Whether you're commemorating a birthday, an anniversary, a baby on the way or a graduation, it's important to think outside the box. Sure, it may be expensive, but you'll be creating a memory that will last a lifetime (or at the very least, long enough to get your partner into bed).
We've divided our dream dates into three sections: one for adrenaline junkies, one for the diva in your life and one for the truly hopeless romantic. Obviously if you're celebrating a pregnancy, you may want to skip the first section but aside from that, the sky really is the limit.
For the Adrenaline Junkies
Speed RacerOnce upon a time Nascar drivers were the only ones lucky enough to experience the thrill of flying around the racetrack at 191 miles per hour. But now, thanks to the dawn of the Nascar Experience, you too can enjoy the high speed rush. You can choose to ride along or drive the car yourself where you'll be constrained to a mere 170 mph to ensure your safety (or less, depending on the course) but if you're sweetheart already thinks he's Mario Andretti, this may be the perfect gift.
Go DeepTry an introductory scuba lesson or - even better - treat the thrill-seeker in your life to a Great White adventure! In order to get up close and personal with the local marine life on your own, you'll need to earn a proper certification first (which means a commitment of several weeks) but many cruise lines and resorts offer one-off sessions for first timers.
Alternatively, there are submersible cage diving companies all across the world that offer all-inclusive tours so you can swim with the sharks for a few hours or even a few days. Just make sure you do a little research beforehand: it's actually illegal to feed sharks or to "chum" the water to get them to come closer so aim for a reputable, eco-friendly company.
Au NaturaleHit the road with an itinerary chock-full of outdoor adventures: rock climbing Half Dome, white water rafting the Colorado, or mountain biking in Utah! Look for an experienced guide to ensure that you actually enjoy yourselves (and as opposed to spending your entire weekend in the ER...) and if your dream date is going to include anything even vaguely aquatic, invest in a water-proof camera beforehand.
For the Diva
Ride in StyleIf you know your boyfriend has always wanted to drive a Ferrari, rent one for the evening. Or book a limo if you prefer pampering to thrills. Plan a swank dinner someplace new - preferably some place far, far away. Then, let the driver do the rest.
The Friendlier SkiesWhy limit yourself to travel by land when you could instead travel by air, or even sea? Book a private jet to whisk your girlfriend away to Vegas for the weekend or to New York to catch her favorite Broadway show. Charter a yacht for an unforgettable adventure at sea closer to home, just don't forget to pack some Dramamine!
Above the CrowdsSay goodbye to nose bleed seats and treat the sports fan in your life to box seats! Many theaters and concert venues offer similar packages that come with access to a private viewing box plus refreshments so you can cheer on your favorite superstars in style.
For the Romantics
Local LuxuryStay-cations are all the rage these days, so for your next anniversary, why not live it up right in your own hometown? Book a luxury suite and instruct your husband or wife to pack some of their dressiest duds. Splurge for room service, spa treatments, champagne, the works - you won't be sorry.
Good Morrow MiladyIf foreign travel is more your thing, up at the ante for your next adventure by booking an overnight stay in a castle. Yep, you heard that right: an actual castle. A quick Google search will get you started and your special someone will feel like a princess in no time.
Even the Ants Have Jackets!Don't underestimate the power of a well-planned picnic. We're not talking sandwiches and paper plates, but rather caviar and champagne. You'll want to scope out the site beforehand: take the time to drive around and find somewhere with great views and enough privacy to ensure that you'll be able to set up some cushions and a pretty blanket for a touch of elegance. If you're pressed for time, ask a high-end deli to pack a picnic basket for you and if you really want to impress your date, hire a local musician to serenade her with her favorite tunes.
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