Local, “Out of the Chocolate Box” Valentine’s Day Ideas

Want to do something a little different than a fancy dinner and a movie for Valentine’s Day this year? I know the feeling! I’ve rounded up some of my favorite unusual things to do for Valentine’s Day right here in the Salt Lake area.

These are perfect whether you’re going out with a special someone, with a group of guys or gals, or if you want some quality alone time on the big day.

K1 Speed

Looking to pick up some speed in a friendly competition with your date? Try K1 Speed, an indoor go-karting facility here in Salt Lake (and there are several more K1 facilities throughout the valley). They have a spacious lounge with leather couches, video games, racing memorabilia, and a fully stocked snack bar to enjoy, as well.

The Arrive and Drive is perfect if you want to come in for competition, thrills, and adrenaline. These 100% electric go-karts with 20-horsepower engines can reach speeds of up to 45 miles an hour (they are the fastest go-karts in the industry). The track is around a quarter of a mile in length.

Hours vary depending on the day.

Flowrider Surfing

Flowrider in Ogden is the place to flowboard (a hybrid of surfing, skateboarding, bodyboarding, wakeboarding, and snowboarding) in our desert oasis. Students from beginner to advanced will enjoy the sport of flowboarding, and the sport is perfect for people of all ages.

You’ll be powered by an engine that drives 10,000 gallons of flowing water. This is perfect for learning to turn, drop, and climb on the wave and perform maneuvers. You’ll be flowboarding like a pro in no time!

Sessions start on the hour, hours vary.

Grimm Ghost Tours

How do you feel about incorporating a little Halloween into your Valentine’s Day? It certainly takes the cheese factor down a notch. Grimm Ghost Tours, a frequent winner of best tour awards in the Salt Lake area, does tours year-round.  Even if you’re skeptical of the ghost stuff, you’ll really enjoy the local history you’ll learn during the tour.

A bus will take you to the sites of rumored hauntings while a tour guide gives you the lowdown on the sites. It’s a fully interactive adventure that allows you to explore the most haunted areas in town.  Don’t forget your camera to capture pictures and videos of the ghosts!

Check out the schedule here.

South Physics Observatory at the University of Utah

Want to look at the night sky with your date? The incredible South Physics Observatory at the University of Utah is open to the public on Wednesday evenings. These public star parties are open to people of all ages who want to see galaxies, nebulae, stars, planets, and more phenomena in the night sky.

The observatory also offers lectures, demos, and other special events during star parties. Events are outdoors, so dress warmly and snuggle up with that date!

See a complete calendar here.

DF Dance Studio

Looking for a romantic night of dancing with your date?  Become part of Salt Lake’s most engaging dance community at DF Dance Studio! There’s something for everyone here. Even beginners are welcome, and you can come dance the night away without a partner, if that’s your preference.

DF Dance Studio is holding several Valentine’s Day events—you can see a complete list here. One couples-only event includes the rhumba, chacha, foxtrot, as well as open dancing. The night also includes treats, performances, and a photographer. Another Valentine’s Day event is a red and black ball, where both singles and couples are welcome to join the fun. There will be a bachata class, performances, treats, a photographer, and even a guest DJ playing the dancing tunes.

Salt Lake Culinary Center

Do you love to cook delicious food? Do you love to cook delicious food with other people? Try a cooking class at the Salt Lake Culinary Center! They have a full calendar of options, including a couple of classes on and around Valentine’s Day.

One of those options is a classic French cooking class, complete with romantic food like Steak Diane, seafood mac and cheese, savory rosemary biscuits, and crepes suzette (there’s nothing like a little flambé to bring some electricity to the air)! Another class teaches you to cook a delicious pan-seared beef tenderloin in a red wine and shallot reduction, individual potato gratins, sautéed broccolini, and almond tort with strawberries. And the best part? You get to eat the meal when you’re done.

See the full calendar of classes here.

Snowbird Tram

Is there anything more gorgeous that a tram though our beautiful Utah mountain scenery? Why not take a leisurely ride on the Snowbird Aerial Tram? Enjoy the views of the snow-capped slopes and the Salt Lake Valley below.

This 1.6-mile ride takes you up 2,900 vertical feet to the top of Hidden peak. Once you’re there, why not dine at The Summit, the mountaintop restaurant up at the top?  Try any of the seafood dishes and end with the pecan caramel cheesecake.

Book your ride here.

Off Broadway Theater

Check out the Off Broadway Theater for live theater and improv comedy. Sadly, they’ve left their home of 25 years in downtown Salt Lake, but the shows are still going on! If you have a quirky sense of humor, you’ll enjoy this offbeat brand of comedy.

This February, you can go see Star Ward, Cutie and the Beast, and Laughing Stock Improv. There are also various passes available here.

Watchtower Coffee and Comics

Though Watchtower Coffee and Comics bills itself as just your friendly neighborhood coffee shop, it’s anything but. Watchtower is Salt Lake’s only coffee and comic book shop, and it has a delicious variety of coffee and hand-crafted specialty beverages, including tea, hot chocolate, flavored milk steamers, and Italian sodas. They also have board games to play, retro video arcade games, Legos, coloring books, and of course, comic books for sale.

As a bonus, The Gallery of Rogues is an art gallery located inside Watchtower, and it features pop-culture art from local artists. This is an unusual date night spot you won’t soon forget!

Sadly, Watchtower isn’t open right at the moment, but they should be opening up again very soon in their new location—hopefully, it’ll be before Valentine’s Day!

If you have any other out of the box Valentine’s date night ideas, leave me a comment below! I’d love to hear about them.

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