9 Valentine’s Day Food Experiences That Aren’t Just a Candlelit Dinner

On the hunt for an out-of-the-box date idea? Look no further.

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It can be hard to think of things to do on Valentine’s Day if you’re hoping to break out of the traditional candlelit dinner. And let’s face it — reservations can be tough, menus can be pricy and sometimes the evening is given far too much weight. Luckily, there are Valentine’s Day experiences that can be so much more fun than a crowded, stuffy restaurant. From a build-a-cake class to infusing your own cocktails with an esteemed mixologist, there are so many food-filled alternatives that you and your date will love.

Dō Cookie Dough Confections Couples Class, New York City

If you haven’t tried cookie dough, you’re in for a real treat — literally. Sure, you could just pick up some readymade sweets at the bakery. But why not make those treats with your special someone, instead? DŌ is offering a Valentine’s Day couples class, where you’ll whip up your own cookie dough with add-ins. You’ll also learn all of the secrets to making their cookies. Oh, and did we mention that it’s BYOB? So definitely grab a bottle of wine before heading in.

Apothéke Mixology Class, New York City

If cocktails are the name of your game, head over to this Chinatown favorite for a mixology class. The bar is normally nearly impossible to get into, so it’s nice to be able to reserve ahead of time. In this class, mixologists will teach you how to make delicious seasonal cocktails using ingredients from the bar’s rooftop herb garden. They’ll walk you through juicing, blending and even alcohol infusing — all in the name of whipping up a delicious drink.

Charleston BTS Culinary Tour, Charleston

Whether you live in Charleston or you’re planning a romantic weekend getaway, this food tour will blow your mind. Check out the best treats in town — like the oyster sliders from The Ordinary — or sip champagne in a helicopter tour where you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Holy City.

Milk Bar Build-A-Cake Experience, New York City

What’s more romantic than creating a dream cake together? At the Milk Bar flagship store in New York City you can schedule a time for one of the bakers to come out and cater just to you. You can choose the flavor of the cake, frosting, jam, crumbs and spreadable filling. To stay on the whole Valentine’s Day theme, opt for the raspberry filling for a pink that will pop.

Zuma Sushi and Sashimi-Making Class, New York, Boston, Miami and Las Vegas

If sweets aren’t your thing, head over to Zuma for sushi and sashimi-making classes. One of the restaurant’s sushi masters will join you in semi-private dining rooms for this fun (and delicious!) experience. You can also take a sake master class with the restaurant’s sake sommelier. Make sure to give them a call about these — as they are only available upon request.

Sur La Table Cooking Class, Multiple Locations

Sur La Table is known for their amazing classes — and you know they’re going to go all out for Valentine’s Day. The cookware store is offering specials that include learning how to make entire four-course meals or Valentine's Day macarons filled with raspberry lemon buttercream. Yum!

Tache Chocolate Making Class, New York City

Give a date a box of chocolates and you feed them for a day; teach a date to make chocolate and you spoil them for a lifetime. At Tache in New York City’s East Village, you can learn to make funny treats like chocolate mustache lollipops, chocolate kisses and bars and tons of other delectable treats. If you don’t feel like heading over there, Tache can send its skilled chocolate makers to you at your home or office.

HelloFresh Valentine’s Day Box, Anywhere

If you really just want to stay in this Valentine’s Day, order a cooking kit from HelloFresh. You can choose from a few different meals that they have available — each with a fun Valentine’s Day twist — and you can even add on brownie bites that come complete with heart-shaped sprinkles and frosting.

Food Network Kitchen App Classes, Anywhere

Giada De Laurentiis features a Post Thanksgiving Monte Cristo, as seen on Food Network Kitchen Live.

Photo by: Jason DeCrow

Jason DeCrow

The romantic cooking classes don’t have to stop post-Valentine’s Day. Give the gift of a full year’s worth of culinary inspiration with the new Food Network Kitchen app. The $39.99 annual subscription offers a trove of exclusive step-by-step how-tos and live classes with Food Network chefs, updated weekly, that will make date nights exciting all year long. Just be sure to choose a class and grab ingredients in advance so you can get started on your culinary journey on Valentine’s Day!

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