If you’re looking at the calendar today and thinking, “Yikes tomorrow is Valentine’s Day how did that creep up on me so quickly?” I’m quite confident in letting you know you aren’t the only one! If my search for last-minute date ideas and romantic date ideas is any indication, a lot of people have this holiday creep on them and they feel terrible for not nabbing reservations a month ago.
If being married and blogging hundreds of dates for several years has taught me anything, it’s that dates doesn’t have to look picturesque like they do in the movies, and there’s a lot of different ways to have the perfect date. Everyone’s definition of romance is different, and Valentine’s Day can be pretty great whether it’s spent in a five-star restaurant or at home with your children. After our second Valentine’s married where we decided to skip any preconceived notion of what Valentine’s Day should be after both forgetting to plan anything, we went to a comedy club. It was a really amazing night! And through that experience, I learned that there’s so many fun, memorable things you can do that are perfect last minute date ideas. This applies all year round, but particularly on Valentine’s Day!
- Cook a romantic dinner at home. You get to avoid the crowds, save money tipping, and enjoy an intimate dinner as a couple or a memorable dinner as a family if you include kids.
- Go out of dessert only. Most the fancy places are crowded and most the children have already overdosed on sugar from class parties. Bakeries and ice cream shops aren’t very crowded and a romantic chocolate concoction says you love someone just as much a meal that costs as much as a car payment.
- Go roller skating. I know that sounds very unromantic, but most places host a Valentine’s Day night filled with all the mushy music you can stand, and there’s something incredible about that nostalgia that gets the teenage butterflies returning. Plus you’ll be holding hands and it’s a place a little PDA is welcome.
- Visit a themed show. You’ll be amazed how many comedy clubs host a Valentine’s themed night, how many local theaters do a love inspired play, and how many local concerts there are doing Lionel Richey songs proud. It just takes a little research and calling to make sure you can snag last-minute tickets and you’re totally set.
- Skip the expensive couple’s massage and pick up some massage oil from a local grocery store. There’s plenty of tutorials online, and you can make it short and sweet, sensual, etc. to your liking.
- Build a romantic fort and watch a movie. A few sheets, some chairs, and a string of Christmas lights are all it takes to build a very romantic fort. The movie is optional. If you just want to make-out in the fort, by all means, enjoy yourself!
- Visit significant places in your relationship. Chances are most people didn’t meet at a fancy restaurant (unless you were coworkers at one), so heading the spots that are meaningful to you like where you met, where you first kissed, where you said “I love you”, etc. will be super romantic and likely avoid any Valentine’s Day crowds.
- Pull out the old photos and reminisce. Grab your wedding album, your Facebook albums, your phone stash, your memory card, etc. Grab all those pictures you have together and reminisce about the good memories you’ve made as a couple.
- Take a sunset stroll. There’s something about watching the sun go down together that’s just very romantic. It’s totally free, it boosts endorphins, and it leads to quality time alone that you don’t have to share with everyone else at a restaurant.
- Have a romantic fondue picnic at home. Pull out the fondue pot, borrow one, or just use the double broiler method- you can even microwave chocolate chips and add some butter to smooth. Some cut up fruit, pretzels, and dipping sticks are all it takes for a romantic date at home.
- Enjoy breakfast in bed. This date is even more fun for dinner. Plus there’s the bed, and that’s about all that needs to be said for that.
- Grab take-out and head to the airport. There’s something about watching the planes land and take off that does feel like the perfect romantic movie date- only this one is a lot cheaper and can be done last minute!
- People watch at the airport. Have you seen Love Actually? I love the opening line about watching for love at the airport. I adore watching reunions of loved ones. Even goodbyes with long hugs pull at my deeply hidden inner romantic. It’s a great reminder that there’s love in the world, and it’s a great date whether you’re married, going on a first date, or just want to group date with a bunch of friends.
- Order a heart shaped pizza and create a Valentine’s Day playlist of 14 songs that define your relationship.