15+ Date Ideas in Raleigh for Valentine’s Day, 2023 (something for everyone!)

Love is smoking up the air, folks! And if you’re in Raleigh there’s no better place to be this Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or a hopeless singleton, we’ve got you covered with a list of fun ideas to make your heart skip a beat. 

people smiling for the camera while holding drinks
Killjoy Cocktail Bar

We go beyond the stale dinner by candlelight ideas. We don’t dismiss it entirely, but we think there are so many more interesting ways to let loose and get to know the REAL in each other. 

So, grab your sweetie, BFF, or just yourself, and get ready to celebrate the season of love like never before. From fancy gala balls to romantic hikes, there’s something for everyone in Raleigh this Valentine’s Day!

And not all Valentine’s Day celebrations have to occur on February the 14th. Since it’s on a Tuesday this year, it might be a little challenging for some. Consider an early one on the weekend before, or weekend after.

Couples who sport together may love celebrating all weekend long (Feb 18th) at the NHL Stadium Series.

1. Gift local products to that special someone

Videri Chocolate Factory, Raleigh
Videri Chocolates

It doesn’t have to be your romantic love; you can send anyone you care about a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates this Valentine’s Day. It’s generally what we give our girls, or, a cupcake from the Cupcake Shoppe Bakery

The best place for locally made chocolate in Raleigh is Videri Chocolate Factory in the Warehouse District, and Escazu Chocolates on N Blount St. 

Amitie Macaron has just opened a new cafe/bakery in Downtown Raleigh if Parisian treats are more your beau’s style. 

North Carolina State Farmers Market has bountiful and beautiful local bouquets. You’ll also find wonderful gifts at the Flourish Market, DECO, and Rose & Lee in Apex.

READ MORE: Where to shop local in Downtown Raleigh

2. Learn together

Jacobs Creek Barossa Valley South Australia 135
Cooking class at Jacob’s Creek, South Australia

Couples who learn together, stay together. From cooking, to painting, and appreciating wine, there are many classes you can enjoy in Raleigh. 

  • The City of Raleigh Museum will have a (local) Chocolate Champagne Guided Painting Class on February 14, 7-10pm. Cost is $40 per person, $25 for members. This  is also a great activity to do with friends or to celebrate living life on your terms as a singleton!
  • Current Wellness is putting on a Coastal Love for Carolina Seafood cooking class with Eeic Montague, head chef from Locals Seafood. Class participants will help prepare oysters and ceviche (shucking optional!) for the group meal to go along with a special main dish prepared by Chef Eric. And hello Aphrodisiac! Perfect for V Day! FEb 17, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
  • Taverna Agora will have an authentic 4-course Greek dinner expertly paired with Greek wine on February 9th.Learn about Greece’s bountiful wine regions while sipping and savoring the seasonal flavors of the Mediterranean. Tickets are $115 per person including wine pairings.
  • Killjoy Cocktail will have Cocktail making classes every Wednesday in February at 7 p.m. Resident cocktail enthusiast Kat Binkley hosts a hands-on cocktail class featuring simple yet delicious drinks that anyone can easily make at home, after a little direction and lesson to send you confidently on your way.
  • Raleigh Walking Tours will put on a special Valentine’s & Galentine’s Day Love Stories & Broken Hearts Walking Tour. It will feature historic local love stories – the good and the tragic. I’m sure the lessons will help you keep love alive. A great activity to do with your friends as well. Full details and mandatory advance registration here. It’s a Pay What you Want Tour.
  • If you like walking tours, this Raleigh Ghosts and Ghouls walking tour may be a hit for couples who love to get their SPOOK on. Uncover the lurking ghosts and spirits of Raleigh on a guided paranormal walking tour. Stand as close as you dare to the Heck-Andrews House and listen to chilling tales of this city’s dark history.

3. Attend a Valentine’s Day Gala Ball

  • Where: Sheraton Raleigh Hotel
  • When: Feb 11: 6pm-10pm
  • Cost: $89 – $199
  • Tickets

Whether you’re single, a couple, or just want a night out with your friends, the Valentine’s Day Gala will show you a memorable time.

It’s a chance to wear your finest attire, walk the red carpet, have your tarot cards read, learn to salsa, be entertained by a belly dancer, and dance the night away. Plated salad, Surf & Turf dinner, desserts and welcome champagne included. 

4. Dream together on a hike (or bike ride)

Walnut Creek Trail, Raleigh

We don’t care that it’s winter – it’s North Carolina, it’s still perfect for hiking and we have some amazing trails in Raleigh. Plus, it’s the year of the trail, so we’re encouraging you even more to experience the value of trading the sound of honking horns and keyboard taps for the sound of birds and rustling of leaves.

