Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, meaning shelves will soon be stacked high with heart-shaped candy boxes, pink and red flowers and piles of plush teddy bears. It’s true that we should show love and appreciation year-round, but there’s something so fun and romantic about Valentine’s Day and the romantic flowers and gifts that accompany the holiday.
It’s a great opportunity to flex your creativity and show her how you feel. There are different Valentine’s Day ideas for every relationship stage and some women care more about the holiday than others, so keep that in mind when picking out gifts or planning dates. Whether you’re looking for a laid back idea or something more extravagant, we’ve got all the ideas you need to wow her this Valentine’s Day.
How to Surprise Your Girlfriend Away From Home on Valentine’s Day
Your girlfriend is sure to be impressed if you plan her a special outing on Valentine’s Day. There are many romantic indoor and outdoor date options depending on her tastes and interests. For additional inspiration, check out the top Valentine’s Day ideas in your city. Here’s a tip: Take your surprise date to the next level and blindfold her while you’re driving there so she has no idea what to expect. Just remember to make plans and reservations in advance since everything books up quickly on and around Valentine’s Day.
1. Plan an outdoor adventure
If your girlfriend loves to get out and explore, cater to her adventurous side and plan a romantic outdoor date. Depending on the weather and where you live, some options include hiking, camping, boating, hitting the slopes and kayaking. A great gift to pair with this date could be some outdoor gear that’s on her wish list like a sleeping bag or a thermal water bottle.
2. Retro-style date
For a fun and quirky Valentine’s Day, think roller skating rinks, carnivals, arcades, diners, and drive-in movie theatres. Even if you live together, make a point to get ready separately, pick her up and arrive at the doorstep with roses in hand. Spend the evening sharing milkshakes and fries or snuggling at the drive-in.
3. Wine or beer tasting
Whether she loves pinot noir or pale ales, a tasting is a low-key and fun idea that can be its own date or a precursor to dinner. Go on-site to a winery or brewery or just visit local spots to make an adventure out of it. Pro tip: Keep an eye out for which drink is her favorite so you can buy her a bottle or growler as a gift — either for Valentine’s Day or a future occasion.
4. Take her to a show or event
If her favorite artist or sports team happens to be in town on or around Valentine’s Day, surprise her with tickets. If the event is out of town, make a mini vacation out of it by getting a hotel and exploring the area. She’ll love the show and be impressed by the effort that you put into the experience.
5. Go to a class together
Spend time with each other on Valentine’s Day by learning a new skill together. There are all kinds of classes to suit everyone’s interests — like cooking, baking, massage, painting, sculpting, dancing, mixology and many more. As a bonus, if you both like the class, make it a regular date night or a new hobby for you both to enjoy.
6. Glam night out
For a romantic and glamorous night out, get dressed to the nines and take her to an opera or symphony performance. Not only are the venues gorgeous, but there’s something so powerful and romantic about live classical music.
7. Out of town retreat
Take your girlfriend on a weekend getaway to spend quality time together, explore a new area and be tourists for the weekend. If you aren’t at the level in your relationship for a weekend-long outing, a fun day trip to a nearby city is a good option.
8. Relive your first date
If you’ve been together for some time, recreating how you first met or your first date is a fun and romantic way to celebrate. Your first date is a sentimental blast from the past that she’ll love — plus, it’s a great opportunity for a proposal if you’re at that point in your relationship.
How to Surprise Your Girlfriend at Home on Valentine’s Day
You don’t need to go far to have a fun and romantic Valentine’s Day with your girlfriend — keep it close and create the perfect date at home. No reservations required and you can really enjoy some one-on-one time.
9. Create a grand entrance and romantic scene
Let the surprises begin the second she walks through the door by decorating the entryway with a trail of flowers, wrapped candy or sweet notes leading her to the next surprise. Set the tone with lighting, candles and romantic music — she’s sure to swoon.
10. In-home spa treatment for Valentine’s Day
Surprise your girlfriend this Valentine’s Day with a spa day at home. Start with a candlelit massage to help her unwind from work or school. Then draw her a bath, toss in some heart-shaped bath bombs and provide her with a relaxing face mask. Pro tip: Bring her some champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to take her bath to the next level.
