For your big romantic night out this year, you’ve got two choices: go to an Italian restaurant (she’ll appreciate the stab at chivalry, he’ll like the food) and hope the red wine provides the romance, or choose one of these fun dates that are already enjoyable — just more so when you do them together.

Work it
Getting your heart rate up releases chemicals in your brains that are similar to ones you feel when you’re head-over-heels in love. With that in mind, get together with your honey and make plans to go sledding on a nearby snow-covered golf course if you’re in a giddy, kid-like mood. Or, if you’re up for a more grown-up kind of fun, take inspiration from Dancing with the Stars and head to a dance studio for some serious twirling around in each other’s arms.

Get creative
Crafting a piece of art, whether or not you’re good at it, is an entertaining way to spend a couple of hours together doing something new — and can be a terrific, low-pressure date for two people who have just started going out. Don’t get nervous — by “art” we mean something like painting mugs together at your local pottery decorating shop, or you could bundle up, grab your cameras, and snap some artsy shots of old windows, interesting doors or other architectural details around your town. (Head out before dusk, and you’ll capture some cool shadow play.) Not only will you have the together time, but you’ll get a souvenir (go ahead, call it a love token) that, even if it’s “just a mug,” will always remind you of each other.
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Let yourselves just look…
Not in the mood to make some art? Why not take some in, instead? Make a Valentine’s Day lunch date at a gallery or museum you’re curious about — whether the art you see is silly, shocking, or sweet, you’ll have fun ogling together. And think: While other couples share knowing looks about “our song,” you’ll have “our Modigliani.”

Polish your act
Let’s face it, most guys don’t sign up for a facial, manicure or pedicure on a regular basis. But if you book the two of you for side-by-side treatments after work on the 14th, he’ll discover just how good it can feel to let someone tend to him in this way. Who knows? Maybe he’ll return the favor next week.

Ante up…
Invite one or two other couples over, break out the cards and poker chips, and let lady luck rule as you host your own “Non-Celebrity Poker Challenge.” Have fun with the fare: Try a pot-luck of tasty, hot appetizers and whatever brand of beer catches your eye; that way, no one gets stuck cooking.

Make it short and swanky…
Are you and your guy just plain exhausted most weekdays? Don’t fight it this Valentine’s Day: Head out to a luxe hotel bar, have a trendy drink or two (whatever flavor martini is flowing ought to do…), nibble some nuts, gossip and banter for a while, and then head home. You’ll pack in a lot of atmosphere without wading through a multi-course meal.

Get a little dippy
It’s fun, it’s messy (in a good way) and it’s delicious – making chocolate-dipped fruit. Tie on your aprons and melt a half to two-thirds cup of chocolate chips in a small pot inside a larger pot of simmering water. Stir in a tablespoon or so of butter or margarine until the mixture is smooth. Then twirl strawberries or seedless tangerine sections in the chocolate (use a toothpick or skewer, not your bare hands), and set on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet. Your decadent dessert will be cool in a few minutes and ready for you to enjoy together.

Play games
Not mind games, but the old-school kind of board game. Uncork a bottle of wine, plop down around your coffee table with some cheese and crackers, and play a round or two of your favorite game. You may discover that your girl has an uncanny gift for Triple Yahtzee, or find that she’s a Donald Trump-in-the-making as you land on her hotel-studded Boardwalk when playing Monopoly. Or try Scrabble and challenge yourself to come up with only those words that relate to love. Don’t forget — the “K” in kiss is worth five points!