Nine original Silicon Valley outings to mix it up for Valentine’s Day

Couples yoga, a murder mystery dinner… and a haunted house? Unique events your special someone won’t see coming.

(Image via Getty)

Hold it!

Put down the box of chocolates and the string of lacy paper hearts that bear absolutely no resemblance to cardiovascular organs. When it comes to romantic gestures, creativity is key. So if you’re really looking to impress your paramour on Valentine’s Day this February 14th, don’t make predictable dinner reservations. Instead, think outside the box by planning an offbeat and overtly original outing.

We’ve hunted down some wonderfully unorthodox events around Silicon Valley to help you and your special someone celebrate the holiday in style. Take a look…

Join in the accusatorial fingerpointing… You’ll have a blast! (Image via The Dinner Detective website)

The Dinner Detective Interactive Murder Mystery Show

Looking to keep things fresh in the relationship? Nothing like bonding over a nail-biting murder mystery. Check out The Dinner Detective — an interactive, comedic dinner show at Hilton San Jose—because crime solving is so much more satisfying when you’re savoring a four-course dinner.

You and your amour will play Watson to two kooky detectives… but if you’re not careful, you both might end up on the prime suspects list. Before the night is through, you’ll be eyeballing your dining companion — the one calmly cutting his chicken and engaging in table talk — and you’ll be asking yourself, “Is this man a killer?” You might die laughing… er, that is to say, you’ll split your sides… You know what, never mind. You get the idea.

Cupertino, February 14 // Click here for full event details

Be my boo? (Image via Fear Overload)

Valentine Haunt Bay Area

Okay, so this one’s a bit of a drive, but it’s so absolutely off-the-wall we think it’s worth it. The folks at Fear Overload, masters of the macabre, have crafted a Valentine’s-themed haunting.

Wander the corridors of two pitch-black haunted houses with only a dim flashlight to guide you. You’ll encounter a corpse-like Queen of Hearts, a hulking gargoyle (made no less terrifying by his crown of roses), and a host of other capering creatures who are eager to celebrate your holiday with you. (And for an extra $6.99, you can buy a vampire-repellent rosary with your ticket.)

San Leandro, February 8, 14, & 15 // Click here for full event details

A dashing couple, if we do say so. (Image via RacePlace)

Valentine’s Cupid Training Run

If your heartthrob can’t get enough cardio, we suggest you and your date dress up in your best activewear and Nikes for the Valentine’s Cupid Training Run. This event is a virtual run, meaning you choose the length and the pace while following Run Missions’ professionally mapped-out course along the Coyote Creek Trail.

After completing your 5K, or 10K, or 13.1 half marathon, post your time online, and Run Missions will ship you a finisher’s medal, a shirt, a box of Ferrero chocolates and a variety of other runner goodies. And no, you won’t be dodging curly-haired archers with heart-shaped arrows en route. But we think you’ll still have fun.

San Jose, February 15 // Click here for full details

Does Carry Grant make you swoon? (Image via Youtube)

His Girl Friday (1940) Free Valentine’s Screening

See here, you fast talking Joe, if a story with snappy dialogue and over-the-top theatrics (as low-life, lovable reporters from the ’40s scramble after leads on a big scoop) catches your fancy, then this movie will be right up your alley.

The setting is pretty swanky too. Hosted at MidPen Media Center, you’ll get the chance to cozy up to your beau on comfy studio couches. They invite you to heighten the coziness by bringing pajamas and a blanket. Best of all? It’s free!

Palo Alto, February 15 // Click here for full event details

It’s fun to bend into a human pretzel. (Image via Yoga is Youthfulness website)

Celebrating Partnership: Yoga for Two

Healthy relationships require a little flexibility right? A couple’s yoga session could be just the ticket. Julianne Rice at the Yoga is Youthfulness studio will instruct baes (and BFFs) in working together — guiding pairs in supporting, trusting and communicating with their partners.

“Partner Yoga helps build connection as the two people share the pose, intention, movements and breath,” explains the studio. “Each must remain aware of themselves and each other as they stay centered and work together at the same time.”

Mountain View, February 15 // Click here for full event details

(Illustration by Kaz Palladino/Awkward Affections)

Emo Night (Anti-Valentine’s Party)

Who decided Valentine’s Day should be pink and red? What about a nice, dependable shade of black? Find kindred spirits when you come to Emo Night at The Ritz. Don your favorite band shirt, wiggle into your darkest skinny jeans, then fist pump along to a live band playing emo covers as well as a fierce DJ lineup.

Expect as many Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco and My Chemical Romance hits as you can possibly handle. As the organizers at The Ritz put it: “The Emo Night DJ’s will be spinning all the angst your teenage dirtbag heart desires all night long.”

San Jose, February 14 // Click here for full event details

Run, Forrest! Run! (Image via the town of Campbell’s website)

Campbell Valentine Fun Run

Here’s another option for those sweaty sweeties. The town of Campbell welcomes joggers to follow the winding, fairly flat paths of the Los Gatos Creek Trail for their 43rd annual 5k and 10K fun run. Depending on how competitive you and your partner in crime are, hurtle along the course, full-speed ahead — or walk it and enjoy the scenery. It’s up to you.

When you cross beneath that balloon arch finish line, enjoy post-race festivities with healthy snacks, coffee and plenty of water. And for the marathon runners of tomorrow, there’s also a kid’s race.

Campbell, February 8 // Click here for full event details

This beats AMC and Cinelux any day. (Image via Yelp)

Kurosawa Fest at the Stanford Theatre

Any Akira Kurosawa fans out there? Stanford Theatre will be showing not one, but two films by this acclaimed Japanese movie director. Set the mood for your romantic evening with Drunken Angel, the gritty tale of a gangster and a doctor in desolate, post-war Tokyo. Then wade into Ikiru, a story about a man determined to build a playground in a slum neighborhood.

Never been to this iconic downtown Palo Alto staple before? You’re in for a treat. As you step into this almost century-old, jewel box of a theatre, you’ll find it’s been restored to its former 1920s glamour with intricate stenciled ceilings, chandeliers and a tiled staircase. A $7 ticket will get you into both movies as well as an intermission performance (with an organist raising out of the floorboards to serenade you). If you decide to splurge on a large popcorn, it’ll cost you an extra $2.50. What are you still doing here? Go!

Palo Alto, February 14 // Click here for full event details

Pigs secretly love poetry. (Image via event invite)

Animal Valentines at Hidden Villa

Here’s a little something to appease the kids who didn’t get to go with mommy and daddy on date night the evening before.

“We invite you to express your love for your favorite animal on the farm,” welcomes Hidden Villa on their website. “Create a beautiful card to read to a chicken, pig, goat, sheep or cow. They can’t wait to hear how much you love them!”

Los Altos Hills, February 15 & 16 // Click here for full event details

…But if you absolutely must go the romantic dinner route, here are a few of our local mainstays to achieve that amorous atmosphere:

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