28 Dates in 28 Days

By Lindsey Rodrian

It’s Valentine’s Day-and we’re sorry honey-but dinner and a movie won’t do. Constantly at a loss for date night ideas that make your love feel anew? Here are a few…

Race the clock. Does it feel as if your beau is the missing piece to your puzzle? Put your compatibility to the test in the depths of a puzzle-ridden room, where you must race against a 60-minute timer to complete a series of puzzles that ultimately open another realm, find a missing artist, or pull off a heist by stealing valuable artifacts. Challenge yourselves, work as a team, think creatively, and enjoy every thrilling moment at Escape Sacramento. EscapeSacramento.com

Sample ciders. There are plenty of places to go wine tasting in Lodi, but have you ever wanted to sip samples of cider, too? At Scotto’s Wine & Cider tasting room in Downtown Lodi, couples can converse over cups of the bubbly craft beverage while noshing on rotating snack trays that compliment their drink of choice. (209) 334-2568, ScottoCellars.com

Go ahead, make it about YOU. Enjoy Date Night with YOU-a series of Stockton events aimed at igniting, empowering, and supporting creativity-founded by a super cute local couple. How romantic. On February 11 from 5-10 join the duo for a date-night themed event with games, live music, food, unique gift vendors, a killer crowd, and equally cool vibes. YouStockton.com

Battle it out. Did your significant other forget to unload the dishes again? Turn your frustrations into fun at CQB City in Stockton. The indoor airsoft arena run by vets offers an action-packed date night Friday through Sunday. (866) 576-1590, Cqbcity.com

Create together. If your love is on fire, put some glass above that flame and make something beautiful. Girl Glass Studio in Sacramento offers glass blowing classes with owner and artist Shannon Jane Morgan. Welcoming first-timers, the classes are structured and guided, but promise some time behind the torch. Workshop creations include ornaments, paperweights, flowers, beer glasses, and more. Familiarize yourself with hand tools, learn the fundamentals of creating dazzling twists and turns, and create a tangible, lasting memory as unique as your date night experience! (916) 257-9392, Zhibit.org

Get in a fight. A paintball fight that is. Modesto offers the Central Valley’s largest paintball arena and store –Extreme Paintball. They are fully equipped with the best paintball guns 2020 and other paintballing equipment to ensure that your date is one to remember for all the right reasons. Make sure that you don’t forget your paintball tanks as it may be hard to play a full game of paintball without them. Order up a pizza from Papa John’s and let the games begin! Up the ante by booking a one-on-one session in the rain. (209) 571-0210, ExtremePaintball.net. If you really enjoy this, you can get your own kit and play more often at home, this way you can also involve friends and family. Take a look at https://paintballgunguides.com/ for some guidance on what you’d need to get your hands on.

Indulge with the one you love. Grab a glass and head to Lodi’s 20th annual Wine & Chocolate Weekend Feb. 11-12-a once-a-year opportunity to taste the wine of the Lodi appellation expertly paired with decadent treats. More than 50 wineries are on board for the event, which includes live music, barrel tasting, prizes, and more! (209) 367-4727, LodiWineAndChocolate.com

LOL. Laugh and play together at ComedySportz-an improv and sketch comedy club in Sacramento-whose performers call on the audience to shape their skit and experience. Played as a sport, the two performing teams are primed to pounce on unsuspecting audience members- and those equally prepared to put in their two cents – to create entirely unscripted segments. Similar to Whose Line is it Anyway, this $12 show is sure to entertain and possibly win a title as one of the best dates ever. ComedySportzSacramento.com

Knock ‘em down! There’s nothing wrong with a little competition. There’s also nothing wrong with careening, full speed, into your partner, and sending them soaring to the ground (so long as you’re engulfed in a giant bubble, that is). Gather all your pent-up pet peeves, your closest couple-friends, and challenge your significant others to a Bubble Soccer Game with Central Valley Bubble Soccer. You’ll laugh, you might cry, but you’ll have a hell of a time. CVBubbleSoccer.com

Drive-in. It’s a bit of a trip but worth the miles to catch a drive-in movie together. These establishments are becoming a rarity across the country, but the retro charm they offer added to the romantic potential make it the perfect way to break out of the dinner-and-a-movie box without straying too far outside your comfort zone. West Wind All Digital Drive-In cashes in on nostalgia, but honors current day technology with digital projectors so large they put standard movie theatre screens to shame. (916) 363-6572, WestWindDI.com

Solve the mystery. America’s largest interactive murder mystery dinner show is just a shot down the freeway, at Sacramento’s DoubleTree Hotel. Boasting the title of best dinner show in over 30 US cities, The Dinner Detective pairs a full bar and delicious four course meal, with non-costumed actors seated at tables, posing as regular guests. Throughout the evening, costumed detectives will uncover clues, interrogate audience members (that may or may not be part of the show), and help solve the mystery. Interact with other guests, interrogate, and work to piece together clues based on real cold cases. The audience member that cracks the case before the killer is revealed will walk away with a prize. Kick it up and pay a little extra to secretly tag your partner as a Prime Suspect. Performers will use your significant other as a red herring to trick the audience into believing their involvement. TheDinnerDetective.com