Once your outside noise quietens it’s easier for you to reconnect as partners. Talk about your dreams and plan how together you’ll make them happen. Most of what you see via the This is Raleigh channels, comes from ideas discussed on our afternoon walks. It’s where the magic happens. 

And you can’t beat FREE for a date experience. A few favorite trails in Raleigh:

5. Ditch the Romantic Love and do Galentine’s with your Besties

One thing we learned moving to the USA, was that Valentine’s is not just for romantic love like it is in Australia. So don’t worry if you’re single or in desperate need of a break from your partner (let’s be real we all need them) you can experience a little euphoria too with your best gal-friends!

  • The Dock at Seaboard Station will have a Galentine’s Day Soiree on Feb 13 from 6pm-9pm. Wear anything cute in pink, red or purple and enjoy Tasty cocktails and champagne bars, food stations, a DJ dance party, swag bags and fun things like shredding photos of your ex, eyelash and braid bary and photo booths. Get tickets here.
  • Galentine’s Celebration Friday in the Designed for Joy Studios. Support our favorite local non-profit with your girlfriends. $25 includes Nonalcoholic Sips by Umbrella Dry Bar until 8pm, A poem created just for you by Poetry Fox and a bouquet bar. On February 10, 6-9pm

6. Valentine’s Special: Van Gogh with Live Music Details

  • When:  February 14, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. (time slots available every 30 minutes.)
  • Where: Pleasant Valley Promenade, 6240 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27612, USA.
  • Website:
  • Cost: $75+

Possibly one of the most unique date ideas for Valentine’s Day is Van Gogh with Live Music and one Craig and I going to do. (We usually don’t do Valentine’s so this shows how special this event is.)

What a way to Immerse yourself in Van Gogh’s iconic masterpieces with digital displays, sound effects, interactive video mapping & more.

Talented musicians will perform beautiful classical pieces in a concert during this special Valentine’s Day event. Lovers will also get a Valentine’s Day package containing a rose and a box of chocolates.

7. Laugh with Love

People sitting at tables and chairs inside a comedy club
Comedy date night at Goodnight’s!

Any healthy relationship needs a good sense of humor. The ability to laugh at your circumstances, and each other’s annoying quirks and habits can help you overcome the inevitable bumps and hurdles of a relationship. 

Take the less serious road this Valentine’s Day with a comedy night in Raleigh.

Goodnights Comedy Club is hosting Valentine’s Day with Pat McGann. Parents will especially love this one as A husband and father of 3 young children, Pat’s appeal stems from his quick wit & relatable take on family life & marriage.

Read More: See our date day in the Village District which included a comedy night At Goodnight’s Comedy Club.

8. Enjoy a Staycation in Raleigh

large body of water surrounded by trees
The Stateview Hotel, Raleigh

Staycations are a great way to disconnect from the chaos with your loved one without the hassle that comes with planning, booking, and embarking on a trip further afar. 

You can have a romantic escape with your partner and still attend your 11am yoga class the next day. 

Valentine’s Romance Package at the AC Hotel

People enjoying drinks on a rofftop bar with city views
Amazing view from the AC Hotel rooftop, the Willard

The AC Hotel on Glenwood Ave in Raleigh has a Valentine’s Romance Package available February 9th through February 19th, which includes:

  • 50 USD to spend at The Willard Rooftop lounge.
  • A bottle of sparkling wine and chocolate dipped strawberries to enjoy in your room
  • European-style breakfast for two in the AC kitchen
  • Complimentary parking
  • Book your stay here

The Umstead Hotel & Spa

The Ultimate hotel in Raleigh for luxury and romance is the 5-Star Umstead Hotel & Spa surrounded by 12 acres of wooded land, gardens and lake. (10 min drive)

It’s definitely a special occasion kind of place. And while we’ve never stayed here, I was treated one year by Craig for a massage and manicure at their award-winning spa. It was next-level luxury. 

Book your stay here 

From Our Hearts to Yours Romance Package, Stateview Hotel

The StateView Hotel in Raleigh, NC

You will feel like your miles away from Raleigh with a staycation at the StateView Hotel. It’s one of our favorite Raleigh hotels for its natural feel with its hidden location on Lake Raleigh on the NC State Centennial Campus. You’re only an 8-minute drive from downtown, but if serenity is what you’re after, stay in at the hotel. Their restaurant is quite impressive.

