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Valentine's Day date night ideas to consider and avoid


Candy hearts, red roses and stuffed bears have become the commercial symbols of Valentine’s Day. If you really want to show someone you are interested in them, invest your time and money in something they will really appreciate – a great date. 

As a female college student, I’ve had my fair share of dates. Some have been great, others not so much. 

Valentine’s Day is the chance to show your significant other how much they mean to you, and where you take them out says a lot about you. Actions will always trump words, so show your date you care. 

Here are a few date ideas to consider… and ones to avoid. 

Valentine’s Date Ideas to Avoid

The club

A crowded dance floor is no place to take your date. A packed club accompanied by loud music will have you guessing what your date said all night long. 

“There’s too many people at the club,” Traverse City sophomore Brin Forlenza said. “Valentine’s day is something that should be more nostalgic. It’s hard to be intimate at a club where there’s people around you that are sweaty and gross.”

The bar

The bar is a great place for your buddies, but it doesn’t exactly scream romance. 

“It’s not the most romantic place to take someone,” New Baltimore graduate student Hannah Schmidt said. “[The bar] is just a fun place for the weekends, not necessarily a date.” 

The movies 

Movie dates have become a cliche thing of the past. “I think that going to the movies is just a bad date idea,” Fraser freshman Rachel Catoni said. “You never get to talk to your date, and going to the movies isn’t romantic at all.” This Valentine’s Day, show your significant other how much they mean to you with an original date idea that hasn’t been depicted on the silver screen for decades. 

Valentine’s Date Ideas to Try

An unexpected activity 

Get out of your comfort zone and participate in a unique activity with your date this Valentine’s Day. Stay close to campus by taking advantage of the rock climbing wall located in Finch Fieldhouse, or make the drive out to the Isabella Community Events Arena for ice skating. “Because it’s winter, I would love to go snow sledding or tubing,” Northville sophomore Shante Singleton said. “I think [unexpected activities] kinda gives you more details into their character.” 

Dinner with a twist

Although it has become somewhat of a cliche, there are a number of ways to make a dinner date stand out from the rest. Dressing up in nice clothes and spending a little extra money on a meal at a fancy restaurant are just some of the many ways you can spice up a dinner date in order to make it feel more special. There are more unique ways to put a twist on a typical dinner date. “You can add a little element of surprise and don’t tell your significant other where you’re going to eat,” Jackson sophomore Olivia Pageau said. 

Dinner dates don’t need to feel repetitive; think outside the box. 

A cozy night in 

Valentine’s Day is located near the middle of the semester, which is often the source for school-based stress and anxiety. Catch a break from books with your significant other by spending Valentine’s Day in a cozy, quiet environment. “My boyfriend and I tend to go out on the weekends, so a night in on Valentine’s Day during the week would be nice,” Plymouth sophomore Alaina Strzalka said. 

So, turn the lights down low, light a candle, crack open a bottle of wine (if you're legal) and enjoy the presence of your date with the help of a simple night in. 

Planning a date isn't a chore. Plan ahead and make your time together worthwhile. 

Skip the seemingly never-ending game of “where do you want to go?” by actually taking the time to get to know your significant other's likes and dislikes and plan out a thoughtful evening together. Valentine’s Day is the perfect chance to show them how much they mean to you.