Want to spice up your Valentine’s Day? Here are 23 date ideas for V Day in York

Just in case you managed to find a date

Stuck for ideas of things to do with your friends or partner in York this Valentine’s Day? Whether you’re wifed up, heading out on a hot date, or spending the day with your mates we’ve got you covered for the best dates in York this V Day.

So look no further, here are 23 date ideas for Valentine’s Day in York.

1.  Pottery painting at Bish Bash Pot or Rainbow Ceramics

Unleash your creative spirit and paint some pottery at Bish Bash Pot or Rainbow Ceramics. You could make matching items or one for each other and swap them! Whichever way you shake it, pottery painting is a fun way to, quite literally, make a memory.

2. Get dressed up and go for cocktails at Evil Eye

Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to get dressed up and what better for that than a cocktail evening. York is home to the Guinness World Record-holding bar, the Evil Eye for having the most varieties of gins sold commercially. Not a gin lover? Don’t worry, there’s plenty to try other than the 1028 varieties of gin.

3. Do an escape room at Mindlock Escape Games or LockedIn York

Escape rooms are high tension but all worth it when you escape. They’re also pretty funny when you get fail and get locked in. They’re a great way to bond and see sides of people you normally don’t get to. Let’s just hope you’ll still be together next V Day.

4.  A day in the cinema film hopping

This is the ultimate upgrade of watching Netflix without the guilt that you haven’t left the house. Have a laugh, watch things you never normally would and enjoy a Tango Ice Blast or pick n mix. York has lots of boujie cinemas including The Everyman where you can chill on sofas and City Screen which also has a lovely bar and restaurant.

5. Go to a cafe 

While York may be known for having a pub for every day of the year, the city is not short on excellent cafe options either. Brew and Brownie, Drift-In, The Pig and Pastry and Partisan are some student favourites.

But why not go fancy this Valentine’s and have an afternoon tea at the infamous Betty’s? Or if you’re a cat lover try The Cat’s Whiskers cat cafe and enjoy some free serotonin and tea.

6. The York Cat Trail

Speaking of cats, why not take a walk about York and spot all the ornamental cats on buildings?

Even a seasoned York resident might not know about this adorable trail that’s right above our heads – can you spot all 22?

7. Get cultured and go on a museum date

York has a lot of history, so why not tour some of the museums this Valentine’s and get some culture on your date?

Some free options include the York Minster for York students, the general exhibition at York Art Gallery in Exhibition Square and the National Railway Museum.

8. Cooking or baking together

Cooking and baking is such an easy and fun date idea that can easily be adapted. You could make a themed three course meal together. Themes could be a cuisine like Mexican, or a season like Valentine’s Day.

Alternatively, make it competitive and have a cook-off with a recipe neither of you has tried before or with your own signature dishes. No pesto pasta or Pot Noodles allowed.

9. Make things magical and play mini-golf at The Hole in Wand

For £6.99 you can play nine holes of enchanted golf and get a potion drink. It’s a lovely way to spend an hour and located centrally so can be worked in as part of a bigger date. Maybe pop down the Shambles and explore the other sorcery-themed shops.

10. Try or buy an outfit for each other

Now that changing rooms are open again, this makes for a really original and charming date. Take the opportunity to dress your partner or friend in outlandish items or try what your style looks like on them. I guess you could also be nice and get them things that they might actually like too.

York also has a great charity shop shopping scene if you’re looking for a thrifty option.

11. Bottomless Brunch

Thanks to lockdown, bottomless brunches have become a staple in many of our lives, and York is not short of choices. Turtle Bay and Las Iguanas are cheap and have amazing food but if you’re looking for an independent option and have a higher budget, try Impossible.

12. Ride a self-drive boat down the River Ouse

See the river from an angle you haven’t yet and find a new appreciation for York’s beauty on this different date idea. Just make sure to dress warmly!

13. Do a ghost walk and buy matching ghosts from The York Ghost Merchants

A ghost walk, or even riding the Ghost Bus, is the best way to learn more about York’s supernatural occurrences. Both are informative, fun and just a little spooky. Seeing York at night is a true pleasure of living here, very few people get to say they’ve walked down the Shambles when it’s empty.

If you haven’t already bought a clay ghost to commemorate your time in York, there really is no better souvenir. Each clay ghosts is handmade and unique and getting matching colours with a friend or partner would just be the cutest.

14. Recreate your first date

For those of you who are looking for an especially romantic (or cute if with friends) date this Valentine’s Day, why not reminisce on how you met your partner or friends and redo all the things you did on your first date? Just maybe without the awkward small talk this time.

15. Bar crawl or three-course meal around Spark

Spark is a quintessential part of York and I love it, particularly SASA Greek food, although Rad Pizza also has a huge and very loyal cult following.

Regardless, the container traders give Spark an eccentric, indie feeling and with plenty of options, there is something for everyone. Don’t worry about getting cold either, they have space heaters and blankets.

16. Beverage picnic

This sounds odd but hear me out, make up some hot chocolate, mulled wine, coffee, any or all of the drinks you fancy, and sit somewhere scenic like the Museum Gardens and have a picnic. Low budget and cute, what more could you want for a date?

17. Go plant shopping at Botanic

Botanic is THE location for all your green-fingered needs. The shop is cosy, intimate and full of plants looking for a new home.

18. Visit the Yorkshire Heart Vineyard and Brewery

What’s more romantic than a vineyard? And I bet you didn’t know York had one. Take a tour around the winery and if you’re feeling extra, enjoy a light lunch or afternoon tea in their cafe.

19. Go for a day trip to Fountains Abbey or Castle Howard

Close to York and accessible by train and bus, these beautiful local vistas are perfect for a long walk, romantic or not. Castle Howard is also where Bridgerton was filmed so you can live out your regency dreams.

20. Visit Hull and go to The Deep

Visiting an aquarium is a peak date if you ask me and The Deep is a great one close to York. Located in the maritime city of Hull, The Deep is an amazing aquarium with all the sea life you could hope to sea x

Their bubble lift is worth queuing for too.

21. Binge a set of films

Whilst watching something new is exciting, there is nothing wrong with watching old favourites and sharing them is a nice way to get to know each other a bit better. Why not binge-watch each others’ favourite films, extra points for endearment if they’re your favourite childhood films.

22. The Van Gogh Immersive Experience

Unfortunately living in a city means that there aren’t too many good opportunities for some romantic star-gazing. But the Van Gogh Immersive Experience is a brilliant and truly ethereal alternative.

23. Make a scrapbook together

There is no better way to build a collection of memories than by scrapbook, and the creative, chill vibe makes for the perfect low-key but loving date.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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