By Chris Pleines
Love is in the air! But did you get a whiff of it too late? There’s nothing quite like the realization that you’ve left planning your Valentine’s Day until the last minute. You want to show your sweetheart that you care, but anything worth doing was booked up weeks ago, will cost an arm and a leg, or both! Or perhaps you were determined to enjoy Valentine’s Day solo, but Cupid had other ideas…
Whatever the case may be, you don’t need to panic. We’ve compiled a list of eight romantic Valentine’s Day ideas that require very little preparation and are budget-friendly too.
1. A Candlelit Home Cooked Dinner
Nothing communicates love and affection better than preparing your partner’s favorite meal. It shows that you’re willing to put in the time and effort to please them, even if you’re not quite a Master Chef. Moreover, it demonstrates that you know them and their tastes.
It’s a simple matter of picking up a decent bottle of wine and the necessary ingredients without digging too deep into your pockets, and they will undoubtedly appreciate the gesture.
If they appreciate surprises, then arrange to cook your special dinner before they arrive home or at your place. Arrange some delicate decorative touches around the space, such as candles, flowers or whatever else you know they will appreciate. You could even bake them a Valentine’s-themed cake! Your romantic flair is sure to impress.
2. Outdoor Movie Screening of Their Favorite Film
You’ll need a projector for this one, but nowadays you can pick up a small projector for $50 or so. If you have a garden, perfect! Simply set up your projector outside and load up a movie you know they’ll love. A picnic blanket, a few comfy cushions, a bottle of wine and some movie snacks are all you need to complete the picture.
This simple date will ensure that your partner feels spoiled and appreciated this coming Valentine’s Day. It’s sure to earn you some major brownie points.
3. Visit a Place They Loved as a Child
Speak to them subtly about their childhood and try to ascertain if there’s a special place they used to visit when they were little. Perhaps a well-loved park, a certain neighborhood, an ice cream store or something similar.
Depending on the place, it can either be a precursor to a wonderful date or the perfect place to spend the entire day! This date has a personal touch that will assuredly show your partner how much you mean to them.
4. Spend the Day in Nature
If your date is the outdoorsy type, there are plenty of fantastic options for a special day in the wilderness. Look up some good hiking trails in your area, tell them to come prepped for a day in the woods, and take them on an outdoor adventure. This is a particularly good option if you live in a busy city, as they’ll appreciate a break from the noise and smog. It’s also a great idea if you’ve recently connected with someone online and are looking for a more casual way to get to know each other whilst still celebrating the occasion.
If you want to go the extra mile, sneak a packed picnic lunch along in your backpack. When they start getting hungry, simply stop, pull out the blanket, and wow them with some decadent treats.
5. Bonfire Bonding
There’s something special about a crackling bonfire that draws us in. We can’t help but stare in rapture at the flames, the experience is made even more enjoyable when in the company of your special someone. This activity is even better if you want to spend some time getting to know your partner better, as an intimate conversation is best conducted with a glass of wine in front of a roaring fire.
All you need for this excursion is a beautiful outdoor vista, something nice to drink, a couple of camping chairs and plenty of firewood. If you want to make the experience truly unforgettable, try making different colored flames.
6. Pay A Visit To The Planetarium
There are few things more romantic than staring at the stars together, but you don’t have to get chilly doing so. The planetarium is the perfect destination for a Valentine’s Day date on a budget. You can stargaze together in comfort and enjoy learning a bit more about what’s overhead.
If you ever wanted to give your sweetheart the moon and the stars, this is the most romantic way to do so! You can create wonderful memories, and every time they look up at the night sky, they’ll remember your out-of-this-world date.
7. A Valentine’s Themed Scavenger Hunt
We are all children at heart, and what could be more fun than a themed scavenger hunt through your local town? Even though this might sound difficult to plan, you’d be surprised just how creative you get when you’re doing it for someone special.
Put together a few clues, riddles, and puzzles for your sweetheart to solve, leading them on a fun and romantic chase. The best part of this plan is that you can put whatever you want at the end! The final clue can lead them to a romantic dinner, a movie or simply to you waiting in a scenic environment with some fragrant flowers. They will assuredly be touched by the playfulness and effort on your part.
8. Make Homemade Chocolates Together
We tend to think of chocolate-making as an art best left to the experts, but in truth, anyone with the right ingredients and equipment can do it. Chocolate is assuredly one of the most romantic treats, and what could be better than spending the day in the kitchen with your partner crafting such sweet delicacies?
Experiment with different fillings, flavors, shapes, and sizes. The best part of chocolate making is that you get to enjoy the finished product together, either for dessert after a candlelit dinner or as special treats during a romantic movie. You can never go wrong with chocolate, after all!
Even if you’ve left it till the last minute, you can still bring on the romance. You can use any one of these ideas, or combine a few for a night to remember.