Whether you’re on a budget, enjoy fine dining, fancy a cosy night in or are spending Valentine's day single, there’s something for everyone to do on the 14th of February. So, here’s our top 5 Valentine’s day ideas…
DIY Date night
Who’s the date for? Couples of all lengths of time, those on a budget or those with children who can join in with cooking/setting the table/eating.
What you need: Pen and paper, food to make a home-cooked meal, some candles.
Average cost: £6-25
For a lot of people, the thought of excessively spending money on this particular occasion is a fad. However, there are many ways to join in on the celebratory fun without having to blow the budget. Instead of a card, why not be more old-fashioned and write a sentimental handwritten letter expressing why you love someone? Or you could include a list of adventures you would like to share with them over the next year; anything from visiting the British seaside for fish and chips to snorkelling in the Maldives. You could make a homemade meal instead of eating out and save on the service charge. M&S and Waitrose are doing meal deals for £20 and the Co-op is doing one for £6. Alternatively, you can make your favourite dinner and light some tea light candles around your kitchen to set the mood.
Go for a walk and BYO refreshments
Who’s the date for? Couples of all lengths of time, those who want to celebrate Valentine’s day for free and for those with limited free time.
What you need: Warm outdoor clothes & shoes, a blanket, a flask of a warm drink/soup (optional), snacks (optional).
Average cost: £0-10
A walk in the sun with a picnic is a lovely way to spend lunchtime on Valentine’s day. However, for those living in colder climates, it isn’t exactly picnic weather in February! Simply going out for an evening walk in the fresh outdoors can be romantic and a great time to switch off the phones, get away from the laptop and give you time to really talk, or more importantly LISTEN to your partner. Get to know one another if you’re newbie lovers or simply catch up doing something different with your long-term partner. If you can time it right, you can pitch up on a picnic table or wrap up in a blanket to drink a flask of warm hot chocolate or soup as the sun sets. FYI on February 14th sunset is scheduled at 17:13 in London, 19:49 in Sydney and 17:29 in New York.
Dates with a difference
Who’s the date for? Couples who don’t take themselves too seriously and enjoy trying something different. Those who don’t want to go to their regular restaurant for Valentine’s day but don’t mind spending money on an activity. Those wanting to double date.
What you need: Money to spend on the activity.
Average cost: £30-130
Going out for dinner can be a daunting choice of date for newbie couples. So, if you’re planning on spending Valentine’s day with someone you’ve only recently started dating why not skip the face-to-face forced conversations, worry of spilling spaghetti down your jeans, or getting parsley stuck in your teeth. Instead, think outside the box with some chilled, unique date ideas for you and your new Valentine to experience. For instance, you could visit an activity-based bar… We love the mini-golf themed bar SWINGERS; or Queens skate kart bowl where you can play arcade games, ice kart or bowl in a relaxed, cool atmosphere. Alternatively, why not bond over (happy) tears by visiting a comedy show, or double date with your favourite couple and test yourselves under pressure in an escape room such as Locked in a Room?
Forget V day, think ME day
Who’s the date for? Me, myself and I.
What you need: Yourself! A favourite movie, box of chocolates, favourite food to make dinner, spending money for online shopping, face mask, hair mask (all optional).
Average cost: £0-£100
We can all be guilty of skipping self-love but what better day is there to remind yourself of this than the 14th of Feb. Be your own valentine; we’re talking about doing your favourite activities, having your ultimate dinner, pamper yourself and maybe even buying yourself the jacket that’s been sat in your online basket forever because you couldn’t justify getting it. Now you can, it’s ‘Me day’, treat yourself.
GALentine’s Day (or lad-entine’s day - but it just doesn’t have the same ring to it!)
Who’s the date for? You and your awesome friends that are always there for you.
What you need: Here you have some choices: Your favourite takeaway, a poker set, nail varnishes and a pamper kit, drinks and your dancing shoes.
Average cost: £0-£60
So, you and a selection of your friends are single… Do you;
a) Mope around in self-pity that you are feeling lonely and have no one to share this special day with?
b) Realise that through all your ups and downs in life, through all your rubbish relationships and breakups, there’s maybe one or a fair few friends you’ve relied on to pick you back up and dust you off. You can then recognise that, sure, it’s a different kind of love, but you love your mates! So, who better to spend your day with?
Option B certainly sounds better. Call your pals and see who’s free for a meal, a poker night, a pamper night or a few drinks (that could possibly escalate into a night on the town); you don’t have to miss out!
Tips for the date!
Accordingly, when you’ve decided on the kind of Valentine’s day date you want the crucial things to remember are:
- Enjoy yourself; ignore the haters slamming Valentine’s day as a waste of time.
- Prepare for the expenses. Think about which activities you can afford before you confirm what you are going to do; the fun is unlikely to outweigh the feeling of dread in the morning when you’ve blown half your monthly salary on one day.
- Book transport in advance. Depending on where you are going, taxi services can get pretty busy on Valentine’s day so make sure you’ve arranged the pick-up beforehand to limit any excess stress.
- Think ahead to minimise embarrassing moments. We recommend always placing the napkin in your lap during dinner, keeping a packet of mints in your bag to fix that post-garlic bread breath and wearing dandi patches during the date so you can look your best in your favourite colour, without the worry of sweat marks appearing if you’re feeling nervous.
Whatever you choose to do on the 14th we hope you have fun!
Happy valentines day!