Valentine’s Day, in my opinion, is overrated. However, it is fun to have a day dedicated to showing appreciation and love to your man, your girlfriends, your dog, or yourself! Besides, who needs an excuse to gift-give, anyway? John and I like to give gifts that are intentional: something that creates memories or serves a purpose/ function. As I was thinking of how I show John I love him through gifts on his birthday, Christmas, or on Valentine’s Day — I realized that 80% of the presents I purchase for him are not your “typical” gifts. For example, I got him rock climbing holds he could install in our apartment for Christmas one year, and surprised him with a Muse concert for his Birthday another year. He’s gotten me an art easel with new brushes and canvases one Christmas, and got me a foot bath spa for my birthday another year. All these things are intentional, thoughtful, serve a purpose, and are functional.
So if you’re like me and you like to live unconventionally and gift thoughtfully, scroll down for ideas on how to give your Valentine a not-so-typical Valentine’s Day present they’ll actually appreciate, and won’t be expecting! ❤
not-so-typical-gifts for him
1. Wooden Docking Station
If your guy is like mine, his stuff ends up everywhere. He’s always searching for his wallet, or his debit card, or his watch, and his phone is plugged in by the bed on the floor. A docking station like this is perfect for him to feel like he has his own hub for all his man things, and you can also get it personalized!
2. Groupon for something he’s always wanted to try
This could be for archery, go-kart racing, a surfing class, crossfit, rock climbing, or anything! It’s a great way to give him some guy time, and it will show him you care about (and remember) what activities he’s always wanted to take an interest in.
3. A Tactical Folding Knife
What guy doesn’t like to handle knives and dangerous things?? (laughing over here, because my husband is always flipping our kitchen knives in the air and catching them, and mock stabs the air as if he’s fighting bad guys). A good quality knife is something he will totally appreciate, can wear on his person, and actually use. John has brought his when we’ve gone hiking, or to the beach, on a night walk, or you know simply used to open larger packages that come in the mail. 😉
4. A Silicone Wedding Band
John and I got each other silicone wedding bands last Valentine’s Day. They’re perfect if your husband has a hands-on job like construction, firefighting, military, or works with chemicals and acids like my hubby does. They’re also great for wearing on a hike, running, working out, being in the ocean, rock climbing, traveling, or anything else that you’d feel nervous wearing your actual wedding rings for. Wearing mine makes me feel a bit more adventurous, like I could go hike through waterfalls and go snorkeling without worrying about losing my real wedding rings.
5. Beard Oil / Beard Grooming Kit
My husband has a beard and mustache. He keeps it on the shorter side, but grooming that thing takes effort! I bought him some beard oil to try the other week, and he loved it. He’s noticed a total difference in how moisturized his facial hair is, it looks cleaner and smoother, and the scent is one chopped firewood log away from full on lumberjack-in-the-woods status. The one that is linked has quality and natural ingredients that his skin will love.
not-so-typical-gifts for her
1. A Membership to a local Yoga, Barre, or Pilates studio
Any girl would totally appreciate this! Especially so for a new mom wanting to get back in shape but has no idea where to start when it comes to working out with the baby around. Purchase a 2 week or 1 month membership to a studio nearby for her, and send her off while you watch the baby. It gives her some me time to (finally) workout again, and gives you time to bond with the baby. And, you could even get some housework done for bonus points while she’s gone 😉
2. A Calligraphy Class
Learning pretty handwriting and lettering is every girl’s dream. Well, one of their dreams! There are tons of workshops offered year round, all you have to do is google “calligraphy workshops near me” to find a course for your lettering-loving girl to attend.
3. A “Mommy & Me” Styled Photo Session
This is so perfect for capturing memories. And when is the last time you guys did a photo session aside from Christmas Cards and your wedding day?? You can either have her do the shoot on her own if you don’t have kids yet, or make it a mommy & me photo session with matching outfits, flower crowns, and props (think tea party, dress up, etc).
