IT IS the most clichéd time of the year. As the cynics say, it’s a holiday made by Hallmark. We’ve been conditioned to think that this is the night where we should sit across from each other in a packed restaurant under a pressurised time schedule because the table needs to be turned at least five times.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Valentine’s is a day marked out on the calendar where love is supposed to be celebrated. Every couple’s love is different from those just starting out to the couple married 50 years. This is the year to let your Valentine’s date reflect that. Take the time out to do something a little unique that you will both enjoy and have a ton of fun.
Romancing the skies
What could be more romantic then spending an afternoon in the skies, watching the world go by. Imagine reaching the enviable love cloud of number nine with a romantic picnic for two, bottle of your favourite bubbly and of course your one true love.
As long as you or your significant other are not adverse to heights then a hot air balloon ride somewhere over the rainbow is perfect. This isn’t a date just for those long timers. A hot air balloon ride would bring major romantic kudos to the novice relationship. This date ticks all the cliché boxes from food, drink to hitting that peak.
Due to our winter weather the flight schedules kick in from April to September, with some standby flights at weekends during the other months, so more of a gift then a date.
Check out www.balloons.ie for further details on packages that range from a sunrise VIP flight with champers and chocolate to a flight and over night stay at a selection of hotels. Prices vary form €175 upwards.
A love song
The couple that sings together stays together… is that not how the saying goes? If not then maybe it should be. Karaoke may seem like the black sheep of cool Japanese trends but really it’s the prodigal son. All sins are forgiven the moment you step in front of that screen and take the mike to your lips.
Karaoke is all about fun so this would be a great intro to a new relationship. Admittedly a bit of Dutch courage may be in order. Woo with a treat of fancy cocktails at the latest trendy hipster bar, somewhere like the Chelsea Drugstore on South Great George’s St in Dublin. Then just a hop and a skip around the corner is the Ukiyo Bar on Exchequer St, where you can finish the night off with some crooning.
The basement of the Ukiyo Bar is karaoke heaven where you can book a private booth to sing to your hearts content.
For further details check out www.ukiyobar.com. Packages range from €49 for food, drinks and karaoke.
Escape the boredom
If thinking out side of the box is literally your thing when it comes to Valentine’s date night, then Weescape Live Escape room could be your dream date come true.
This is your chance to let your inner Liam Neeson thrive as you step inside a room replicating the movie Taken. This is your chance to break the code, beat the clues and escape from the clutches of a serial killer. Or if the threat of a serial killer sounds a touch morbid for a Valentine’s night then put your puzzle skills to use in the Da Vinci Code Room.
The game is played with a number of teams ranging in size from two to six players. This is the perfect date to show off a bit of intellect, problem solving skills and ingenuity. The psychological intensity of the game may bring to light some interesting new traits in your partner but working as a team is what this is all about.
See www.weescape.ie. Price is €60 per team/escape room
If you’re a kid of the1980s or ’90s then you may have had your first kiss at the Saturday night roller disco. Who doesn’t love a touch of nostalgia? Valentines is the perfect day to bring all those warm and fuzzy feelings back to the heart.
The roller disco is having its moment under the sparkling disco ball lights once more with venues popping up all over the country from Cork, Limerick to Dublin.
For the true romantic in you why not create the biggest Valentine’s surprise. Most of the venues are available for private hire. Cue the dream sequence of having the whole place to yourselves with a playlist of songs unique to just you two. And then as ‘your’ song plays he gets down on one knee and suddenly it’s not just the disco ball glistening in your eye. Just an idea I’m throwing out there to the stratosphere of cupid.
For skating in Cork or Limerick, check out rollerjam.ie — general admission €12
For skating in Dublin, check out www.dublin.spinactivitycentre.ie — general admission is €10.
Zorbing kind of Love
Who can forget how exhilarating and not to mention fun it was as a kid to go rolling down a huge hill. Rarely as adults do we let the silliness take over. Maybe Valentine’s is just the time to do it together, to get out and have some fun.
Zorbing is the adult version of rolling down that hill. You get into a huge human size hamster sphere called a zorb. The outer layer acts as a shock absorber as you hurtle your way down a slope. As a couple you can go for harnessed zorbing where you’re strapped into the zorb before being launched head over heels down the slope and hopefully for each other.
For further information on zorbing and details of other extreme sports check out www.extremesports.ie.