Valentine’s Day For Boomers

Does your typical candlelit dinner feel too “been there, done that”? Here, some romantic rendezvous ideas a more mature crowd will adore.

By Nina Malkin

up, it’s that time of year when love-struck pairs everywhere make googly eyes at each other and toast their couplehood over candlelit dinners. And yet, if you’ve been celebrating Valentine’s Day for a few decades, it can feel a little “been there, done that” to do what all the kids are doing, don’t you think? For that reason, we’ve decided to offer up some date ideas for a more mature crowd so you can have a memorable (and romantic!) evening that feels right for you.

Dine someplace really exclusive
If you get the feeling every good restaurant in town will be packed with trendy 20- and 30-somethings, forgo the average in-spot and invite your date somewhere truly special:
Share your experiences—write a romantic story together.
your place. Have the meal catered so you won’t have to sweat over the stove. Deck your dining room with the good china, linen napkins, candelabra—the works! Program mood music and clear a spot for dancing. Dress to the nines.

Reminisce romantically
Plan a nostalgic evening around you and your date’s favorite musical genre. “Listening to music from one’s time period creates an immediate connection and encourages conversation and intimacy,” says Debbie Mandel, author of Turn On Your Inner Light. True, you can’t book Fleetwood Mac in your local arena, but maybe there’s a tribute band performing within driving distance. (For listings, try websites like or

Blow some big bucks
Money can’t buy love, but Valentine's Day is a great excuse to try a pricey exhilarating experience. “Boomers have a little more discretionary income to spend on more upscale activities,” says New York City-based matchmaker/relationship expert Shoshanna Rikon. “Take a spectacular night flight in a helicopter or try hot air ballooning.” (Surf or for more info.)

Plan an indoor picnic
Prime-of-their-lifers like you have been to a zillion upscale restaurants, so why not skip the fancy dinner in favor of something more down-to-earth. “The mood of a picnic is relaxed and idyllic,” says Mandel. “It summons one’s inner child, which leads to playfulness.” Unfold a blanket in your living room and arrange potted plants on the floor. Serve light, fun-to-eat fare. “Finger foods are romantic, and feeding each other nurtures the relationship,” says Mandel.

Take a Valentine’s adventure
February 14th lands on a Tuesday this year, so book a midweek getaway to a nearby
Exploring a new town together is innately romantic.
city (separate rooms, if necessary). Exploring a new town together — even if it’s not Paris — is innately romantic; unfamiliar surroundings will naturally draw you two together.

Pen a tale of passion
Explore each other’s ideas on love while writing a short story together—anything from a romantic fairytale to erotica. “So many boomers have great life experiences worth sharing,” says Debbie Lamb, co-author (with her husband Paul Lamb) of Be A Better Partner. Put the computer in a comfy spot (on the rug near a roaring fire, say), sit side by side and brainstorm. Have food and wine to fuel your collaboration. When you’re done (this date may go on for months!), consider publishing your work; visit these sites for how-to’s:,, “Even if a couple doesn’t publish, they can still create a great keepsake,” Lamb says.

Unwind à deux
Relaxation is a prerequisite to romance, but if you and your date lead hectic lives, you might want professional help to reach total tranquility. A spa could be just the ticket. Many spa resorts and day spas accommodate couples with private pampering treatments for two—from candlelit massages to mud baths to mineral water whirlpools. Go to or for a state-by-state directory.

Court with a classic
Ask your date to a poetry reading or a classical music concert. “You’ll be in a more sophisticated environment that isn’t overrun with partying 20-year-olds and offers a chance to create a focused, undisturbed intimacy,” says Mara Goodman-Davies, author of The Best Romantic Ideas: 365 Ways to Say I Love You. Find poetry readings through libraries, bookstores and coffeehouses—independently owned spots can be a better bet than large chains. For classical music concerts check record stores, local libraries and the classical radio station that serves your area.

Flirt with the future
Are you two destined to be together forever? Will this be a fun, delightful fling? Find out with a romantic fortune telling, suggests April Masini, author of 50 First Dates. Having your palm, tarot cards or tea leaves read will open conversation up to all things cosmic—talk about your spookiest experiences, your astrological signs, even your attitudes about the afterlife. Ask the medium flirty questions like, “What is my date’s favorite erotic spot?” or “How can I win his/her heart?”

Nina Malkin is author of An Unlikely Cat Lady: Feral Adventures in the Backyard Jungle.
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