We all know spending quality time with your significant other is the basis of a healthy relationship, but the same old song and dance routine can get a bit stale after a while. With Valentine’s Day coming up, you may feel inspired (maybe even pressured!) to shake things up.
Nothing beats good old-fashioned face time, but according to research, it’s not enough. The real secret to a satisfying long-term relationship is trying new things together. If your date night routine has become predictable, try one of these Valentine’s Day date ideas that are anything but!
1. Volunteer in Your Community
Volunteering as an individual is great, but volunteering as a couple can be even more fulfilling. When you get out of your comfort zone and work as a team, it can strengthen emotional bonds and introduce you to new sides of your partner.
Researchers have found that spending time helping others may leave you feeling as if you have more time, and other studies suggest that volunteering boosts self-esteem, reduces stress, improves health and strengthens an individual’s sense of purpose. Plus, if you’ve ever pondered a career change, volunteering in a new industry could equip you with the skills necessary to make the switch.
Volunteering is as good for your community as it is for you. It strengthens your ties to your neighbors and introduces you to people with similar interests, something that’s especially helpful if you’re new to the neighborhood.
Whether you walk dogs at the animal shelter, plate meals for the homeless, stock a food pantry or pick up litter in the park, donating your time to your community alongside someone you love is time well spent. Visit VolunteerMatch, the Corporation for National and Community Service or Catchafire to find volunteer opportunities near you.
2. Take a Cooking Class
A couples cooking class is an out-of-the-box Valentine’s Day date idea, and a great way to learn something new, whether you could contend on a reality TV cooking competition or if calling for takeout is the extent of your culinary skills.
There are plenty of cooking schools and classes in the Central Valley and Southern Arizona where you can learn how to make sushi, sharpen up your knife skills or study the art of pasta-making.
- Sacramento: Good Eats, Sierra College, Mikuni Sushiology, Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op Cooking School, The Femme Foodie
- Fresno: White Apron, Seasoned to Taste
- Bakersfield: The Kitchen
- Tucson: The Practical Chef, Cuisine Classique Cooking School, The Carriage House
3. Go Indoor Skydiving
Indoor skydiving is as adrenaline-pumping as the real deal, only you don’t have to throw yourself out of a plane thanks to its spot-on simulation. If you and your partner are the thrill-seeking types, you’ll love it. iFLY Sacramento and SkyVenture Arizona in Eloy, AZ, (about an hour north of Tucson, AZ) are both great options.
If there isn’t an indoor skydiving center near you and you’re still seeking adventure, try an indoor trampoline park. They’re a bit easier to locate, and a guaranteed thrill for adventurous couples.
4. Go to a Concert
Free concerts featuring local acts are staples in many communities, and yours might have something special planned for February 14. If not, grab a pair of concert tickets for your favorite band. Technically, Valentine’s Day is February 14, but you can share your love and appreciation for one another (and music!) any day of the year.
5. Get Outside
California and Arizona are home to beautiful natural landscapes and incredible recreation. This Valentine’s Day, go outside with your special someone for sunshine, fresh air and photo ops. Check out AllTrails if you’re unsure where to go. It can help you find nearby hiking, biking and running trails and filter them by length, difficulty and rating. You can also find dog-friendly and kid-friendly trails too.
A few of our favorites:
- Sacramento: Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, South Fork American River & West Ravine Trail, Guy West Bridge, American River Bike Trail, Auburn State Recreational Area
- Stockton: Caswell Memorial State Park, Lodi Lake Nature Trail, Bethany Reservoir State Recreation Area, River of Skulls Trail, Calaveras River Pedestrian Path, Stanislaus National Forest
- Fresno: Millerton Lake State Recreation Area, Woodward Park, Sugar Pine Trail, Sierra National Forest, Kings Canyon National Park
- Visalia: Kaweah Oaks Preserve, Bravo Lake Trail, Sequoia National Park
- Bakersfield: Hart Memorial Unit, Kern River Parkway Trail, Sequoia National Forest, Los Padres National Forest, Angeles National Forest
- Tucson: Coronado National Forest, Sentinel Peak Park, Saguaro National Park, Sweetwater Preserve
6. Test Drive a Car
If you traded in your sports car for something more practical once you got married and started a family, why not spend your Valentine’s Day test driving your dream car? Think of the thrill of taking a shiny new two-seater on a joyride down the freeway with your S.O. in the passenger seat.
Who knows, maybe you’ll realize you can’t live without and decide to make a down payment! Get in touch with your Personal Express agent by calling 1-800-499-3612 to update your car insurance policy and learn how you could save even more when you bundle with your homeowners policy.