There’s something to be said for traditional Valentine’s Day dates—flowers, candy, dinner and dancing. However, there’s much more to be said about thinking outside the box of chocolates and doing something that truly represents what makes you two and your love unique.

Celebrate your love this February, not the love sold to you by greeting card companies. Fortunately, you live in the City of Destiny, a truly original town with plenty of imaginative ways to celebrate your amor.

Point Defiance Zoo Valentine's Day
Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a seal with a heart-shaped treat. Photo courtesy: Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Jungle Love

Do you and your mate go bananas over primates? As it does every year during the season of love, the Point Defiance Zoo is presenting its Love at the Zoo event where you and your love for life are free to roam the grounds, meet the zookeepers, watch the animals eat special Valentine’s-themed treats and even carve your sweetheart’s name into one of those treats—a giant watermelon. Tacoma resident and animal lover, Seren Bizaar, said of last year’s event, “It was fantastic. Looking at all the furry cuties as you walk around with your cutie, while romantic music plays; it was great. We are so going again this year.”

Greet the keepers and visit the many animals on Saturday, February 9, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

5400 North Pearl Street, Tacoma

Run Away Ruston

Maybe you and your love are the kind of couple that needs to be constantly in motion. Well, get your running shoes on for Metro Parks’ Valentine’s Run. The 5K run is an “out and back” run along Ruston Way, beginning at Cummings Park, heading to Point Ruston, and then back to the park. Receive matching red, knit race beanies just for participating. Just make sure to pre-register. The cost is only $20 per person if your register before February 4, $25 between February 5 and 7, and $30 the day of the race.

3939 Ruston Way, Tacoma 

Valentines Comedy Club
These two lovebirds love to laugh it up and are looking forward to the Valentine’s Day show at the Tacoma Comedy Club. Photo credit: Ily Goyanes

Laugh for Love

Can’t get enough of comedy podcasts? Do you and your honey eagerly await Saturdays, not for going dancing, but to watch Saturday Night Live? Some couples are comedy geeks and the Tacoma Comedy Club knows this and is presenting a special Valentine’s Day show for you. Josh Firestine serves as MC, Monica Levi opens and Gabriel Rutledge headlines. Evening shows are 18 and over and there is a two-item minimum purchase per person (food or drink). Go laugh out loud with your lover on February 14.

933 Market Street, Tacoma

Tell Your Love Story

Honey at Alma Mater, a favorite brunch spot for locals, is hosting Something to Tell, an open mic for “true and personal stories.” So if you and your mate go loco for literature, this is the perfect Valentine’s event for you. Stories can run up to eight minutes in length and all kinds of personal stories are encouraged. Imagine your soulmate’s surprise as you walk on to the stage and begin to tell the story about how you met over organic figs at the Metropolitan Market. The tales of love begin at 7:00 p.m. on February 14, and run until 9:00 p.m.

1322 Fawcett Avenue, Tacoma

Valentines Honey Open Mic
Use the open mic at Honey to tell your love story. Photo credit: Ily Goyanes

Work of Art

Enjoy a class-y Valentine’s Day by attending the Valentine’s Day Date Night New Painting class at Uncorked Canvas. In the true spirit of the holiday, you and your mate will create one painting across two canvasses, revealing to the world how you are really just two halves of a whole. When you register on the website, choose option one, as the price is per couple.

711 St Helens Avenue, Suite 202, Tacoma

Dance Your Hearts Away

Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center‘s Artistic Director, Kara O’Toole, along with some of her dance students, will be teaching modern dance and movement expression to works of art on view at the Tacoma Art Museum for Valentine’s Day. Class meets on actual Valentine’s Day, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., and all ages are allowed. So if you’re looking for a family activity, tell the brood to put on their dancing shoes. All experience levels are encouraged to participate, so don’t despair if you two lovebirds get most of your cardio in by fighting over the remote control. Contact T.U.P.A.C. at 253-327-1873 for more information.

1701 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma