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2/10/2022
Seasonal

10 Healthy (And Fun!) Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

Written by
Brooke McKelvey
Team Nutrisense
Reviewed by
Katie Kissane
MS, RD
a person holding a sign that showing "I love you"

Are you starting to see pink and red-themed dishes dominate restaurant menus, roses on every street corner, and Cupid’s bows gracing every storefront? If so, you know it’s because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! The month of love is upon us, and it’s all about treats, sweets, and sweethearts! On Valentine’s Day, in particular, the wine is flowing, and roses and chocolates are more popular than ever. But what if you want to skip the indulgent treats and run-off-the-mill gifts and have a healthy holiday instead? 

There are plenty of ways to plan a date that will get your heart rate up, deepen your connection with your special someone, and impress them with ingenuity. We’ve got just what you need to get started, with some fun date ideas! And if you’re stumped for gifts and looking for some more ideas, take a look at some recommendations from the Nutrisense dietitian team here.  

The History of Valentine’s Day

the card with words The history of Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is a holiday observed worldwide on February 14. It’s universally acknowledged as a day of love and romance, but the history of how it all began is(surprisingly) hotly debated. Some believe that the origin dates back to a Catholic Saint, called Saint Valentine, a third-century Roman saint. Others believe it traces back to a pagan festival called Lupercalia, an ancient Roman celebration of violence and fertility.

Today, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in a more generalized, perhaps much mushier fashion. Romantic partners exchange gifts, flowers, and chocolates as tokens of their affection for one another. It’s also customary to go out to dinner or cook decadent meals to celebrate with your loved ones. 

Fun Ideas to Keep Your Valentine’s Day Healthy

A healthy Valentine’s Day sounds like a bit of a bummer, doesn’t it? Luckily for you (and your loved ones), it doesn’t have to be! You can create a memorable experience without sacrificing your health goals. Instead of the typical Valentine’s Day dinner dates, here are 10 fun, healthy ideas to pick from: 

Go For a Hike

a couple of people sitting on the top of the mountain

Consider taking a day trip to a nearby trail to get your heart pumping and take in the scenery with your love. Show your date a beautiful location and plan ahead by packing a little picnic or a bottle of champagne to share when you find the perfect spot to stop and enjoy the view. 

If you pack a picnic to share with your love, consider making a balanced charcuterie board and impress them with your favorite wine pairing. Charcuterie is not only a romantic and easy-t0-share feast, but it also packs in lots of healthy proteins and fats. 

Take a Cooking Class

a couple of people baking cookies

Everyone loves to be spoiled with delicious food, but consider taking it up a notch this year. If you and your partner both like to try (and make) new dishes, taking a cooking class together is a great date idea. Learn how to make a healthy dish you both love or have always wanted to try. Even if you’re not usually the chef at home, this date is an excellent way to show your date that you want to create something delicious with them. It will help you get to know one another better and bring out your creative sides! Plus, you can learn another way to practice healthy habits in your kitchen. 

Try Ballroom Dancing

two people dancing

Get romantic and get moving with your love! A dance class is a great way to stay active while learning a fun, new thing together. Ballroom dancing (or any dance done in pairs) is an especially good idea because it’s pretty romantic too. It’s the perfect date to take your partner on to impress them with your moves, patience, and romantic side. It’s also the perfect dance for those who want to steal a kiss mid-dance. And who knows, maybe this will turn into a new, healthy hobby for the two of you. Besides, you’ll be able to whip your new skills out at the next party or wedding to impress your friends and family! 

If slow, romantic couples dances aren’t for you, try a swing dancing or hip-hop class and burn some serious calories while you learn.

Visit a Trampoline Park

two people jumping on a trampoline

Get your sweat on and get in some laughs at the trampoline park. This date is perfect for adventurous couples who like to try new things and laugh together. It’s also an excellent way to work up a sweat, and in turn, an appetite before your dinner reservation. Don’t be afraid to look goofy in front of your date; try those backflips just like you would have as a child. 

Schedule a Couple’s Massage

a couple having a massage

Take an hour or so to spoil yourself and your date by getting a couple’s massage. Help your date unwind and relax before your evening plans. Massages are a great way to increase relaxation, reduce stress, and eliminate muscle soreness—perfect if your date works out a lot or has a job that keeps them on their feet all day. It also lowers your heart rate and can improve blood pressure. It’s such a good gift that our dietitian Kasey Brixius recommended it too! 

Unleash Your Inner Child with Laser Tag

Two people playing Laser Tag

Get silly, and revisit your childhood with a ’90s throwback like laser tag! This date is sure to have your fun-loving partner giggling and getting a sweat on. Unleash your competitive nature by choosing opposing teams and seeing who has a higher score at the end. Creating a little competition and getting active is a great way to begin an evening of romance. 

Go To a Comedy Club

a lot of people listening to two people in the nightclub

Laughter is the best medicine, and it’s a pretty good way to spark some romance too! Studies have shown that laughing in social settings has the power to neural pathways in your brain that are responsible for emotions like joy, delight, and happiness. Laughing increases your serotonin levels and releases endorphins. Take your date and let those belly laughs release endorphins and get a dose of joy together. Getting a couple of hours of laughter together can work wonders for your relationship.

Rent a Pair of Bicycles 

a couple of people riding a bicycle

There’s no better way to explore forgotten streets around you than on a bicycle. Rent a bicycle and hit the streets with your date. You could even plan to make some stops along the way to visit a museum, a new restaurant, or a shop that you know your date will like. Riding a bicycle is a low-impact exercise, so it’s an excellent way to get moving with your date, even if they’re not usually physically active. 

Go Ice Skating

two people skating on the frozen lake

What better way to get moving than by strapping on some ice skates to enjoy the end of the winter months? You may have an outdoor skating rink nearby if you live in the north of the United States. Ice skating can be a wonderfully romantic experience. It’s the perfect excuse to hold your date’s hand for hours, and don’t forget to treat them to a hot cider or coffee afterward!

Hit the Slopes

two people skiing

Here’s another winter activity for couples who love the snow! Hit the slopes if you live near the mountains, or plan a weekend away to your nearest skiing slope. Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to connect and have some fun in the snow while burning calories and getting a workout in at the same time. Stop at a chalet and grab some hot chocolate by the fire when you need a break to warm up, and get a good snuggle in on the ski lifts while you enjoy those gorgeous mountain views with the one you love. 

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