Valentine’s Day is approaching. It seems like I just threw away holiday wrapping, and now I’m thinking of gift ideas again. If you’re reading this, you’re probably on the hunt for ideas. Luckily, I’ve just put together an extensive compilation of unique ideas for moderate, mid-range and luxury budgets for Valentine gifts. Since I occasionally post gift ideas, I’ll try not to duplicate any, so here are previous posts with more suggestions for you: Romantic Dates, Unique & Luxury Holiday Gifts, Fun & Romantic Valentine’s Day Gifts, Luxury Valentine Day Gifts.
SENTIMENTAL AND BUDGET IDEAS
For Men and Women
- How Do I Love Thee? – Hand write a love letter or poem on nice stationery from The Papery confessing your love, or send the Princeton Garden Statesmen to the office or home with a singing telegram.
- Flowers – Guys if you’re married, bring Viburnum a wedding photo of your bride’s bouquet a week before Valentine’s Day and you can have a vase version delivered to the office or home.
- Mixtape – Download or rip all of your favorite songs that have a special meaning for you and burn them onto a CD. Pop it in a jewel case, use a photo of the two of you as the album cover, and give it a nice title.
- Photo Book – Convert all of those digital images still on your camera or computer into a photo book filled with memories made at CVS. They even provide same day in-store pick up!
- Indoor Picnic – If you have kids, feed them earlier and get them in bed or involved in an activity. Lay a blanket on the floor in front of a fireplace and enjoy dinner or wine and cheese by a crackling fire. No fireplace? Create a similar mood by placing several lit soy candles from Whole Earth Center on a baking pan or by viewing this fireplace video on a laptop or TV with access to YouTube.
- Virtual Caribbean Vacation – Same as above, just add tropical drinks and island food, watch this beach video, and play some reggae or calypso music.
- Mini-Facial – Schedule a free treatment at Origins for your love at the Nassau Street location, and give a gift card. Great for men or women.
- Dancing With Your Star – Book an introductory private dance lesson at Fred Astaire Dance Studio for only $29!
- Dinner for Two – Princeton Errands will set up your table, prepare your meal, leave for your privacy, and return to clean up after your romantic evening.
- Personal Assistant – You can hire an assistant through Concierge of Princeton for an event, a week, or long-term.
- Custom Fragrance – If you know some of her favorite scents, you can create a custom perfume or cologne with Scenterprises Ltd. in NYC.
- Home Massage – The masseuse of Magnificent You will make a home visit with all the necessary gear and oils to melt away her stress.
- Custom Jewelry – Design a unique necklace, bracelet or earrings with beads made from materials like Austrian crystals, Murano glass or enamel with Persona products at Zales Outlet on Nassau Park Blvd. near Babies ‘R Us.
- Personalized Music – Brian Alex of Custom Love Songs will compose music and write lyrics especially for your Valentine.
- VIP Weekend Getaway – Book a night at the Mandarin Oriental in New York and a treatment in the couples suite of their spa. Want to really splurge? Make a dinner reservation at Per Se and/or get tickets for a performance at Lincoln Center.
- Luxurious Linens – Give her sumptuous 750 thread count sheets made of 100% Egyptian cotton (already on the bed), sprinkled with rose petals. Extra touches: Have several soy candles burning and soft music playing. If you’d like, add cozy pajamas from J. Crew or Lace Silhouettes Lingerie depending on her personality.
- Fashion Week Tickets – Book a package with W Hotel in NYC for your fashionista, and get the exclusive VIP Catwalk experience that includes a pair of complimentary VIP invitations to a show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, cocktails, and a suite at the hotel with a 3 PM CHECKOUT! This package already sold out in early January for the February event (think ahead for next year), but you can contact Rachel within the first few days of August for the September package. This is a gift worth waiting for! Warning: they sell out FAST.
- Fashion Photo Shoot – Glamour Shots in the Bridgewater Commons Mall on the second level near Bloomingdales will take care of her hair and make-up. Just have her bring some of her favorite outfits, accessories and props, and the photographer will capture her style. Purchase a photo book of the images from the session as her very own ‘portfolio’.
- Travel Jewelry Box – For the jetsetter in your life, Ragar makes a Black Diamond Domed travel jewelry box in a Chanel-esque quilted black leather, and sports a pavé crystal lock for some bling on the outside.
