Valentine's Day is almost here! The older I get, the more sentimental I become - meaning I really enjoy February 14th. I understand that it's a silly holiday, but it feels sillier to hate on a holiday that's all about love. That being said, I don't think it's necessary to spend a gross amount of money on dinner, flowers, and gifts in order to have a great time with your partner. The whole fancy dinner thing is a little played out. There are far better ways to celebrate love and make memories with your significant other. Here are 82 different date ideas that don't involve making last-minute dinner reservations.
1. Go out for breakfast: Get up a few hours before work and go grab an early breakfast. Pro: You'll be able to watch the sunrise together. How romantic!
2. Grab lunch together: Take a long work break and meet up for lunch. This is one of those date ideas that is great for parents with kids, because there's all the benefit of eating out with no need for a babysitter!
3. Order in: Going out on Valentine's Day is stressful. Instead, order in, light some candles, and pour the wine for your own private date.
4. Have a personal pan pizza party: Get the ingredients the day before, and have fun making unique creations together with your boo.
5. Take a cooking class: All the fun of cooking something together, none of the clean-up.
6. Decorate cookies: Create sweet works of art with your sweet work of art.
7. Make food for those who are less fortunate than you: I did this in college, and it's one of my favorite date ideas ever. Bake a bunch of sweets and deliver them to your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter (be sure to check ahead with them for any regulations or rules about food).
8. Cook a brunch buffet together: Everyone loves breakfast food (and if they don't - why are you dating them??). Wake up late (this is one of those date ideas that you might have to wait until the weekend for) and cook up a feast together. Don't forget the mimosas!
9. Cook something completely new: Never tried Indian food before? Tonight is the night, my friend. Grab the ingredients ahead of time so you're not rushing around night-of. Remember: it's not about the end result, it's about the experience.
10. Pack a picnic: Make some sandwiches, pack some fruit, and eat outside. Even if you don't make it farther than your backyard, food always tastes better outdoors.
11. Go to a local brewery: If you're looking for a laid-back way to spend the evening together.
12. Visit a beer garden: The best part about beer gardens is that they're usually dog-friendly, so puppy love will already be in the air.
13. Go to a wine tasting: This is one of those date ideas that you'll probably have to book in advance since it's a popular option!
14. Go to a liquor tasting: Like wine tasting, but on expert mode.
15. Have an in-home wine tasting: Why go out for wine when you can wine in? Buy a few bottles you've both been wanting to try, and have a sampling party from the comfort of your sofa. Bonus - no need to call an Uber!
16. Have an in-home cheese tasting: Not looking to get wasted in the middle of the week? Pick up a few fancy cheeses and a box of your favorite crackers, and have an in-home feast. Pair with apples and honey if you're feeling extra fancy.
17. Try a new coffee shop: Date ideas involving coffee? Count me in! Have a caffeinated date together, and try a new place you haven't been before. Put your phone down and learn something new about your partner.
18. Go to a tea house: Want the perks of a coffee date without the perkiness of caffeine? Take your date to a tea room instead.
19. Share a sundae: Ice cream is always a winner, even in the middle of February. Trust me.
20. Go for a hike in the woods: Connect with your lover in the the serene solitude of nature. Don't get lost.
21. Go for a walk in the park: City dweller? Take a stroll around your local park instead. Try and find a new park you've never been to.
22. Take the dog on a long walk: Bring along the furrier members of your family as you walk hand-in-hand.
23. Watch the sunrise: Grab a blanket and take your morning coffee to-go. Cuddle up and watch the sky turn from dark to light.
24. Watch the sunset: Not a morning person? No problem. Watching the sun set is as nice as watching it rise.
25. Go camping: If you don't feel like traveling far from home, pitch a tent in the backyard for a romantic night under the stars.
26. Visit a botanical garden: This one is great if it's cold where you are but you miss being in nature. Most botanical gardens have big, beautiful greenhouses for you to wander through.
27. Go fruit picking: If it's warm enough where you are, you might be able to pick a few berries. Sweet!
28. Go snow shoeing / cross-country skiing: If it's cold enough where you are, take a trek through the snowy wilderness.
29. Go sledding: Don't forget to bring (spiked) hot cocoa!
30. Visit local estate / garage sales: Do a little digging with your significant other. Even if you don't find anything, it's about the time spent together (you will probably have to wait until the weekend for this idea).
31. Go to the beach / coast: Take your lover on a road-trip to the nearest large body of water. Even if it's sundown, the waters will still be mysteriously romantic.
32. Fly a kite: Get blown away together.
33. Go to the farmer's market: Wandering through produce is more romantic than you might be imagining. Don't forget to pick up a fresh bouquet of flowers!
34. Go to the movies: It's not cheap, but it's cheaper than going out to dinner on Valentine's day! Plus, how romantic is cuddling in the dark?
35. Go to the movies (at home): Microwave some popcorn, pick up your favorite theater sweet (mine are Junior Mints), cuddle up on the couch, and put on a scary flick. For a real in-theater experience, turn off your phones!
