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Unexpected Valentine’s Day ideas that will take your date by surprise in 2024

Valentine's Day is usually dinner and roses, and while there's nothing wrong with that, sometimes it's fun to step outside the box.

Sitting down to dinner or watching a movie can be a sweet way to spend Valentine's Day.

If you're looking to switch things up this year, there are plenty of other options to liven up the day and step out of your comfort zone.

We've put together this guide to help you think outside of the box. These will earn you the tick of approval from your Valentine.


Valentine's Day ideas

1. Have a picnic – but make it luxe

Forget packing a rug, basket and some sandwiches and order a curated luxury picnic experience instead.

Your Valentine will be blown away by the set-up, which could be anything from a low picnic table and cushions to an igloo overlooking the water.

Picnic for 2 in the Royal Botanic Gardens
Picnic for 2 in the Royal Botanic Gardens

RedBalloon

Luxury Private Picnic Experience for 2 by Sydney Harbour
Luxury Private Picnic Experience for 2 by Sydney Harbour

RedBalloon

Picnic Among the Vines Winery Tour - Self Guided
Picnic Among the Vines Winery Tour - Self Guided

Experience Oz

2. Take to the skies on a hot air balloon ride

It's romantic, memorable and you can do it from nearly every major city. Bonus points: it's not as expensive as you think.

For example, Adrenaline has dozens of deals on hot air balloon rides, many of which come with yummy extras like breakfast or bubbly.

Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Over The Hunter Valley
Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Over The Hunter Valley

RedBalloon

3. Sign up for a workshop

Channel your inner Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze at a pottery workshop, shake up cocktails together, make his and hers rugs and more.

8 Week Mindful Pottery Experience Course
8 Week Mindful Pottery Experience Course

RedBalloon

Private Cocktail Making Class - Pocket Bar
Private Cocktail Making Class - Pocket Bar

Classbento

4. Go on a road trip

Why not surprise your Valentine with a day trip on the Saturday or Sunday before 14 February? You can create great memories and it's a gift your partner won't expect.

5. Book a romantic getaway

Valentine's Day falls on a Tuesday this year, and if you have some leave to spare, you can take the beginning of the week off for a 4-day weekend.

Spend your mini-getaway in the pool, the spa and your room without worrying about making the bed or washing the dishes.

The next morning, indulge in breakfast in bed or head to a new spot for brunch.

Midweek Gippsland Glamping with Private Bath
Midweek Gippsland Glamping with Private Bath

RedBalloon

3-day Shangri-La Sydney Escape with Flights
3-day Shangri-La Sydney Escape with Flights

Luxury Escapes

Search below to see what else is available:

6. Indulge in a couples massage

Schedule in an hour or 2 of total relaxation with your date without needing to return the favour. You'll still get all the brownie points for helping them unwind without lifting a finger.

If you're up for a challenge, try something new like a hot stone or Thai massage.

Couples Day Spa Package with Massage, Mini Facial and More
Couples Day Spa Package with Massage, Mini Facial and More

RedBalloon

Private Wine Tour, 3 Course Lunch and Spa Massage - For 2
Private Wine Tour, 3 Course Lunch and Spa Massage - For 2

RedBalloon

7. Cook up some love

Shop local and head to your nearest market for all the ingredients you'll need to make a romantic, home-cooked meal.

Or, take some notes from the experts at a couples cooking class where you can learn to make authentic Italian, Japanese, Thai, Singaporean or Lebanese dishes.

Check out what you can book at RedBalloon, Groupon or ClassBento where you'll leave with recipes to recreate the magic at home.

8. Test out your mixology skills with a cocktail-making class

Cocktails go hand in hand with a good dining experience. Why not stretch out the celebrations on Valentine's Day and head to a cocktail-making class after your Valentine's Day meal?

You can opt for a class with a dining element too.

Cocktail Making Class with Matched Meze
Cocktail Making Class with Matched Meze

RedBalloon

9. Go skydiving

Nothing brings people closer together than a surge of adrenaline. Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to go all out for your partner, so go big or go home with the ultimate skydiving adventure.

Sydney Wollongong Tandem Skydive up to 15,000ft
Sydney Wollongong Tandem Skydive up to 15,000ft

Experience Oz

10. Head to the cinema

Whether you want to cosy up in a traditional cinema or make the most of the last weeks of summer with an outdoor cinema experience, it's the perfect date night activity.

11. Dining experiences

Add a twist to the traditional dinner date by booking a dining experience instead. We're talking themed nights, dinner with a show or an experimental event such as dinner in the dark.

