This Valentine’s Day will be the 7th “anniversary” of mine and hubs first date. Yep, that’s right, we had our first official date on Valentine’s Day at a little booth at Applebee’s.. But before you get all sappy on me, I must tell you that it had nothing to do with the holiday and everything to do with timing. You see, we were both in college and working; I was taking 18 credits and working 25+ hours per week and he was in his senior year working at Target early in the mornings [we’re talking the 4 a.m. stock shift] so finding a time that worked for us both proved to be difficult. Not to mention I was a little reluctant to go on the date in the first place [boy am I happy I did, though].
There’s something I should also tell you all: we are not the couple who celebrates Valentine’s Day. Yea, I get him a quirky little card every year [one that usually has to do with how studly he is], but we don’t go planning some extravagant dinner date to celebrate. That’s just not our style. I tried one year making a special little dinner and dessert with some wine, sitting together at our dining room table [which never gets used for eating] over candlelight and the response I got from him: “oh this food is good but this feels a little awkward at the dining room table” as he finished his plate and left to play video games. Because I know his style I wasn’t offended, but I’ll always remember that I don’t need to waste my time pulling out the fancy moves for Vday.
So, the point to that story? Rather than sit down at a traditional Valentine’s dinner, where items are usually way over-priced anyway, we like the idea of celebrating with non-traditional date ideas… if we celebrate at all. So here are some of my favorite “non-fancy dinner” date ideas for this Friday’s Hallmark holiday, also known as Valentine’s Day. And just in case these don’t appeal to you already, most of these don’t require a reservation!
1. Pizza, beer and bowling – what could better than greasy pizza, gut-filling beer while wearing shoes and using balls that hundreds of people have touched before you? If you’d like to spruce the game up a bit, make some sexy bets for your nightcap!
2. Tour a local brewery – we have had a couple new breweries open around the Twin Cities areas so sampling some local beer flavors would be a fun night out. Because the holiday falls on a Friday this year, you won’t have to worry about curing a hangover for work the next morning.
3. Dinner and a movie at home – if you’re looking to keep it low-key, why not stop at your local Redbox and pick out a movie together. Order your favorite take-out and veg in front of the TV for the night, just enjoying each other’s company.
4. Try your hand at mini golf and arcade games – remember how fun mini golf and laser tag was when you were growing up? I bet it’s just as fun now that you’re an adult. Like bowling, make some friendly bets to make it a little more interesting.
5. Set-up an at-home spa for the night – Spend a couple of hours pampering each other with a full-body massage and follow it up with some wine and apps.
6. Go go-karting – if you’re both thrill-seakers this would definitely be a fun date night. When you are done, head over to your favorite drinking establishment and consume a few adult beverages while you rehash who’s the better go-kart driver.
7. Ice Skating – Minneapolis has this cool ice-skating ring in the heart of downtown that’s actually indoors so you stay a little warmer [which is perfect for the weather we’ve had] that would be great for a Valentine’s date.
8. Create a picnic in the living room – I absolutely adore this idea! Push the furniture to the corners and enjoy a night of picnicking together. This is the perfect idea for anyone living in a cold-weather state who dreams of warmer days.
9. Find some local live music – there’s no better way to prep for your Vday nightcap than getting all hot and sweaty together on the dance floor… if ya know what I mean! 😉
10. Do a workout together and follow it up with making a healthy dinner – whether you take a class or plan a session that the two of you can do together, what a great way to spend some time encouraging each other than working out together. Post-workout, stop at the grocery store and pick up items to prepare a healthy stir-fry or other meal and head home to make it together.
There you have it – 10 date ideas that don’t include an overpriced meal but are sure to be memorable! I hope I’ve inspired you to step out of the “restaurant” rut and get creative with your plans. If not, well, there’s always next year! 🙂