Out of the Box Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

It’s almost the most romantic day of the year, and we recommend standing out to the object of your affections by planning a Valentine’s Day to remember (read: not your typical dinner and a movie). From bar crawls for the adventurous couple to weekend getaways for the Valentines that need extra one-on-one time, we’ve got you covered with plenty of ideas to make this your best V-Day yet regardless of budget, time or interests. 


Wednesday, February 12

Whisked Away Cooking School Valentine’s Day Dinner
Skip the typical Valentine’s Day dinner out and make one yourself with the guidance of one of Phoenix’s top cooking schools! This special Valentine’s Day-themed cooking class will feature a menu of bacon bleu cheese dip, garlic Parmesan risotto, pomegranate pear salad, individual beef Wellingtons and classic chocolate mousse. (Whisked Away Cooking School // 9:30 a.m. // $80)

Thursday, February 13

Watch Ballet Arizona’s Rendition of a Midsummer’s Night Dream
Show your loved one the depth of your cultural knowledge with a trip to the theatre for a ballet performance of Shakespeare’s joy-inducing classic. This performance also promises brand new sets and stunning costumes that will take your breath away. (Ballet Arizona // 7:00 p.m. // $34+) 

Friday, February 14 

Go to a Valentine’s Day-themed Rave at Rawhide Event Center
If you and your Valentine love electronic music, there’s no better place to celebrate than at Crush Arizona. This year’s event will feature performances by 4B, Audien, Carbin, Dark Mark, Habstrakt, Jauz and Tynan for you to dance the night away to.  (Rawhide Event Center // 6:00 p.m. // $69+)

Valentine’s Day Dessert Pop Up Shop at The Churchill
Enjoy great weather, community and local desserts with your date at The Churchill’s Valentine’s Day pop-up shop featuring romantic, themed desserts from four different vendors. (The Churchill // 6:00 p.m. // Free)

Saturday, February 15

Go on a bar crawl through downtown Phoenix
Even if you’re happily paired up, that doesn’t mean you can’t be even happier with a few drinks in your system. Get a group of your couple (and single friends!) together for an epic bar crawl beginning at The Churchill and touring through downtown Phoenix with plenty of drinks throughout.  (The Churchill // 8:00 p.m // $6)

Stop by the Arizona Sweets Festival
Civic Center Park in Gilbert is hosting a one-of-a-kind sweets festival the weekend of Valentine’s Day that’s perfect for indulging in all kinds of treats like cotton candy tacos and funnel cakes. Plus, you can learn how to make your Valentine something special at one of the cookie or cake decorating classes. (Gilbert Civic Center Park // 11:00 a.m. // $7) 

Try wine tasting at Mountain Shadows
Mountain Shadows offers monthly spirited sipping seminars showcasing wines, beers and craft cocktails, but this Valentine’s Day weekend event is extra special with the ‘Bordeaux Pours You’ll Adore’ theme that’s perfect for the holiday. (Mountain Shadows Resort // 3:00 p.m. // $30) 


Enjoy a Candy Tour at Cerreta Candy Company
Let’s be real, the best part of Valentine’s Day is the candy, so what better way is there to celebrate than by taking a tour of one of Arizona’s best-loved local candy shops? The 30-minute tour will show you and your date the behind the scenes process of candy creation and even has options to make your own chocolate box, decorate a chocolate teddy bear, or best of all, create a chocolate pizza. (Tours take place weekdays // visit cerreta.com/tour-activities for more information)

Go on a Romantic Road Trip
Take advantage of the fact that this year Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday with a romantic getaway. Living in Phoenix means easy road trips to all kinds of destinations — from the stunning red rock-surrounded Sedona two short hours way to high-energy Vegas under five hours away (just don’t let the romantic spirit convince you to elope!). 

Have a Picnic
In 2020, the simple art of picnics have largely become a thing of the past but for an extra romantic outdoor meal pack up your favorite treats and set up a ‘Gram-worthy charcuterie board outside. Just make sure to leave the wine at home — most parks frown public intoxication. (For more information on potential venues visit phoenix.gov/parks/parks)

Hop on a Hot Air Balloon Ride
A hot air balloon ride might be cliché but that’s because they’re one of the most romantic outings you can take with your Valentine. Not only is it an unforgettable activity you can hopefully experience for the first time together, you’ll get an incredible view of the desert landscape. (Sunrise, sunset and private balloon rides available // for more information visit rainbowryders.com)

Stroll through the Musical Instrument Museum
Believe it or not, Phoenix’s Musical Instrument Museum has been hailed as one of the best museums in the country thanks to its collection of 7,000 instruments from 200 countries around the world — including relics from music icons like Johnny Cash and Maroon 5. Plus, there’s a whole room dedicated to instruments you can actually play, making your date even more interactive and giving you the opportunity to check out your Valentine’s musical talent. (Musical Instrument Museum // Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. // $20+) 

Take a Tour of the Desert Botanical Garden
There are few places as romantic as the Desert Botanical Garden, which offers access to endless desert flowers and mountain views. While you and your date are welcome to peruse the grounds on your own, tours are available every day in the morning for free with the purchase of your admission. (Desert Botanical Garden  // 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. // $24.95+)

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