Ethel M Chocolates valentines day chocolate offerings

What Are Some Out of the Box Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas?

There's a new winter chill in the air, romance is on the mind, and you're still looking for what to get your beloved beau. 

There's no such thing as an easy Valentine gift. Valentine's Day gift-giving can be tricky because, well, how are you supposed to encapsulate the entirety of your love and affection into a single gift? Hint: it's not with last-minute flowers, but it is the thought that counts!

We've created a guide to the best unique, one-of-a-kind Valentine's Day gift ideas they won’t see coming. Whether you choose to craft something homemade or whisk your loved one away on a love-filled adventure, you can't go wrong with one of these out of the box Valentine’s Day ideas. 

#1 Commemorate the "Firsts"

Still have fond memories of your first date night? No matter how long you've been with your partner, it's probably true that you'll never forget those most heartwarming firsts: first date, first kiss, first shared living space, and the list goes on.

Perhaps you still get butterflies when you pass by the restaurant you visited together on your first foodie outing. Maybe you revisit your diary entry from the day you met your partner. Or perhaps you can recall exactly how and where they first said, "I love you." 

Either way, if you’re both the sweet romantic types, here are some ideas to take you and your partner back to those butterfly-full beginnings:

  • Map the stars – For the daydreamers with their heads in the clouds, map the placement of the stars the way they were on the night you first met. A quick Google search can give you this information, often for free. If you’ve got a crafty hand, draw the map yourself. If drawing isn’t your strong suit, turn to Etsy or employ a local artist to render a creative depiction of your fateful masterpiece. 
  • Relationship birthstone – If you are going to buy jewelry this Valentine's Day, why not try something new and select jewelry with your relationship birthstone? For example, if your anniversary is in March, gift them something with uplifting aquamarine. This is an adorable way to show presence and space for your couplehood.
  • Recreate a memory – The gift of reliving early memories with your beloved is sweet and sentimental. For instance, if you first met at a café, surprise them with a warm latte from that same café to commemorate the time. This gift is highly customizable and truly personal—because, after all, we all love when our other halves remember the small things.
Discover our small-batch chocolate assortments for the perfect gift or treat for yourself. Shop now!

#2 Sponsor an Animal

For a Valentine’s Day gift idea that’s really out-of-the-box, sponsor an animal in your partner’s name. While it’s not a tangible gift they can hold, it’s an extremely thoughtful gift sure to be appreciated by that special animal-loving someone in your life.

Animal sponsorship entails financially supporting the care and supplies an animal needs to live a healthy, happy, and safe life. For cats and dogs, this might look like sponsoring their adoption into a deserving home. Wild animal sponsorships are usually symbolic, and the donation made in your partner’s name goes toward protecting their habitat and communal livelihood.

You can step even further out of the box and sponsor a cause that aims to help an entire herd, band, drove, or school of animals. Show your loved one that you care about what they care about. It’s a whole lot more meaningful than a generic bouquet of flowers.

Nowadays, you can even sign up for recurring subscriptions for charitable donations and sponsorships, sometimes with gifts given back to the sponsor. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving! Our friends at the Pedigree Foundation offer a great place to start.

#3 Bake Valentine’s Day Sweets

Admit it: When you hear “Valentine’s Day,” do you not picture beautiful, decadent chocolate? Sugary chocolate-covered strawberries? Light, sweet, bubbly champagne? 

Of course—it’s hard to deny that sweet treats are a classic part of any Valentine’s Day celebration.

Lean in and celebrate the sweet symbol of the holiday with a handmade sweet treat. Making handmade treats for your very own sweetheart is a heartfelt way to show your care, effort, and love—and you can enjoy indulging together afterward. 

If you’re stumped for ideas, try out these creative Valentine’s recipes:

  • Red velvet crinkle cookies – For a heartier cookie that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, try making red velvet crinkle cookies. Chunky and chewy, these cookies are made using cake mix and their unique crackly outside forms with help from dreamy powdered sugar to create a pillowy-soft cookie and an adorable aesthetic. 

  • Chocolate soufflé – For a more classically romantic dessert, whip up (quite literally) a chocolate soufflé for your significant other. This dessert is particularly appealing if you want something lighter than the traditional cake or brownie—especially if you’ve just come home from a filling 5-course Valentine’s Day dinner. 

  • Valentine’s marshmallow pops – As adorable as they are delectable, marshmallow pops decorated for the holiday are a great gift for your partner. Make a set using varying pink and white marshmallows and pink or red sprinkles. Just make sure to coat the marshmallows in quality melted chocolate to make every flavor sing.