A TWIST ON THE TRADITIONAL
- Chocolate – Treat her to Chocolate Decadence at the Hershey Spa, which includes a bath, scrub, wrap, massage, facial, lunch and a chocolate martini for five hours of pampering, or go for the Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry treatment.
- More Chocolate – Forget about giving just a of box of chocolates, offer an entire evening of it at the Chocolate Lover’s Club in Forrestal Village.
- Chocolate and Roses – Chocolate diamonds and rose gold jewelry will be a hit from Hamilton Jewelers.
- Plush Toy – Why get a stuffed animal when you can get the real thing? If your Valentine adores animals, visit SAVE and choose a rescue cat or dog to really warm her heart! Princeton Errands can help with dog walking or pet sitting.
THE THRILL SEEKER
- Top Gun – He can be a fighter pilot for a day with Air Combat USA at Woodbine Municipal Airport near Atlantic City. The 2012 dates are Apr 20 – 22 and Aug 4 – 6, while the Lancaster Municpal Airport in PA is scheduled for Apr 14 – 16 and Jul 27 – 29. Other locations and dates are available.
- Shutterbugs – The photographer in your life will love the chance to participate in a National Geographic Photo Expedition.
- Formula One – Give him the adrenaline rush of racing in a vehicle with open wheels at the Skip Barber Racing School. Formula One racing involves driving on a winding circuit at times with sharp turns, and is more challenging than Nascar. The Lime Rock Park circuit is in Lakeville, CT.
- Ice Hotel – Stay overnight at Hôtel de Glace in Québec. If you choose the Adventure Package, dog sledding is included. The hotel is open until March 25th for the 2012 season.
- The Next 007 – Learn survival skills and the art of being a true gentleman, including how to make the perfect martini at MI6 Academy. They offer a six-hour spy course, taking place on weekdays, starting around 5:30 PM in Manhattan.
- U.S. Safari – Consider Fossil Rim‘s Adventure Tour in Texas to view giraffes, gazelles, cheetahs, and zebras. Overnight at the Foothill Safari Camp in a tented cabin for an authentic experience and the exclusive opportunity to go on the Morning Safari Tour.
- Stunt Driver Wanted – Does he drive like he should’ve been in the Dukes of Hazzard movie? He’ll be able to do those stunts legally at Driver’s East‘s high performance driving school.
- One Small Step for Man – This Kennedy Space Center Astronaut Training Experience will literally make him flip!
- Feel the Force – Star Wars: The Old Republic will give him the chance to be a hero in this massively-multiplayer online role-playing game (mmorpg). He could explore the dark side of the Force as a Sith, the light side as a Jedi, or take on other roles.
- MARVELous Personalized Comic Book Artwork – If your guy is your super hero, why not have his face added to comic book artwork? allPopart will make it happen.
- Boy in the Plastic Bubble – This inflatable water orb from Opulent Items will allow him to literally walk on water.
- Wingardium Leviosa – Luke Skywalker flew a landspeeder on Tatooine. Vallarta Hovercraft Tours will give your man the opportunity to experience floating over land (and water) like Luke, but he’ll have to ride in Mexico instead of Mos Eisley.
- Ultrabook – This is the Windows version of a Macbook Air. The HP Envy 14 will give non-Apple users the chance to have an ultra thin laptop. It’ll be released on February 8th, but can be pre-ordered.
- Dick Tracy Watch – i’m Watch is a more sophisticated version of an iPod Nano with a watchband accessory. A custom version of Android in this Italian smartwatch gives you access to music, e-mail, text messages, inbound calls, Facebook, Twitter, and other apps from the i’m Market.
THE MAN ABOUT TOWN
- ‘Espress’ Yourself – Kitchen Kapers sells the amazing Breville Barista Express espresso machine with an integrated burr grinder for the gentleman who’s too sophisticated to drink Red Bull for a jolt. Try Williams-Sonoma if it’s out of stock.
- A Time for Everything – Rolex watches have an iconic design. If you want the brand with a more unique look, go to Hamilton Jewelers for a Prince timepiece from their Cellini Collection.
- Concert Tickets – Whether he likes classical, jazz, rock or pop, check McCarter, Richardson, or Ticketmaster for available performances.
- Car Detailing – Give him a gift card to have his car detailed at Major Car Wash just north of Princeton or Capitol Car Wash in Lawrenceville. You can step it up with a detailed hand wash and wax at Manville Hand Car Wash and Details. Too inconvenient to bring it there? Concierge of Princeton can drop off the car in Manville and pick it up for you.