One of the surest ways to keep your relationship strong is to try new things together, according to science and the New York Times. Novelty breeds happiness! And what better excuse do you need to explore something out of your ordinary than planning a one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day experience?
Some of the most reliably fun dates my boyfriend and I’ve had in our 4+ years together are dates where we take classes. We’ve learned how to make tea, how to make Old Fashioneds, how to cook eggs (yes, the class was that specific), how to blow glass vases, how to salsa, and how to do the flying trapeze. Everyone should give at least some of these a try. (The egg one. Definitely try that one.)
I’ve organized a few classes for couples looking for more than dinner and a movie this V-Day. Maybe you’ll find your next shared hobby or secret talent on this journey.
Glass Blowing 🌬️
5805 14th Ave NW, Seattle
What, you’ve never created your own flower vase? You’ve never handled molten hot, liquid glass? This is the land of Dale Chihuly! Get with the program! Dip your toes into the freaking furnace (not literally) and leap.
Glass blowing is a skillset I didn’t have before taking this class. Our “Taste of Glass Blowing” class with Blowing Sands in Ballard took about an hour and covered all the basics of the glass-blowing technique. By the end of the hour, we both (with a lot of help from our instructor) made a small vase.
While the class was educational, the instruction was pretty hands-on. If you want to learn how to do the craft more independently, take the longer, more in-depth “Beginning Glass Blowing” class. Regardless of your choice, you’ll leave the class with memories and a treasured keepsake. I still put flowers in my vase today!
Salsa Dancing 💃
915 E Pine St, Seattle
When you go to the Century Ballroom in the historic Oddfellows Building on Capitol Hill, you feel as if you’ve stepped right into the 1920s: red brick walls, velvet curtains, gilded detailing, and a shiny—yet creaky—wood dance floor right in the middle. Sometimes when you walk past the building at night, you’ll hear the croon of a brass band or raucous applause.
One way to get in on whatever good stuff is going on in the Century Ballroom is to take a dance class. To get your hips making some sultry swivels, I’d recommend “Salsa On 1 1.” This four-week course will have you and your partner grooving. The catch is you’ll dance with people other than your partner during classes, but that’s fun, too. Seattleites may not know this, but meeting new people is sexy.
Tea Tastings and Tea Classes 🍵
195 Front Street, Issaquah
Spending an evening sipping warm tea sounds romantic and relaxing to me. Unfortunately, the class I took years ago is no longer in service (and people accused the shop owner of being an anti-masker; let’s not dwell on that).
The best place I found for tea classes right now is Experience Tea in Issaquah. This is a bit of a trek for Seattleites, but Experience Tea has a wide selection of classes on the history of specific types of teas, classes on tea throughout the world, blending classes, and pairing classes. If I had to pick one tea class for a special romantic outing, I’d suggest the “tea, cheese, and chocolate pairing experience.”
If Issaquah feels a bit far and you’re yearning for tea time, pop into New Century Tea Gallery in the International District for a tea tasting. If you select teas to buy, the shop owner will pour you a steaming hot cup and explain everything you need to know about your tea.
Trapeze and Acrobatics 🎪
2702 6th Ave S, Seattle
If you like to a) move your body and b) feel a little adrenaline thrill, you need to take Emerald City Trapeze’s date night special. For two hours, in a warehouse next to the SoDo station light rail, you and your partner will learn two skills you didn’t know were missing from your life: acrobatics and flying trapeze.
In the acrobatics part of the course, you and your partner will work together to stand on each others’ knees, lifting each other up like you’re Minnie Driver and John Cusack doing the “airplane” in Gross Pointe Blank. The real skilled pupils can take a turn hanging upside down while lifting their partner. It’s a real study in communication, trust, and doing things you had no idea you could do.
That last point is especially true in the flying trapeze portion of the date night. For this section, you’ll learn how to grab a trapeze bar, fly above the ground while you flip yourself upside down, hang by your knees, and then do a backflip onto a bouncy net. It sounds wild and complicated, but it’s easier than you’d think with the instruction from Emerald City. You and your partner will leave the evening convinced you have a future in the circus.
All jokes aside, it’s a lot of fun and a little bit scary, but it’s a beautiful feeling to excel at these weird activities with your partner. If you’re going to do one thing on this list, do this.