I don’t know about everyone else, but I have always loved Valentine’s Day. Even when I was a single lady, it was a great excuse to celebrate love shared across all kinds of relationships. (Heck, sometimes I just spent it with my dog and it was still lovely.)
I know sometimes the holiday can seem daunting and stressful (sorry, gentlemen). It brings with it a lot of pressure and expectations. Especially for those of you who are in the process or planning your wedding, or just recently got married. I get it, weddings are expensive, and you can’t always spend a ton of extra money. But Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be that way, especially if your only goal is to soak up time with your sweetie.
Below is a list of just a few affordable Valentine’s Day date ideas. There are a million and one ways to do something special with your significant other, here are ten.
1. Plan a picnic. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that is nice and warm in February, well shoot, you should be taking advantage of that anyway. Put together a little cooler of easy-to-eat foods and a bottle of wine. Pre-cut fruits, cheeses, meats, and bring a few boxes of your favorite crackers. Use plastic cups that won’t break for wine (or drink straight from the bottle, no judgement here.).
2. Take online dance lessons. If I had to venture a guess, I would assume most of us avoid taking dance lessons for one of three reasons; a general lack of interest, the cost, or the fear of looking goofy. Go to YouTube and search for “couples dance lessons”. There are plenty of options available and in different dance styles. Learn to tango, line dance, or the choreography to Thriller. Giggles guaranteed.
3. DIY paint class. Most paint classes will set you back between $40-$60 per person, and that doesn’t include any food or beverages. (Hellooo, we need that!). Stop by your local Hobby Lobby or Michaels craft stores and pick up a couple paint-by-number sets. Turn on some tunes, and enjoy some creative time with your boo-thang.
4. Cook dinner together. I get it, it’s fun to go out on Valentine’s day… but so does everyone else. Those restaurants can get cr-azy. Pick a fun recipe you’ve both been wanting to try and make a date out of going to the grocery store. Come home and channel your inner Bobby Flay, then enjoy a delicious, home-cooked meal. Team work makes the dream work!
5. Go ice skating. So, if you’re like most of the country, February is a cold month. Which means it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the ice skating rinks in your area. Get bundled up, and hold hands as you skate around a dreamy wonderland. End it with a warm cup of hot cocoa and you’re in a Hallmark movie.
6. Visit a museum. Most museums offer free entry, or at least don’t cost more than a few dollars. Spend the afternoon perusing artwork or exploring something new. Then grab a fun gift for each other at the gift shop to commemorate your unique date. KC couples check out the Museum of Illusions and take advantage of some super fun photo opportunities!
7. Host a game night. Gather a group of your closest friends and couples for a game night. Have everyone bring a game of their choice, a snack, or a beverage for everyone to share (potluck style). Pair up into teams with your significant others for a game of charades, or pictionary. Couple who wins the most rounds gets bragging rights for a year!
8. Go on a winery, brewery, or distillery tour. Some places offer free tours, while others charge a small fee to go through. The process of creating these beverages is actually pretty interesting, but let’s be honest, we’re in it for the complimentary samples at the end. If you’re a KC resident, check out the Beer Hall at Boulevard Brewing Co, they also offer board games, a photo booth, and small bites. Or, KC Wine Co also has regular free events, live music, and food trucks.
9. Take a class. There are so many things you can learn in a group class setting; cooking, wood working, cake decorating, etc. Studies also show that experiencing something new with your babe can strengthen your bond. Most of the time you get to take home your project and it can act as a souvenir of your new talents. Search Groupon for discounted ticket prices in your area.
10. Husband’s choice: indoor camping. It’s exactly what it sounds like. When I asked my husband for his take on an affordable Valentine’s Day date idea, this is where his mind went. Move around furniture as needed, grab all the sheets and blankets you’ve got, and get to building a fort! You can make s’mores by heating the marshmallow on a graham cracker in the microwave (make sure you keep an eye on it!), or if you’ve got a fireplace, get your char on. He suggested turning on forest sounds, turning off the lights, and hanging out in the glow of a flashlight.
So, there you have it. It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated, Valentine’s Day just requests you take notice of all the love in your life. As long as you can do that, you’re doing it right. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
Photography: Elle Marie Photography