Unique Valentine's Day Date Ideas for College Students (2024)

Hey, it’s almost Valentine’s Day! This Hallmark holiday comes with just the right amount of chocolate but a weird amount of stress — although, since it may have originated from the beheading of a saint, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.. We know you’re probably overwhelmed with school work as the spring semester is just ramping up. But you also don’t want to miss this chance to take your college sweetheart on a date they’ll remember.

We’ve created seven “Valentine Profiles” that will help you plan a date perfectly matched to your significant other’s personality and interests. Every date is also designed to be affordable on a college student’s budget, so you can enjoy the day without stressing over finances. (And if you’re solo this Valentine’s Day, we’ve got your back with these fun ideas for singles.)

Keep reading to determine which profile best fits your S.O., then get ready to plan a unique Valentine date that’s perfect for every kind of college student.

7. The Creative

Your paramour is a true artist. Their room is an explosion of primary colors. They've sent you at least one obscure poem and they always bring a book to a party. And you’ve caught them scribbling song lyrics in the margins of their math homework more than once.

Since your date views the world through art, they'll appreciate an outing that lets the two of you connect creatively. You're not limited to the ideas below — in fact, your date would probably encourage you to think outside the box — but here’s some fodder for your imagination:

  • Go to a bookstore and swap novels with each other. It could be something you've read and enjoyed recently, or even a picture book you loved as a child. If you’re not sure what book to share, find a new one you’ll both love. (We’re currently devouring Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.) If you're in the Tampa Bay area, we recommend Tombolo Books, close to USF St. Petersburg, Mojo Books and Records by USF Tampa, or Bookstore1 Sarasota, by USF Sarasota-Manatee.
  • After the bookstore, queue up a playlist with their favorite songs and yours, then share headphones on a rom-com stroll around the city.
  • Explore local art murals (like the ones in the Central Arts District in downtown St. Petersburg) and take Polaroid selfies together in front of your favorites. String up the best Polaroids in your rooms!
  • Too cold for outdoor murals? Pop into a museum, which will likely offer discounted admission for college students. (Psst! The Ringling Museum near USF Sarasota-Manatee opens its art gallery to the public every Monday.) As you peruse the exhibits, ask each other which pieces of art capture your ideas about romance or remind you of your relationship.
  • Find a quiet courtyard or a picturesque park and start reading those books you swapped, side by side.

Why it works: Listening to the same music makes your brain waves synchronize, viewing art releases the same chemical as being in love, and reading fiction increases empathy. Plus, this date gives you the chance to get to know each other’s inner worlds and imaginations.

6. The Athlete

Your better half likes to stay active. Yes, they’re the type that goes for a run at 4 a.m. and still has energy for a pickup soccer game after class. Most alarmingly, they frequently use terms like leg day. Spending Valentine’s Day in the gym isn’t ideal, but you know the traditional dinner-and-a-movie date will make them stir crazy. What’s the solution?

Plan an activity that will get your date’s heart pumping — in more ways than one. If you live in a subtropical climate like Florida, try going on a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard excursion. The USF St. Petersburg boathouse offers free rentals to students, and if you feel adventurous, you can paddle all the way down to the stunning new Pier. Challenge yourself to spot signs of love in nature, like a pair of dolphins or a heart-shaped cloud.

If you live up north and don’t relish spending your day in the snow, book an indoor activity, like rock-climbing or yoga. Even better, take an hour-long class that teaches you both something new, whether it’s sweeping across a ballroom dance floor or swiping at each other with historical longswords.

Why it works: Research indicates that exercising with your romantic partner can boost both of your moods and increase your relationship satisfaction. And if you both engage in a new activity, like learning how to sail, you’ll bond over the shared novelty and excitement.Unique Valentine's Day Date Ideas for College Students (1)

5. The Activist

Your Valentine works to make the world a better place. Cardboard protest signs peek out of their closet, and you once saw them rescue an earthworm from a hot sidewalk. Giving them a bouquet of roses will only make them sad because of the environmental cost (seasonal flower delivery flights emit approximately 360,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide), but you still want to treat them to something special.

