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By Jacqueline Cucco | February 7, 2017 | Lifestyle
Romance is important for couples just about every day of the year, but showing a little extra attention on Valentine’s Day is a no brainer. Whether you've been together for years (or not), here are some creative ideas on keeping the flame alive.
1. Start the day with a fresh flower delivery.
Ben White Florist even offers same-day services so you can still pretend to be spontaneous, even if you actually forgot to plan in advance.
2. Cuddle under the stars.
What’s more romantic than star gazing? Visit the planetarium at the Texas Museum of Science & Technology, where daily star shows are available.
3. Give your movie nights an upgrade.
Watch a special screening of Wings (it won an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1927) on the biggest screen in Texas with a live score performed by Graham Reynolds at Bob Bullock Museum.
4. A bit of friendly competition never hurt anyone.
Have a grown-up game night at The Goodnight with bowling, billiards, shuffleboard, karaoke, and a full bar and restaurant. Plus, it’s adults only so you won’t have to fight off any children for the Skee-Ball or ping pong table.
5. Sweeten up their day with delicious treats.
Gift your love gourmet surprises from local chocolatier Maggie Louise Confections for whimsical presents that come in pastel lip-, heart-, and jewel-shaped chocolates. Plus, their V-Day collaboration this year is with celeb chef Giada De Laurentiis, so you'll know it's good. Also, don’t miss specials from Chocolaterie Tessa, like their Valentine's Day chocolates gifted inside an edible chocolate heart.
6. Jam out to their favorite tunes at ACL Live.
Set the mood with some classic love songs with Bob Schneider and the Moonlight Orchestra performing at ACL Live.
7. Test out how well you work together as a team.
Find out if two really is better than one at trivia night. The Butterfly Bar at The Vortex will feature live music and game nights on Tuesdays, while Flying Saucer Austin will host a Valentine’s Day-themed trivia and a "Love at First Flight," which pairs five beers with five desserts.
8. Get your groove on.
Spruce up your dance skills, and learn a thing or two about sweeping someone off their feet (literally). Austin Uptown Dance teaches swing, salsa, ballroom, jive, tango, and cha cha, to name a few.
9. Cook up a feast at home.
Expand you foodie knowledge and try something new by brushing up on the top food trends this year. Bonus points if you actually succeed in making a romantic meal at home.
10. Take a day trip out to Driftwood for delicious vinos.
The best kind of blush is a wine blush. Schedule a tour and wine tasting at Duchman Family Winery for world-class vinos made from 100 percent Texas grapes.
11. Spice up your date by getting your hands dirty.
You’ve probably heard that the way to someone's heart is through their stomach—find out if it's true or not by taking a cooking class.
12. Turn up the excitement with a sultry burlesque show.
Snag tickets to The Jigglewatts Burlesque Revue's glamorous and racy burlesque show, "Violet Crown Follies," at the Spider House Ballroom on Feburary 16.
13. Trade in your couch and TV for a charming drive-in movie theater.
Don't settle for Netflix; take a trip to Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in for an old fashioned drive-in flick.
14. Take a boat trip to dine on the lake.
Have dinner and drinks on the water with an evening aboard Capital Cruises on Lady Bird Lake. You can choose a catered evening cruise or a private dinner-for-two boat.
15. Pamper your love with something sparkly.
Adorn your better half with fine jewelry from Mizana Collections, crafted by hand with high quality natural stones.
16. Get adventurous with a hike for stunning vistas.
Hike Mount Bonnell for a gorgeous view of Lake Austin. Time it so you’ll reach the top just in time to watch the sun set (and don't forget to pack a flashlight for the way back down).
17. The couple that laughs together, stays together.
18. Tap into your inner artists.
Create your own custom ceramic pieces like mosaics and pottery at Ceramics Bayou, where you can bring your own snacks and beverages for a unique date night.
19. De-stress by hanging out with some furry friends.
Show your partner that you’re ready for commitment and adopt a dog or cat from Austin Pets Alive, or complete training in advance to take a pup on a field trip, like a scenic walk along Lady Bird Lake Trail.
20. Treat yourselves to an unforgettable dining experience.
Enjoy a delicious prix fixe menu at farm-to-table Second Bar + Kitchen's newest location at Domain Northside inside the modern Archer Hotel.
21. Pretend you're tourists for the day.
Sometimes it’s fun to see your city in a different light. Whether you're new to Austin or not, take some time exploring locals-approved hidden gems, like the funky Casa Neverlandia and Instagram-worthy HOPE Outdoor Gallery.
22. Book a spa appointment for two.
Get a rub-down you can both enjoy with these romantic couples massages offered at Austin's top spas.
23. Let your beloved bookworm meet their favorite authors.
Nationally acclaimed and local author Amanda Eyre Ward's new novel, The Nearness of You, about motherhood, connections, family, and love, will be published on Valentine's Day, followed by a speaking and signing on February 22 at BookPeople. Don't miss it!
24. Short on time? No problem.
Get away without actually leaving town when you book a night at the trendy Hotel Van Zandt, so you can enjoy the best of hotel living—like having breakfast in bed or taking bubble baths with killer views of the city.
25. Love is in the air, literally.
Show how much you really love them with a private open-cockpit flight for two thanks to Austin Biplane. Book the sunset Champagne flight or the ultimate date night package to really up the romance.
26. Surprise them with personalized jewels.
Pick out a thoughtful ring from Maja Bond Jewelry—most of their pieces come in your choice of rose, white, or yellow gold. Plus, some of the diamonds are also customizable with your choice of champagne, white, or black diamonds.
27. Discover the natural beauty all around Austin.
Stop and smell the roses with a romantic walk through Zilker Botanical Garden.
28. Go camping...at Halcyon.
Roast your own tableside s’mores and cozy up with a cappuccino or an espresso cocktail at Halcyon.
29. Discover culinary gems outside the city.
Venture outside the city limits for these gourmand-approved eateries completely worth the trip.
30. Relive the good ol' days.
Hold on tight to your love as you spend a night rollerskating at Playland Skate Center. Bonus: Only those who are 18 or older can attend for Valentine’s Day, so you can relive your teenage dreams without the awkwardness.
31. Bring our your inner child.
Go retro at Pinballz Arcade with over 150 pinball machines, laser tag, a café, biergarten, and wine bar.
32. Embrace a bit of equestrian fun.
Go on a wild adventure with Maverick Horseback Riding, which offers different lessons and rides to choose from, including splashing through creeks and riding through downtown Lockhart, where you can stop for lunch.
33. Stretch it out.
Get hot and sweaty with a rejuvenating session of yoga. Wanderlust Yoga offers private sessions and workshops, including a Valentine’s Day partner workshop on February 13. Pro tip: Sign up in advance.
34. Burn some calories while drinking (it's possible).
Participate in a pedal-powered pub crawl with The PubCrawler, where you BYOB and cycle through the city on a group trolley.
35. Kill two birds with one stone.
Instead of looking for two reservaions, grab a cocktail and nosh on gourmet bites from any one of these Austin bars that actually serve rave-worthy food.
March 10, 2017