Their Romance package includes:

  • Breakfast for 2 guests daily
  • Chocolates upon arrival
  • 1 bottle of sparkling wine upon arrival
  • Late check-out

Book your stay here

Residence Inn Raleigh Downtown Valentine’s Day Package

Aerial view of the outside of a Residence Inn hotel

Another favorite Raleigh hotel of ours, especially for those 10th and Terrace sunset rooftop views is the Residence Inn Downtown Raleigh. They have a special Valentine’s Day Package for lovebirds. 

Available any day Feb. 10–15, 2023, the package is $289 and includes:

  • A stay in a Studio Suite
  • Champagne
  • Chocolate-covered strawberries
  • $50 credit to any of their outlets

Make it an ultimate date with sunset pre-dinner cocktails at 10th & Terrace, followed by dinner, either out on the town, or at Overlook, the hotel’s swanky restaurant, then cozy up after in your suite with your champagne and strawberries. Now that’s how you do Valentine’s! 

Book your stay

9. Go Traditional with a Romantic Dinner 

people smiling for the camera while standing in front of a building
Dinner at Second Empire Restaurant, downtown Raleigh

One of the hottest date ideas for Valentine’s Day is always a traditional romantic dinner. The good news is almost any restaurant in Raleigh will have something special happening for Valentines.

Check in with your favorite one to see what they have on and be sure to reserve ahead of time. 

Here are a few extra romantic ones we found:

  • With its dim lighting and poolside tables, Mulino is one of the most romantic restaurants in the city year-round. This year, they’ll be offering a special four-course meal prix fixe menu (vegetarian options available), a welcome drink, and a bottle of wine per couple for $125/guest on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. Reserve here. 
  • Some will say there is no more romantic place to dine then Heron’s at the Umstead Hotel & Spa. If a proposal is on your mind, this will be the ultimate as you indulge in a five-course dinner with choices created by Executive Chef Steven Devereaux Greene. It comes at a luxurious price at $245 per person with an extra $125 for wine pairings. Happening on February 10th, 11th, and 14th starting @5pm
  • One of our favorite date night restaurants, Crawford & Son is offering a Valentine’s Day 4-course tasting menu on February 14. Priced at $100 per person with optional wine pairing. Service charge is included!
  • Another romantic dinner idea for Valentine’s Day on Feb 14 (with music) is Prohibitive, located within The Matthews House in Downtown Cary. It’s $80 per person for a 4-course prix fixe Menu with complimentary prosecco and chocolate covered strawberries. See more here.
  • The Willard’s Ballroom will have a four-course menu from The Willard’s Executive Chef James Cundiff paired with at least 5 different Champagnes from the French house of Louis Roederer. Arrive at 6:30 pm on Thursday, February 16. Tickets are $155 per person. 
  • A  more affordable option at $59 per person for a four-course meal with a cozy, European vibe is Bodega Tapas, Wine and Rum in Wake Forest.

Read More: 22 of our favorite Downtown Raleigh restuarants

10. Satisfy your sweet teeth

Looking for a sweeter date night idea for Valentine’s in Raleigh. Skip the meal and head straight for dessert. Even better if you can combine it with a view or cozy intimate vibe. 

  • The Willard Rooftop Lounge has a $40 wine and dessert pairing for two. You’ll get two flutes of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne paired with your choice of either house-made Lava Cake with vanilla ice cream or our White Chocolate Bread pudding with Raspberry Coulis. This pairing is available Thursday Feb 9 through Sunday Feb 19. Tickets here.
  • The Green Light Speakeasy in Downtown Raleigh has cocktails with sweet and savory pairings for $100 per person on Feb 14th starting at 5pm. It includes 4 cocktails and 2 desserts with local meats and cheese.


I love this idea for a Valentine’s Date. The Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill will have a special Valentine Edition of their Carolina Skies program. They’ll explore the legends of love told by ancient cultures about constellations and other objects visible in the night sky. Reserve tickets here. 

The Morehead Planetarium is one of the oldest and largest planetariums in the United States. It features exhibits, interactive displays, and shows on astronomy, space science, and related subjects.

While we have not yet star gazed at Moorehead, we have in a couple of places in Australia, including the Cosmos Center in Charleville Qld, where we actually got to look at the sun as well as many planets. It’s a date you won’t forget!

TIP: If you want to pair it with a romantic dinner while in Chapel Hill, consider Il Palio where you’ll find delicious Italian food using the best local and Italian ingredients. They have a special Valentine’s Day 4 course menu for $98


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is tomahawk-amacalola-falls-state-park-ga.jpg
Learn to throw the tomahawk in Amicalola Falls State Park

Is your partner a team player? How do you work together to solve challenges, especially if extra pressure is thrown in? You’ll soon find out and some of these fun gamify date night ideas perfect for Valentine’s Day.