Give your date what they really want by giving back together. After all, why not use your combined energy to show the world some love? Find a cause that’s meaningful (and enjoyable!) for both of you. For example:

  • Walk dogs at a local shelter. You might even volunteer to help a shelter host a special Valentine’s Day “date night” — complete with rose petals and candles — to matchmake dogs with their forever homes.
  • Tend to your school’s gardens. (USF welcomes volunteers for the Tampa campus’ Botanical Gardens.) While you’re planting and pruning, make up your own meanings for each flower. After all, the practice of giving each other roses on Valentine’s Day stems from the Victorian belief that flowers have different meanings (“the language of flowers.”) Red roses mean “passion.”
  • Write cards for the residents of a local nursing home. (Not only will this brighten someone’s day, but it’s holiday appropriate: Handmade cards have been an integral part of Valentine’s Day since the Middle Ages.)

Why it works: Volunteering has big mental health benefits — including a stronger satisfaction with life and a greater sense of purpose. Plus, working for a cause with your partner will cement your shared interests and values, leading to a closer connection.

4. The Caregiver

Your sweetheart is always taking care of other people, whether they’re bringing soup to sick roommates or offering post-study neck massages. In fact, you worry they don’t give themselves enough attention. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to fix that.

Treat your date to an at-home spa session that puts them at the center of your universe. First, set the mood:

  • Tidy up the room and set up a cozy space with pillows and blankets.
  • Light candles. (If your residence hall doesn’t allow open flame, put some twinkle lights in Mason jars).
  • Turn on soft, meditative music. The yoga station on Pandora is perfect for this.
  • Diffuse relaxing essential oils like lavender.

Next, offer your partner a selection of spa services:

  • Learn how to do an at-home massage with these tips and techniques.
  • Make your own facemasks. Combine 2 tablespoons of raw sugar with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Let it sit on your faces for five minutes, then scrub for thirty seconds before rinsing.
  • Meditate together. You can find meditation exercises on the free Mindfulness Coach app, originally intended for veterans but useful to anyone who wants to be more present. (Being present is a big plus in our phone-centered culture: 66 percent of singles are turned off by their match texting during a date.)

Why it works: Massage reduces stress and builds cooperative relationships between people, while mindfulness can keep you focused on the present moment. Your sweetheart will also appreciate how much thoughtfulness and care you’ve put into this spa treatment!

3. The Deep Thinker

Your S.O. loves meditation, crystals, and late-night conversations. There’s a good chance their residence hall boasts at least one tapestry, and you’ve definitely spotted them walking barefoot to “connect with the earth.”

Turn this greeting-card holiday into a chance for genuine connection. First, create a cozy, private place for the two of you to sit comfortably and face one another. Then ask yourselves these “36 questions that lead to love.” The questions are grouped into three sections, working you and your partner gradually towards more intimate conversations. For example:

  • “What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?” (This is also a sneaky way to do “market research” for next V-Day!)
  • “Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time?”
  • “What is your most treasured memory?”
  • “Make three true ‘we’ statements each. For instance, ‘We are both in this room feeling…’”
  • Tell your partner what you like about them

As you talk, give each other your full attention. You can use these techniques to form an even deeper bond: Stare into each other’s eyes for four minutes once you’re done with your conversation and give each other a long hug.

Why it works: Having a vulnerable conversation can increase your feelings of closeness and emotional intimacy.Unique Valentine's Day Date Ideas for College Students (2)

2. The Wednesday Addams

Your boo wears all black, prefers their bouquets decapitated, and probably has a disembodied hand for a pet … or at least, that’s their general vibe. When you mention Valentine’s Day, they’ll either snort in derision or start talking about the original V-Day: a Roman feast where people ran around hitting others with the hides of sacrificed goats. Yes, this Valentine is the hardest to shop for.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Woo your goth GF with a box of the darkest chocolate, or make a delightfully ghastly version of these black-and-white heart cookies (cover the cookie entirely in the chocolate icing so each treat is as black as your loved one’s heart). Then book a local ghost tour to take them for a spooky good time.