36. Go to a stand-up show: Don't you just love laughing with your partner?
37. Do karaoke: One of the classic date ideas. Even if you're both bad, it's still good.
38. Go to a play: You might have to do a little digging to find a play in your area, but it will definitely be a unique, memorable date.
39. Take an art / calligraphy class: Learning a new skill is more fun when you're with the one you love. Plus, a lot of painting classes are wine-friendly.
40. Go to an art museum: You're a cultured couple. Take a stroll through the paintings and sculpture.
41. Go to a science museum: Not just for fourth graders!
42. Go to the aquarium: Also not just for kids. Watching fish is surprisingly soothing.
43. See a live show: Even if the musician isn't good, a live show is always thrilling.
44. Go to an arcade: Grab your quarters and battle it out with bae. Adult-only arcades are popping up everywhere, so there's a good chance you can share a beer while you play Mortal Kombat.
45. Visit a pool hall: It's definitely the sexiest sport you can play, even if you are a little rusty.
46. Attend a sporting event: Go sports!
47. Go to an animal refuge: Visit with the animals, get out in nature. Appreciate what you have.
48. Do an Escape Room: This is a good date if neither you nor your partner are the overly-competitive type. And if you're not claustrophobic.
49. Go to a trivia night: Flex your brain muscle! Show off your smarts!
50. Go to a roller rink: When was the last time you went skating? I went a few months ago, and it is just as fun as it was when I was in middle school!
51. Go ice skating: Still frozen where you live? Go ice skating instead. Pro: You'll have to cuddle more if the rink is outdoors.
52. Do a yoga class together: Connect with your partner through some deep stretching exercises. Namasté.
53. Play disc golf: Put on your sneakers for this one, because disc golf courses usually require a lot of walking! It's like playing golf, but with a frisbee, making it a sport that pretty much anyone can play.
54. Go bowling: Nothing says "romance" like wearing shoes a stranger has previously sweat in. But seriously, this is one of the classic date ideas. You'll have fun!
55. Go rock climbing: Get sweaty with your boyfriend or girlfriend, and work on your trust as you belay each other up the wall.
56. Go kayaking / canoeing: Rent or borrow a two-seater and take a relaxing row around the lake.
57. Go for a bike ride: Bonus points if your end destination is an ice cream shop!
58. Rent a tandem bike: This is one of those date ideas that requires a bit of research, but you could look into renting a bike for two. How cute would that be?
59. Go to a driving range: Get swingin'.
60. Play putt-putt golf: Get (mini) swingin'.
61. Go go-carting: Nothing wrong with a little friendly competition to celebrate your love.
62. Play laser tag: You'll need to round up some of your couples friends for this one, but laser tag is just as fun as you remember it being when you were a kid!
63. Do a photo shoot together: You don't need fancy cameras, but you always need a new profile pic! Get silly and have fun getting to know your partner better.
64. Get professional photos taken: Take the previous date idea a step further. Get gussied up and have your photos taken, just because.
65. Recreate your first date: Depending on what your first date was, this one might take a little pre-planning, but oh, the memories!
66. Make a time capsule of your love: Write love letters, print some photos, and pack away anything else that reminds you of each others' affections. Open the capsule on a future Valentine's day.
67. Go to your local library: You'll have to whisper the whole time, but that's half the fun.
68. Get a couples massage: Make sure to book this date in advance!
69. Give each other massages: Can't afford a full body massage? Turn your home into a spa by taking turns giving massages (don't forget to light some candles and put on soothing music!).
70. Have an in-home spa treatment: Do some face masks, buff each other's nails, soak your feet together - basically just pamper each other in love.
71. Take a bath together: Light some candles, put on some Enya, and have a soak.
72. Take a shower together: Bathtub too small? Try simply taking a shower together.
73. Visit a salt room: Salt therapy is all the rage, go check it out for yourself!
74. Learn a new skill on YouTube: The internet is a wealth of knowledge. Pick something neither of you know anything about (playing guitar, speaking Japanese, paper mâché, etc.), watch a few videos, and take a stab at it together.
75. Put together a puzzle: Clear the dining room table! Put on a podcast and have fun working together... for hours...
76. Have a game night: Break out your favorite board game - as long as it isn't Monopoly. No one is happy at the end of Monopoly.
77. Make a bonfire: It's a bit of work to build, but nothing beats sitting in front of a cozy fire with the one you love. Bring marshmallows, too!
78. Go for a horseback ride: This will take a little planning ahead, but you can have your own knight ride in on a white horse. Or, at least, your boyfriend trotting next to you on a probably brown horse.
79. Go for a horse carriage ride: One of the more classic date ideas - talk about romance!
80. Get your fortune read: Figure out what the future holds for you and your partner.
81. Make a vision board: Speaking of the future - put out good intentions for you and yours by making a vision board.
82. Built a blanket fort: Bonus points if you hang twinkly lights inside.