What makes a great date?
What matters most on Valentine's Day is enjoying one-on-one time together with your date, preferably doing something both of you find fun and engaging. The best dates also break you out of your normal routine, even if that just means heading a couple miles away. Here are some free and inexpensive suggestions for a memorable evening together.
Attend a school or community event
You may have never explored the events that your local high schools, community colleges, and community centers regularly hold, but plays, musicals, concerts, and other events are held every week. Check to see what events are scheduled for Valentine's Day. Tickets are often either free or cheap, and this can be a great opportunity to have a new experience with your partner.
Explore your city and catalogue it with photos
Even if you have lived in your city for years, you likely have not explored every part of it. The two of you can spend the evening discovering new areas as well as showing each other some of your favorite places in the city. Take photos together at every place to enjoy reminiscing about the date later.
Rent a movie (or two) that you wouldn't normally pick
With the ability to rent movies from your couch or just a couple blocks away at the nearest RedBox location, it's a quick and easy way to spend an evening snuggled up on the couch. While deciding, pick something you normally wouldn't pick, or a movie you've been dying to see to make this evening special. There are quite a few ways to spice up movie night, with a bunch of games you can play while watching. A lot of the popular series, such as Harry Potter or Friends, have fun games to play if you feel like watching in a more social way, such as pointing out every time "Voldemort" is said, or every time Monica obsesses about cleaning.
Go out for dessert
If you need some sort of restaurant experience to be part of your Valentine's Day, eat together beforehand (or even cook together), and then head out for dessert, which for most people is the most fun part of a Valentine's dinner, anyway. Check to make sure the bakery or cafe you are considering will be open, or that the restaurant will let you come in just for dessert on a busy night like Valentine's.
Take a short trip
There are likely places within driving distance of you that you have thought sounded interesting, but that you have never found time to visit. Plan a short trip to somewhere that sounds interesting to both of you where you can walk around and explore your destination together.
Enjoy the night sky
If you love the thought of an evening spent outside, research nearby locations that offer a clear view of the stars. If you are not sure where to start, you can look up the places popular with local hobby astronomers. If you have enough time, you and your partner can even watch the sunset together first. Download a smartphone app that shows you where constellations, stars and planets are from your location! Don't want to spend the night outside? Check to see if there is a planetarium close by - some area colleges & universities have them.
To Wrap Up...
A Valentine's date can be romantic, fun, and intimate without costing a small fortune. Explore your options and plan a date that sounds fun to the two of you, not the types of Valentine's dates that movies or advertisements try to convince you are necessary to show your love for each other. The focus should always be on having a meaningful experience together. After all, your time together is priceless.