If you're anything like me, Valentine's Day always manages to sneak up on you. Panicked, you try to figure out exactly what you're going to do. Buy a gift? Plan a romantic getaway? Attempt to find something that will make great memories while also trying to social distance and stay safe during a global pandemic that's killed enough people to be certified a plague? Not to worry! I've got five ideas for you that won't cost a lot of money, are sure to make happy memories, and will keep you and your loved one healthy and safe ♥
Movie Theatre Night
It's been a while since we've been able to go to dinner and the movies and have a fun night of entertainment. Because of the pandemic, most places have been closed for a while, a lot of movie releases have been pushed back, and even if you are able to get out and do something, there's the constant worry that you have to be careful and wear your mask.
So why not do it at home?
Get your TV room set up with blankets and pillows, or even move your bed in on the floor in front of your television. If you have a projector, you can set that up, too! Do whatever is going to make it the coziest for you and whatever "fun" you plan on having 😉
Before the movie starts, spend some time with your significant other in the kitchen. Make your favorite food together, dance to your favorite music, and snack on goodies you both love. Sit at the table to eat when you're finished. Light some candles and visit like you're on a first date.
If you have kids, you can make dinner with them and have them play the part of the server for the two of you. If they are anything like my kids, they will LOVE this. It will create wonderful memories for the whole family, and it will make your kids feel like they got to be part of the special night. Once you send them to bed, your movie night can continue uninterrupted. You can also send them to a babysitter's house (grandma, aunt, etc.) if it is safe to do so. Either way, it's sure to be a night to remember!
When my husband and I first started dating, we did a ton of stargazing. It was cheap, romantic, and super easy because we live in Northern Arizona, where there isn't as much light pollution. A five to ten-minute drive and we had all the stars in the world to look at. It's one of my favorite memories from before we got married, and we still love cozying up and staring at the heavens. If you're looking for a no to low-cost option to show your honey you love them, this is a great option!
Load up a bunch of pillows and blankets and drive to where you'll be able to see a good number of stars. If you have a truck, the two of you can lay in the bed and cuddle up. If not, you can sit on the hood of your car, bring camping chairs, or even just sit in the car and stare out the windows. If you live in the middle of nowhere like me, you can even sit on your porch and not leave the house.
It doesn't have to be a learning adventure where you both look for constellations or read about different stars. All you have to do is enjoy the beauty of nature and feel the peace of stargazing. You can have music or silence, food or not, drinks (except for alcohol if you're driving!), whatever you want.
This one will be a little harder to pull off if you have kids (you'll need a babysitter if you're leaving the house) and live in town, but it will sooo be worth it!
Whatever kind of games you're about, play them with your loved one!
Tabletop, RPG, Nintendo, it doesn't matter. What's important is the time you spend together. If you go this route, I would suggest also doing dinner, as I suggested for the movie night. You can even set up all the pillows and blankets to cuddle in while you totally demolish your partner in Mario Kart. If you want to get really spicy, you can try something like strip poker, or reenacting your favorite scenes from books and movies.
This is a date you can do after your kids have been put to bed. If you are anything like me, though, game night can get loud, so you'll want to make sure they're going to sleep through your cursing and competitiveness, haha!
Picnic and Hike
If you and your loved one enjoy the outdoors, I suggest an entire day of togetherness. You'll need a babysitter if you have kids to do this one!
Pick a hike that has good views and/or beautiful scenery, and set out in the morning. Take your time and enjoy everything around you! Around lunch, settle down for a picnic. It can be food you made together the night before, or something as simple as sandwiches. Spread a blanket out, settle down, and visit. When you're ready, you can finish your hike. Don't forget to clean up after yourselves! Be sure to take photos along the way to help create those memories ♥
You can scope the location beforehand if you want, or just discover your new favorite spot together. You can combine this with stargazing if you'd like, but be sure you're going to be able to make it back to your vehicle in the dark (or bring a tent to camp in). If you're going to hike in a high traffic area, make sure you bring your mask, and if you plan on camping make sure there aren't any fees you need to pay or reservations to make! I suggest freecampsites.net to look for camping areas. If you camp in an area that is not a designated camping area (which is legal, you just have to make sure the area you're in allows that!), be sure to clean up after yourself and pack out whatever you pack in.
Make Something Together
This is a bit of an open-ended suggestion, but that just means you can make whatever you want out of it! Depending on what you decide to do, there can be a fair amount of overhead with this option. I have a few suggestions for what you could make, too!
Grab some canvas and paint and have a paint-n-sip night! If you're both artistically minded, you can freestyle whatever you want. You can also lookup tutorials (I'm thinking Bob Ross) on Youtube and follow along to create something awesome. When you're done, you can hang the pieces in your home as a happy memory of the time you spent together.
Make something as a gift for an important person in your life. You could handmake valentines and deliver them to your neighbors via mailbox, or to family members who you've been able to see during the pandemic. Make cookies to go with them, or include the ingredients for them to make cookies on their own. You could also make and deliver thank you cards to your local first responders, or drop some off at the hospital to say thank you to the nurses and doctors who are working day and night to return the public to a healthy state. Be sure you wear a mask, whatever you decide to do!
The important thing about this option is making sure you're creating something that both of you enjoy. You want to have fun and remember it fondly, not as something one of you hated and never wants to do again. If, for whatever reason, it turns out you or your partner don't like the project you picked, drop it! Do something else, and create a memory that shows you are a team that picks one another over everything else.
Whatever you decide to do and who you celebrate with, Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you have a wonderful time, stay safe, and enjoy what life has to offer you ♥