With Valentine’s Day around the corner, your mind might be racing to come up with ways you can show you care without overspending (because let’s be real, who isn’t broke after the holidays?). While a day of lounging on a yacht or a night eating at a fancy restaurant may seem appealing, there are plenty of budget-friendly options that are just as imaginative and memorable. For dates that won’t break the bank, just think outside the box.
Creativity goes a long way in making an impression that will truly wow your significant other on Valentine’s Day. From going for a bike ride and sightseeing at your lover’s favorite locations to creating an at-home spa experience, inexpensive date ideas don’t have to feel thrown together. You can volunteer or visit an animal shelter to give back together (which is an unforgettable philanthropic bonding experience), or even share your dreams and start manifesting with a vision board party for two.
Just think of your partner’s personality, lifestyle, and what they like to do for fun, and we’re certain you can come up with a budget-friendly date that checks all their boxes. The creativity is sure to earn you extra brownie points.
Whether you choose to go to a museum or a winery, check out a drive-in concert, or celebrate with a cookout, there’s something your S.O. will love in the list below. Trust us.
Scroll down for 10 affordable Valentine’s Day date ideas that will make this holiday one to remember.
1. Go hiking together.
Is your partner the adventurous type? Do they love the outdoors and spend hours watching the nature channel? Then you might want to consider a hike for a Valentine’s Day date. They’ll love working up a sweat and reaching their goal at the top of the mountain. And the views can be so awe-inspiring they make for some great pictures to commemorate your special date. Take it a step further and pack water and snacks, and they’ll love the thought you put into the entire experience.
2. Head to a drive-in concert.
Does your partner rarely miss a performance from a favorite artist, whether at an outdoor festival or on a stadium tour? Then give honey the gift of live music with a drive-in concert where you can safely enjoy an in-person show. At a concert like that, you’ll have more privacy than you would at a traditional live show, so you can feel free to snuggle and engage in PDA as the mood hits you. When there’s a song you can dance to, simply hop out of the car, grab your valentine by the hand, and dance from a safe distance. It will feel like it’s just the two of you.
3. Cook dinner for two.
When was the last time you cooked a full meal? Not quick, weeknight chow, but a full-course dinner that could satisfy customers at a five-star restaurant. Go all out in the kitchen for your valentine, making their favorite dishes from appetizer to dessert. Add a romantic setting with candles, a floral centerpiece, fancy dishes and silverware, and a bottle of wine. It will be more thoughtful, intimate, and cost-effective than any fancy restaurant dinner.
4. Have a picnic with takeout.
If you’re in a warmer climate and don’t feel like cooking, a picnic is a great option. You can get takeout from your partner’s favorite eatery and set up an outdoor picnic in the park, replete with a blanket, a wicker basket, durable glasses, and whatever else you can think of. If you know a friend who’s great on the violin, have them come and play a song or two for a fairy-tale surprise.
5. Rent bikes to go sightseeing.
If you can’t vacation at the moment, why not have a staycation in your own city? Rent two bikes and sightsee some of the local monuments that you never got a chance to visit. Ask some kind strangers to take pictures of you to have a keepsake of your day together. And time your outing so you can hold hands and watch the sunset between destinations.
6. Volunteer or visit an animal shelter together.
If your partner has a big heart, they’ll love the opportunity to give back with you by their side. Consider a day volunteering for a charity event or visiting an animal shelter as a way to bond and do some good for the environment and the world. That could mean so much to your S.O. as your actions will be making a difference in the lives of others in your community.
7. Tour a museum.
Channel Jay Z and Beyoncé and go on a date to your favorite museum. The day passes are super affordable (or free!), but the experience is unforgettable and priceless. What’s more, you can look for exhibits that cater to your partner’s specific interests, if there is a particular artist they love, for example.
8. Throw a vision board party for two.
There are few things more affirming than when your loved one believes and invests in your dreams. Take some time out to pour into their goals and aspirations with a vision board party. All you need is a poster, glue or tape, and some old magazines to get started. And after you both create your vision boards, you can present them to each other and exchange words of encouragement. Not only is it an affordable date, but it’s also an activity that can bring you closer — and can become a tradition you repeat year after year.
9. Create an at-home spa.
Your S.O. is probably missing the spa right now, and you can easily come to the rescue. With candles, bath bombs, flower petals, and more, you can turn your bathtub into a full-on pampering experience. Drop off a glass of wine and a good book, and leave your partner to luxuriate, or join them in a romantic setting you both can revel in.
10. Visit a winery.
Who doesn’t love wine? Head to a local winery for a day date you can savor. Most wineries are situated on the sprawling countryside, and they boast plenty of open land that’s a beauty unto itself. On top of that, you get to try out different flavors of spirits, learn the basics about the production process, and discover new brands that tickle your taste buds. If you decide to bring home a bottle or two, you’ll have a constant reminder of the delightful time you spent together.