Date Outside the Box

Whether youve been together for years or just met last week, your sweetheart will swoon over the unique STL dates and activities weve collected for you to try.

 

With the most romantic of holidays quickly approaching, many St. Louiscouples are looking for fun ways to spend time with their significant others. Of course there is no shortage of amazing local restaurants to try out, and a trip to the movie theater is always a safe bet…but why not try venturing outside of your date night comfort zone, instead? We’ve scoured the city for the most unique and interesting places to go and things to do with your Valentine. Whether it’s your first date or your 500th date, whether you and your sweetheart are active, artistic, adventurous or just looking to relax, there is something on this list for everyone.

 

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1/ In Sync

There is something awfully romantic about ice skating with your significant other. Steinberg Skating Rink in Forest Park is the Midwest’s largest outdoor ice rink and is open every day to the public. The nearby Snowflake CafÌ© is a great place to unwind with snacks and sandwiches after a few spins around the rink, or to build up courage with some pre-skate beer and wine. You can dazzle your partner with your graceful moves or wobbly cling on to them for dear life‰ÛÓnow that we think of it, maybe beginners have the advantage on this date. 400 Jefferson Drive, Forest Park, 314.367.7465.

2/ Such Great Heights

For the duo that’s looking for a new high, indoor rock climbing at Upper Limits Rock Climbing Gym is just the ticket. Rock climbing together is a great way to challenge yourself as well as a your significant other‰ÛÓall while staying fit. Upper limits offers classes for beginners to experts as well as private lessons. 326 S 21st St., Downtown, 314.241.7625; 1874 Lackland Hill Parkway, Maryland Heights, 314.991.2516.

3/ Winter Wonderland

Spend a day or a weekend with your partner on the slopes at Hidden Valley Ski Resort. Beginners can take ski lessons for the first time, seasoned ski couples can challenge each other to new slopes, and for the pair looking for a more low-impact experience, tubing down the Polar Plunge is perfect. Don’t let living in a Midwestern city keep you from experiencing the thrill of winter sports. 17409 Hidden Valley Drive, Eureka, 636.938.4327.

4/ Embrace Your Inner Kid

There’s nothing like climbing through tunnels, slipping down a 10-story slide and riding a Ferris wheel perched high above Downtown to make you feel like just a couple of kids in love. The City Museum is a must for a fun-filled day of goofing off together. Explore the World Aquarium, check out the Museum of Myrth, Mystery and Mayhem, or just hang out and grab drinks at Beatnik Bob’s. 701 N. 15th St., Downtown, 314.231.2489.

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13/ Eat Your Heart Out

It’s no secret that St. Louis is lucky enough to be the home of some great beer. Take “meeting for drinks” to a whole new level by arranging a Brewery Tour at Schlafly Bottleworks, Square One Brewery & Distillery or Anheuser-Busch. Learn about the history of the companies, see how the beer is made and sample your favorites. Anheuser-Busch even offers St. Louis Beer School, where you can learn proper pouring technique and pairings for your favorite brews. Anheuser-Busch, 12th and Lynch streets, Soulard, 314.577.2626; Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Ave., Maplewood, 314.241.2337; Square One Brewery & Distillery, 1727 Park Ave., Lafayette Square, 314.231.2537.

10/ Puppy Love

If your sweetheart and you share a love of all things furry, there is no better way to spend the day than volunteering at an animal shelter. STL has plenty of shelters filled with critters who could use your time and care, including Animal House, The Humane Society, Stray Rescue of St. Louis and many more. You will love spending time with your significant other while doing a good deed‰ÛÓjust be careful, or you might end up going home with a new member of the family! Animal House, 2151 59th St., The Hill 314.531.4626;The Humane Society, 1201 Macklind Ave., 314.647.8800; Stray Rescue of St. Louis, 2320 Pine St., Downtown, 314.771.6121.

11/ Float On

If you want to give your date a view of the St. Louis area like they’ve never seen before, book a Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride with Air Balloon Sports. With many different launch locations to choose from, you both can get involved in the process of inflating or steering the balloon, or you can simply sit back enjoy the ride. Either way, it will provide a view and moment that neither of you will soon forget. Air Ballon Sports, 636.225.5666.

12/ My Funny Valentine

Laughter really is the best medicine, so if you and your significant other are struggling with the wintertime blues (not of the hockey variety), The Funny Bone Comedy Club is the perfect prescription for a good time. With Comedy Central favorites like Ryan Stout, Tommy Johnagin and Brian Posehn lined up for February, you’re sure to be in stitches. Feel like really impressing your date? Show off your own comedic chops every Tuesday night for Open Mic Night. 614 Westport Plaza Drive, Maryland Heights, 314.469.6692.

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5/ Rhythm of the Night

If you are looking for an activity to really spice up your date night, look no further than Club Viva for Salsa dancing lessons. Enroll in a complimentary lesson at the beginning of the night and then take the floor to show off all the moves you’ve learned. Even if one (or both) of you have two left feet, working together and enjoying each other’s company will make for a great night out. As we all learned from Danny Kaye in “White Christmas,” the best things happen while you’re dancing! 408 N. Euclid Ave., Central West End, 314.361.0322.

