The very mention of Valentine’s Day will evoke strikingly different reactions from people. Some LOVE this heart-shaped holiday, while others see it as a day perpetuated by romantic stereotypes to prey on couples and singles alike. On your social media feeds, you may see a combination of love, disdain, and indifference. These intense reactions can make it difficult to place your own feelings on the holiday—maybe enough that you forgot to make a dinner reservation for you and your sweetheart this Friday. Or, perhaps you’re both seeking a romantic activity to wind down from the week this year. Maybe I’m biased, but living in a big city, I think the best V-Day option is the one that avoids the noise and lets you focus in on each other. Here are some super casual ideas for you and your honey this Valentine’s Day that don’t involve crowds or lots of money.
1. Date Night in a Box
If you’re not feeling particularly creative (hey, it’s been a long week!), why not let some master game-makers lay out your evening? We live in a magical time of subscription boxes: there seem to be boxes for everything imaginable these days and date night is no exception! From “catch a killer” murder mystery games to the timeless “20 Questions” types, there are tons of options suited for your particular interests and tastes. If your planning is a bit last-minute, plenty of these are sold in-store or on Amazon Prime. A game night will allow you to circumvent the Valentine’s Day dinner rush (plus, you’ll avoid the up-charge of wine at a swanky steakhouse).
2. Circle Your Block
Want to get some movement in? A low-key Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to mean low-energy! Take a sunset stroll around your neighborhood or a nearby landmark. It’s not often we take the evening off to explore our local surroundings. Browse local eateries (maybe a lesser-known gem will strike your fancy) and mom-and-pop stores, or go on a wilderness hike around your proverbial backyard. If you’re a particularly active couple, you can make this event into a jog or a run together—strengthen your bond while strengthening yourselves, am I right?
3. Play Restaurant (Wars)
Maybe you have a house full of groceries and zero dinner reservations. Maybe your true love language is competition. Maybe you’re both completely obsessed with cooking shows and their intense challenges. Make a game out of it! Take a page out of reality TV’s (cook)book and go head-to-head in a dinner challenge. Allot a time crunch and select three ingredients the other must feature in their dish. While one of you unwinds in the next room, the other will complete the challenge, and then you switch. Of course, you could turn this option into a loving cooking session wherein you make your meal together—to each their own.
4. Reconnect with Your Childhood
There’s just something about the magic of childhood that makes us nostalgic. Most couples never got to experience that time in their lives together, so why not choose Valentine’s Day to give yourselves the opportunity? Take all the pillows and blankets in the house into the living room to make a fort. Eat cereal for dinner. Grab your favorite Disney movie. Stay in comfy PJs for the whole evening. Bask in the comfort of your childhood and forget your grown-up responsibilities for a spell.