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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 (and, in most cases, relatively budget-friendly) ways to turn L.A. into a romantic city this Valentine’s Day.

RECOMMENDED: More L.A. Valentine’s Day ideas

Valentine’s Day ideas for couples

  • Things to do
  • Festivals
  • price 3 of 4
  • South Park

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 “Pasión De Fuego.”

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  • Movies
  • Comedy
  • Downtown Historic Core

Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s magical Amelie will leave you searching for plane tickets to Paris by the end of its two-hour runtime—which makes it a fitting choice for Cinespia’s romantic Valentine’s screening. Catch it at the Los Angeles Theatre with a pre- and post-screening DJ set, specialty cocktails, desserty treats and, of course, the screening series always-on-point photo booth.

  • Art
  • price 2 of 4
  • Westside

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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  • 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
  • Horror
  • Downtown Historic Core

Street Food Cinema is hosting a trio of horror-adjacent flicks at the Million Dollar Theater as part of its “Bloody Valentines” series. Catch Queen of the Damned (with a Q&A with cast member Marguerite Moreau), Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Jennifer’s Body (which both include vampire-themed cabaret), plus comedy, photo ops, cocktails and audience games paired with each. If you want to spill your guts (figuratively, obvs) in front of everyone, you can purchase a love letter to be shown on the big screen before the movie.

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  • Things to do
  • Rancho Palos Verdes/Rolling Hills Estates

A holdover from the not-Christmassy light displays that blanketed botanical gardens at the end of last year, Astra Lumina’s nine stellar installations are cosmically mesmerizing. The hour-long Palos Verdes trail’s star-inspired installations feels truly experiential and make for a romantic after-dark destination in the outdoors. (It’s also worth mentioning how lovely it is to experience a celebration of the night sky from one of the few locations in L.A. where it’s actually dark enough to see plenty of stars.)

  • Things to do

Couples who hike together stay together—or something like that. With Valentine’s falling on a Tuesday 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.

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  • 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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