You don’t have to spend a fortune to create a memorable Valentine’s Day experience for you and your partner. These ideas are romantic and affordable — plus, most avoid the typical cliche Valentine’s Day spots as well. That means fewer crowds, and you’ll get points for creativity!
Head to the Bookstore
With everyone else vying for tables at fancy restaurants, the bookstore will be mostly deserted. Spend some time in the travel section planning future adventures, or just grab a few books to look through together as you share a cup of coffee. You won’t spend a lot, but you’ll have a chance to catch up and engage without electronics, kids or other distractions.
If you’re surrounded by snow on Valentine’s Day, then a snowball fight and a walk in your own little winter wonderland would be an inexpensive and fun way to celebrate. Not only will you spend time with that special someone, you’ll also boost your mood by soaking up extra sunlight and fresh air. Pack a thermos of hot chocolate and take a romantic stroll through your closest park, golf course (they often have cleared paths in winter), or your own neighborhood and simply enjoy the time together.
Hit the Arcade
Whether you choose a fun zone for kids or a bar with arcade games for grownups, your visit won’t cost much and you can enjoy some friendly competition, too. If you choose an arcade that is typically for kids, visit in the evening or before school is out to have the place largely to yourselves. Arcades are inexpensive and fun — and you might even win a prize to take home to remember the day.
Track Down a Food Truck
If you live in a city with a thriving food truck industry, pick a few that sound intriguing and track them down. Food trucks have come a long way — you can find everything from specialty cupcakes to high-end French cuisine to share and enjoy without overspending.
A little research can reveal some surprisingly good deals timed for Valentine’s Day weekend. Many museums and attractions offer free or low-priced admission to increase attendance over holidays. Spend some time browsing an art or history museum with your sweetie, and get reacquainted with one another!
Revisit your First Date
If you met when you were struggling college students or cash-strapped young adults, you probably went somewhere affordable. Revisit your old haunts and your personal romantic history by going back to where it all began.
Go on a Photo Scavenger Hunt
Bring your cameras or smartphones and set out to capture some amazing images of the two of you enjoying your town or city. Choose some local landmarks or destinations you both enjoy and snap some Valentine’s Day photos you’ll treasure for years to come.
Have a Sunrise Breakfast
Beat the crowds and celebrate the day in a special way with a sunrise breakfast. Whether you dine at home or travel to a beach or other picturesque location, you’ll spend less on your meal and you’ll fight fewer crowds, too.
Have an Indoor Picnic
Splurge on some fancy cheese, wine, and chocolate from a local specialty store and enjoy them in your own home, picnic style. You’ll spend a lot less than you would if you went out, but still be able to mark the day in a romantic way.
We hope that everyone has a fun, romantic Valentine’s Day! Whatever you decide to do, just be sure to bring the camera. Nothing brings out the best in us like spending time with the people we love.