Think outside the traditional box of chocolates and the bouquet of long-stemmed red roses this Valentine's Day. Instead, surprise your loved one with a unique excursion outdoors, and tailor the date to the activities you know you and your honey enjoy. A date outdoors can be a special treat without breaking the bank, no matter what city you live in. After all, even if you live in a snowy climate, an outdoor date gives you even more reason to cuddle with your favorite person to stay warm.
Head to the local nature center or park for a romantic hike in the woods, and don't forget to bring a picnic blanket. The beautiful scenery will inspire as you're serenaded by the birds. In the colder climates, get active with a friendly snowball fight. Make the date even more romantic: Start your hike just before sunrise or sunset to savor those first or last rays of sunshine with your sweetie.
Whether you have skills on the ice or are just a beginner, ice skating at the local rink or pond can be a great date activity. Not only can you hold hands while you circle the rink together, but it'll also give you a chance to chat. Once you're off the rink, share a hot chocolate by a cozy fireplace to warm up. If you are in a warmer climate perhaps instead of ice skating you hit the road and rollerblade for an afternoon of fun (and fitness).
Visit the Zoo
Local zoos often host different events and themes throughout the year, making them a wonderful go-to destination even in the winter time. From zoo lights to wine tastings and more on Valentine's Day, zoos offer a magical atmosphere that's not just for the kids. Some city zoos even host love-themed events, such as stories about the mating ways of its animals!
Moonlight Walk or Snowshoe
Star gazing isn't just for the summer time. Head outside the city limits after bundling up or dressing weather appropriate, and take a walk or snowshoeing trek under the night-time sky. Don't forget the blankets so you can enjoy some wine or hot cocoa while you and your honey search for shooting stars to make a wish upon.
Skiing and Sledding
If you don't live near a ski slope, consider planning a short romantic getaway with your ski and snow gear in tow. Or, if you can't make it out of town, find a local sledding hill; be sure to share a sled so that you cozy up and enjoy the ride together. After spending an invigorating day outside in the cold weather, head back inside to warm up together next to a roaring fire.
No matter what kind of weather you have in winter, as long as its not subzero temperatures, an outdoor Valentine's Day activity is one that you and your loved one can cherish for years to come.
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she's scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
for more features.