When it comes to Valentine’s Day I think of date nights and romantic getaways, not sippy cups and dirty diapers. That is why I have made it a tradition to take my wife out for a night without the kids on the 14th of February. That does not mean I have to spend a bundle however. There are plenty of fun date ideas for your spouse or significant other that does not require a lot of money. Here are some fun and simple Valentine’s Day date ideas:
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1. Bonfire at the beach – What could be cozier and more romantic than a night at the beach? You may have to check around for a beach that will allow fires, but building a small bonfire and sipping at mugs of sweet hot chocolate is a recipe for romantic fun. You can take a stroll along the seashore and enjoy the moonlit waves. Make a few s’mores and even enjoy a whole meal, with a glass of wine or two, amid the soothing sounds of the beach. It will probably be pretty deserted this time of year, so you will have plenty of privacy.
2. Moonlight picnic – If a beach is not within your reach you can still have a moonlit picnic. A beautiful setting becomes even prettier in the moonlight and a picnic requires little effort or preparation to be a fun date. Bring along some wine, a few fresh fruits, cheese and bread and maybe a thermos of something to take the chill off and you have a recipe for romantic success. Do not forget to bring along a blanket to sit on and you will have no trouble from the bugs during this picnic!
3. Ice skating – Celebrate the cold with a winter only treat. Ice skating is a fun way to be outside and moving. Take a slow stroll across the ice or you can eve dance across it. Even if you have never been skating before or it has been a while you will both have fun learning how to keep upright and moving.
4. Dancing – Dancing is like making love in public. If done properly it can be one of the most romantic date ideas ever. Whether you go to a fancy restaurant, a dance hall or even just a community event dancing can be a great Valentine’s Day date idea. Make it even more romantic by fining a secluded spot, rolling down the windows, cranking up the music and dancing just the two of you. You do not even have to spend a cent to make dancing something to remember.
5. Wine tasting – Many communities offer wine tasting events for couples on Valentine’s Day. They usually come with snacks and a guided tour through a vineyard or other secluded location. These activities are sometimes affordable alternatives to a fancy meal and have the added appeal of variety. I know there is a local wildlife refuge that offers a moonlit wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres.
6. A night out – If you want to splurge, why not have a night out? Go out to eat and then rent a hotel room for a night of pleasure. You will not have the distractions of home to interrupt you, and there is nothing better than a bath for two to bring the heat back into a relationship.
7. A night in – Make sure the kids are packed off to grandma’s house for the night and plan for a romantic night in. Watch a classic movie, cook her dinner and dine by candlelight, and keep the lights down low. You might even throw in some sultry tunes and take a turn around the living room. For more romance make sure the house is clean and that there are a minimum of distractions.
8. Take a drive – A drive along the seashore can be quite romantic. Better yet, find a secluded place to park and make out like teenagers. If you do not live near the sea, don’t fear. There are plenty of romantic alternatives like mountains, snow covered meadows, and even a frozen creek or two.
9. Visit a strange place – Adventure and romance go hand in hand, so do something different. Check out Chinatown, try that new restaurant, or visit that museum you have never been to. Even if it is a flop you will have fun making fun of the experience and you might even uncover a diamond in the rough.
10. Truth or Dare – Take a chance with this classic game. Whether at home or out on the road get to know each other better with fun, flirty questions. Not good at thinking on your feet? Make a list before you go out of possible questions and dares. Make sure it stays fun by avoiding trouble areas and emphasizing your romantic side.
11. Massage – While the spa treatment is great for relaxing it is not usually conducive to romance, unless that spa treatment comes home. Pamper your partner with a massage. Go slow and be gentle and you’ll probably be more than amply rewarded.
12. Be a kid – Play tag, hide and seek, buy some Nerf guns and have a war, build a fort in your living room and then eat in it. Have a ball and feel like a kid again.
13. Play in the snow – You remember how much fun it was to make snow angels and have snowball fight, don’t you? Get out the sled and head for a snowy, icy wet fun ride. Afterwards you can share a warm shower and curl up together in front of the fire with a cup of cocoa.
14. Send love notes – Make the whole day special with steamy text messages or little notes about what you love, what you want, and what you want to try later on that night.
15. Make a video – Reminisce about your first date, go on about things you have seen and done together, wax romantic and talk about all the adventures you want to have. Videotape it all. Keeping these memories forever is well worth buying a video recorder, or you can just use the one on your iPhone.
Speaking of date ideas, do not forget about gifts as well. A gift is best when it is from the heart, so try to think of something that your partner will really appreciate. It might be something as silly as Legos or something as fancy as diamonds. However if you are looking for something you can make with your own two hands, try these ideas:
Heart attack – Normally a heart attack is a bad thing, but this cute gift idea is perfect for a thoughtful gift. Get a small box and fill it with paper hearts. On each heart write something that you love about your partner. When they open their gift they will have to take time to read each one, which might bring a few tears to their eyes. How sweet is that?
Write a poem or song – Things from the heart are much sweeter than monetary gifts. If you have a skill with words you can write your love a poem or if you are more musically inclined set the poem to music and play your song.
Make a photo book – Capture all the big events and adventures you have and make a photo book of your time together. Caption each photo with something personal that you remember and what you felt like at the time.
These are just a few of the ways that you can make this Valentine’s Day truly memorable and special for your partner. So let the kids do their own thing and make it a night to remember, just the two of you.
Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.