valentine's day things to do collage

Valentine’s Day ideas: 21 cool (and non-cringy) things to do this year

If you’re looking to try something different this Valentine’s Day, this roundup is for you.

When you think of Valentine’s Day, there are a few really obvious things that come to mind.

From red roses and fluffy teddy bears to chocolates and candlelight dinners, some view the big day as a walking cliche – but it doesn’t have to be.

Gone are the days of merely visiting lavish (and at times cheesy restaurants) or booking a night in a hotel. People are now getting more creative than ever and are taking their Valentine’s Day plans to the next level, with fresh ideas on what to do, where to stay and where to dine.

If you’re looking to celebrate the day with an unconventional flair, we’ve shared some recommendations that are sure to get you excited and counting down the days.

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  • Everyman Cinema

    Group of people at the cinema watching a movie
    Valentine's Day 2022: Everyman Cinema

    Drop the lights down low and enjoy a date night at the movies at Everyman Cinema.

    Everyman Cinema’s Valentine’s Day package is allowing guests to watch any new film, including Jennifer Lopez’ new release, Marry Me, at one of its plush cinemas while also enjoying an evening of complimentary romantic extras, including a welcome cocktail and indulgent sweet treats.

    Book Everyman Cinema’s Valentine’s Day package

  • DIY Art Market at Truman's Social Club

    Tourist couple looking at street crafts
    Valentine's Day 2022: DIY Art Market

    DIY Art Market returns to Truman’s Social Club Saturday 12 February for a special valentine’s edition, offering visitors the chance to engage with a diverse range of artists, designers, independent publishers, and purchase a broad selection of artwork at affordable prices.

    Book DIY Art Market at Truman’s Social Club

  • Valentine's Day life drawing at Balans Soho

    Girl painting on canvas
    Valentine's Day 2022: Life drawing class

    Balans Soho will be hosting its first life drawing masterclass on Valentine’s Day and unleash your inner Picasso.

    Book Valentine’s Day life drawing

  • Valentine's Day cake decorating at Anthropologie

    Woman decorating cupcakes with sugar sprinkles
    Valentine's Day 2022: Cake decorating

    Head down to Anthropologie and learn how to decorate your own Valentine’s Day cupcakes with the founder of Pieces Bakery.

    Guiding you through everything from piping to decorating, you’ll experiment with different coloured buttercreams, personalised writing, edible sprinkles and shapes such as flowers and shells.

    Book Valentine’s Day cake decorating

  • BucketRace Valentine's Day couples scavenger hunt

    Happy lesbian couple walking with arm around on footpath
    Valentine's Day 2022: Scavenger hunt

    If you and your significant other are particularly competitive, this scavenger hunt might be just for you.

    Taking place 12 February, you and your partner will get the chance to compete against other couples in a scavenger hunt across London, as you complete tasks in the capital and have a chance of winning a three-course meal at the Paternoster Chop House.

    From finding a taxi serving coffee in Shoreditch to locating the giant Dragon in Camden, this hunt is sure to get your adrenaline pumping.

    Book BucketRace Valentine’s Day couples scavenger hunt

  • The Fat Big Quiz of Love

    Close up of female couple laughing on sofa
    Valentine's Day 2022: Love-themed quiz

    Show off your general knowledge skills at The Fat Big Quiz of Love.

    Inspired by The Big Fat Quiz of the Year, the quiz takes players through 10 rounds of gameplay with lots of interactive graphics, videos, special guests and more.

    Book The Fat Big Quiz of Love

  • AARTLDN: Valentines Sip N' Paint

    two people painting
    Valentine's Day 2022: Sip N' Paint

    Wind down to some good music, sip on champagne and let your creativity flow at this AARTLDN: Valentines Sip N’ Paint.

    Hosted by Annette The Artist, the night is expected to be filled with fun as you and your partner spend the night painting, drinking and leaving with your very own masterpiece.

    Book AARTLDN: Valentines Sip N’ Paint

  • Valentine's Gastrotour at Borough market

    Entrance to Borough market, London, England
    Valentine's Day 2022: Borough market

    If you and your partner are major foodies then you’ll love this gastrotour at the iconic Borough market. 

    Discover the delights of London’s oldest and most celebrated food market, while tasting a huge range of British and international produce and learning all the fascinating facts about the market’s history.

    From exceptional charcuterie to fresh oysters and scallops accompanied by boozy beverages, this tour is the ultimate Borough Market experience.

    Book Valentine’s Gastrotour at Borough market

  • Rivoli Ballroom Valentine’s Day pop-up cinema

    Rivoli Ballroom In Brockley London
    Valentine's Day 2022: Rivoli Ballroom

    This legendary location will be transformed into a pop-up cinema for cinephiles everywhere this Valentine’s Day. The ballroom will be showing classic films over four dates in the run-up to 14 February, including Breakfast At Tiffany’s, A Star Is Born, Pretty Woman and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo And Juliet.

    Book Rivoli Ballroom Valentine’s Day pop-up cinema

  • Valentine's at the Natural History Museum

    Natural History Museum
    Valentine's Day 2022: Valentine's at the Natural History Museum

    Following the successful launch in 2020, Valentine’s at the Museum is back for two evenings, allowing lovebirds to sip beer, wine or soft drinks while walking around the museum after hours.

