Valentine’s Day is just around the corner which means it’s time for you to start ironing out your plans! No need for grandiose ideas or to even break the bank to show that you really care. Try out one of these 9 budget-friendly, thoughtful date ideas and you’ll definitely score some major points with your honey!

1. Prepare a delicious treat-hopping adventure downtown.

Is your lover a big time foodie or has the ultimate sweet tooth? The search for chocolate ganache heart-shaped tarts, strawberry cannoli, and red velvet cherry cheesecake is on! Restaurants, bakeries and cafes have a knack for whipping up creative edibles for Valentine’s Day. This is the perfect time for you and your love to indulge in a unique assortment of fun sweets, treats, and drinks! Hop around from bakery to cafe to food trucks and stroll through parks in between to enjoy all of your tasty finds. Pinpoint all the spots you want to hit on a map and gift it along with a pair of Toms shoes to ensure they will definitely be comfy walking from place to place! Pro tip: Save room for the next stops by splitting the heavier desserts. 

2. Create an intimate concert of your greatest hits.  

Making mixtapes filled with love songs might be a thing of the past, but the warm memories you feel when listening to music that means something to you isn’t. This year, create a digital playlist with songs that pay homage to the experiences, moments and milestones that have helped shape your relationship. Include prom hits, old school jams, favorite tunes, your wedding song, and of course, the track dubbed ‘our‘ song. Set the mood for the night by playing your special collection of jams on a new Bluetooth speaker from GearBest. And, since Bluetooth speakers are portable, it means you can enjoy your musical trip down memory lane anywhere. A picnic in the park. A rented cabin by the lake. Dancing under the stars. 

3. Take lessons to prepare for a steamy dance battle at home.

Taking dance lessons on Valentine’s Day is a fun way for couples to stay active and explore new things together. For instance, the rhythm and movements of Latin music allows sweethearts to let loose and move their bodies in ways that definitely brings heat to the bedroom. Salsa dance gets the heart pumping and blood flowing. Tango is full of passion. And how can we forget the Forbidden Dance, lambada? Once home from your dance lesson, it’s time to test out your new moves…in the bedroom. Put on music and challenge your love to a seductive dance battle dressed in something a little more comfortable from Lingerie.com.

4. Arrange a rose-themed scavenger hunt.  

If you’re looking for an entertaining way to give a Valentine’s Day gift to your love, consider organizing a scavenger hunt that makes them work a little bit for it. First, you’ll need a unique way to build anticipation and announce the challenge. Arrange for the delivery of a bouquet of roses from 1-800-Flowers to serve as the official invitation or first clue of the scavenger hunt. Next, you’ll need to write out and hide clues that incorporate significant relationship memories, keepsakes, and favorite spaces about your home. In keeping with a floral theme, rose petals can be an impressive way to ‘spell’ out clues and give hints. Use them to create specific words or simply arrange in the shape of an arrow pointing towards their next destination. As he or she gets closer to their gift, you could also create a trail of rose petals leading to their surprise.

5. Plan a passionate staycation surprise.

You don’t have to travel far to enjoy an overnight adventure for Valentine’s Day. Embrace the concept of a staycation, where you get to enjoy a getaway within driving distance! Get out of the house to spice things up and to interrupt your usual day-to-day routine. Make arrangements to meet for after work drinks at a hotel lobby or nearby restaurant or bar. When the time seems right, slip your love an envelope with a message, room details, and key for accommodations that you booked through Hotels.com. Tell them to open the envelope in a few minutes. Give them a wink, and tell them ‘see you soon’ as you make your way to your hotel room. When they arrive, it’s up to you how you’ll surprise them. Champagne and strawberries? A gift on the bed? Lingerie and party games? The ideas are endless!

6. Get lost in a night of music, vintage style

If you really want to please a heavy music listener for Valentine’s Day, consider blowing their mind with the superior sound quality of their favorite tunes. Somewhere between online downloads and YouTube videos, the record player often gets forgotten. Vinyl has a reputation of delivering riveting bass lines and the emotional details of song much better than a digital copy. So, when you tell them it’s time to take a trip to the local record shop to select vinyls with songs that represent your relationship, also surprise them with a record player from AliExpress as a gift. Make a night of it, as you hunt for the first vinyls added to a collection that you create together.

7. Turn your dining room into a romantic bistro.

Holiday celebrations are even more special when food is involved! But this year, avoid crowded restaurants (where privacy is nonexistent) and ban takeout for the night. Let’s get creative with a home-cooked meal made from the heart. Transform your dining room into a French bistro. Write the name of your ‘restaurant’ on a chalkboard. Use fancy fonts to create a printed menu. Prepare a candle-lit seating arrangement with your finest tableware. Set the mood with playful jazz tunes. Need a little help tapping into your inner chef? Uniquely colorful and healthy meals are just a subscription away when you sign up with HelloFresh, which sends fresh, pre-packaged ingredients and simple recipes directly to your front door. The meal kits fit nicely in the fridge, making them a convenient solution for many bistro dinners to come.

8. Plan a simple outdoor rendezvous with wine and chocolate.

If you’re a laid-back couple that doesn’t need the frills, stick to the classic Valentine’s Day indulgences: chocolate and wine. Chocolate creates the kind of endorphin rush that puts lovers in just the right mood to have a very happy Valentine’s Day. Wine also has a stimulating effect that’s perfect for February 14th. The two aphrodisiacs together are a sexy pairing that elevates date night, for sure. Try different Ethel M Chocolates varieties, from dark chocolate to creme liqueurs to sea-salted caramel. Sit atop a hill overlooking the city as the sun sets or pitch a tent in your back yard and toast to the two of you.

9. Cross off local hot spots on your to-do list.

If you’re single, there’s nothing wrong with seeking a little companionship for Valentine’s Day. It can be exhausting trying to sift through potential dates for a casual night out. That’s why eHarmony comes in handy. They match you with local singles who want to explore the latest and greatest that your city has to offer. Once you’ve arranged a date, have a list of places you’ve always wanted to visit handy. Make a day (or night) of it. Check out that new restaurant that just opened. Attend a modern art gallery show. Sample craft beers at a quirky microbrewery. Enjoy sweet conversation over croissants at a popular Parisian bakery. You just might make a new best friend, or even better, find someone to enjoy all of your future Valentine’s Days with.

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