6/ Up in the Air

Adrenaline junkies, this one is for you. If you and your significant other feel the need for speed, check out Adult Flight Academy at the St. Louis Science Center. There, you will train with expert staff using flight simulators as you prepare for your chance to pilot a real Cessna 172 at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield. 5050 Oakland Ave., King’s Oak 314.289.4400.

7/ Free Falling

If you and your darling pride yourselves on being thrill-seekers, a skydiving date is a no-brainer. Mid-America Sport Parachute Club in Taylorville, IL, welcomes everyone from first-time jumpers to experienced pros to take the dive with tandem jumps, accelerated freefalls and static line jumps from a Cessna 206. It’s a different way of taking the plunge without messing with all of that marriage business. 1501 S. Spresser St., Taylorville, IL, 217.824.5867.

8/ The Natural

STL Februarys may be unpredictable and frigid, but a trip to the Climatron at the Missouri Botanical Gardenwill warm you and your date right up! The climate-controlled greenhouse dome averages an 80 degree temperature year-round and houses 1400 species of plants in natural and tropical settings. For a few hours (and only a few dollars for St. Louis city and county residents) you can enjoy your own little slice of summer while enjoying the flora and fauna of one of the city’s top tourist spots. 4344 Shaw Blvd., Tower Grove, 314.577.5100.

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9/ Beauty is in the Eye of the Beer Holder

It’s no secret that St. Louis is lucky enough to be the home of some great beer. Take “meeting for drinks” to a whole new level by arranging a Brewery Tour at Schlafly Bottleworks, Square One Brewery & Distillery or Anheuser-Busch. Learn about the history of the companies, see how the beer is made and sample your favorites. Anheuser-Busch even offers St. Louis Beer School, where you can learn proper pouring technique and pairings for your favorite brews. Anheuser-Busch, 12th and Lynch streets, Soulard, 314.577.2626; Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Ave., Maplewood, 314.241.2337; Square One Brewery & Distillery, 1727 Park Ave., Lafayette Square, 314.231.2537.

10/ Puppy Love

If your sweetheart and you share a love of all things furry, there is no better way to spend the day than volunteering at an animal shelter. STL has plenty of shelters filled with critters who could use your time and care, including Animal House, The Humane Society, Stray Rescue of St. Louis and many more. You will love spending time with your significant other while doing a good deed‰ÛÓjust be careful, or you might end up going home with a new member of the family! Animal House, 2151 59th St., The Hill 314.531.4626;The Humane Society, 1201 Macklind Ave., 314.647.8800; Stray Rescue of St. Louis, 2320 Pine St., Downtown, 314.771.6121.

11/ Float On

If you want to give your date a view of the St. Louis area like they’ve never seen before, book a Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride with Air Balloon Sports. With many different launch locations to choose from, you both can get involved in the process of inflating or steering the balloon, or you can simply sit back enjoy the ride. Either way, it will provide a view and moment that neither of you will soon forget. Air Ballon Sports, 636.225.5666.

12/ My Funny Valentine

Laughter really is the best medicine, so if you and your significant other are struggling with the wintertime blues (not of the hockey variety), The Funny Bone Comedy Club is the perfect prescription for a good time. With Comedy Central favorites like Ryan Stout, Tommy Johnagin and Brian Posehn lined up for February, you’re sure to be in stitches. Feel like really impressing your date? Show off your own comedic chops every Tuesday night for Open Mic Night. 614 Westport Plaza Drive, Maryland Heights, 314.469.6692.

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17/ Pinball Wizard

Romance the retro way with a night at Orbit Pinball Lounge. Challenge your significant other to a game of “Jurassic Park” or “Austin Powers” pinball, and relax at one of the cozy tables (made from vintage pinball machines) with a tasty beverage. If both of you turn out to be successful skeeballers, you could even join a league and get your weekly fix together! 7401 Hazel Ave., Maplewood, 314.769.9954.

18/ Get Mystical

Grab your date, a drink and get your palms read at the new Fortune Teller Bar on Cherokee. Specialty beers and cocktails are paired with delicious food, and the old-town St. Louis atmosphere makes for a unique, laid-back night out. Besides‰ÛÓwho knows what might be in the cards for your romance? 2635 Cherokee St., South City, 314.776.2337.

Readers’ Choice

19/ MX It Up

ALIVE reader Ryan suggested a night out in the new MX District in Downtown St. Louis. We love the idea of taking advantage of a special occasion like Valentine’s Day to take a tour of some of the new attractions in the very buzzy district. Ryan’s picks: dinner at Takaya, a flick at MX Movies and dessert at Pi Pizzeria. We’d venture to add a glass of wine at Robust to the beginning or end of the evening. For the movie, Ryan suggested “Step Up 5,” but we’d probably opt instead for one of the three Golden Globe winners playing there now instead: “Django Unchained,” “Les Miserables” and “Lincoln.” (No offense, Ryan!)

20/ Hot on the Trail

ALIVE reader Heather suggested getting active and going on a scenic bike ride on the Katy Trail for the day, topped off by a surprise picnic. Bonus points for choosing the perfect vantage point (and timing it just right) to watch the sunset and share a glass of wine. Ah, the romance! Sorry Heather‰ÛÓ you might have to fight off some other couples from that perfect spot, now!

 

Photo credit: Matt Kile

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