    Book Valentine’s at the Natural History Museum

  • Covent Garden Comedy Club

    Who wouldn’t love to spend their Valentine’s Day in tears of laughter with their significant other? Well, you can do just that at the Covent Garden Comedy Club this year.

    Book Covent Garden Comedy Club

  • Up at the O2 climb

    People climb London's latest tourist attraction 'Up at The O2'
    Valentine's Day 2022: Up at the O2 climb

    Take in the beautiful views of London while climbing the roof of the O2 arena. Suspended above the iconic tent canvas, you and your partner will make the 365m journey to the summit, 52m above ground level.

    Book Up at the O2 climb

  • Harrods Tea Room

    afternoon tea
    Valentine's Day 2022: Afternoon tea

    Head to Harrods tea room and enjoy an afternoon tea filled with luxury. From delicate finger sandwiches to perfect patisserie, this is a lovely way to spend a relaxing yet chic afternoon with your valentine.

    Book Harrods Tea Room

  • Italian and pasta masterclass at Ann Smart School

    pasta making masterclass
    Valentine's Day 2022: Italian and pasta masterclass

    Turn into a cooking connoisseur with this Italian and pasta masterclass. At this cookery class, you’ll learn everything about making fresh pasta, and cooking spinach, ricotta and pine nut cannelloni and gnocchi with sage butter and Parmigiano, lemon and garlic. What a delicious way to spend Valentine’s Day.

    Book Italian and pasta masterclass at Ann Smart School

  • Stein's at Home – The Valentine's Day Menu

    Stein's at Home – The Valentine's Day Menu
    Valentine's Day 2022: Stein's at Home – The Valentine's Day Menu

    If you’d rather spend your Valentine’s Day at home, order yourself a luxury restaurant meal kit, like this one from Rick Stein. You’ll be able to indulge in monkfish, prawns, lobster and chocolate – the ultimate quartet for a three-course meal with your very favourite person.

    Book Stein’s at Home  The Valentine’s Day Menu 

  • Diogenes the Dog

    Diogenes the Dog
    Valentine's Day 2022: Diogenes the Dog

    A beautiful boutique wine bar, shop and café in Elephant and Castle, Diogenes the Dog focuses on showcasing undiscovered wines of the world with unparalleled service and hospitality at its core. Guests can sample the bar’s ever-changing wine list alongside a changing charcuterie and cheese menu, perfect for sharing and perfectly matched to the wines on offer.

    Book Diogenes the Dog

  • Electric Gamebox

    Electric Gamebox
    Valentine's Day 2022: Electric Gamebox

    Fancy a Valentine’s date night with a difference this year? Head to Electric Gamebox and enjoy an evening playing hyper-immersive games within a private gamebox.

    Offering guests the perfect opportunity to do something fun together this Valentine’s, Electric Gamebox is an immersive experience like no other focusing on the idea of shared play to solve puzzles and complete tasks as a team. Players can choose from a selection of 10 unique games which come alive through projection mapping, motion tracking and surround sound, instantly transporting you to another dimension.

    Book Electric Gamebox

  • Ridgeway axe throwing

    axe throwing
    Valentine's Day 2022: Axe throwing

    Ready. Set. Throw. 

    With axe throwing, you can learn together then join a team for a bit of competitive fun, whether that’s in the great outdoors or in a city venue. This axe throwing activity in Oxford allows participants to throw axes into recycled wooden logs, three metres away, in its indoor barn axe range. With an hour of practice time under your belt, you’ll be ready to compete head-to-head to see who’ll be crowned the true Viking king.

    Book Ridgeway axe throwing 

  • Pottery taster session

    Pottery taster session
    Valentine's Day 2022: Pottery session

    This pottery taster session will give you and your partner the chance to get your Ghost on, as you hand-build a beautiful pot with coils in a spacious, warm and cosy studio.

    Book Pottery taster session

  • Blonde vs Orange: An Orchestral Rendition of Frank Ocean

    Frank Ocean
    Valentine's Day 2022: Blonde vs Orange: An Orchestral Rendition of Frank Ocean

    For Frank Ocean fans, this orchestral rendition of his two classic albums at XOYO is a must-attend.

    Enjoy a 16-piece orchestra, including a full string section with brass, percussion and vocalists’ session for an intimate, unforgettable experience.

    Book Blonde vs Orange: An Orchestral Rendition of Frank Ocean

  • A Valentine's natural wine tasting with The Modest Merchant

    People drinking wine together in bar
    Mother's Day 2022: Wine tasting

    Get you and your partner into the mood with an exclusive tasting session led by Jack Overbury of The Modest Merchant, a small, London-based importer specialising in low intervention and sustainable wines.

    On the night, Overbury will open six wines from his portfolio of natural wines for you to taste and will guide you through provenance, tasting notes and anecdotes. 

    Book A Valentine’s natural wine tasting with The Modest Merchant

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Images: Getty; Rick Stein; Daniel Ogulewicz; Electric Gamebox


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