Valentine’s Day can be filled with heart-shaped candy, expensive dinners out, or pricey jewelry—at least that’s what the advertising says. Whether you choose to celebrate or not, Valentine’s Day can still be a reminder to look up from caring for the kids for a moment and notice your partner.
For couples who want to mark the day by spending time together—and who want to watch their spending—there are plenty of budget-friendly options. From candlelit movie nights inside to exploring your town (or a new one), there’s an array of activities and date ideas to step out of the norm this Valentine’s Day.
Changing the pace and trying something new together can reignite the spark that sometimes fades a little in parenthood. Plus, who knows? You might just learn something new about your partner. We know that childcare isn’t always budget-friendly, so consider a date night swap with friends or family so you can sneak away and try some of these budget Valentine’s Day ideas.
1. Visit a Local Brewery or Winery
You can never have too many samples! The best way to discover your new favorite wine, beer, or whiskey is with a gold ole’ taste test. Grab your significant other and head to your nearest winery or brewery to share your favorites, discover new options, and laugh at the ones you just can’t stomach. You may just find one you both love!
2. Try In-Person or Virtual Dance Lessons
Breaking a sweat (inside or outside the house) is a great way to boost endorphins and make you feel good. Doing that with a partner makes it all the more worth it. With loads of TikTok dances, music video choreography, Zumba, and more on the internet, the millions of options will keep you both moving—and probably laughing too.
3. Go Window Shopping
Does your wallet need a break? Now’s the perfect time to check out all the unique stores in your area without spending a penny. Visit some quirky antique shops, take a look at some places in a new town, or walk around for a few hours in your nearest IKEA. If you have plans for any upcoming home refreshes, it’s a great way to get a feel for each other’s style and preferences.
4. Plan a Vacation You’re Not Taking (Yet)
Right now is still a tricky time to travel, but it doesn’t hurt to plan! Always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower or visit the islands of Hawaii? Make your travel bucket list together. Why not make life easier by planning ahead and ensuring an unforgettable trip in the future.
5. Take a Hike Together
The best way to celebrate each other is to celebrate the nature around you. Grab some water bottles, get your gear, and head into the great outdoors. Put your phones away and bask in the ambiance of being away from the noisiness of your life. Be sure to give your partner your undivided attention and enjoy the alone time.
6. Go to a Local Comedy Show
Laughter is truly the best medicine, so laugh until you cry by supporting up-and-coming local comedians or try scouring Netflix for something fresh. Laughing together can be a great connector for your relationship.
7. Have a Video Game Night
There’s nothing like blowing the dust off your favorite board games, but why not switch it up a bit? With the huge variety of free and discounted video games available on all systems, there are plenty of options for a little friendly competition.
8. Try a Date Morning
V-day is on a Monday this year, which means it’s likely a workday. Rather than planning a date night, see if you can squeeze in a special breakfast with your sweetie after daycare/school drop-off (although we know closures are unfortunately common right now). Even if it’s only sharing a scone over coffee before you officially kick off your day, try to relish in the quiet time with just the two of you.