Between booking dinner at a restaurant with five-star cuisine and buying a box of chocolates and romantic flowers, Valentine's Day expenses can quickly add up.
Yet the holiday doesn't have to break the bank.
Planning an affordable date for you and your special someone can be tricky, but with a little creativity, you can have a magical night on a budget.
So, if you want to keep it affordable — but the thought of another takeout dinner sounds like a snooze — check out the 14 ideas that follow for some wallet-friendly one-on-one time.
Have a couples game night
Make a scrapbook (or bucket list) together
If your sweetheart isn’t one to sit still, fuel their fire with a sporty outing.
Consider tagging along if your partner is partial to activities like bike riding, hiking or yoga class.
You could also break up the routine with ice skating, rollerblading or rock climbing.
Has your special someone been hinting at an activity that neither of you have tried yet?
Valentine’s Day is a perfect excuse to see your local aquarium, attend a comedy show or go to a local spot that you haven’t had a chance to check out before.
Do some investigating at your local restaurants to see if there are any events like trivia or karaoke night that you and your valentine can attend.
If you’d love to get away with your honey but would prefer not to fly, hop in the car and drive until you find somewhere interesting to stop. Bonus points for packing a picnic and enjoying a bite to eat al fresco.
Of course, no road trip is complete without some tunes. For an extra Valentine’s Day twist, you can put together playlists for each other and play them while you’re on the road.
Throw a party for two with a wine or beer tasting from the comforts of your own home.
You don't need to be an expert, but you do need to research what to serve and how to set the right mood with snacks and music.
Enjoy an intimate backyard bonfire complete with blankets, a charcuterie board and maybe some wine.
Kids can even join in on the fun by making s'mores.
Have a movie night, Valentine’s Day edition.
Instead of just watching any movie, you can have a romantic movie marathon. The movie options are endless.
You could go with "When Harry Met Sally," "Jerry Maguire" or "About Time." You could also go for "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," "Crazy, Stupid Love" or "10 Things I Hate About You."
Of course, you could also choose a classic romance film like "The Notebook" or "Titanic."
If you’re having a cozy movie night in, you could stop by the store beforehand and pick up your favorite candies, drinks and snacks to enjoy during the film. When you make your way back home, set up a perfect drive-in type movie setting with lots of pillows, blankets and maybe even some fairy lights.
Cooking a meal together is a great way to spend your Valentine’s Day instead of going out to an expensive restaurant.
Plus, cooking together is a new way to bond with your partner, play some of your favorite music and have fun in the kitchen.
You can also complete your meal with a Valentine’s Day-themed dessert — whether that's decorating a cake together, making cupcakes or putting together some tasty chocolate covered strawberries.
Game night is a fun option any time of year, but why not use Valentine’s Day to play some games that will teach you more about one another.
There are tons of different card games to play with your partner that include different questions the two of you can ask each other.
This is great for newly formed couples who want to learn more.
Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to look back at your time as a couple and also look ahead at what is to come.
Making a scrapbook together is a fun activity the two of you can enjoy.
If neither of you are particularly crafty, but you want a place to store all your memories, you can create a scrapbook online and have it sent to you. Creating a scrapbook, digitally or otherwise, could be a tradition you will continue in the years to come.
Another idea: Create a bucket list of experiences you want to share in the future.
These can be both long-term and short-term items, such as skydiving or taking a mixology class together.
One thing you can add to your Valentine’s Day date is planning your next trip together.
There are a few different ways to do this, whether each of you comes up with some ideas before Feb. 14 and then share on the day.
Or you can do all the research together on Valentine's Day, then start putting some plans into place for your next vacation.
Are you thinking about buying your first house with your partner? Renting your first apartment? Moving to a new location?
Wherever you are in your relationship journey, spend Valentine's Day planning for the future. This could be going to a furniture store and browsing for new pieces.
If there are apartments or houses you're interested in, make appointments to go check them out together.
If you are in the middle of wedding planning, take time on the holiday to spend time together, brainstorming and going over details.
Whether you're a novice or an expert, sharing a dance with your partner can be an exciting experience for you both.
Whether it's country line dancing, ballroom dancing or simply listening to live music at a bar, getting your groove on together is sure to be an unforgettable date.
When was the last time you played Skee Ball or Pac-Man? It's probably been a while — and going to the arcade can bring back fun childhood memories.
At the end of your arcade date, filled with spinning giant prize wheels, shooting hoops and beating all the competition in Mario Kart, you can trade in all the tickets you've won for a prize you can take home as a souvenir and reminder of the romantic day you had.
Nothing says "I love you" like a romantic wine and paint night.
You can follow a guided YouTube video or you can paint your own picture and showcase it to each other when you're finished.
You by no means have to be a professional to have a painting night — although if the art does come out nicely, you'll have yourself new home decor.
Janine Pukah contributed reporting.
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Original article source: 14 affordable romance-filled Valentine's Day dates you can plan with your special someone