Top 9 Unique Valentine Date-Nights


Whether you prefer Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or you just wish you could punch Cupid in the face, it’s that time of year again! If you are celebrating with your significant other, your best friend, or all by yourself, Columbia has some pretty unique things to do this Valentine’s Day that don’t involve the typical overpriced (and overcrowded) prix-fixe scene. Here are my top 9 faves:

Tour Peru 

Curiosity Coffee Bar and K & K Gourmet Sweets have paired up to offer one of the coolest night’s out in town on Valentine’s Day. Enjoy traditional live Peruvian music, a 5-course small plates tasting of Peruvian food, and fabulous beverage pairings by Curiosity. Get your tickets here

Galentine’s Day! At Flying Saucer

“As February 12th rolls around, it’s time to celebrate you and your undying love for your gal pals! This nod to Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope’s Galentine’s Day will feel just like it did in the show, with…Waffles! ‘We have to remember what’s important in life: Friends, Waffles and Work. Or Waffles, Friends, Work. But work has to come third.’- Leslie Knope. We will have Galentine’s Day inspired cocktails and a flight of brews from breweries where women dominate the show, and yes, we’ll have waffles, but the bell of the ball will be PARKS and REC TRIVIA at 7pm & 9pm.” -Flying Saucer. (I, personally, cannot wait to check this out.) 

Fight Zombies Together

What could be more (uh, exciting??) than fighting for your lives against a pack of flesh-eating zombies? The Dark Castle in Elgin is hosting a very special couple’s night out on Saturdays, Feb. 9th and 16th: a zombie survival excursion! “From the moment you enter the castle gates, you will be immersed in a 2 hour long zombie survival scenario where you and your partner have to collect items to survive the zompocalypse while fighting for your life! All participants will receive a custom My Zombie Valentine patch and a complimentary dessert, coffee, or tea.” -The Dark Castle SC. Feeling extra indulgent? After you’ve “made it out alive,” you can enjoy a candlelight dinner catered by Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse. Buy tickets here.

Love is Love Cabaret 

Lula Drake is hosting an exclusive Love is Love Cabaret, featuring a six-course meal, wine pairings, and live music. Only 40 seats are available, so snatch up your tickets quick! Tickets can be purchased at Lula Drake Wine Parlour, Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. – midnight, or call 803-606-1968.

Do Some Stargazing

Amore Under the Stars at the South Carolina State Museum is perfect for the space-lover in your life. Tickets include food, special desserts, a champagne bar, specialty cocktails, and shag dance demonstrations. $35 or $28 for members.

Make Some Art Together

Pick up some great takeout and a bottle of wine and head to The Mad Platter for a BYO dinner and drinks artistic evening of pottery painting. Or try Studio Cellar where you can take a painting class, or paint whatever strikes your fancy. Bonus: you’ll get to create a piece of art to remember your date forever!

Go on a Local Brew-Crawl

Are you a couple who loves local beer? Columbia’s craft beer scene is better than ever. My personal favorites? Hunter-Gatherer Brewery in the historic Curtiss-Wright hanger at Owen’s Field (fun fact: Amelia Earhart passed through here), Columbia Craft (try the fruity sour beers), and River Rat Brewery (not a beer fan? Enjoy a King of Pops artisan popsicle in a glass of rose!).

When Cupid is Stupid

Want to smash some stuff up? Visit the Break Room at the Dark Castle in Elgin on February 14 & 15 and literally take a sledgehammer to your ex’s framed photo (and lots of other stuff) if you desire. Sounds fun.

What’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? Naming a cockroach after your ex, of course! The El Paso Zoo will literally name a cockroach after your ex and feed it to a meercat during a Facebook live stream. (Seriously.) “Message us your ex’s name and we’ll name a cockroach after them! We’ll post names (First and last name initial!) starting February 11 here on Facebook! Watch on Facebook Live or on our website’s Meerkat webcam on Valentine’s Day at 2:15 pm to see them devour these little bugs!” Shoot them a message through their Facebook page.

What would you add to the list?

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Kimberly Poovey
Kimberly is a writer, speaker, wife, and new(ish) mom. She directs the teen pregnancy prevention program for Daybreak pregnancy center, and is a founder of Pearls, an organization that serves women in the sex industry and fights human trafficking in the Midlands. She studied English literature at Florida Atlantic University, and though she will always be a Florida girl at heart, she has called Columbia home for the last seven years. She and her husband Braden have been married for a fabulous decade, and they welcomed their first child, Declan Finn, into the world on June 3rd, 2015. She is a contributor for Scary Mommy, the Huffington Post, and The Mighty. You can find her wandering around the great outdoors, drinking far too much coffee at her favorite local shops, and on Facebook.


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