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Are you thinking about Valentine’s Day date night yet? I am! I know a lot of people don’t do much or think of it as a “real” holiday, but I look at it as a great excuse to dote on my husband and spend more time with him. It’s rarely anything extravagant, but it’s always fun. A few years ago when we were living in Chicago we had so much fun at Tommy Gun’s Garage. (If you’re in Chicago, check it out! They do a dinner show reenactment of the Saint Valentine’s Day massacre that is great. I know, weird choice for a “romantic” day, but I am a HUGE true crime person, so this was perfect!) But that was kind of a one time thing…and I am not coming up with anything great for this year…so it’s time to brainstorm a bit! Usually we set a budget for gifts, so I need to find some inexpensive Valentine’s Day date ideas, as well as weeknight Valentine’s Day date ideas. Jeez! I feel like I haven’t talked to my husband at all lately- usually we have some idea by now what our plan for Valentine’s Day is.
Depending on where you are located, these may or may not work for you. For instance, I can tell you right now that my husband and I aren’t going on a picnic in February in Illinois. We just aren’t. But for those of you in Georgia or always-sunny California, this could work for you! <jealous> So we may as well start with…
Valentine’s Day Picnic
Weather permitting, a Valentine’s Day picnic is a great choice for a few reasons: it can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be, you can do it at lunch or dinnertime, no worries about making a reservation because outdoors is all yours, and no matter where you live you can probably find an outdoor setting that is beautiful- the waterfront, a park, a mountain backdrop. See what’s near by – maybe you have a favorite spot or want to explore a new area. Pack a bottle of wine and some fancy sandwiches or a charcuterie board, silence your phones and enjoy your date!
This is perfect for people who work late or for after the kids go to bed! If you’re in an area of the country that isn’t affected by light pollution, make a batch of fancy hot chocolate, grab a blanket & head outdoors.
Dessert for 2
If dinner isn’t in the budget, or it’s just not going to happen on a weeknight, make time for dessert. Pick up dessert to go from your favorite restaurant, or visit our Desserts board on Pinterest for some decadent treats to make & enjoy together.
When is the last time you went bowling? If it’s been awhile it’s sure to be pretty funny. The Dating Diva’s put together this hilarious date night bowling sheet (download: The-Ultimate-Bowling-Date) for you to try out, too. It’s not bowling as you remember it!
Laugh It Up
Something we don’t do often enough, but have a blast every time we do, is go to a comedy club! They are always hilarious and usually pretty inexpensive, too. Check out Groupon to see if there are any deals in your area.
If you have a favorite spa book an amazing afternoon for two: couples massages, facials and some time in the sauna. It’s worth the splurge!
Make a cozy fire in your fireplace or outdoor fire pit- take it up a level with hot cocoa and s’mores! No onsite fire? No problem! Stop by your favorite restaurant that has a fireplace. You can order cocktails or dessert and just enjoy some quiet time together without the expense of a full meal.
You guys. I’m not going to lie. When we go to my mom’s in Daytona Beach, we ALWAYS go to the arcade. It is a RIOT. Skee-ball? Hoops? Galaga? Umm, yes, please. We compete for tickets and I always win. <- I’m a touch competitive. A word of advice- only take the cash you want to spend because you’ll burn through all of it on Skee-ball if you don’t. If there is an arcade in your area you should check it out! Combine your tickets and get a cheesy prize when you’re done playing, or better yet, give them to a little kid who will be SO excited!
If you guys are sports fans see who’s in town this Valentine’s Day! Maybe even take in a new sport. We’ve never been to a hockey game, so if my husband is game I’d be up for that. Or maybe your guy is a huge basketball fan and you can take in a great game.
Remember your first date? I think I do…pretty sure it was at a Mexican restaurant… Hmm. Good thing my hubby remembers everything. 😉 Go back to where you had your first date and talk about how life has gotten seriously amazing since then. This is a great date to take the kids on, too. They would love hearing about how their parents met!
