The saccharine overload of Valentine’s Day turns more of us off as each year passes. But whether you're a savvy couple wise to the sickly marketing pap, a 365-day-a-year amorist who won’t be told specifically when to turn on the schmaltz, or a singleton who recoils in horror at this annual cheese-fest, Leeds offers plenty for enjoying the day (and night) without resorting to cliché.
Roxy Ball Room
Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than squabbling over a miscued black that would have clinched an epic five-frame rollercoaster. Pool tournaments are legendary at Roxy's and a game of ping-pong will also bring out the competitive spirit that any healthy coupling needs. Eat, drink and test the strength of your relationship by teaming up against other couples or mates and you’ll soon forget what day it is.
Love might be in the air elsewhere but you can flip that on its head with a ghost tour from Yarn Spinners – this is Leeds, after all – that takes in the grisly and macabre beneath the sheen of Leeds. Historical buildings are everywhere and many of them have an underlying tale and harbour spirits that might still be listening. If that’s too dark for you try the Leeds Owl Trail and find the 25 owls that are perched proudly on Leeds monuments and architectural landmarks.
Drink to forget
An obvious choice, but while some couples feel compelled to pay way over the odds for a Valentine’s meal, this leaves more room at the bar for the rest of us. New bars around Trinity such as Tapped, Bundobust and the extended Friends of Ham have formed a great craft-beer crawl. This can extend up to the ‘northern quarter’ where Belgrave Music Hall, The Social and The Brotherhood can cater for drink, chat and hey, telling someone you love them! If you can be bothered, that is.
Embrace as you glide elegantly around the outdoor ice rink or demonstrate your tender side as you nurse your partner’s twisted ankle. Either way, the annual temporary ice rink on Millennium Square transports groups or couples to another place, and it’s hardly ever A&E. We say hardly…
Tick Tock Unlock
A brand-new experience in Leeds city centre billed as a ‘live action escape game’. Groups are tasked with solving puzzles and challenges to escape from a locked room. As well as serving as a team-building exercise cum alternative marriage counselling, it's also perfect for demonstrating dexterity and brainpower to your mates or your partner or for covering up the fact it was just all blind luck.