Many new options for Valentine’s Day for students

Melissa Simon

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Valentine’s Day is a day for loved ones and couples of all ages to celebrate the love they have for each other. When you think of Valentine’s Day, you may instantly think about flowers, candy and, of course, the card. But there are other, more creative dates you can take your significant other on.

This year, Valentine’s Day happens to fall on a Tuesday, but you can still celebrate on either the weekend before or after if this better suites your schedule. With conflicting schedules and late nights, the weekend may be a better option for many people. If you choose to celebrate on the weekend, you and your loved one can have more time to enjoy your date, especially if it includes traveling or requires more than just a few hours. For some, however, it may be a better choice, or even preferred, to celebrate on the actual day.

Here are a few date suggestions for this Valentine’s Day.

For the romantics:

A picnic on the beach and watching the sunset is very romantic. El Matador Beach in Malibu is one of the most beautiful beaches in L.A. Located along the Pacific Coast Highway, El Matador has a myriad of hidden sea coves perfect for a picnic, and cliffs to watch the sun set. This date can be relatively inexpensive since you will only really be paying for food and gas. Parking is $2 for an all-day pass at a parking meter, or free if you can find a spot along PCH.

Buying a few great records and taking them home to dance the night away with your loved one is a thoughtful idea. At Amoeba Music in Hollywood, one of the world’s independent record stores,  you can buy music in all formats. Not only can you find music to buy, there are also opportunities to see live bands, DJs, parades and record events, according to their website. The cost of the date varies depending on the music you choose.

For the young at heart:
Sherman Oaks Castle Park offers a variety of fun activities including miniature golfing, an arcade, and batting cages. Should you choose to battle it out in mini golf, you can pick from three courses, each of which is landscaped differently. The price is just $6.50 per person, and tokens for the arcade start at $1 for four tokens.

Downtown Disney, located only minutes from Disneyland and California Adventure, is offering a free way to “Dazzle Your Valentine” from Feb. 11-14. Each night, different bands will perform live music at the main stage. If live music is not your scene, the AMC theater will be playing “Gone With the Wind” from Feb. 10 to 16. As far as dining options go, select eateries will be offering special menus, including Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, Catal, and the House of Blues.

For the thrill seekers, adventurous and outdoorsy:

If you have the need for speed, you should try go-karting. At K1 Speed in Torrance, you can race go-karts on an indoor asphalt track in electric karts. After purchasing a racing license for $6, you can go on a 14-lap standard race for $20.

Horseback riding is another great option for a date. Los Angeles Horseback Riding, located in Topanga, has a great economy package that allows for a minimum of two riders to go on a 30-minute trail ride where they will have views of mountains and the ocean.

A hot air balloon ride may be the perfect idea for a thrilling adventure. California Dreamin’ in Temecula offers rides lasting 50 to 75 minutes. During these rides, you and your loved one can enjoy the beautiful vineyards below. Prices begin at $138 per person, but if you go on Valentine’s Day the price is $168 per person with a complimentary bottle of wine for the couple.