11. Make art together
Recreate a fun wine and painting class in your home. Gather up any art supplies you need as well as snacks to fuel your creative energy. You can follow online tutorials or create a piece all your own. Hang the completed piece in your home as a sweet reminder of your fun date.
12. Movie night
Take movie night to the next level by creating your own personal cinema. Rent a projector to watch movies on a blank white wall or a big screen — don’t forget plenty of blankets, pillows, and candles, of course. Grab her favorite treats and drinks to have alongside a nice big bowl of freshly popped popcorn. Turn on her favorite movie and enjoy!
13. One-on-one dance party
If your girlfriend loves to dance, why not throw her a one-on-one Valentine’s Day dance? Dancing isn’t everyone’s forte, so make sure it’s something she likes before making your plans. Create a playlist of songs with a good mix of fast and slow songs. Ask her to slow dance and she’ll get those school dance butterflies all over again.
Affordable Valentine’s Day Surprises for Your Girlfriend
If your girlfriend doesn’t like to make a big deal about Valentine’s Day or you’re in a new relationship, a more low-key gift is probably the best option for you. Check out these easy romantic ideas that don’t break the bank!
14. DIY projects
A DIY project is a meaningful and affordable gift, and as a bonus, you can personalize it to her exact taste. Some great DIY projects to consider are decor pieces and things she can use, like a coffee mug or a DIY zen garden.
15. Create a scrapbook or write a letter
Gather up your favorite photos of your time together and create a scrapbook with inside jokes and memories as the captions. Try writing her a poem or a heartfelt handwritten letter if you have a way with words. You can also write down things you love about her on separate pieces of paper and put them in a jar or in envelopes for her to open like individual presents.
16. Do charity work together
If your girlfriend is involved in public service, show her you care about her interests by doing the work she loves right alongside her. You don’t need to gift her with a pet if she’s an animal lover— take her to volunteer for an animal shelter or a pet adoption event. Sometimes the best gift you can give is your time, and what better way to spend time together than giving back to your community?
17. Scavenger hunt
A Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt is a creative and impressive gift. It could be as simple as hiding clues around your house or creating an elaborate city-wide scavenger hunt. The clues could be sweet and romantic notes or small gifts to collect along the way.
18. Make a slideshow or video with a music playlist
Sentimental gifts will mean the most to her. A slideshow or video set to music is a fun twist on the traditional scrapbook. It’s a great option if you have video footage that you both love — watch together and you can see her reactions in real time.
19. Cute and personal card
Take your Valentine’s card to the next level by making one from scratch. Try a punny title on the cover and fill your card with cute messages, memories and why you love her. A DIY card is also a great gift add-on or for couples who don’t care as much about giving gifts.
20. Be her secret helper
While your girlfriend is out of the house, complete chores and various tasks on her to-do list. It’s an unexpected surprise that she’ll definitely appreciate when she gets home. Take it a step further and fill her pantry with some of her favorite snacks or leave her a present on her bed.
How to Surprise Your Girlfriend with Food on Valentine’s Day
Whether she’s an avid brunch-lover or a Taco Tuesday enthusiast, food is a great way to a woman’s heart. These Valentine’s Day food ideas range from sweet to salty and traditional to quirky.
21. Breakfast or brunch in bed
Serve your sweetie a nice breakfast in bed with plenty of heart-shaped food. Try heart-shaped pancakes, eggs and fruit salad accompanied by a fresh mimosa or some sweet pink hot chocolate. Serve the meal on a bed tray and include a small vase of flowers to complete the look.
22. Sweet surprise
If your girl has a sweet tooth, there’s no better time to indulge than on Valentine’s Day. Make her cute heart-shaped cookies, set up a dessert tasting buffet or create a unique dessert box and put her favorite dessert inside. Of course, you can always leave it to the pros and have chocolates and other fresh treats delivered to her.
23. Classic dinner date
You can never go wrong with the classic Valentine’s Day dinner. Many restaurants have specials and prix fixe menus for Valentine’s Day so keep an eye out for her favorite places. Be sure to book well in advance depending on the restaurant’s popularity.