There is no better way to get to know your partner than solving puzzles and challenges together. 

Escape Room

An Escape Room is an activity our family loves to do. We love working together to use logic, and deductive reasoning to solve riddles, puzzles and mysteries and escape from a locked room. I’m always amazed at how clever my girls are. My pick is The Tower Escapes, which is located in the National Historic site, First Water Tower of Raleigh. 

They have a Sir Walter Speakeasy Escape room based upon the Sir Walter Raleigh Hotel and its recently discovered speakeasy in the basement (that’s a true story!) Your mission in this one is to lure officials into abolishing prohibition!

Downtown Raleigh’s Valentine Day’s Scavenger Hunt

Use your treasure map to follow clues, solve puzzles, and crack codes on this unique Valentine’s Day themed scavenger hunt. This is an experience you can have in a group – why not double date or just do it with your friends! At only $20, it’s also a cheap Valentine’s Date idea. See more here.

Axe Throwing

This might be a good idea for those who need to work out a few grievances in their relationship. Ain’t no better way to get it out of your system than to throw an axe. Then you may feel more in the mood for a cocktail and a view after. 

And of course, this is a fun date night for all couples, no matter what stage of your relationship. The Crazy Axe has two locations in Raleigh and Epic Axe is in the Morgan Street Food Hall.


people gathering by lake to listen to music

There is nothing Craig and I like more than seeing live music and shows. In fact, as I type this Craig is purchasing tickets to see American Aquarium tonight at the Lincoln Theatre for our first date of February. (And last week we saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with the kids in NYC. The magic is REAL!)

Check your favorite venue to see who is playing and when, but here are a few ideas. 

Valentine’s Day Concert By Candlelight 

What could be more romantic than listening to a string quartet performance by candlelight in the historic grandeur of Raligh’s most iconic homes.

The Merrimon-Wynne House will be hosting a special Valentine’s Edition of Candlelight Concert with pieces from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Titanic, Romeo and Juliet and more.

Romance In The Air

  • Where: Transfer Co. Food Hall
  • When: February 11, 2023 2pm 
  • Cost: $25
  • Tickets here.

Any Gen Xers will know the Eighties have always been hot! The rest of the world has recently caught on with the Stranger Things Phenomenon. 

Celebrate your Valentine’s Day with the North Carolina Master Chorale who will sing classic 80s hits from bands like Journey, Queen, Survivor, REO Speedwagon, Huey Lewis & the News, The Police, Hall & Oates, & Chicago.

Artspace Unplugged Featuring Kamara Thomas

  • When: Feb 16, 7pm
  • Where: Artspace, City Market
  • Cost: $15 in advance, $20 day of
  • Tickets

I love this new live music series that will feature performances by local musicians set inside an art exhibition with an intimate, listening room vibe. 

Kamara Thomas is a singer, song speller, mythology fanatic and multidisciplinary storyteller based in Durham, NC. This is the perfect Valentine’s Date for lovers who enjoy art and music. 

Valentine’s Dinner & Burlesque Show

  • When: Feb 14th 6pm
  • Where: East Five Points
  • Cost: $140
  • Tickets 

Now this sounds like a unique date idea in Raleigh for Valentine’s Day. Whitaker & Atlantic is putting on a Valentine’s Dinner & Burlesque Show featuring Va Va Voom. The $140 ticket price includes Hors d’oeuvres before the show, a three-course dinner, and you know what they mean when they say Va VA Voom. 

14. Go Anti Valentine’s with this Special Dance Party

If you’re tired of all the hoopla, don’t give a lick about romance, and just want to party up a story with yourself or your friends, head to Fortnight Brewery in Cary on Fri Feb 10th at 8pm to midnight.

They’re putting on an Anti-Valentine’s bash with Great music, party lights, and more!! A great opportunity to make friends! $5 online $10 door.

15. Spoil yourself and take a trip

Grande Villas, Indian Beach, North Carolina
Beach getaway

You don’t have to ask us twice if we think it’s a good idea to travel. Our answer is ALWAYS!

Where to go all depends on how long you’ve got, what your budget is, and what is of most interest to you. From winter beach getaways to cozy mountain trips and weekend getaways to NYC, in Raleigh we have a lot of access.

And we have a lot of content ideas to help you, on this site, and our travel blog.

Looking for even more date ideas? See more date ideas in Raleigh.

Comment: Did we give you enough date ideas for Valentine’s Day in Raleigh? What interests you most from this list? Any other ideas to share?

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