One common complaint that comes up every time Valentine’s Day rolls around is how cheesy it is. The heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, dozen red roses, fancy dinner reservations—it all seems so cliché. In truth, it’s hard to pick any V-Day activity without it seeming hackneyed and tired. Well don’t fear! Here at Sunplay, we want you to have a genuinely fun and romantic evening without even having to leave the house.
Everyone knows the hot tub is a nice place to unwind, especially if you’re sharing a soak with a significant other (or just a buddy, a la “Dumb and Dumber”). So here are my romantic hot tub ideas for a date that is sure to be easy and memorable.
If you want to let your significant other know your plans for the evening, think of slipping them a note earlier in the day telling them you want to use the hot tub after work. Leave it somewhere they’re sure to find it: wallet, purse, the dashboard of their car. If you want to keep it simple, just shoot a text off to let them know. They’ll be surprised and excited.
CORNY OPTION: Come up with a poem. Write it on a giant doily. Hire a calligrapher. The sky’s the limit!
You can always keep the whole thing a secret. There’s something about the look of surprise on someone’s face when you’ve gone out of your way to be thoughtful.
Make it a Spa Experience:
Create a dressing area with towels and robes. Maybe set out his favorite swim trunks or buy her a new bikini; it’s the little touches that matter. Pick out a spa water recipe and give her a glass when she walks out. It’ll make the whole experience seem decadent, even if you are just using your hot tub that you’ve spent a thousand nights in. Make this one different.
Lighting is an important part of deciding what kind of mood you like. If you want romantic, you can’t go wrong with a bunch of flickering white candles. Does your hot tub come with mood lighting straight from the factory? Have a light show in your spa.
If you want to try something different, think about an alternative source of light like lanterns, a string of Christmas lights, or even just enjoy a night under the stars.
If you’re making a playlist, try to sit down and really be thoughtful. What was a song that played at your wedding? How about one of his or her favorite songs this year? Try to pick ones that make you think of one another. They don’t all need to be serious ballads, just something that will strike up a conversation or make them smile.
CORNY OPTION: You can always go with Barry White and Sade. Just expect more ironic laughs than a genuine romantic reaction.
If you have some extra essential oils lying around your house, you can vastly improve the mood for your V-Day soak session. Scent is one of our most powerful senses and is strongly tied to memory (hopefully good ones). Here’s a list of a few scents and how they affect you.
Peppermint: Relieves tension and stimulates your senses. It also activates the imagination and has many healing properties.
Geranium: Lifts your mood while de-stressing and relaxing you. Floral scents are always calming.
Clary Sage: A mood balancer that is known to give relief to nervous tension. Also regarded as a powerful aphrodisiac.
Lavender: Helps alleviate stress and anxiety. Also good for those who struggle with insomnia as it calms the mind.
Essential oils are very concentrated so 6-10 drops in your circulating hot tub should do the trick. Be careful not to choose oils that have carrier oil added because it may clog your filter. If you have a local hot tub or pool supply store nearby, they sometimes carry scent crystals made specifically for this purpose.
You don’t really want to be eating anything heavy while you’re in the water so maybe have just a few finger foods set up nearby while you’re in the hot tub. Something like fresh fruit, cheese and crackers, or chocolates.
Since you sweat a lot in hot tubs, make sure you set aside a water bottle or other chilled refreshment nearby. Alcohol and hot tubs don’t always mix so make sure you’re mindful of dehydration if you bring the bubbly along.
A fun, non-traditional idea would be to have a hot cocoa bar for when you’ve left the hot tub. If you live anywhere mountainous and snowy like me, you’ll take heat from wherever you can get it. Having a mug of something warm will help contribute to that cozy, relaxed feeling after you’ve left your spa.
Studies have shown that regular date nights with quality conversation are a key element to a happy and long-lasting marriage. If you feel like you’ve run out of things to talk about, consider using some conversation starter questions as a jumping off point. I found this list of 21 questions to ask on a date night that had some great questions. You can write them all down and put them in a jar and take turns asking them. Leave a few pieces blank if you want to come up with some of your own.
One of the benefits of using a hot tub is that your muscles are loosened and your body primed for relaxation. If you want to play more into the spa experience of the evening, be the masseuse for the evening. If you want it to be more of a give and take, take turns massaging each other. If you want to make a game out of it, write time lengths in one jar (1 minute, 2 minutes, etc.) and examples of places to massage in the other (shoulders, feet, calves). Pick one from each and set a timer.
If we’re sticking with the jar idea, have a fun dare jar. You could have and silly task like getting out and rolling in the snow or running around the house singing a song. Add in a few that are a little more romantic to go along with your Valentine’s Day date night.
Extra Tip: If you are going to be in the hot tub for more than 30 minutes, consider setting your temperature to be around 100-102 degrees instead of the standard 104. This will make it easier to stay in the water longer.
Not only are hot tubs good for you, but so is romance. Its constant presence in your life can lower your blood pressure, boost your immune system and help you live longer. I know some people like to hate on Valentine’s Day, but personalized dates made with thoughtfulness are always memorable.