Speed things up. So you have the need for speed? Hop in the driver’s sear and hit the track at Stockton Dirt. On Feb 11-12-just in time for Valentine’s Day-couples can race against the clock or each other in a dirt racecar. (855)722-3348, DirtRaceWithKenny.com

Explore new heights. Whether you’re an experienced climber looking for a new challenge, or you and your partner just need a new hobby to share, Stonehenge Indoor Climbing Gym in Modesto has you covered. New experiences have a positive impact on relationships, and this one has the added bonus of trust building! (209) 521-3644, ClimbStonehenge.com

Ride tandem. You’ll definitely look the part of infatuated lovebirds as you ride through Lodi’s vineyards on a tandem bike. There’s few ways to get closer than to be literally connected at the hip as you venture through town. Stop into Downtown Bicycles in Lodi for a rental. (209) 224-8504, DowntownBicyclesLodi.com

Take it outside. What is rappelling? Well, it’s kind of like rock climbing. Tie a rope around your waist and make your way down a 165-foot-deep natural cavern at Moaning Cavern Adventure Park in Vallecito. Don’t forget the above ground ziplines! (209) 736-2708, CavernTours.com

Keep quiet. No screaming on the Screamer! That’s right, lovebirds. You can fly 16 stories high at 60 mph, but you cannot profess your love at the top of your lungs on this adrenaline packed ride at Scandia Family Fun Center. Those that let out any form of shriek will be removed from the ride and sent to the back of the line. Seriously. This sound ban was enforced after neighbors of the park constantly complained of the noise, and ride operators do not mess around. ScandiaFun.com

Ride on. Take a Motorcycle Tour at Adventure West. The company supplies everything you need to ride off into the sunset together on a guided motorcycle tour. Pick from a myriad of destinations including trips that take a couple hours to a couple days. (209) 910-4238, AdventureWestMoto.com

Take it back to the old school. Craft cocktails, bar bites, and old school arcade games can make for one hell of a night. Enjoy a playful evening at Coin-Op Game Room, and take a nostalgic stab at the high score on classics like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and 40 other arcade games. This adult funhouse, located in Sacramento’s Kay District, also includes 6 top pinball machines. CoinOpSac.com

Go down under. Don’t get stuck with jacked-up plans this Valentine’s Day. Instead, explore together as you learn how Sacramento “jacked up” their streets and buildings to avoid further flooding in the 1800s. Comical and informative characters that guide you through underground spaces, hollow sidewalks, and sloped alleyways head the one-hour Old Sacramento Underground Tours. SacHistoryMuseum.org

Be part of the revitalization. Celebrate your love for each other, and your port side city, with a crew dedicated to its artistic revival. The 1850 Collective is a group of local artist, business owners, and creatives, bursting with a passion for Stockton, a true talent in their trade, and the ability to throw some super cool events. Follow them to catch their latest art show-that always features live art, displays, food, drinks, live music and dancing. Can’t beat it. The1850Collective.com

Look to the future. What does your future hold? Helen Wong, both a natural-born psychic and an angelic healer, can give you some insight. She shares her expertise out of Stockton. (209) 462-7700, Helen-Wong.com

Heal together. Relax, reduce stress, and seek enlightenment using the power of Reiki, a Japanese stress-reduction technique that promotes healing. The massage-adjacent practice uses the laying of hands to increase energy and happiness. Buy a package at The Healing Spot in Tracy to share. (209) 730-6457, TheHealingSpotCA.com

Pick up a sport. Research suggests couples who work out together build stronger relationships. But if hitting the gym is getting bland, mix it up. Fencing is a classic sport rooted in history, romance, and drama, making it the perfect couple’s activity. Take a class at The Delta Fencing Center in Tracy or Stockton. (209) 244-5836, DeltaFencingCenter.com

Dive in. Turns out thrill-seeking dates are good for your relationship. And what gets the adrenaline flowing better than embarking on an undersea adventure with little more than an oxygen tank and your partner by your side? Never gone before? No sweat! Justin’s Scuba Time is Stockton’s premier place to learn. (209) 851-2928, JustinsScubaTime.com

Stargaze. What’s more romantic than cuddling up under the stars with the one you love? Not much comes to mind. Head to The Discovery Museum Science & Space Center in Sacramento to take advantage of a spot where the sky is never cloudy and the weather is always perfect. (916) 808-3942, PowerHouseSC.org

Win it big. If your lover is your good luck charm, take them over to Parkwest Casino Lodi for a chance to hit it big. This cozy card room offers Baccarat, Pai Gow, Blackjack, 3 Card Poker, Texas Hold’Em, and weekly cash tournaments. Learn to play cards together, and stack chips are a dynamic duo, or support your beau as you wine and dine at the card room’s surprisingly good, affordable restaurant. ParkWestCasinoLodi.com

Goof off. Add a little silliness to the romantic season, and challenge each other to a gift-giving contest like no other. Work through the maze that is Secondhand Rose (don’t forget to go downstairs…jackpot) and compile your presents that will compete in the following brackets: romance & ridiculousness. (209) 339-1166