Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Experiential Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

I have to be honest, I'm so not into the idea of giving tangible gifts to a significant other on Valentine's Day (ok, but hydrangeas and white roses don't count as tangible ;)). I absolutely love experiential gifts (not just on Valentine's Day but for any occasion!). I think they mean more! So here are some ideas, that aren't necessarily tangible, but are fun ideas for you and your significant other! I tried to stay away from traditional dates like dinner and a movie and really think outside the box! They're great for Valentine's Day (which is Sunday, February 14th!) but also great for any day of the year!

Take a cooking class
While cooking is not always fun, learning a new recipe in a fun setting is a great change of pace. 

Workout Together
There are some pretty fun workout classes right now (ie. Soul Cycle) and this would be great for a couple that is working hard on their New Year's resolutions! 

Have a Staycation
I'm a huge believer of taking advantage of the city you live in! Book a weekend at a hotel you've never stayed at in your city! It can be so fun to see the city through a different point of view! And seriously, who doesn't love room service?! 

Go to the Spa
Get a massage, relax in a warm hot tub, have a light lunch and a glass of bubbly! Who doesn't love going to the spa?! The Fairmont in Pittsburgh has a great spa! 

Movie Night
Start making a list of all the movies you are dying to see now and spend the night having a movie marathon. Have your favorite wine, crank up the fireplace and grab a giant bowl of popcorn. Hint: Champagne and popcorn are an excellent combo! 

Go Skiing
This might be a little harder for those who don't live near a ski resort, but here in Pittsburgh, 7 Springs is just about 45 minutes away! I might be biased since I love skiing, but I think this is such a fun idea. Even if you're not a pro skiier, apres skiing is half the fun! 

Go to a Brewery
I'm not into beer, but I know many are. This would be a great option for a beer loving couple! 

Go to a Vineyard/Winery
It's a little chilly to go walk around a Vineyard, but if you're in a warmer climate, this would be perfect. However, most Vineyards have an enclosed area so you can enjoy the wine while staying warm! 

Go Off-Roading
I've never been, but it sounds like a blast and I think any guy would have a field day with this! There are a lot of off-roading courses around the country! The closest to Pittsburgh is the Jeep course in Nemacolin

Go to a Museum
I love love love the museums in Pittsburgh. I could go every day and never tire of them.  If you are in Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Museums are my favorite, specifically the Art and Natural History Museum in Oakland. 

See Live Music
Whether it's a concert with a band you both love or even just a small jazz trio, seeing live music always makes for a great night. If you are a Pittsburgher, Andy's at the Fairmont has the best live jazz and cutest little lounge area where you can have drinks and a bite to eat! 

Go Sky Diving
This might sound crazy to some, but would be perfect for adventure seekers. I'm no adrenaline junky, but I'm dying to go skydiving (#BucketList) and who better to jump out of a plane with than someone you love?!

Go to the Grocery Store
The grocery store is one of my least favorite places, but that's because I go by myself when it's busy and go in with a mission and try to get in/out as fast as possible. However, it doesn't have to be like that! Head to your favorite grocery store and stock up on all of your favorites. Here's the fun part... don't bring a list... I know, really living life on the edge! For example, grab everything for an amazing meat and cheese platter and head home to set it all up and enjoy with your favorite playlist and bottle of your favorite wine. 

Go to SkyZone
I freaking love SkyZone. Amen. But in all seriousness, if you haven't been, you must go! SkyZone is a huge warehouse style space that is filled with trampolines! Jump to your heart's desire! I have so much fun every time! 

I was an Indian Princess when I was little (anyone else?!). If you're not familiar, it's a group for dads and daughters to bond when they are little. Part of the bonding was to go camping with your dad and other dad/daughter duos. Every time we would go, we would always go to the archery field. It was so much fun! If you are in Pittsburgh, check out Nemacolin for this! A little competition never hurt, right?

Go Ice Skating
Bonus points if it is outdoors! Ice skating is fun and even can be a workout! Did you know that the PPG Rink in downtown Pittsburgh is 65% larger than Rockefeller Center's?! Hurry, though, it closes for the season on February 28th! 

Driving Range
This is more for those who are still in a climate where this is possible. However, there are such things as indoor driving ranges! They're not as fun (in my opinion) as outdoor ranges, but you get the same experience. RMU Sports Complex is located on Neville Island in Pittsburgh and is pretty large! 

Go Rock Climbing
I absolutely love rock climbing! When I was in college at JMU, our Recreation Center had a huge rock wall in the lobby. I worked out 5 times a week and would finish every single workout by climbing the wall! Check out The Climbing Wall or Climb North if you are in Pittsburgh! 

Champagne Tasting
This is entirely made up in my head-- and really what I want to do for my birthday (seriously, I've been telling all my friends about this for months) but it would be such a fun Valentine's idea, too (although not so great on your wallet, ha!)! Get bottles of all different levels of champagne from the 2 buck chuck to Dom Perignon and have a party with all of your closest friends. Serve small snacks that pair well with champagne such as mini smoked salmon blinis. Set up each place with the glasses and start pouring!  The person who is closest to being correct wins a bottle of champagne! This is also great for figuring out your absolute favorite without being influenced by names or bottle designs! Really be the host/hostess of the year if you add in a caviar tasting, too!

Go Bowling
I may be the worst bowler ever, but I still have fun doing it. There is a bowling alley in Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh called Arsenal Lanes. It' is SO much fun. It has a full bar and a fun/funky atmosphere. Would be great for a group, too! 

What are your favorite Valentine's Day ideas? If you're not in love with any of these ideas and would rather go the more traditional route, be sure to check out my Pittsburgh Restaurant Guide if you live in the city! My top 5 favorites in Pittsburgh are:
  • Little Tokyo (sushi)
  • Girasole (BYOB, Italian)
  • Soba (martinis and pad thai)
  • The Commoner (for atmosphere and brussel sprouts)
  • Casbah (for Brunch)
  • Honorable mention: Monterey Bay's bar/lounge for the incredible view! 


Kristen said...

Such cute ideas! I've been dying to go to Skyzone!! haha

Heather A. said...

Love these ideas! In the last year or so my husband and I try not to give each other material gifts and instead experiential gifts so these are super helpful!

Lucy said...

Love that you mentioned Indian Princesses-just found some old badges recently when my sister, Dad and I participated 😊

Lucy said...

Love that you mentioned Indian Princesses-my Dad, sister, and I found some of our old badges recently

Erin Fairchild said...

I love this list! Such great, fun ideas for Valentines Day!

KB said...

I loved Indian Princesses. I wanted my daughter to be able to do it with my husband, but it seems it's not around any more.

CB said...

Grist House Brewing in Millvale has a great atmosphere and delicious brews. Try the Russian Imperial Stout!


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