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V-day 2023
Photograph: Liqin Lau

The best last-minute date ideas for typical Singaporean couples

Love is never too late. Designed by Liqin Lau

Cheryl Sekkappan
Written by
Cheryl Sekkappan

Did Valentine's Day slip your mind? Or are you simply out of ideas for this special day? Well, love is never too late – and call it spontaneity, but there are always dates you can arrange with minimal effort and preparation. All you need is to understand just what you'd enjoy as a couple, whether it's heading outdoors, going on a food hunt, or staying cosy at home. Here's some inspiration to get you started. 

RECOMMENDED: The most romantic Valentine's Day dinners in Singapore and The best Valentine's Day events in Singapore

Shop for gaming gear

Upgrade your gaming setup together this Valentine’s Day with a shopping spree at Mecha Store. Whether you like your keyboard to clack, thock, or stay silent while you type, this store has a diverse selection of keycaps, switches, bases, and more accessories to choose from. It’s a pleasure shopping at Mecha Store too – its spacious new showroom has multiple keyboard setups to test out and helpful staff.  

Hit the arcades

Step away from the computer games and head out to Singapore’s best arcades for some old-school fun instead. Challenge your partner to a game of hoops or bump it out with electric karts. Other nostalgic favourites include pinball and air hockey – or you know, you can get romantic and try to win a plushie for your lover at the claw machine. 

Hang at a board game café

Another way to change things up is to fix a date at a board game café. The Mind Café is the most well-known and has over 700 board games to keep you entertained, ranging from long-drawn strategy games to social deduction puzzlers. Make it a double date to double up on the fun.  

Take a hike

Take a break from the gym with a date in the great outdoors. There are new spots in Singapore to check out, including Rifle Range Nature Park and Rail Corridor (North). Hike up to a 31-metre-high lookout deck and try to spot colugos at Rifle Range, or soak in the rustic charm of the Rail Corridor along the new stretch running from Kranji to Hillview MRT stations. 

Scale some heights

At first pass, bouldering and rock climbing seem like solo sports – but they are actually suited as a couple or even group activity. While it’s up to you to do the climbing, it helps a lot to have a partner to point out climbing holds that’ll get you to the top. And in rock climbing, a reliable belayer is absolutely essential to safety – that’s a great trust-building activity right there.  

Work out the kinks

All that working out has got to take a toll on the muscles. This Valentine’s Day, sign up for a relaxing massage together at one of these stellar spas. Deep tissue massages, scrubs, and facials are all on the menu – just remember to ask for a couple room to keep it sweet. 

Pack a picnic

These gorgeous picnic spots in Singapore are worth leaving the house for. Despite getting some fresh air, packing a picnic also means that you have full control over the spread. Want to go full gourmet with cheese boards and charcuterie? Go ham. Want to keep it simple with takeaway sushi, pizzas, and the like? That’s game too. 

Hunt for hidden food gems

You and your partner likely already know the best food spots around town, but for a city so small, there are a surprising number of hidden gems that are yet to be discovered. We’ve got some suggestions from Farrer Park to Bras Basah and Bugis – but you can easily point blindly on a map and go on a Valentine’s Day food hunt of your own. 

Make pasta on a rooftop

Take this foodie partnership further and put your cooking skills to the test. The Sundowner Farm & Lounge runs food-related workshops on its breezy rooftop, our favourite being its pasta-making workshop. Learn how to make squid ink pasta from scratch, whip up a pasta sauce, and sit down for a romantic meal. 

Thrift for party threads

Look good on the dancefloor with some new party threads. Instead of shopping from the usual brand name suspects, switch it up this Valentine’s Day with a thrift shopping date. You’ll be surprised at the pre-loved gems you can find at our best thrift stores, running the style gamut from graphic tees and more street cool to Prada and Burberry.  

Vibe at a bar

Singapore’s full of world-class bars, so take your date out for a tipple after that romantic meal. Choose from our list of 50 best bars in Singapore, which includes innovative cocktail joints and natural wine bars. For something more laidback, head to Offtrack, a bar, restaurant and music den in one.

Tune into live music

Trade in the thumping party beats for some live music. Catch local live bands strutting their stuff at joints like Stage and Timbre, or sway to jazz, blues and funk at the likes of Monti and Maduro. Find what rocks your boat in our round-up of the best live music venues in Singapore.

Catch a romantic movie outdoors

Are you and your couple a sucker for romantic movies? This month, Love Bonito and Klook have teamed up for Cinewav Seaside Cinema, an outdoor film screening event at Keppel Bay. Bring your partner and your furkid for a night under the stars watching the likes of Pride and Prejudice, (500) Days of Summer and One Fine Day.

Rediscover your neighbourhood park

Can’t muster up the will to head far from home? You can still link hands for a romantic walk around your neighbourhood park. Thankfully, there are many beautiful green spaces near residential homes to admire – that is, if you can look away from each other long enough. Here’s our list of the best local parks by neighbourhood for some inspiration for your next outdoor date. 

Fire up your kitchen

When all you want is each other’s company, staying home might be the best option. You can still make it special by preparing a romantic meal together. Get your groceries delivered to your doorstep with these services, and turn to the internet for some meal ideas. 

Hunt for murals

Light up your Instagram feed with a special Valentine’s Day shot in front of a beautiful mural. Pose in front of Medley Alley at Katong – it’ll make you look as if you’ve sprouted majestic wings – or head to Art Porters to snap a shot of the peculiar yet adorable-looking duo of rabbits. 

Pose for a wet plate photo

Ditch your smartphone for a different kind of photo opportunity. At Hip Xiong Photo Studio, they specialise in wet plate photography, a technique that was invented some 150 years ago. Strike a pose and wait for the results: an eerie but stunning keepsake that’s suspended in silver, and time.

Return to analogue

Why use Instagram filters when you can get that same effect with film? Sure, it’s much more convenient, but shooting with film provides a satisfying challenge. Singapore has a healthy film community and you can easily find shops that stock point-and-shoots, SLRs, and film stock. You and your boo can take the hobby further and go for film developing workshops with the likes of Hands On Film to gain even more mastery over the whole process. 

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