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Ditch Dinner-and-a-Movie

From ice skating to honey tasting, here are seven hands-on date ideas for Valentine's Day.

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Art Studio
Art Studio NY, 145 W. 96th St., Suite 1B; 212-932-8484
Create a masterpiece with your SO—or, at least, have fun trying. This intimate couples' paint session, capped at ten pairs, starts with a complimentary glass of wine and some snacks. All materials are included for the two of you to collaborate on a painting—you’re even free to bring your own wine or beer along for the rest of evening.
February 14, 6:30 p.m.–9 p.m.; $95 per couple

Salsa on 2
Stepping Out Studios, 37 W. 26th St., 646-742-9400
Warm up your Valentine's Day with the hot beats of salsa music. Stepping Out Studios will be bringing in instructors from two local salsa enterprises to teach couples of all skill levels. Take the beginners class for starter lessons on turning techniques and step combinations, or head to the intermediate level if you're looking for more of a challenge.
February 14; beginner class: 7:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.; intermediate class: 8:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.; $20 per person

Bubbles and Bites
Cooking By the Book, 13 Worth St., 212-966-9799
Why drop big bucks on a fancy dinner when you can learn how to make your own for less? In this cooking class, you and your partner will learn to make a variety of dishes, from spicy lamb meatballs with garlic yogurt sauce to curried butternut squash samosas with tamarind chutney. Sparkling wines will be paired with every course, and each person will receive a Valentine's Day embroidered apron.
February 14, 6:30 p.m.–9 p.m.; $125 per person

Brooklyn Boulders
575 Degraw St., Gowanus; 347-834-9066
Work up a sweat with your sweetie at this Gowanus rock climbing center. They will be offering their full roster of classes in bouldering, climbing done on short walls without ropes, top roping, roped climbing in a harness, and lead climbing, as well as a solid yoga and capoeira schedule. If you and your partner are hooked, the venue hosts It Takes Two (a partners bouldering competition) the next day.
M, W, F, S–Su: 8 a.m.–midnight; T, Th: 7am-midnight
It Takes Two: Feb 15, 7 p.m.–10 p.m., $20 per person

LeFrak Center at Lakeside
171 East Dr., Prospect Lefferts Gardens; 212-661-6640
Visit the brand-new ice-skating facility in southeastern Prospect Park; admission is less than $10 dollars ($6 on weekdays and $8 on weekends) for access to two rinks, one open and one covered. After skating, you can head over to the on-site café, stocked with items from Brooklyn purveyors and local businesswa, or stop at Gino's Trattoria, a nearby Italian restaurant and wine bar.
M–Th, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; F–S, 9 a.m.–10 p.m.; Su, 9 a.m.–8 p.m.

Honey for your Honey: Honey and Cheese With Red Bee
Murray's Cheese, 254 Bleecker St.; 212-243-3289
Learn to match two "incredible edibles" together with Marina Marchese, the owner of Red Bee Honey. You and your sweetie will learn about the world of beekeeping and the single-origin honey harvest, and how to match each honey with the best cheese.
February 14, 6:30 p.m.–8 p.m., $60 per person

Valentine's Day! Wine and Chocolate
Bedford Cheese Shop, 67 Irving Pl.; 718-599-7588
The cheese shop switches gears for a night and focuses on other classic indulgences: wine and chocolate. Cheesemonger Sean, the "James Brown of the cheese world," will help hungry couples pair wines and chocolates. And you can even pick up some cheese to go with them on your way home. February 14, 7 p.m.–8:30 p.m., $60 per person


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