Consider having the photographer come to your house for a casual in-home session or go take it outdoors for some frame-worthy natural light and scenery. Don’t know how to find a photographer? Ask your wedding photographer to do them, or search Google for “lifestyle photographer near me” and plenty will come up in your area. If you’re local to WA, OR, or Southern California let me know and I can hook you up with some wonderful photographers I’ve worked with personally!
4. Two Day, One Night Staycation (without the kids)
If you plan a getaway for the two of you on your own, and have family who can keep the kids/your baby overnight for one night, DO IT!!!!!!! Do it. She won’t know what to even do with herself. Every gal wants to be whisked away to a faraway place (read: within 2 hours driving distance LOL) and have some much needed intentional time with her husband whom-she-misses-all-the-time-because-she-feels-like-they-never-spend-time-alone-together-anymore-because-of-the-baby/kids. Really though!! Amen right? Find an Air B&B, plan a few outings for food and sightseeing for two days, and make it happen, captain.
5. Some Good Ol’ Pampering
Again, anything you can do for her that will give her some much needed me time, she will absolutely love and appreciate. If you’re at a loss on how to set up a spa day for her, Groupon has tons of options for inexpensive but great local spa options (here are some local options for facials and massages). Alternatively, you can google a local spa resort hotel in your area and book her for a couple hours on a Saturday. The latter method is most likely going to be on the pricier end, but spa resort hotels have package deals where you can pick one or a combination of pampering packages for a flat rate.
If you’re into doing things together as a couple rather than doing his and her gifts, check out these options below for date ideas that are intentional, give you lots of quality time, will help you grow closer together, and have fun good ol’ fashioned fun.
for the active couple
1. Take a class together at REI
Anyone can attend, but if you’re a member then the cost is a bit lower. Learn to kayak, learn to stand up paddle board, learn how to prep for a hike such as the JMT, find out how to plan a camping trip at the Grand Canyon, and tons more are offered several times a month.
2. Go Tandem Bike Riding
John and I did this two Valentine’s ago, and boy was it FUN. I wore a dress, which was a huge mistake, because it kept flying up and I probably flashed everyone we rode by. This totally tries your communication and trust with each other too, so it’s a win win! 🙂
3. Frisbee Golf + Picnic
We went Frisbee golfing with our best friends a couple weeks ago, and it was SO fun. It’s totally a workout too, if you go to a course that is hilly! Bring another couple with you for a fun double date (or go just you two) and after the 18th hole, relax on a blanket and enjoy a yummy romantic picnic as the sun sets. I didn’t realize how many courses there are in my area for Frisbee golf – so google search for ones in your area to find a course to play at.
For the stay-at-home couple
1. Date In A Box Subscription
If you haven’t yet heard of it, date in a box is a monthly subscription service that mails you a mystery package once a month containing ingredients for a fun and engaging date night in. Each box sends 3+ activities to do, a snack to make/eat, ambiance to enjoy, and more. There are pricing and plan details starting at just $34.99 a month, which is less than you’d spend together going out to dinner!
2. Sleepover + Fort in the living room
This has got to be one of the most fun things John and I have done at home together. Bring all your pillows and blankets to the living room and set up a fort (blanket draped over chairs and all) and snuggle up to a movie with a small charcuterie board and a bottle of wine, and see where the night takes you!
3. Boozy board games + takeout
If you’re feeling low key but wanting to throw in some spice, turn an ordinary night in into a night you won’t forget (actually you might forget, depending on how it goes LOL)! Order takeout from a local hole in the wall (because you know those places always have the best foods) and bring out the bottles for some boozy board games! Play twister, cards against humanity, scrabble, or even jenga and make up rules about who takes a drink and when (or, who takes something off if you want to get spicy but aren’t into drinking hehe!).
Which date ideas or gifts out of this list are you excited to try?! Remember, even though Valentine’s Day is coming up, you can totally use these gift ideas for any time of the year you want to show each other some love! If you try any of them out, let me know how it went in the comments below 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day!