Whatever your feelings are about Valentine’s Day as a national holiday, it’s always nice to have an excuse to celebrate something with your S.O. (Or besties! Personally, I prefer Galentine’s Day—and so does my partner, because that means he gets to stay at home.) Make the most of February 14 and use these apps to plan a fun-filled date night. From the traditional fancy-pants dinner to a more spontaneous activity (low-tide fishing lessons, honey bear?), these apps should have every couple covered.
Before you dismiss Delightful (free; iOS) as another dating service, think again. Delightful matches couples to activities in their city, rather than singles to each other. Pick the type of date you’re looking for, be it something outdoorsy, relaxing, or more traditional, and peruse through the date suggestions. You can complete the reservation straight through the app, once you find something you like.
Each activity has been put to the test by Delightful’s concierge team, so they know these dates can deliver. Their list of Valentine’s Day dates in San Francisco ranges from the cute and simple (all the makings for a yummy breakfast delivered to your door for $24) to the over-the-top extravagant (VIP reservations at Acquerello, plus flowers, a wine pairing, and a five-course tasting menu for $560) to creative (candlelit walk in the park for free, or a glass blowing course for $50). Memberships cost $12 a month, but you can view Delightful’s ideas for free inspiration.
Enjoying a romantic dinner for two is the go-to activity for Valentine’s Day, and if you don’t have a reservation already, you might be out of luck for the most popular restaurants in town. OpenTable (free; iOS, Android, and Windows Phone) is a great tool for sleuthing out a last-minute opening, which makes it a lifesaver for procrastinators.
With a pool of 31,000 restaurants, OpenTable lets you search for reservations by date and time, and then by cuisine type and price. You can use your phone’s location services to find things nearby, or pick a major city if you want to venture elsewhere. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, secure your reservation straight through the app, and earn points redeemable for future meals—which will totally come in handy if the date goes well.
I get it. You’re over the whole romantic dinner-for-two thing. You’d much rather do something more unconventional, like, say, beat your spouse with a pillow. Eventbrite (free for iOS and Android) can help with that. This event finder searches for local events based on your interests. You can search for events by keyword, location, date, or type.
Events are grouped into categories such as music, food and wine, festivals, and dancing. If tickets are required, you can purchase yours straight through the app and store it in Eventbrite’s tickets tab or in Passbook.
Although the app displays only listings that businesses, venues, and hosts create through Eventbrite, the service has a wide variety of events to choose from, so you won’t be left wanting. It’s a great alternative to scoping Yelp for local hotspots, because Eventbrite will tell you what specific Valentine’s Day festivities are going on.
Foodie & Drync
Sometimes, the best dates are spent cuddled up on the couch at home. Use these two apps, Foodie and Drync, to plan a special home-cooked meal. Foodie Recipes (free; iOS) is more of a food magazine than a recipe app, with rich articles about the cuisine and gorgeous pictures of the meal once finished (or what it should look like, mind you). This month’s edition is called Dinner for Two, with selections for every course to help you curate your own private menu. Everything looks delicious, with recommendations and alternatives to suit most diets.
Drync (free; iOS and Android) has the wine covered: It recommends wines to pair with foods, has specialized wine lists, and lets you make your own list. I really like Drync’s current Valentine’s Day list, “Love is strange, I prefer wine,” with wine picks with names like The Pessimist cabernet sauvignon and Conundrum white. If you like what you’re drinking, scan the bottle’s barcode, give it a rating, and save it to your list. Enjoy the fruits of your labor by the soft glow of candlelight at the table… or by the soft glow of the second season of House of Cards from your TV.
Need a last-minute retreat with your boo? Check out Hotel Tonight (free; iOS and Android) a resource that books hotels’ unsold rooms on the day of check-in at a discounted rate. Search for hotels nearby if you’re—ahem—in need of more of an immediate stay-cation, or broaden your search if you’d like to take an impromptu road trip.
Hotel Tonight’s listings are displayed in a clean, well-designed layout that’s easy to browse, with one-word categorization (from basic to luxe) and user reviews to help you get a sense of what that hotel is like. Complete the booking all within the app—you can even upgrade to a nicer room, if available. Hey, it’s Valentine’s Day: Go all-out and book that luxe room, pronto.
This story, "Plan your perfect Valentine's date night with these 6 apps" was originally published by TechHive.