Can’t find a ghost tour you like? Do some research yourself and plan to explore the most haunted locations in your city. For example, the Tampa Theatre (just 30 minutes from USF’s Tampa campus) is a great place to watch a movie with some new ghost pals. Legend has it that a spectral man in a fedora sometimes manifests in seat number 308. Tell us if you spot him!

Why it works: Experiencing something kinda scary (like a horror movie, or a ghost in the next seat) can increase your attraction for each other. And if you do spot that ghost, you’ll have a great story to tell your grandkids someday!

1. The Detective

Your darling likes to keep their mind busy whether that’s by solving a sudoku or writing an investigative article for the school newspaper. Sometimes you feel like the Watson to their Sherlock, but the true mystery is how to treat them this Valentine’s Day.

The answer? “Elementary!” Craft a romantic scavenger hunt that’s as puzzling as it is sweet:

  • Narrow down your location (i.e., the campus or downtown). Check the weather forecast, and if it looks too chilly for an outdoor adventure, you can always limit your hunt to campus buildings like the library or your residence hall
  • Scout out spots to hide clues. Ideally, you’ll be taking your date to places that are meaningful to them. Do they have a favorite study spot? A coffee shop they visit every morning? A beloved novel on the shelf of the campus bookstore? A best friend who lives just down the hall? Help them experience these familiar settings in new, fun ways.
  • Write the clues. This is probably the hardest part, but keep in mind you don’t have to make a complicated rhyme. You can’t start your day without me might be enough of a hint to send them scampering to Starbucks
  • Hide the clues. If you’re doing this in a public location, like Starbucks, you may need to ask permission or enlist the help of a friendly barista
  • Make the final stop worth the journey. Take your date to a location with a great view that you can both enjoy. A beach sunset is always a winner!
  • Offer a reward. You can’t go wrong with a picnic lunch or a box of chocolate

Of course, this activity involves a lot of prep work. If your budget allows, there is a simpler option: book a night at an escape room and live your best Sherlock life.

Check Out Campus Activities

We hope our unique date ideas inspired you, but keep in mind that your Valentine date doesn’t have to be perfect: if you simply show up and treat your significant other with thoughtfulness and care, it will be a success. And don’t forget about all the campus activities you can join for Valentine’s Day! From pottery painting to chocolate scavenger hunts, Galentine’s Day socials to global Valentine’s Day traditions, USF’s three campuses always have something going on this time of year.

If you’re searching for colleges and you think USF might be your love-match, feel free to reach out to the USF Office of Admissions. Contact us onlineand find out how we can help you unlock your academic passions.

Unique Valentine's Day Date Ideas for College Students (2024)


How do you celebrate Valentine's Day in a unique way? ›

The Most Romantic Ideas for Celebrating Valentine's Day at Home
  1. 01 of 10. Make Plans for the Kids. ...
  2. 02 of 10. Decorate Your Space. ...
  3. 03 of 10. Prepare a Special Meal. ...
  4. 04 of 10. Mix Up Specialty co*cktails. ...
  5. 05 of 10. Play Some Music and Dance Without Phones. ...
  6. 06 of 10. Plan Light-Hearted Activities. ...
  7. 07 of 10. ...
  8. 08 of 10.
Feb 5, 2024

What should a 14 year old do on Valentine's Day? ›

Valentine's Day Date Ideas For Teens
  • Movie. Watching a movie together with your love is one of the best first Valentine's date ideas. ...
  • Go for a picnic. ...
  • Go for a sporting event. ...
  • Theme party. ...
  • Dinner date. ...
  • Coffee. ...
  • Visit a concert. ...
  • Indoor plan.

What is a good Valentines Day date? ›

Take a short-distance trip together.

