by the editorial staff
Feb. 10, 2022
The commercialism of Valentine’s Day can become redundant. For The Duke, we’ve compiled a list of unique date ideas for a nice change of pace for relationships, friendships and self-care. See for yourself which hidden treasure could be your next greatest memory!
Luke Henne (Longhorn Steakhouse – comfortably cozy) $$
This is about as comfortable as it gets. And that’s coming from someone who goes there for almost any special occasion (Valentine’s Day, birthdays, etc.). Take your special someone to Longhorn. Personally, I’m a fan of a modest six-ounce sirloin and a double side of mashed potatoes. They also say not to fill up on bread, but at Longhorn, I don’t take their advice. Just make sure you come with a lot of money (it’s not cheap!).
Zoe Stratos (Mix Candle Co. – cozy aroma, light with care!) $$$
If you’re looking for a different kind of Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day date, try out candle making. Located right on Butler Street in the heart of Lawrenceville, Mix Candle Co. features a wall of over 100 unique and high quality soy blend oils to mix into a long lasting candle of your own creation. Not only do you choose and mix your scents, you also choose from a variety of jars and create a custom label for your candle before it’s left to cool. While your candle is cooling, make sure to check out the other businesses in Lawrenceville, grab some lunch or dinner and return to pick it up. Mix Candle Co. is great for walk-in visits, or your party can make a reservation.
Andrew Cummings (Con Alma – cozy with flair) $$$
If you are looking for something more interesting than the standard dinner out, look no further than Con Alma. With two locations, one Downtown and one in Ellsworth, patrons get to experience live jazz music alongside their meal. Con Alma features local musicians and is a great way to become acquainted with Pittsburgh’s live music scene. Their menu is Latin-inspired, and the location in Ellsworth features an all-vegetarian menu. Be sure to make a reservation ahead of time to get a table near the bandstand.
Emma Polen (Molly’s Trolleys – cozy and entertaining) $$-$$$
Interested in a group date experience this year? Or are you more inclined toward Galentine’s? Reserve a two-hour private tour of the city in one of Pittsburgh’s iconic red trolley cars. Or, hop on for one of Molley’s scheduled (and cheaper) sightseeing trolley tours. Whether you’re more concerned with the city’s history or you just want transportation to all the best photo-op locations in the city, Molly’s Trolleys offer the perfect ride.
Mary Liz Flavin (Ace Axe Throwing – excitingly dangerous) $$
Looking for something a little more exciting this Valentines Day? Bring a date or a friend to Ace Axe Throwing. Located in Homestead PA this one-of-a-kind experience offers a wide variety of games from traditional tournament play to cricket, timber and countdown. At $25 per person for a one hour walk-in session and $30 per person for a 2 hour group session with tournaments and game play – you can get a fun night for a reasonable price. Also for those 21 and older there is a bar. Hit the target with this date, hopefully it makes the cut!
Capri Scarcelli (Escape Room Pittsburgh – puzzlingly perfect) $$
Want to really get to know your date? See how well you two work together trapped in a room with only one way out! An interactive, in-person puzzle, couples must crack riddles, find clues and search for hidden secrets to break out of the room before the timer stops. There are multiple themes to choose from, and the more friends, the merrier. You can make it a contest too: Whoever is slacking off more in the escape room must buy their partner a treat afterward. Tickets are $30.