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Huntington Library
Photograph: Courtesy Beth Coller/The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical GardensView from the Stargazing Tower.

Valentine’s Day ideas for couples

Looking to impress your date? Spice things up this Valentine's Day with these romantic and off-beat things to do.

Michael Juliano
Edited by
Michael Juliano
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Hoping to impress your honey on V-Day? Our guide to Valentine’s Day ideas for couples has a bevy of romantic things to do to help you get closer. With romantic meals and spa days back on the table this year, it’s a little overwhelming right now to sort out a standard date night plan from a Valentine’s-worthy one. But not to worry: These are the best ways to turn L.A. into a romantic city this Valentine’s Day.

RECOMMENDED: More Valentine’s Day ideas in Los Angeles

Valentine’s Day ideas for couples

  • Things to do
  • Festivals
  • price 3 of 4

Lucha VaVOOM’s racy, raucous spectacle of wrestling, burlesque and various amazing sideshow acts may not seem a logical choice for a romantic night out, but if you’re looking for a high-voltage, lusty, entertainment-filled evening, this show has it all. This Valentine’s Day, the theme is Amor Impossible.

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  • Art
  • price 2 of 4

This adults-only, nudity-driven scavenger hunt at the Getty (held the weekend of V-Day) is a comical two-hour quest that has guests searching for answers to riddle-like questions in the museum’s bare-it-all paintings and sculptures. Whoever answers the most questions correctly will pick up some sweet swag (gift cards, backpacks, street cred). No previous art knowledge is required.

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  • Things to do

The Huntington Library’s rose garden is a picture-perfect Valentine’s locale, with rows and rows of vibrant petals to stop and sniff. You probably won’t be the only person there with the same idea, but luckily there’s tons of space elsewhere—and other beautiful gardens around the region, too, like Descanso, South Coast and the Arboretum. All are open with timed reservations required (and don’t sleep on their virtual programming, either, like a flower arranging class from the Huntington and a tart workshop from the Arboretum).

  • Restaurants

Personally, we think cooking a meal in together can be a dreamy team building activity for a couple. But if you’re the kind of couple that would just make a burnt mess, forget about all of the fuss and treat yourself instead: Some of our favorite twinkly patios and dimly-lit dining rooms are prepping prix-fixe menus for the holiday.

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  • Things to do

What can be more pleasant than a meal in the park? (Aside from off-leash pups attempting to pilfer your food and screaming children in bouncy castles.) But seriously, taking your Valentine’s meal alfresco—weather permitting—is the perfect way to mix up your dining plans. If you’re picking up the goods from a restaurant, consider making it a lunchtime affair to avoid the dinner rush.

  • Movies
  • Drama

Let Paul Thomas Anderson program your Valentine’s watchlist as the Valley-born director curates a few days of American Cinematheque’s film calendar in Los Feliz and Santa Monica. PTA himself will be on hand to present some of his own films (Punch-Drunk LoveLicorice Pizza) or moderate conversations about some of his favorites (Fast Times at Ridgemont High with a virtual appearance from Amy Heckerling).

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  • Things to do

Couples who hike together stay together—or something like that. With Valentine’s falling on a Monday this year, you may want to opt for a Saturday or Sunday trek depending on your schedules, but that gives you a whole weekend’s worth of opportunities to get your hearts pumping—for real.

  • Things to do

Forget everything we just said. Getting all sweaty and letting your date see you at your worst as you huff and puff your way up Runyon? Yuck. Keep things real laidback instead with a cruise along the beach, into the mountains or through a canyon. Put on some good tunes, bring along some snacks and spend the afternoon admiring the view—and we don’t just mean the person in the passenger seat. Consider a longer trek into the San Gabriel Mountains to see some snow, but if spending hours together in a cramped aluminum cabin seems like it’ll be a one-way road to passive-aggressive conflict, maybe stick to Malibu or Palos Verdes.

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