  • Heart-shaped rice cereal treats – There’s nothing as simple and sweet as a rice cereal treat. With just a few ingredients and little prep to do, you can have a batch of yummy treats ready in minutes. Sculpt your mixture into hearts, finish them off with red-dyed chocolate, and you have a crunchy, sweet treat to share with your sweet someone. 
  • You can create and place all these treats in a Valentine’s box, or you can even have your loved one (or even your little one if you are blessed with children) help out in the kitchen to transform a tasty gift into a whole baking session you can share together—and create a brand new memory in the process. 

    #4 Grow a Plant Together

    Plants are another great gift as they don’t grow old and you can keep them around for a lot longer than flowers. Though floral bouquets are far from foreign to Valentine’s Day, gifting your love a plant is definitely more unique—and sweetly symbolic.

    A living plant, with roots in a pot and all, naturally grows with time and care. This gift can serve as a strong symbol of your appreciation for your partner’s own care for you. And better yet, it’s a gift that flourishes and blooms more beautifully over time. It's also a fun way to commemorate your love over the seasons.

    You can even curate the plant based on botanical symbolism. Select a plant that embodies some significance in your relationship, such as: 

    • An orchid for pure love and strength.
    • A pink rose bush for gratitude and admiration.
    • A cactus for warmth and unconditional love. 
    • A Hoya kerrii for vines of “living Valentine” leaves.
    • A jade plant to symbolize a prosperous love through the ages.

    Do you or your partner love looking through the lens of a camera as a way of capturing memories? Take stock of your plant’s progress with weekly or monthly photos to look back on the milestones of your love plant. You’ll be surprised at how gratifying it can be to see the proof of growth right before your eyes! 

    #5 Plan a Romantic Getaway

    Your Valentine’s gift doesn't always have to be tangible. If you’re a couple with a shared love language of quality time, celebrating Valentine’s Day by getting out of town and exploring together is all your loved one wants.

    Whether you go for an outdoorsy glamping experience or more metropolitan quarters in the heart of a nearby city, this is a gift you can both thoroughly enjoy. And with short-term rentals increasingly more accessible today, last-minute bookings are perfectly feasible. There’s an enormous range of opportunities for not only romantic moments but also for creating new memories together. 

    Get creative! A midwestern road trip surrounded by corn fields can be romantic with the right playlist, candy (maybe even have a Valentine’s Day dessert charcuterie board), and conversation. 

    Here are a few other romantic adventure ideas to try: 

    • Pack board games and cards to play together at your lodgings.
    • Find a peaceful park to pop a bottle and picnic.
    • Prepare a special playlist as a romantic soundtrack for your drive.
    • Make a reservation at an exciting restaurant you’ve never tried before.
    • Plan a citywide scavenger hunt with romantic clues for your S.O.

    You can’t go wrong with any itinerary you plan. As long as you have your beloved by your side, it’s sure to be a loving trip to remember and reflect fondly upon.

    Sweeten Your Creative Valentine’s Day with Ethel M Chocolates

    Whether it’s a box of dark chocolates or a romantic getaway, whatever you decide to give your partner for Valentine’s Day is sure to be adored. It’s like they always say: quality over quantity

    When it comes to chocolate, that’s our motto, too. That’s why Ethel M Chocolates are your best choice to gift to your partner on Valentine’s Day and make their day that much sweeter. 

    We provide quality chocolatiers’ craftsmanship that you can trust, all from our small-batch factory in the haven of the Mojave desert. Every chocolate, filling, and topping is prepared with precision and love in a time-honored tradition for over 40 years.

    Don’t just gift your loved ones any box of chocolate off the shelves. Show them you truly care with premium, artisanal chocolate they’ll savor from the first bite until the last. (And if you sneak a few delicious pieces out of the box, your secret is safe with us.) 


    PsychCentral. Why the Little Things in a Relationship Mean Everything. 

    Family Reach Organization. 6 Reasons to Give Monthly to Nonprofit Organizations. 

    I Heart Naptime. The Best Rice Krispie Treats. 

    Petal Republic. Ultimate Guide to Orchid Flower Meaning and Symbolism. 

    Bloom & Wild. Rose meanings: What Does A Rose Symbolize? 

    Cactus en Ligne. The Symbolic Meaning of Cacti.

    Westwood Gardens. 10 Plants that Symbolize Love.