Valentine’s Day – people tend to either love it or hate it. Either way, most couples either feel obligated to buy their partner a present and/or go to dinner or they just chalk it up as a “greeting card holiday.” If you are part of the former crowd, you might be getting sick of the same old song and dance? What about trying to find a table at your favorite restaurant on one of the busiest nights of the year? Or maybe one of you has to work early the next morning? Don’t stress because there are some alternatives to your typical Valentine’s Day routine. Check out these date night ideas for Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day falls on February 14th each year. It’s the middle of winter and also more often than not, it will fall on a weekday when at least one of you is likely to have to work the next day. However, why not bundle up and brave the cold for a nice walk with your spouse down by the local lake? Or take a casual stroll around your city’s downtown district?
If you are close to some shopping, set a budget limit (ex. $40) and make a game out of finding a cute present for your partner in a set amount of time. Look for something they’d enjoy, but don’t feel pressured to find the perfect present. Once you find your gift, curl up for a warm cup of coffee at a nearby coffee shop or late night restaurant.
Maybe enjoy a yummy dessert to celebrate another Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart? The mixture of being outdoors, looking for a special item for one another and sharing something sweet is sure to create a lasting memory between the two of you for years to come.
Cook for Each Other
If there is any way to get grandma or a trusted friend take your kids off your hands for a few hours on Valentine’s Day evening, ask them to! This will leave time for you and your partner to prepare a special meal for each other right at home. There is something so romantic about making something to eat with your spouse. Plus, you will be saved from the trouble of rushing to a restaurant and possibly not even getting a table.
One key thing here though is to not only line up someone to keep an eye on the kids so the two of you can enjoy the quiet, but also talk about what you are going to prepare beforehand so that one of you can pick up all of the ingredients at the grocery store beforehand. There are plenty of ways to orchestrate this idea too! Maybe one of you prepares the actual meal, while the other is in charge of dessert? Or you can make it a team effort and both pitch in for everything. This will give you quality time together and also save a little bit of money in the process.
Go On a Thrift Store Date
This is fun even if you are on a tight budget! The idea is to head down to your local thrift store before a scheduled dinner out. Once you are at the thrift store, each person has a set budget (typically $20-25) to spend on a full outfit for their partner to wear to the planned dinner. Basically, you get to buy a ridiculous outfit that your loved one has to then wear to a public venue after.
This can be done in several ways. You can both set the guidelines that you are either going for silly outfits or genuinely trying to find something nice for your spouse to wear. There are typically some good finds at thrift stores for either path you choose! The idea is to see what your spouse will pick out, and to see if they understand your style, what size you wear, the colors you enjoy, etc.
If you go the silly route, they will be trying to find something that you wouldn’t like. Make sense? Once you purchase an outfit for one another sneak off into the dressing room to get ready for your date. Seeing the look on each other’s faces is going to be the best part! Don’t take this too seriously, it’s meant to be fun! After you get your giggles in, head out to your favorite dinner spot and enjoy each other’s company.
Plan a Staycation
The best thing you can do as a couple for Valentine’s Day is to just simply spend time together. While this may be tricky at your house, with kids, pets, jobs, and a household to maintain your quality time together can just get lost in the shuffle. A fun alternative would be to get a room at a hotel not too far away from your house, also known as a “staycation.” See if you can get a sitter for the kids for the night and pack a small bag, check into a comfy room and the rest is up to the two of you! You can order room service, watch a movie while cuddled up in your quiet room, or a whole variety of other things.
If it’s not possible for you to sneak away for the actual night of Valentine’s Day, then plan to go the weekend prior or afterward the holiday or as close to February 14th as your schedule will allow. You’d be surprised what one night away from the distractions and responsibilities of everyday life can do for a relationship. You both will leave feeling more connected, loved and reminded of why you chose each other in the first place. Get creative with your date night ideas for Valentine’s Day!