From pop-up film screenings to theme parks and bungee jumping, spending time together on Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be full of clichés
This Valentine’s Day, escape the candlelit restaurant, soppy music and champagne; be inspired instead with our five unusual and original ideas to celebrate the day of love.
For a relaxing Valentine’s: Take a dip in a natural hot spring
For a pampering session this Valentine’s, head to a natural thermal spring for the ultimate spa experience without paying through the nose. Popular from China to Chile, thermal waters have long been associated with healing properties and soaking in the natural minerals often soothes one’s aches and pains.
Where to go: In Japan, soaking in a natural hot spring is an important part of the culture – they call it Onsen bathing. In Budapest, Hungary, you’ll be spoiled for choice with many excellent and historic thermal baths to choose from. In the UK, Bath is the ultimate spa city.
For a cultural & romantic Valentine’s: A pop-up film screening
Pop-up cinema is enjoying its popularity in cities across the globe. For a unique and romantic experience on 14 February, find a pop-up film screening in your area. Create your own magic as you snuggle up with your loved one in a quirky setting. Don’t forget a tub of warm buttery popcorn – the perfect sharing snack between two special people.
Where to go: Against a backdrop of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, it’s easy to understand why St George open-air cinema in Sydney is our favourite – this year, they show A Simple Favour starring Blake Lively on February 14. In London, the Rivoli Ballroom is hosting a pop-up screening of Gary Marshall’s romantic comedy Pretty Woman on February 13 and Romeo + Juliet on February 14.
For a fun Valentine’s: Visit a theme park
Set your pulse racing and blood pumping by spending the day at a theme park riding roller coasters and nostalgic bumper cars. Theme parks are full of thrills and entertainment, so you’ll spend the day laughing and having fun with your partner.
Where to go: Orlando in Florida is known as ‘The Theme Park Capital of the World’ and Walt Disney World Resort is the powerhouse. Its star attraction – Pandora: The World of Avatar – stretches your imagination with otherworldly mountains and dragon-like banshees. In the Netherlands, De Efteling is a magical fantasy-themed park whose fairy-tale forest and perfectly manicured flower beds will take your breath away.
For a scenic Valentine’s: Sip wine at a beautiful winery
Forget champagne, sweep your partner off their feet by spending an afternoon at a charming winery. Sip wine, sign up for a cooking class and learn to pair wine with food for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day in an intimate setting.
Where to go: WorldTravelGuide scouts the best vineyards in Australia in search of the country’s finest Pinot Noir, while South Africa’s famed Winelands are home to award-winning wineries in luxurious settings. If Napa Valley in California is too touristy for you, drive north to the quieter Willamette Valley in Oregon.
For an adrenaline-filled Valentine’s: Tandem bungee jumping
Take the plunge with your Valentine in a thrilling tandem bungee jump: the epitome of an adrenaline-fuelled date. Free-falling through the air is a feeling you’ll never forget and when it’s all over you’ll both have something to tick off the bucket list!
Where to go: New Zealand, home to the first commercial bungee jump, is one of the best places to plummet. Head to the Kawarau Bridge Bungy, just outside of Queenstown, to get your heart racing as you fall 43 metres (141 feet) with your loved one. The Bray Lake Watersports Center near Windsor, outside of London, also offers a tandem jump.
This article was updated on 31/01/19