24. Candlelit dinner at home
Wow her with your cooking skills and make her a nice dinner at home. Try starting the meal off with a special charcuterie board or decadent fondue, and then for the main course, serve any dish that she likes. Pro tip: Ask her parents what her favorite meal was growing up and ask them for the recipe — she’ll be so surprised to see you made her favorite childhood meal.
25. Surprise lunch delivery
When your girlfriend is at work or school, visit during her lunch break and bring along flowers and food. Spend lunch with her, and when you leave, tell her that you can’t wait until she gets home. If you can’t make a lunch date work, have luxurious flowers and food delivered to her with a note. The sweet gesture will have her smiling the rest of the day!
How to Surprise Your Long Distance Girlfriend on Valentine’s Day
Being apart from each other isn’t easy, but at the end of the day, it’s about the strong connection you have — not your physical proximity. Even if your girlfriend lives out of town or in another country, there are still many ways to surprise her this Valentine’s Day.
26. Valentine’s Day care package
You may have sent your significant other a care package before but Valentine’s Day is a great time to go the extra mile. Rather than just sending your gift, try sending an oversized box filled with balloons that pop out when she opens the box. You could also create a “five senses” care package with gifts that are a treat for each of the senses.
27. Video chat date
The next best thing to an in-person date is a virtual date. Grab some food, light a candle and try to make your video chat date as close to the real thing as possible. Have her open her gift on video so you can see her reaction. Take the whole night to chat or even watch a movie together.
28. Special delivery
Make her day and have a beautiful bouquet of flowers and some fresh treats delivered. With food delivery apps, it’s super easy to have food from her favorite restaurant delivered to her. Pro tip: There are meanings behind the color of the roses you choose for her and you can add carnations to your bouquet to symbolize that you miss her.
29. Surprise visit
No doubt, the best gift you can give your girlfriend is quality time. Surprise her at home or have her brought to a restaurant and treat her to a dinner date. To set up the surprise, you’ll have to coordinate with her friends, family or roommates to make sure that she’s in the right location. It may take a lot of time and organization to pull it off, but her reaction when she sees you will be unparalleled and so worth it!
Last Minute Valentine’s Day Ideas for Your Girlfriend
Sometimes holidays and special occasions sneak up on you. It’s okay—we’ve all been there but there’s no need to panic! These last minute Valentine’s Day procrastinator plans and gift ideas are just as good as any other romantic surprise so she’ll never know the difference.
30. Go see a local music group
If you’ve run out of time to secure tickets to a bigger show, take her to see a local group. Many bars have live music and a dance floor so you can sweep her off her feet and dance the night away.
31. Same day delivery flowers for Valentine’s Day
Even if you’re cutting it close, you can still brighten her day with a beautiful bouquet or a pretty potted plant. Order same day delivery flowers and have them delivered to her at work or her home. Don’t forget to include a sweet message or a Valentine’s Day quote with her gift!
32. Take her on a shopping spree
If you didn’t have time to get her a gift, surprise her with a trip to the mall or her favorite store. Let her know she has all the time she needs, be patient and help her pick out some pieces that she’ll love. By having her pick out her gift, you won’t have to worry about her not liking it!
33. Take her to a museum or art gallery
If she loves art and antiquities a museum or art gallery can be the perfect last minute date idea. Most museums don’t require reservations ahead of time so you should be fine to walk right in. Pro tip: Keep an eye out for her taste in art or her favorite piece so you can buy a print as a memorable gift she’ll love.
34. Buy her tickets for an upcoming event
You don’t have to hit the department store to buy a last minute gift. Go online and score tickets for an upcoming event that she’ll love, like a concert or a festival. As a bonus, the excitement of this gift will last all the way until the event and will be a fun date to look forward to.
35. Take her on a picnic
Picnics are a fun last minute date that you can put together with a quick trip to the grocery store. You could go romantic with wine, cheese and fruit or take a more low-key approach with sandwiches and beer. If you’re super pressed for time, you can order take-out from her favorite restaurant.
Remember: Keep her interests, your past dates and the length of your relationship in mind when planning your Valentine’s Day surprise for her. If you feel stuck or you’re pressed for time, leave gifting to the pros and have them deliver a gorgeous fresh gift that she’ll love. Don’t stress too much about the gift you give or the date you plan: You know her best and have the best idea of what will make her happy.