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6 alternative Valentine’s Day date ideas (Hint: There’s not a red rose in sight)

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While it may have a reputable back story, Valentine’s Day is one of those Hallmark Holidays that has ventured into tackier territory than Kim and Kanye’s underwear drawers.

Booking a swanky restaurant is one way to go (if you don’t mind sharing the room with 50 other doe-eyed couples and paying top dollar for a love-infused menu with theming that will make you queasier than if you’d had a dodgy mussel in your entrée), but if you’re looking to really impress your date this Valentine’s Day – or simply to get a group of mates together and toast to singledom – we’ve got 6 of the best cheese-free activities to help you push the romance envelope.

1. Dirty weekend escape

Instead of scattering rose petals across the bed, take your special someone bush for a splattering of mud and dirt on a 4WD adventure through the Gold Coast Hinterland.

2. Butcher the romance

Cooking a delicious meal for two could work, but if you’re more apprentice than master chef, start with the basics in a butchery and knife skills class at The Golden Pig Cooking School. What’s not romantic about sausage making?

3. Sail away

Commandeering your own yacht may be a romantic fantasy, but you might want to learn some basic skills first. Throw caution to the wind and sign you and your other half up for a private sailing lesson with the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.

4. Soaring hearts

Take the plunge with a two-hour trapeze lesson on the Gold Coast with Trix Circus. You may even learn some new tricks that’ll make your Valentine’s Day night all the more exciting.

5. Fairytale romance

Instead of slogging it out in the gym and worrying about your own sculpted physique, turn your attention to the beach as 10 professional sculptors mould and carve 180 tonnes of sand into works of mythical and fairytale scenes at the Australian Sand Sculpting Championships in Surfers Paradise. It’s free to watch.

6. Retro road trip

Shun the stuffy Friday night dinner; grab your beach gear and load into a vintage Kombi to escape for a weekend road trip with Retro Rentals on the Gold Coast.

What will you be doing this Valentine’s Day?