9 Inexpensive Valentine's Day Date Ideas

By Lorena Roberts on February 11, 2018

Valentine’s Day is either loved or hated — I wouldn’t say there are too many people on the fence about it. Typically, singles tend to despise Valentine’s Day, while couples use it as a reason to spice up their romance and do something special to celebrate their love for each other. With the annual holiday coming up faster than we all realize, you’re probably starting to stress about what you’ll do with your significant other when it gets here! And if you haven’t been panicking about it yet — you probably are now. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to plan a big date for a big holiday — and it’s expensive. But lucky for you, I’ve compiled nine ideas for inexpensive Valentine’s Day date ideas.

Valentine's Day, date ideas for Valentine's Day, significant other, kids in love

via pexels.com

Romantic little love notes… 

Leaving handwritten notes where you know your SO will find them has to be one of the most special ways to possibly celebrate Valentine’s Day. Waking up to a sweet note, finding one in your lunch, on the windshield of your car, or in the pocket of your robe is such a sweet little something that can make the biggest difference on V-Day. If you feel like truly making Valentine’s Day something personal and special, I recommend handwritten notes. Some people go for poetry, writing little stanzas on each piece of paper. While others go for a single letter, three pages long, divulging every emotion they’ve ever felt for their partner. You know what your SO would appreciate more, so go with what your heart is pushing you to do! Take advantage of this opportunity to make your SO feel truly loved. Their “date” will last all day, and you’ll have spent almost nothing. Win-win, I’d say.

Indoor picnic.

More than likely it’s way too cold for an outdoor picnic in February, so bring it inside! Lay out a blanket on the floor, pour some wine, make some sandwiches, and call it a night. Dim the lights and make it feel like you’re in a totally different environment than, well, your living room floor. Maybe even add in a special little dessert you can both dive into by the end of the evening.

Redbox movie night.

Redbox movies are perfect for Valentine’s Day! Coming in at only a few bucks, you’ll be able to enjoy snuggling on the couch at home with a romantic fire and some wine (or ice cream!). Forget trying to get front row seats at the theater, or making reservations at a fancy restaurant. Your SO will think it’s just as special for you to plan a night with Redbox and blankets on the couch.

Play board games. 

A little romantic, healthy competition can really spice up the romance in a relationship. If you’re looking for an inexpensive Valentine’s Day date idea, spending the night in playing board games is the perfect V-Day-palooza. Whether it’s Scrabble with just the two of you, or Scattergories with your closest couple friends, either way, it’s a cheap, fun way to spend some time with the person/people you really love.

Babysit as a couple. 

Wow, you probably want to slap me right now. But think about it: give a friend or family member the night to themselves while you and your SO spend the evening with a kiddo. It’ll be good for you two to have to endure a few hours of taking care of a little one. You’ll learn a lot about what your relationship is capable of. And maybe it’ll make you fall a little bit further into love with them. Then again, be warned that this is a quick way to make you feel like your relationship isn’t going to last if it’s a total disaster. I would only recommend this to couples who are fairly serious and have discussed getting married/having kiddos.

Go out dancing… or take dance lessons? 

Dancing can be a total blast – especially if you’re in a relationship that’s fun-loving and protected from embarrassment. A few glasses of wine, and you’ll both be feeling a good buzz. You’ll be able to dance the night away with each other, with seemingly no one else in the room.

If neither of you knows how to dance, there’s probably a Valentine’s Day special at the local school of dance. Tango-ing with your partner on Valentine’s Day is a great (hopefully not too expensive) way to share your love — and spice up your chemistry!

Watch the sunset.

Cliche, I know. But watching the sunset together is a great way to end Valentine’s Day. Especially if you’ve already done something else together, wrapping up the day with blankets, snuggled up on top of a mountain will give you the closeness you’ve been craving. You could even make it a tradition. Tell your SO you want to end Valentine’s Day with the sunset every year. Maybe just pick a new spot? The best thing about watching the sunset is that it’s the free-est date there is out there. You won’t have to pay a single dime. You’re welcome.

Do something touristy in your town! 

Exploring new parts of town and doing new things is a romantic way to bond with your partner. Look up the best activities for visitors to do in your town and think about exploring them with your SO. Whether it’s exploring Indian Caves, spending way too much money on a souvenir you don’t need, or visiting a local museum will give you the experience of doing something new, together. 

Lock up your electronics. 

Regardless of what you decide to do for Valentine’s Day, a cheap way to make it even more special is to make sure your electronics don’t get in the way. You can be much more present with each other if both of your phones, laptops, and tablets are out of sight. Challenge yourselves to spend a few hours together (and maybe even leave the house?!) without the normal electronic gear. And yes, that means take off your Apple Watch and go for a walk because you want to. Not because you’re challenging your roommates in a step-off.

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate the life you’re building with those you love. Whether you decide to spend $500 on a fancy dinner and roses, or you lay out a blanket and eat Uncrustables, it’s important to remember the meaning of the holiday. I can suggest inexpensive date ideas because I know what it’s like to live on a budget. But if your SO is anything like mine, they won’t care what you spend. They just want to spend V-Day with you. 

Lorena graduated from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a BA in Honors Psychology. She is currently interviewing for PhD School Psychology graduate programs across the country and hopes to research early math curriculum and instruction. Along with writing for Uloop, Lorena is a preschool teacher, K-12 substitute teacher, and math tutor. She enjoys taking her Whippet mix, Gio, to the dog park and drinking hot chocolate in front of Netflix. She's known for her strong opinions, busy schedule, and obsession with cute dogs. If you want to reach her, email her at grober18@vols.utk.edu

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