February 14th is a day set aside for love. So what better way to celebrate than by sharing your love of the outdoors? Think kayaking instead of candy, conservation with your calla lilies, and dinner plus discovery. We think the sweetest days are the ones spent getting out there to explore your world and make it better.
Here are five ideas to make it an even better Valentine’s Day this year:
1. DO WHAT YOU LOVE TOGETHER
You know the saying, couples who play (read: go outside and have an all-out blast) together stay together. Think two-person kayaking, side-by-side paddle boarding, and meeting at the trailhead for some quality time in nature. Or when’s the last time you went flying down the sled hill? Dinner for two is extra satisfying after a little adrenaline and exhilaration.
2. DO GOOD TOGETHER
Here’s a great way to spread the love: while you’re out exploring or having a picnic dinner, grab a trash bag and help clean up the beach, shoreline, or trail. According to the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, things like cigarette butts and food wrappers can take up to five years to decompose, with fishing line and aluminum cans taking up to 100 or more. KEEN is a longtime partner of Leave No Trace, which helps educate the public about enjoying the outdoors responsibly. Get involved or find out how to volunteer near you at the Leave No Trace website.
3. TAKE ACTION TOGETHER
Protecting the places where we play ensures they stay that way—so all of us can continue to enjoy them. It only takes a minute to make your voice heard and ask your representatives to stand up for public lands. You can even do it while you are waiting for your table at that new ramen spot. Visit the Outdoor Industry Alliance website, or call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and follow the prompts to be connected with your Senators or Representative. Whether you get connected to a person or voice mail, politely share your views in a few sentences. Then high-five each other.
4. DISCOVER SOMETHING NEW TOGETHER
Dinner in town is still an opportunity to get outside and explore. Find a restaurant in a new part of the city and make time before or after your meal to get a new perspective of your world. Scope out any nearby parks, gardens, murals, overlooks, and walking paths. Or simply explore your sidewalk wilderness with a scoop of small-batch ice cream in hand.
5. BE IN AWE WITH EACH OTHER
Nothing compares to gazing at each other across the table (wink, wink). Except for maybe catching a great view of the sunset beforehand or gazing at stars after dessert. Find a good vantage point, and load up your phone with an app that helps identify the planets and constellations you see in the night sky, such as SkyView.