If traveling afar isn't in the cards for you right now, a cozy weekend away in a new setting—even if it's just a town or two over—can help you see each other with new eyes and be as refreshing as a full-on vacation.

How can I make my Valentines date special? ›

For reference, here are some ideas that you can consider:
  1. 1.Hold a Cosplay Night. ...
  2. Organize Fun Photoshoots and Video Taking. ...
  3. Plan a Romantic Movie Night. ...
  4. Dance the Day Away. ...
  5. 1.Enjoy a Fondue for Two. ...
  6. Cook a New Dish Together. ...
  7. Challenge Each Other to a Cook-Off. ...
  8. 1.Create an At-Home Spa.
Jan 18, 2024

What do we do on Valentine's Day at school? ›

Fun Valentine's Day Activities for Elementary Students
  • Have a month-long kindness challenge. ...
  • Exchange notes of kindness. ...
  • Have a door-decorating contest. ...
  • Read some Valentine's Day books. ...
  • Make a heart collage. ...
  • Craft up some Valen-slime. ...
  • Set up a candy heart estimation jar. ...
  • Do a crystal heart science experiment.
Jan 29, 2024

What should 14 year olds do in a relationship? ›

Of course the relationship is going to be very important to them, but they should still have plenty of time for homework, exercise, friends, and hobbies. It's healthy for a 14-year-old to only see their partner once a week or so—especially if they already go to school with them and they hang out there.

What can I do with my girlfriend on Valentine's day? ›

Fun Valentine's Day Activities for Adults
  • Date Night Cooking Classes. A fun and romantic way to celebrate Valentine's Day together is with cooking classes near you. ...
  • Attend a Paint and Sip Event. ...
  • Enjoy a Luxurious Couples Massage. ...
  • Go Ice Skating. ...
  • Get Coffee Together. ...
  • Plan a Staycation. ...
  • Dinner and a Movie. ...
  • Enjoy a Fondue Dinner.
Mar 21, 2024

What do boys want for Valentines? ›

Some guys may be yearning for a high-quality turntable; others may want nothing more than a reliable chef's knife. Some want a trip to the spa and fancy skin care. (And, of course, there are the guys who truly just want a nice dinner and chocolate.)

What is the most iconic first date ideas? ›

First Date Ideas
  • Shoot pool.
  • Play laser tag.
  • Take a music class.
  • Go for a bike ride.
  • Watch a local theater production.
  • Hit up a rage room.
  • Bounce around a trampoline park or bounce house.
  • Enjoy an outdoor concert.
Feb 8, 2024

What's trending for Valentine's Day 2024? ›

Virtual experiences, wellness gifts, and fashionable accessories are also in vogue. Choose what resonates with your partner's style and interests for a thoughtful and trendy Valentine's Day surprise.

Where do couples go on a first date? ›

"Getting a drink or coffee at a local spot that's quiet enough to actually talk is the go-to for a reason,” Rachel Zar, LMFT, CST, a couple therapist and ScarletSociety.com expert panelist, tells TODAY.com. “Over-planning a first date can sometimes take away from what it's actually about: getting to know each other.”

What can we do on 14 February? ›

Explore now!
  • Recreate your first date with your partner and relive some fond memories. ( Pexels)
  • Go on a romantic bike ride with them. ( Pexels)
  • Enjoy a spa day with your partner at home. ( Pexels)
Feb 14, 2024

Is Valentine's day on 14? ›

Valentine's Day. On February 14, Americans celebrate love and friendship by exchanging cards, flowers, and candy. Although the origins of Valentine's Day are murky, ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, a spring festival, on the fifteenth of February.

What did Valentine do on 14 February? ›

While imprisoned, Valentine cared for his fellow prisoners and also his jailor's blind daughter. Legend has it that Valentine cured the girl's blindness and that his final act before being executed was to write her a love message signed 'from your Valentine'. Valentine was executed on 14 February in the year 270.

Is Valentine's always on the 14? ›

Every 14th of February, Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated.


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