8 Unconventional Date Ideas to Celebrate Valentine’s Day 2018

More into adventure than romance? Try paintballing, ghost tours, jet packs and more.

Imagine Valentine’s Day: white-tablecloth candlelit dinners, a long walk on the beach at sunset, cocktails in front of a fireplace …


BORING. You and your special someone just survived a fake nuclear missile alert last month. That deserves a big celebration. Spice things up in the romance department with some unconventional date ideas that are as special and amazing as your honey. Here are a few to get you started:


1. Leave Your Baby in the Dust with Go-Kart Racing in Kapolei

Go-Kart Racing
Photo: Courtesy of K1 Speed

Live out your Mario Kart racing fantasies with a few laps around the course at K1 Speed in Kapolei. These little electric carts may be small but they can reach speeds of up to 45 mph as you race up to 10 other drivers around a Grand Prix-style go-kart track (with helmets, safety barriers and precautions, of course). Races are roughly 10 minutes each and cost $22 per person for one, $35 for two and $48 for three.

K1 Speed Hawai‘i, 91-1085 Lexington St., Kapolei, (808) 682-7223, k1speed.com/hawaii-location


2. Shoot Your Sweetheart at Hawai‘i Extreme Paintball and Airsoft

Photo: Courtesy of Hawai‘i Extreme Paintball and Airsoft

In the biggest indoor and outdoor arena in Hawai‘i, jump out from behind bunkers and look out from towers as you shoot your friends and loved ones at Hawai‘i Extreme Paintball and Airsoft. For just $20 to play all day ($45 to rent paintball gear), you can go head-to-head with your sweetheart to determine the last (wo)man standing or team up together and fight against other players on the field. Just don’t forget to wear covered clothing! (Hawai‘i Extreme Paintball and Airsoft is only open on Saturday and Sunday, so this date would have to happen on the weekend.)

Hawai‘i Extreme Paintball and Airsoft, 194 Mumba St., Kapolei, (808) 838-9324, hawaiiextremepaintball.com


3. Get Down and Dirty Riding ATVs at Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa Ranch
Photo: Courtesy of Kualoa Ranch

Take in scenic valleys, iconic Hollywood filming locations, secret spots and sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean at Kualoa Ranch from the driver’s seat of your own ATV as you and your partner embark on this outdoor adventure. These one- or two-hour rides cross streams and cut through jungle trails, rain or shine, so if you’re feeling outdoorsy and don’t mind the mud, this could be the perfect escapade for you.

Kualoa Ranch, 49-560 Kamehameha Highway, Kāne‘ohe, (808) 237-7321, kualoa.com


4. Scare Yourselves with a Ghost Tour of Old Honolulu

Ghost tour
Photo: Courtesy of Lopaka Kapanui

Join Native Hawaiian storyteller, kumu hula and cultural practitioner Lopaka Kapanui on a journey through Ao Kuewa, the realm of restless spirits, in downtown Honolulu. Taking over from the late historian Glen Grant, Kapanui leads a two-hour walking tour through the grounds of ‘Iolani Palace, Kawaiaha‘o Cemetery and other sites in the area on Thursday evenings. Meet on the steps of the Hawai‘i State Library and get ready for a spooky evening! Tours are $40 per person.

Mysteries of Hawai‘i, (808) 673-9099, mysteries-of-hawaii.com


5. Go On a Boozy Rum Tour with Manulele Distillers

Visit the small-batch distillery that produces the award-winning Kō Hana agricole rum, made with some of the original heirloom varieties of Native Hawaiian sugar cane from hundreds of years ago. For just $25, taste Manulele Distillers’ assortment of white and aged rums using fresh cane juice and wander the sugar cane garden while learning the history of this unique beverage with (literal) Hawaiian roots. Plus you get to keep a souvenir tasting glass!

Manulele Distillers, 92-1770 Kunia Road, #227, Kunia, (808) 517-4067, kohanarum.com/tours-tasting/


SEE ALSO: Drink Local Guide: Where to Get Locally Crafted Spirits in Hawai‘i


6. Make Your Own Wine

Wine making
Photo: Unsplash.com

There’s no barefoot stomping of grapes at Oeno Winemaking in Kailua, but you can still enjoy the process of selecting and preparing your own wine. Sample available wines in the shop to decide on your favorite, place an order and wait for the wine to ferment in a special temperature-controlled fermentation room. Design your own custom labels and bottle the wine yourself when it comes in four to six weeks later.

Oeno Winemaking, 26 Ho‘olai St., Kailua, (808) 263-6366, oenowinemaking.com


7. Rent an Exotic Luxury Car and Drive Around the Island like James Bond

Luxury car
Photo: Courtesy of Velocity Driving Experience

There’s nothing like a relaxing, romantic drive around O‘ahu’s 112 miles of coastline—and you’ve probably never experienced it behind the wheel of a Maserati or Bentley before. JN Rentals Hawai‘i’s Velocity Driving Experience provides just that—the opportunity to cruise around in one of the world’s fanciest (and fastest) luxury automobiles at rates that range from $250 to $900 a day, plus a minimum $5,000 security deposit. The cars rotate depending on availability but the current selection includes a 2014 Maserati Ghibli, 2016 Jaguar F-Type S Coupe, 2015 Range Rover Autobiography, 2006 Aston Martin DB9 and a 2017 Bentley GTC. Just remember to bring it back in one piece, 007.

Velocity Driving Experience, 888 Kapi‘olani Blvd., (808) 457-1070, velocitydrivingexperience.com


8. Get Wet with Jet Packs, Bumper Tubes and Banana Boats

Jet ski
Photo: Courtesy of H2O Sports Hawai‘i

For the outdoorsy couple, getting soaked together on Maunalua Bay is the perfect way to spend V-Day. Activities start at $60 per person, but there are tons of different combo packages available. The best deal? Choose between parasailing, banana boat, bumper tube and Jet Skis—pick any three activities for just $109 per person. H2O Sports Hawai‘i encourages making reservations at least a day in advance.

377 Keāhole St., #E-103, (808) 396-0100, h2osportshawaii.com