13 Outside-the-Box Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

This Valentine’s Day, we challenge you to think beyond the cards and chocolate roses and get a little more creative with a gift for your loved one. From shoes and theater tickets to snuggly blankets, we’ve picked some of our favorite gifts for the most romantic day of the year. Bonus: They all boast something extra special, from local and sustainable ingredients, to supporting wildlife conservation, to giving much-needed support to impoverished communities. So this V Day, show your beloved how much you care with one of these extra impactful gifts.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

$58 online or at Sephora

Valentine's Day gifts: Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

Tata Harper’s skincare line sources 100 percent natural ingredients, a majority of which are organic, from her farm in Vermont. The Resurfacing Mask acts as a peel and brightens up dull skin without the damaging chemicals found in many skincare brands.

May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm

$180 online

Valentine's Day gifts: May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm

Although it comes at a steep price, this cruelty-free, sustainable skincare line produces some of the most luxurious products on the natural skincare market. Treat your loved one to this blue tansy-infused facial balm that eases anxiety while calming skin.

A Bouquet from Flowers For Dreams

$35-$95, hand delivered from 1812 W. Hubbard St., Chicago

Valentine's Day gifts: Flowers for Dreams

Flowers on Valentine’s Day are a must. This year, order yours from Flowers For Dreams, a Chicago florist that offers free delivery of its locally sourced flowers. Even better, a quarter of Flowers For Dreams’ profits is donated to a local charity every month.

Diamonds from Leber Jeweler

Online or 303 W. Erie St., Chicago

Valentine's Day gifts: Leber Jeweler


If diamonds are on the agenda this Valentines Day, consider buying them from Chicago-based Leber Jeweler. Leber’s Earthwise Jewelry Collection uses recycled gold and platinum, Canadian conflict-free diamonds, and responsibly sourced colored gemstones.

Elephant Charm Bracelet from Tiffany Save the Wild

$200 online or in stores

Valentine's Day gifts: Tiffany elephant charm bracelet

Who doesn’t want to open a Tiffany blue box on Valentine’s Day? Tiffany’s Save the Wild collection is a beautiful line of elephant charms, and 100 percent of profits go to the Elephant Crisis Fund, an initiative that fights elephant poaching in East Africa.

ZagSwag Blanket from Production Mode

Exhibit, 1148 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette

Valentine's Day gifts: ZagSwag Blanket from Production Mode

This clothing line by a Chicago-based designer is part of the slow fashion movement, which focuses on sustainably and ethically produced clothing. Production Mode believes every person on the production line from start to finish deserves to make a living wage. Check out the clothing line at Exhibit in Wilmette.

Truffles from Katherine Anne Confections

2745 W. Armitage, Chicago

Valentine's Day gifts: Katherine Anne Confections truffles

Katherine Anne uses locally sourced, organic ingredients to make her uniquely flavored truffles, such as the lemon poppy seed truffle or the banana cream pie truffle. With no artificial flavors or corn syrup, these truffles are the perfect sweet for your sweet. Delivery or pick-up are available from her Logan Square location.

Shoes from Uwezo

$185 online

Valentine's Day gifts: Uwezo

These repurposed cowhide shoes give back a percentage of profits to Empower African Children, a charity that provides education to Uganda’s most promising students so they can become active members of their communities.

Tickets to a Chicago Theatre Week show

$15-$30 online

Valentine's Day gifts: "Breach" at Victory Gardens Theater

Caren Blackmore in “Breach” at Victory Gardens Theater (Photo by Adam Blaszkiewicz.)

Chicago Theatre Week offers hundreds of Chicago performances at discounted rates from Feb. 8-18. What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than at one of Chicago’s famous shows? Support local theater and check out our guide to Chicago Theatre Week here.

Ember Mug

$79.95 online or at Starbucks

Valentine's Day gifts: Ember mug

The world’s first temperature-controlled mug is a must for any coffee drinker whose coffee goes cold too quickly. One of TIME’s “inventions of the year,” the electric ember mug keeps coffee hot all morning long.

Jade Yoga Harmony Mat

$74.95 online

Valentine's Day gifts: Jade Yoga Harmony mat

For every Jade Yoga mat sold, one tree is planted by this sustainable, eco-friendly brand that makes some of the highest-rated yoga mats out there.

The Macallan Ice Baller Double

$80 online

Valentine's Day gifts: Macallan Ice Baller Double

The Macallan Ice Baller Double creates perfectly round, clear ice cubes for the whiskey-lover in your life. If you are really looking to splurge this Valentine’s Day, try The Macallan Ice Ball Maker.

Instant Pot

$129.95 at Williams Sonoma

Valentine's Day gifts: Instant Pot

The Instant Pot pressure cooker is the new rage, and for good reason. It slashes cooking time — a gift in itself for busy families. Fans of the crock pot looking for an upgrade will go crazy for this gadget.

Edible Box of Chocolates

$14.99 in store

Valentine's Day gifts: Windy City Sweets

Go green and order a hand-made chocolate heart box from Windy City Sweets. Not only is this box better for the environment, but it’s also just as delicious as the truffles inside — a win, win! Call 773-477-6100 to order today.


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Macon Bianucci

Macon Bianucci is a student at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is an intern at Make It Better for her final quarter at Northwestern, and she enjoys writing about social justice issues and politics. Macon is a longtime supporter of The Foundation For Tomorrow, a NGO in Tanzania that provides education and support for orphaned and vulnerable children.