now has a beautiful indoor rock-climbing facility in The Gravity Vault, located at 1423 Clinton Street (right behind the former Porter Collins). In climate-controlled comfort you can strap in and have some fun with your partner; they offer first-time classes that will teach you the basics if you’ve never done it before. This is the sort of team-building activity that will make the day stand out and might even open up a whole new workout avenue for you both.
Taste Test Some Craft Beer
While everyone else is crowded into the restaurants paying the markup on some (undoubtedly delicious) wine, you’ll likely find some of the taverns in town a bit on the empty side. A place like Cork City, for example, doesn’t offer a menu so it’s not an ideal spot for a romantic dinner (or any dinner at all, actually), which means you and yours can wander in and start working your way through one of the deepest beer menus on the East Coast.
This one might not be totally unexpected on Valentine’s Day, but it’s still a little more interesting (and relaxing) than a crowded dinner and a lackluster movie. Why not hit up a spot like Body Balance and schedule some couple’s massages and facials. It’s a luxurious way to celebrate your relationship and spend some quiet, relaxing time with each other.
Staycation at The W
Let’s face it, sometimes the best part of a trip is the hotel experience. Why not book a room for a night or two at The W, grab some dinner reservations at Halifax, and play the tourist in your own town? Sleep in, order room service, be lazy—and see your home town from a whole new perspective. It’s not the cheapest plan on this list, to be sure, but there’s something to be said for splurging on Valentine’s Day, especially when you’re paying for an experience, not more stuff.
Open House Aspiration Tour
On the totally free side of things, why not time shift Valentine’ Day to the weekend and create a walking tour of beautiful, expensive properties in town? See how the other half lives, or get some ideas about where you might want to move. You’d be surprised what you can learn while wandering an open house property, and there are often snacks or beverages on hand, making this a fun way to imagine what your life could be together if you decided to borrow a boatload of money together.
Valentine’s Day could be the usual—dinner, a movie, candy. Or it could be much more interesting—it’s entirely up to you! What are your unexpected Valentine’s Day plans?