While the traditional Valentine’s Day staples of flowers, chocolates, and a romantic dinner are wonderful ways to say “I love you,” there are also plenty of ways to take your celebration to the next level. Up the romance (and the adrenaline) with a totally out of the ordinary Valentine’s Day experience this year.
Trying something new as a couple is a great way to strengthen your bond, increase your own confidence, and make memories that will last long after the holiday has come and gone. Here are our top picks for a Valentine’s Day you won’t soon forget.
Bioluminescent kayaking for two
The best way I can describe bioluminescent kayaking is to compare it to real life Avatar. There’s just nothing like dipping your hand into the refreshing water and watching it come alive with the blue glow given off by bioluminescent organisms. Any disturbance in the water will trigger the bioluminescence, so kayaking is a great way to see and experience the wonder for yourself.
A Day Away Kayak Tours is offering a special 2-hour Valentine’s kayak tour complete with a sunset paddle, a complimentary toast, local discounts for nearby businesses, and–of course–a nighttime paddle to experience the comb jellyfish bioluminescence viewable this time of year. Tours take place in the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Dates being offered are February 10, 11, and 14th and tickets are $75/person.
Cupid’s Undie Run
If you’re a couple who enjoys running, then this annual run will be right up your alley. While you’ve likely seen your significant other in his/her underwear before, you’ve probably never gone out in public in just your underthings in order to run a race, which is exactly what the 1-mile Cupid’s Undie Run invites you to do. Aside from having a good time, you’ll also be running for a good cause. The run benefits The Children’s Tumor Foundation and neurofibromatosis research. This Valentine’s-themed event is definitely for the bold and adventurous, but looks like a total blast (and a definite photo-op). Celebrate with a party both before and after the race. Registration starts at $35/person.
Nighttime zip line
There are tons of places to go zip lining in Central Florida, including Gatorland (my personal favorite), but if you’ve been there done that and want to try something new, check out the nighttime zip line tour being offered at Zoom Air Orlando for Valentine’s Day. In what’s been named the Valentine Moon Zoom, you’ll zip along the course by only the light of the moon. The experience costs $90/couple and the course is located at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens in Sanford.
One of a Kind Dining
There are countless Valentine’s dinners to choose from, but if you’re looking for something extra special, there are a few unique dinners happening around town. During “Dining in the Dark” at Tapa Toro, dinner will be served in total darkness. While dinner won’t be a complete surprise (you’ll know the entree choices ahead of time), the experience of dining in a professionally blacked out restaurant will be. Another unique dining option, “Rustic ValenDine” at the Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge is an all-inclusive evening outdoors complete with wildlife ambassador meet and greets, a sunset cocktail hour, live music, a gourmet buffet and more.
If I had my way, dessert would always be served before dinner, or maybe even for dinner. For dessert fanatics, there’s no better place to celebrate romance than at two of Orlando’s dessert-themed establishments: Better than Sex (a dessert only restaurant) and The Bakery Bar, the latest addition to the Church Street district. The former specializes in desserts and delectable cocktails (think chocolate dipped wine glasses). The latter is strictly a bar, with a menu featuring dessert cocktails, like the Snickers shot, and a full bar.
For even more sweet-toothed fun, Orlando Brewing is hosting a special Doughnut & Beer Pairing with Orlandough from 4-5:15pm on February 11th. You’ll sample savory mini doughnuts paired perfectly with 4 samples of Orlando Brewing craft beers.
Over the top experiences
Luxurious Private Flight
If you really want to pull out all the stops for Valentine’s Day, snag your spot on a private flight to St. Augustine for dinner and a night to remember. Air Unlimited is offering the private flight experience complete with in-flight champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and roses. After you’ve arrived in St. Augustine, the over-the-top experience continues with a limo ride to Columbia, where your dinner table will be waiting along with a $100 gift card to use towards your meal. The private flight package costs $1,100 and is limited to three couples total, so book soon!
Hot air balloon ride
Orlandoans don’t have to travel far to cross this bucket list item off their list. Flights take place just a short drive away in the Kissimmee/Davenport area with both Orlando Balloon Rides and Bob’s Balloons offering weekly flights (weather permitting). Check an item off your “someday” list as you watch the sun rise over Central Florida. This experience is definitely worth every penny.
Champagne flight on the Orlando Eye
The Orlando Eye may be a bit touristy, but it’s still worth doing as a local. If you want extra points for romance, upgrade your ticket to include champagne. If you time it right, you may also be able to catch the sunset. The Champagne Experience is $34/person when booked online in advance and includes a glass of champagne during your flight.
Events to Remember
Tapas and Tango
Hosted by our very own Kristen Manieri, Tapas and Tango will take place at Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Orlando on February 17th. Dancers of all levels are invited for an evening of wine, tapas, and learning to dance the tango. Tickets are on sale now for $30/couple.
Art shows and experiences
February is host to two amorous art events: DRIP and Nude Nite. Both are suitable for more adventurous couples, although the latter is definitely more scandalous. At DRIP, partake in The Blind Date: An Artistic Adventure for Couples. This show, which occurs select dates February 3-25th, includes interactive couples stations as well as the DRIP show, afterparty, and more. Tickets start at $29/person and you can find more details here. Nude Nite will take place at the Central Florida Fairgrounds this year from February 16-18th and tickets start at $25/person. The event combines visual art and performance for an evening that may make you blush, but is definitely in a league of its own. Get the full scoop here.
How will you shake things up this Valentine’s Day?