With Valentine’s Day inevitably approaching, you can put good money on all the best restaurants being booked, all the romantic rides and cruises being reserved, and every grocery store stocking up on flowers and condoms. What’s a giddy couple to do when there are crowds of lovers everywhere, when every seat is taken and every table has someone else’s name on it? Here are 5 uncommon date ideas that will let you enjoy yourselves away from the mob.

1. Go To An Art Gallery

Art galleries aren’t known as the most romantic of places – well, it depends on the art – but there’s a good chance a gallery will be devoid of a rush of hand-holding couples and everybody trying to sing “Unchained Melody”. You and your special someone can try and appreciate the art, laugh at it, learn more about one another, and enjoy each other’s company in some peace and quiet.

2. Pretend

Since everybody else dresses up for Valentine’s Day, there’s no reason you shouldn’t, even if you don’t plan on hanging with the crowd. And since you’re dressed up, there’s no reason you can’t have some fun, too. Go to a car dealership and pretend to be newlyweds. If you’re already married, this might bring back some good memories of your first tentative steps as a legally wed couple. If you’re not married, this will be good practice for the real deal. Whatever your situation, much fun will be had without any annoying crowds – because really, there won’t be that many couples at a car dealership on Valentine’s Day.

3. Botanical Garden

While everybody else is shouting over the din at a popular restaurant downtown, you and your significant other can take in the sights, sounds and smells at a local botanical garden. Stroll along in peace and tranquility and learn something new about plants, as everybody else does the boring “dinner and a movie” routine. When someone asks you did for Valentine’s Day, replying with “We went to the botanical gardens” will leave more than a few other couples wondering why they didn’t do the same.

4. Go Halfsies

No, this doesn’t mean paying for half the date. This means that you organize one half of the date, and your other half organizes the other half. Perhaps you’re responsible for the food, and your partner takes care of the entertainment (or activities). Such an arrangement adds a dash of spontaneity to the day, gives you an idea how your date ticks, and, equally as important, lets your date know how you tick.

5. Climbing Gym

This is definitely a date idea from left field, but think about it: no other couples on dates ruining the whole thing; physical activity/exercise; it may be something new for both of you to enjoy, and try again on a regular basis; character building, vis-a-vis overcoming fears and perceived physical limitations; and some awesome photo opportunities.