While there’s something to be said for a romantic candlelit meal, there are a ton of other ways to spend the holiday that are cheaper and more creative.
Here are a few cute, affordable Valentine’s Day date ideas to consider doing before, after, or instead, of going to a restaurant.
Cook your dinner together
Cooking at home is cheaper than going out, and it gives you the experience of preparing something special for each other.
Plus, you make each other a dish so you’re giving and receiving equally. Light candles, spread out a tablecloth, and put on music to create a romantic ambience.
Make something for each other
Engage in a crafts project to make your home feel more like a haven for the both of you.
Create an album featuring photos of you both, paint a piece of furniture to make your space more fun, or even something simple like making each other homemade Valentine’s Day cards.
You will definitely enjoy the time together.
Visit the park
Bundle up and take a romantic walk through nature, fight the cold by tossing or kicking a ball back and forth, and let your inner children out and play on the playground.
Or, even better, let your inner teenagers out and make out on the jungle gym.
Go ice skating
It may be a cliché, but there’s something romantic about gliding on the ice hand-in-hand.
Just don’t try the handholding part unless you feel steady on your feet, or you’ll risk taking your partner down with you—which would not exactly be romantic.
…Or giving back
If there’s nothing you really need for yourself, consider giving back. Charities are looking for volunteers to make Valentine’s Day cards for older adults who don’t have Valentines and Valentine’s decorations for children’s hospitals—both of which are about as sweet as any chocolate you could think of buying.