Romantic And Affordable Valentine’s Day Dates

Valentine's Day can be stressful enough as it is without breaking the bank. I've compiled a list of romantic and affordable alternatives to dinner out.

I recently wrote a post about unique Valentine’s Day gifts if you don’t like to overdo things and want to be a little different. But what about the actual day? I think a lot of people, especially new couples, stress over what to actually do on the day. Dinner? If dinner, what restaurant? Going out? Drinks? Again, where? Stay in? Especially if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, this can feel overwhelming (or maybe that’s just me) so I’ve compiled a list of ways you can have a romantic Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank or having the pressure of making all of those decisions.

Make a fancy dinner in. 

Break open a bottle of wine, maybe even making dinner together, and make something out of the ordinary that you wouldn’t eat every day. I love roast dinners because they’re definitely not something I eat regularly, so it makes it feel even more special. Eat by candlelight (too cheesy?) and enjoy a fun, romantic, and affordable, night in.

Go ice skating. 

This isn’t always for everyone, but ice skating can be really romantic and is usually going to be cheaper than going to a movie or an expensive restaurant. Plus, it’s something fun to do outside and in general I think the atmosphere of outdoor ice rinks can be so fun.

Go on a lunch date instead. 

I think lunch can be really underestimated. Who decided that dinner should be more important or special than lunch? The best part about going on a lunch date is you’ll almost certainly get reservations everywhere you want because people are gearing up to go on dinner dates, and most restaurants have a lunch deal that’s much cheaper than the dinner prices. I realize this isn’t always doable, seeing as Valentine’s Day isn’t always on a weekend, but if you can make it work this can always be a great alternative.

Have a game night. 

Game nights are totally underrated. They don’t always have to be cheesy or silly and it can be really fun to break out the competitive sides and just have some fun. You don’t even need to go with the usual games such as Scrabble or Monopoly, but try Cards Against Humanity, Pick Up Sticks, or even Trivia Pursuit. The options are endless and you spend time together having a good time, and there’s nothing better for the soul than laughter and fun.

Go stargazing. 

Of course if you’re in a big city this might be a lot harder, but if you have the option there is sometimes nothing more romantic than sitting out in the cold huddled together staring up at the vast night skies at shimmering and beautiful stars. Weather permitted, this can be even more romantic than the standard dinner date. Bring some coffee, tea or hot chocolate and sit on a blanket and wonder at the world.

Have a movie night in. 

Rather than paying to go to a movie theater and sit in relatively uncomfortable seats with other people, stay home and pick your favorite movie and snuggle together on the sofa with some wine and enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes there’s nothing better than staying in with one another instead of going out in to the world and socializing.

Head to a museum. 

Lots of museums will stay open on certain days and I’ve found in certain cities Valentine’s Day is one of them. Dress up a bit and head to a favorite museum and spend the night admiring everything and learning. Museums are more fun at times like these because they’re not as crowded, don’t have school children running around, and if anything it can feel romantic (depending of course which museum you choose!) walking around in those huge rooms together.


I know karaoke isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and that’s totally fine, but it can be super fun to get up there and sing a song together and usually the only cost is the drink you might need before you get up there!

You don’t need expensive gifts or fancy restaurants to celebrate your loved one and to have a good time. Do your own thing and enjoy each other’s company, because that’s what is really important on this day.

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  • Theresa

    Movie nights are the best! I think that’s what I’ll do. Thanks for the great ideas. 🙂

    • Thanks, Theresa! Movie nights are so fun 🙂

  • Omg amazing tips for the valentine’s day dates. I love the museum idea and it’s a great idea to tag along your date. Thanks so much for sharing on Show your blog love fb group x

  • laci carlson

    Love these ideas especially game night. !!

    • They’re totally underrated! They can be so fun and people don’t necessarily think of it.

  • Liz

    Such fun ideas! I think we were going to do a movie night, but the star gazing sounds fun! Might have to switch the plans 🙂

    • I hope whatever you do you have a great night, Liz! 🙂

  • These are great! I never know what to do for Valentine’s Day, but this is a great list.

    • Thanks, Helen! It can be so difficult to choose what to do, and with restaurants almost always crowded that’s not always an appealing option.

  • These are great ideas! Dustin and I often opt for a lunch date because it’s a bit cheaper and then we can spend the night in and watch a fun movie and eat icecream!

    • Thanks, Chelsie! That’s sounds lovely 🙂 I’m game for anything that saves money and gives me the opportunity to snuggle on the couch!

  • Love all these ideas! I fancy dinner in is always nice. Justin and I do movie nights at home a lot so we tend to like to go out for dinner but never actually on Valentine’s Day just because I’m usually out of town. NYFW always lands on v-day! I have to say that it’s almost better because the restaurants aren’t as crowded!
    xo, Laura
    Have Need Want

    • Oh yeah for sure, Laura! Those crowded restaurants are so unappealing and take away anything nice you might get out of it. Besides, who cares when you really celebrate it 🙂

  • Sarah Dodd

    This is so cute! I love the ideas. I don’t have a lover this year, but maybe in the future! 🙂 Maybe I will just take myself on a date 🙂

    • That sounds like a good plan to me! Or you have have a galentine’s party for all your gal friends 🙂

  • Lori Lyons Luhrman

    These are fantastic date ideas…I especially love making a fancy dinner at home! Typically I am the chef in the family, so when we do something special and cook together it definitely makes for a fun time! Thanks for sharing!

  • These are great ideas. Stargazing sounds amazing! Just going for a drive away from the bright city lights and appreciate each others company under a blanket of stars. Beautiful! (:

    Christie’s Take on Life. x