11 creative ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2021

Photo of the Melbourne Star

Tianna Nadalin

Posted February 08, 2021

Do Valentine’s Day differently this year with our guide to unique ways to celebrate. 

Forget chocolates, red roses and heart-holding teddy bears. Just because it’s the most romantic day of the year, doesn’t mean you have to fall into the trap of cliched gift-giving.  

Legend has it the modern love fest was named in honour of a third-century Roman priest, Valentine, who defied the king’s orders to ban marriages and continued marrying couples in secret. When the king found out, Valentine was jailed and sentenced to death. There, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and, when he was taken to the gallows on 14 February, he left her a letter signed ‘from your Valentine’.  

Despite its dark origins, Valentine’s Day is as good an excuse as any to celebrate the special people in your life or, simply, to spend quality time with the ones you love. 

Here are 11 non-cliched ways to make the most of Valentine’s Day. 

Air balloon above Melbourne during early morning

Stay close

Go hot-air ballooning

Soar to new heights this Valentine’s Day with a romantic hot air balloon flight over Melbourne. Taking to the skies before sunrise means you’ll have the best seats in the house as the city swings into action and the sun casts a golden glow as far as the eye can see. For extra brownie points, add on a champagne breakfast, because you only live once. 

Take a moonlight kayak tour along the Yarra

See the city from sea level on a moonlight kayak tour along the Yarra River. Pick up a paddle and get ready for an oar-some sunset voyage exploring Docklands and Victoria Harbour. It doesn’t get much more romantic than fish and chips afloat followed by a fire show as you cruise past the Crown Casino precinct, before finishing up at the rowing sheds opposite Federation Square. 

Ride a giant ferris wheel

Sip on sparkling wine while 40 storeys up with a sparkling flight onboard Melbourne’s giant Star Observation Wheel. From your air-conditioned cabin, you’ll have uninterrupted 360-degree views of the city and across the bay to Arthur’s Seat and the Bellarine Peninsula. 

Get the giggles at the Comic’s Lounge 

My Funny Valentine isn’t just a Frank Sinatra tune. Tickle your loved one’s funny bone this Valentine’s Day with dinner and a night of LOLs at the Comic's Lounge, Melbourne’s longest-running comedy club. As well as a delicious two-course feast (tick), you’re also in for 2.5 hours of non-stop chuckles. Some of Australia’s funniest comedy stars have graced the stage, including Dave Hughes, Wil Anderson, Carl Barron and Kitty Flanagan.

Solve a murder mystery

Dial up the intrigue with a murder mystery experience in the immaculate grounds of Rippon Lea Estate. Based on the popular TV series, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, this immersive night out features large-scale installations, sets, costumes and props to bring to life Phryne Fisher's dazzling world while you help solve a decades-old mystery.

Do a progressive dinner on foot

Forget candles. Treat your special someone to a feast by streetlight with a walking degustation dinner that stops in at some of Melbourne’s most popular eateries, such as Neapoli, Taxi Kitchen, Izakaya Den and Om Nom. See the city sights while tasting your way through expertly paired food-and-wine matches at three acclaimed restaurants.

Learn to surf

If you prefer active adventures to indulgent dinners, then surfing lessons at Australia’s first surf park, Urbn Surf, are sure to tick all your loves one’s boxes. Ride up to a dozen gentle whitewater waves during a two-hour surf lesson for beginners, which includes surfboard and wetsuit hire as well as expert tuition from Urbn Surf’s qualified instructors. Then, once you’ve worked up an appetite, refuel at Three Blue Ducks, the first Victorian outpost of the cult Bronte-born and Byron Bay-based eatery, which has a focus on sustainable and ethical cooking.

Take a road trip to Victoria’s stunning King Valley for lunch.
Bliss out at the Peninsula Hot Springs.

Get out of town

Enjoy a sparkling brunch

Head for the high country and enjoy brunch among the vines at Brown Brothers’ stunning King Valley winery. From the comfort of your own private prosecco lounge, you’ll be treated to a delicious spread of freshly baked pastries, gourmet cheeses and house-made delicacies and, of course, a prosecco tasting. 

Take your tastebuds on a trip to the Deep South

Just because you can’t travel to the United States, doesn’t mean your tastebuds have to miss out. Get your fill of American barbecue with a feast for two at Mornington Peninsula’s Red Gum BBQ. The mouthwatering feast features all your southern-style favourites, including pulled pork, beef brisket, slaw, fries and cornbread, as well as dessert, washed down with a selection of the finest local wines and craft beers.

Try couples (hydro) therapy

For the ultimate couples therapy, plunge into the soothing natural mineral waters of the Peninsula Hot Springs. Level up the romance with an intimate private bathing experience at the Spa Dreaming Centre, which includes a 45-minute soak session with your choice of lavender milk or essential oils.   

Get out of town

If you just want to escape the hustle and bustle for a night or two, look no further than an RACV Resort voucher, which can be redeemed at one of eight stunning locations across Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. Whether you feel like a city break or a beach getaway, RACV has options to suit every style of holiday maker.