Valentine's Day is not about cards, or flowers, or chocolate. It's not about large romantic gestures or expensive dinner dates. The beauty of Valentine's Day is in smiles, hugs, kisses, laughter, hand-written notes, and sweet text messages. It's the little things that truly count. It's the thoughtfulness and intention in your actions that count on this day. Valentine's Day is about the love and connection that two people share, not about the price of the gift you receive. Leave the superficial ideals in 2019! Stop comparing you and your significant other to some Instagram or celebrity couple that you don't know. They have problems too. They fight too. They don't look perfect all the time either. Every relationship is different, unique, and beautiful in its own way. There's no need for comparison.
This Valentine's Day focus on you and your significant other only. Don't worry about what everybody else is doing! Instead, do something that is fitting for your love, your style, and your interests. Make it unique and fun, without spending a fortune. I've come up with fifteen inexpensive date ideas that are perfect for Valentine's Day, or any other day of the year. Remember, Valentine's Day is just another day! Stop putting so much pressure and expectations on one another, and just spend the day showing your love and appreciation for each other. It is truly that simple! Also, who's to say you can't do these things on any other day of the year? Get creative!
1. Be Tourists Together for a Day
Whether you know the city you live in like the back of your hand, you barely make it out of your home, or you and your S.O. live in different area codes, this is a great date idea. There is no way both of you have been to every site in town or know everything about your city. Visit local museums, art galleries, popular tourist attractions, local pubs & breweries, etc. Spend the day exploring the city and exploring each other. This is a great way to get to know your partner while being spontaneous and adventurous. You're bound to learn new things about the other person!
HERE, I've attached an article by National Geographic on "How to be a Tourist in Your Hometown" for some further tips!
2. Have A Picnic
Although this is far from a new idea, it is one that is both simple and classic. Gather your significant others favorite foods, snacks you enjoy eating together, or even pick up food from a restaurant if cooking isn't a talent of yours. Take your food, grab a blanket, some wine, and find a beautiful spot to eat with zero distractions. Set up your meal, enjoy nature and the other person's presence. This is a concept that is sometimes greatly overlooked, but can be extremely beneficial for couples. Slow down and learn to enjoy the simple moments!
HERE are some tips for what to bring on your picnic!
3. Go Stargazing
Similar to the previous idea, stargazing is another one where the focus is on quality time being spent with your significant other. The lack of activity allows you to really be able to slow down, relax, and enjoy the other person's presence with little distraction. Gather up some blankets, pillows, snacks, and find a good spot to look up at the stars. Spark up a thoughtful conversation with your S.O. while lying under the stars!
Before you head out, remember to do your research! Here are some tips to keep in mind, as well as a list of 10 spots for stargazing in the Phoenix area.
4. Adventure Together
For adventurers and lovers everywhere, a good hike or even a camping trip is a wonderful idea. Hit the trails, enjoy the wild outdoors, and explore not only nature, but the depths of your significant other. The hiking trail can be a great place for conversation and deeper exploration of who you are as a couple. In addition, for those that crave adventure, renting kayaks, canoes, or paddle boards to use at your local lake or beach could be a fun activity as well!
Here, you can find a list of the 25 best hikes in Arizona, as well as 10 of the Best Campsites.
Additionally, Travel & Leisure have listed "The 24 Most Scenic Places to Camp in the United States". Checkout this article for some ideas. It might even inspire a road trip!
5. Volunteer Together
Love and relationships are hard work, however showing a helping hand and giving back to your community isn't. A volunteer experience or service project done together can have many benefits to your relationship. Not only are you giving back, but you're sharing a meaningful experience, bonding, reinforcing values you may share, rediscovering interests the two of you might have, creating memories, and seeing each other in a different setting, allowing you to uncover another layer of that person. This can be extremely beneficial. Choose a cause that is special to both of you and share that impactful experience with each other.