Five-Course Meal with Paired Wine for Two People at Waters Edge
Five-Course Meal with Paired Wine for Two People at Waters Edge

Groupon

12. Sail away on a twilight, sunset or private cruise

Nothing screams romance like the golden hour. Witness it over the harbour with your date by your side – or make it even more special by booking a cruise just for the 2 of you.

4 Course Dinner Cruise for 2 on Sydney Harbour
4 Course Dinner Cruise for 2 on Sydney Harbour

RedBalloon

13. Get rushed on adrenaline

Active couple? Set your hearts racing (in more ways than one) by creating memories on Valentine's Day with a thrilling experience.

Introductory Scuba Dive with Snorkeling
Introductory Scuba Dive with Snorkeling

Adrenaline


20 free things to do on Valentine's Day

Romancing on a budget? These sweet and unique ideas won't cost you a cent.

  • Have a park or beach date: A classic that never goes out of date. Spend some quality time together strolling or cycling through a park or walking along a beach. Personalise it by heading somewhere special to the two of you or pick somewhere your Valentine has always wanted to go.
  • Recreate a moment: From your first date to the first time you met – turn back the time, recreate a memory and yes, take a snap of it.
  • Snuggle in for a movie night at home: Valentine's Day is on a weekday and if you aren't really up for going out, Netflix is your best friend.
  • Go live and local: Local pubs constantly have free live music.
  • Crack open the karaoke machine: A duet or power ballad is a must.
  • Make a TikTok: Have some fun and make a TikTok to the tune of a couple-themed trend.
  • Give your partner an at-home massage: No explanation necessary.
  • Go stargazing: Drive out to a quiet spot with a blanket and spend the evening spotting constellations.
  • Watch the sun set: Mark a spot on the beach, cliffside, mountainside or water and catch the golden hour and the sun setting over the horizon.
  • Sign up for a free online class: Learn yoga, meditation, dancing and more. There are loads of online classes on YouTube and beyond that are free to access and, depending on what you choose, won't require anything more than a bit of enthusiasm.
  • Get sweaty: Whether it's the gym or the tennis court, harness your love of sports and yes, feel free to get competitive if you like.
  • Whip up dinner together: Stay in and work together to cook up a storm. Yes, you may have to buy ingredients, but if you feel like getting creative, why not work with what's in the fridge and see what you can come up with?
  • Shake up some cocktails: Pull out the bar cart and shake (or stir) your loved one a cocktail. There are loads of recipes online and who knows, you might discover a new favourite drink.
  • Write love notes: Super sweet and something you can keep with you throughout your relationship.
  • Unleash the board games: Spend the night in with the best 2-player games you can find.
  • Spend the night at the museum: Some galleries and museums do late-night sessions for adults and yes, entry is still free.
  • Build a music playlist: Fill it with all your favourite tunes to listen to on special occasions.
  • Volunteer for a mutual cause: Choose a charity or organisation you both care about and help out together. Ideas include volunteering at soup kitchens and chatting with the elderly at aged care facilities.
  • Swap books: Avid readers can share their top reads with one another.
  • Search for treasure: Download a geocaching app and work together to follow the clues and find the "treasure".

Where can I book Valentine's Day activities?

1 - 8 of 8
Name Product Voucher validity Is there a sign up discount? Is price matching available? Can I book exclusive experiences? Where to book
Trip.com
Trip.com
Depends on the individual experience
5%
Yes
Yes
Klook
Klook
Depends on the individual experience
No
Yes
Yes
Amazed
Amazed - Things to Do in Sydney
1 year
No
Yes
Yes
Experience Oz
Experience Oz
3 years
$10
Yes
Yes
Adrenaline
Adrenaline
5 years
$10
No
Yes
Groupon
Groupon
Depends on the individual experience
No
Yes
Yes
Viator
Viator
Depends on the individual experience
No
Yes
Yes
RedBalloon
RedBalloon
5 years
$10
Yes
Yes
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Where will you be this Valentine's Day?

Looking for inspiration on things to do in your area? We've got heaps! Read our city-specific guides for the best things to do in cities across Australia:

See the latest deals for Valentine's Day experiences

AdrenalineAdrenaline
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10% off adventures with code

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RedBalloonRedBalloon
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10% off activities with code

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Backpacker DealsBackpacker Deals
Exclusive

7% off activities + 10% cashback

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Experience OzExperience Oz
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10% off select activities

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ContikiContiki

Up to 25% off Europe summer getaway trips

KlookKlook

Up to 90% off on select international Klook Passes and Value Packs

GrouponGroupon

Up to 65% off Sydney dining experiences

EntertainmentEntertainment

12-month Multi city Entertainment membership from $119

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