We have game night a lot and it’s always a laugh. Of course with two people you have to find the perfect game for two. We love Skip-Bo, Jenga (spice it up a bit by personalizing each tile with truth or dare type questions!), Farkle and Scrabble! End the night by snuggling up on the sofa with some popcorn to watch Game Night. It’s with Jason Bateman & Rachel McAdams and it’s hilarious!
Wine & Cheese Night
This would probably be my top choice- you just can’t go wrong with wine & cheese! And you know who has an amazing cheese selection lately? Aldi. I know! Of all places. We’re yet to be disappointed. You can also check out the cheese section at your local gourmet market or nicer grocery store. There are soooo many choices!
Most states have wineries and a quick Google search will provide all sorts of information on nearby wineries and wine trails. I always want to stop at all of the Michigan wineries on our way to our cottage but we never do. Darn dogs! Anyway…sample a few varieties and choose your favorite- then save it for your anniversary. <love> Not into wine? Then head to a brewery or a distillery!
See a Play or Concert
So many options! You could see a musical or a play, or your favorite comedian in concert, or your favorite performer or something entirely new. A few years ago we went to see the 2 Cellos and it was out of this world! It is not something I would normally choose, but my husband loves string instruments and I am so glad I surprised him with this show. (Seriously, watch this video and be amazed. They are on tour in the US early 2019…)
Is there a little town (or big city!) you’ve been wanting to explore? Now’s the time! There are sweet little towns all over the country just waiting for you to find them. We recently discovered Rockford, Michigan and we’re so glad we did! It’s our new favorite small town with great stores, awesome restaurants and the most amazing cheese shop! You may be surprised what you will find within a couple hours of your home.
Make some appetizers and grab a bottle of wine and your laptop. Not sounding totally romantic? Just wait- it’s getting there. Go to Google Docs and start a new document titled 100 Tings to Do or Bucket List or Can’t Die Yet! or whatever you want. Start making a list of activities you want to do, places to go and things to see. Our list has three columns: Mine, His & Ours. There are things I want to do (like learn how to knit) that I’m not going to torture my husband with. Once you’ve started your list, identify what the bucket list item you want to do most is and put a plan in action to do it! If it’s a vacation come up with a savings plan. If it’s seeing your favorite band in concert at an amazing venue, see when they will be there and plan it. The beauty of the Google Docs doc is you can share it and both of you can add to it when you think of something new.
Dinner at Home
It’s too easy to say “make dinner for your partner,” and that’s more like a gift anyway. So make dinner together. Try a new recipe. Or an old favorite. Or teach each other how to make your favorite recipes. Don’t forget dessert!
Especially if you have kids. Take a sick day. Call it a mental health day. Call it a self-care day. Channel Ferris Bueller and have an incredible day, whether you are out and about or just stay home. But if you stay home you have to relax. This is not the day to get caught up on laundry!
Take a Hike
Before heading out to your nearest state or national park, be sure it’s open during the winter. If it is, go take a hike! The winter scenery can be just as beautiful as every other season and the trails will likely not be as crowded as they are during the summer months. Fill up your water bottles and pack a tasty snack (like brownies, lol!) to eat when you reach a scenic area and are ready for a break.
Spend the whole day exploring. Try a new place for breakfast, check out a museum or a zoo, visit a botanical garden, try a new cuisine for dinner and then take in a concert or play. It will feel like a vacation al in one day.
I recently went to a cooking class with my girlfriends and most of our daughters and it was SO MUCH FUN! It was at a local gourmet market and was such a good time I can’t wait to go back. I’d love to do a couples night next time!
I saw this company on Shark Hunt recently and totally want to do this! “Can you imagine the thrill of digging up an actual buried treasure chest?! Well one is buried near you with $7,500 in prizes in it, including an epic free trip to Panama! Don’t forget your shovel!” How fun is that?! Check this out at Adventure Hunt.
What do you usually do for Valentine’s Day? I’d love to hear about any creative date ideas you have for this year. And if you’re looking for gift ideas here are 26 Awesome Valentine’s Day Gifts Your Guy Will Love!
Be sure to check out our Valentine’s Day board on Pinterest for even more ideas!