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The 12 best alternative Valentine’s day gifts

As Valentine’s day approaches, valiant couples battle an avalanche of cuddly bears and warm, fuzzy heart-shaped capitalism in pursuit of a meaningful present. Fear not, brave lovers – we have the gifts you are looking for. Whether your sweetheart fancies a spot of zorbing, growing their own bioluminescent pet or never drinking free conference coffee ever again — we’ve got you covered.

Valentine’s Day is this week! As frightening as that prospect may be, there is actually still time to get something special for someone special. In this article, we’ll go through some of our top picks.

For the Adrenaline Junky: Zorbing

Not for the faint of heart, Zorbing is perfect if you’ve ever fantasised about being strapped inside a giant inflatable ball and rolled down a steep hill. Reaching up to 30mph, getting a zorb on (or whatever the kids say these days) together is sure to get pulses racing.

Harness Zorbing for £50 from Prezzybox

For the Caffeine Cultist: Aeropress Coffee Maker

Considering how simple and budget-friendly an Aeropress is to use, it sure makes a fine cup of brew. Uniform ground extraction and gentle air pressure mechanisms ensure a flavoursome coffee each time. It’s also highly portable, meaning a partner who travels need never face the horror of hotel instant coffee — or the perils of being under-caffeinated — ever again. An ideal gift paired with a good strong blend, Rave Coffee do an excellent Aeropress tailored roast.

Aeropress Coffee Maker for £25 from Amazon

For the Arts Dealer: Ambassador Record Player

Portable, dapper and boasting Bluetooth speakers, this vinyl player is perfect for a folkin’ good time wherever that long, winding road might whisk you.
Ambassador Record Player for £98 from Cuckooland

For your Player Two: Super Nintendo Classic Mini Console

Ideal for games partners in crime (and guaranteed to press all your beloved’s nostalgia buttons), this official redux of the iconic 90’s console comes with two controllers and 20 classic games — including heavyweights like Zelda, Super Mario Cart and Street Fighter II. As the old wives say; the couple that games together, stays together.

SNES Classic for £69.99 from Nintendo UK

For the Curious Tinkerer: Raspberry Pi 3

A popular choice amongst electronics enthusiasts the world over, this credit card sized computer is a whole load of fun for the curiously minded. Whether your electrically inclined lover wants to build a media centre or power a robot, this tiny beast has them covered. Multiple Raspberries can even be hooked up together for increased might. Sure to inspire all types of deep-level tinkering (and the odd robot apocalypse) — nab one with an electronic starter kit to really get your sweetheart’s synapses fired.

Raspberry Pi 3 for £47 from Amazon

For the Gore Aficionado: Have My Heart Plush

Whilst nothing says “I love you darling” more than presenting your still beating heart to a prospective partner, this adorable (and anatomically correct) plush heart is the next best thing. Cute, bloody and bursting with love, it’s perfect for that someone who really gets your vascular system pumping.

Humongous Heart Plush for £26 from Amazon

For the Shutterbug: FUJI Mini Camera

Artists and photographers will just adore this colourful retro camera, which instantaneously prints credit-card sized photos worthy of any Instagram. Available in six vintage-approved colours, it also has a selfie mirror (for your love’s truest love of all) and plenty of modes to play with.

FUJI Instax Camera for £70 from Amazon

For the Space Marines: Dynasty Laser Tag Set

Nothing says eternal love like harrowing laser battles within the comfort of your own home. Fight for supremacy with your cuddle-muffin using these exceptionally cool looking blasters that are somehow both safe, yet full of lasers.

Dynasty Laser Tag Set for £59 from Amazon

For the Itinerant Realist: Vintage Laptop Backpack

Nothing says long-term romance like grim utilitarianism, and this backpack manages to be both ergonomic and durable. Featuring capacity for up to 15” of laptop, its soft leather and padded canvas upholstery ensure extra security.

Vintage Laptop Bag for £32 from Amazon

For the Budding Biologist: Living Dino Pet

Whether your loved one is fascinated by nature or just really, really likes things that glow, this micro-aquarium shaped like a dinosaur will delight and fascinate them. They can grow their very own bioluminescent dinoflagellates — a marine plankton that glows at night. Don’t forget to ensure your new psychedelic buddies are fed well too.

Dino Pet for £68 from Amazon

For the Noise Fiend: VQ Radio Bluetooth Speaker

Ah, young hertz run free. This chic radio — available in a range of styles — also doubles up as a Bluetooth speaker and alarm. Portable, it’s perfect for catching up with the Archers (or playing Spotify) on the go.

VQ Retro Radio Speaker for £80 from Amazon

For the Curious Historian: 23andMe DNA Test

Unzip your partner’s genes with this DIY DNA kit. Your valentine can investigate their distant ancestry, genetic health risks and even find long-lost relatives via an opt-in DNA database.
23andMe DNA Test for £119 from Amazon

For more ideas for all the best Valentine’s day gifts for everyone from all walks of life, be sure to check out our Valentine’s Day gift guides elsewhere on the site. We’ve got guides to Valentine’s Day Gifts for Him and Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her, and the best Valentine’s Day gifts for gamers.

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