6. Karaoke Night
Grab some drinks, scope out a local karaoke bar, and show your Valentine you know how to have fun. What's not to love about someone who's not afraid to make a fool of themselves? Throw away your fears and pick up that microphone. You could even sing a song together! What's your go-to song for karaoke?
HERE you can find a list of "The 60 Best No-Fail Karaoke Songs" by ELLE.
7. Take 'Em Out to The Ball Game
Who doesn't love baseball, hot dogs, beer, and great people watching? Trick question. This is great date idea and can be pretty inexpensive as well. Even though the regular MLB season is over, spring training is about to begin! Buy tickets in advance for you and your S.O. to go see a spring training game as a gift for Valentine's Day! This could be a thoughtful gift if they love the sport and have a favorite team that's playing. Do your research!
If you will be in Arizona during February and March, HERE is the 2020 Cactus League Spring Training schedule!
If you'll be in Florida during that time, HERE is the 2020 Florida Grapefruit League Spring Training Schedule.
Spring Training Games start on February 21st and go on until March 24th!
Additionally, HERE you can find MLB Spring Training info. for all teams in both the Cactus and Grapefruit League.
8. Put Your Cooking Skills To the Test
Whether one of you wants to cook for the other or you decide to cook together, this is always a fun date idea. Crack open some wine and break out the recipes!
HERE are some ideas by Tasty for a romantic date night dinner!
9. Have an At-Home Spa Night
I can hear the men protesting from here... Let me put an end to that now. Ladies, you already know what to do! Get those candles burning and those bath bombs ready. Last time I checked massages and bubble baths were sexy? Bonus points if you can get your man to do a face mask with you! ;) Thank me later gentlemen!
P.S. If you don't know what movie this gif is from, go educate yourself!
10. Game Night
Nothing says date night like kicking your partner's a** in board games all night. This is definitely one for all the competitive couples out there. There are so many different games you can play, from card games, to board games, to drinking games, the list goes on forever! Get creative! My point is, it is extremely customizable and a great idea to spark intellectual, intriguing, and thought-provoking conversations. What better way to get to know someone?
11. Take-out & Movie Night
Pick up take-out from your favorite restaurant and line up some movies for you and your S.O. to watch for the evening. This is an alternative to the classic dinner and movie date idea, but still as effective. It's actually more effective in my opinion because there's less fuss and it's more intimate. You can just eat, enjoy the movie, and enjoy each other all from the comfort of your living room. So much easier, less expensive, and so much more enjoyable. What a concept!
12. Go to a Local Concert or Comedy Show
This can be very special if your significant other has an artist or comedian that they really like, or if they just enjoy either of these experiences in general. Do some research, dig deeper and think. See what events going on in your area and what is realistic for your budget. This is always a fun outing, no matter the occasion!
14. Arcade & Bowling
Nothing says competitive like Skee-Ball and a good bowling match, am I right ladies? OK but seriously, if your partner can't be silly with you and get competitive playing stupid arcade games, why are you dating them in the first place? Go put on a pair of those ugly bowling shoes and make sure your S.O. makes you laugh the entire night. Life is short, go have fun!
15. A combination of these ideas!
Honestly, surprise your partner with a night of fun and don't even tell them what you have planned. Pick a few ideas, make sure you look and feel like your best self, and go rock their world. Guarantee they won't know what hit them! And if by chance the night doesn't go as planned, don't sweat it! They're going to love and appreciate the effort you put in regardless. It's the thought that counts right?
If you're still on the hunt for more ideas, here are some depending on what city you live in!
Check out this article if you live in the Phoenix area, and check out this article to see the best date spots in "12 of the Most Romantic U.S. Cities"!
Please remember, Valentine's Day is just one day out of 365 days in the year. It does not define your relationship, your worth, your success or your life for that matter. If you're not in a relationship, take these ideas and go do them with your friends! Galentine's day is just as fun ladies! Your relationship status doesn't define you. Don't sweat the small stuff babe, go buy yourself flowers today! Treat yourself, you deserve the world and so much more.