Bottles of Champagne and bouquets of roses at the ready, Valentine’s Day is almost here! Got absolutely no idea what you’re going to do to celebrate yet? Fear not: we’ve done all the hard work for you and come up with dozens of Valentine’s Day ideas, even while going out is off the table.
From special celebrations you can have at home to cool online classes, there’s something in our round-up of Valentine’s Day date ideas to suit. And if you’re saving for your wedding or just sticking to a budget, it’ll be music to your ears that at least half of them can be done on a shoestring - and many of them are even free.
Whether you fully embrace the cheese or want to avoid heart-shaped cringe at all costs, here are 34 unique Valentine’s Day ideas that’ll make this year's celebration feel truly special. Love is well and truly in the air…
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Free Valentine’s Day Ideas
1. Have a Card-Crafting Contest
2. Make a YouTube Playlist on a Subject You’re Both Obsessed With
3. Play Movie Roulette
4. Snuggle up and Try Stargazing
5. Swap a Skill
Everyone’s got a special skillset, whether it’s speaking another language, coding, playing an instrument, cooking a signature dish or nailing a tricky dance move. Chances are, your partner has a skill you’d love to learn and vice versa, so Valentine’s Day could be the perfect excuse to share a bit of your hard-earned wisdom. Learning something new is a brilliant way to build an even stronger bond; it requires patience, reassurance and support, which are all hallmarks of a good partnership anyway.
READ MORE: 25 Cute Date Ideas for Newlyweds
6. Host a Two-Person Games Night
7. Have a Video Game Tournament
8. Go to an Art Gallery or MuseumThere are hundreds of museums and galleries across the UK that allow you to wander amongst their wares for free, (or at most a suggested donation that means you simply pay what you can). Even better, lots of them are open in the evening, when there are far fewer school trips and groups of tourists to navigate and the vibe feels a little more elegant. Want to go the extra mile? Study up a little beforehand and wow your date with your impressive analysis of all the famous paintings.
9. Make a Bucket List
Nothing says commitment to your relationship like making shared goals – and they can be as full-on or as fun as you like. Make a list of things to do in the next year, before your wedding, on your honeymoon or even the rest of your lives.
10. Set up a Cosy Fort
Upgrade the sofa-cushion-structure of your childhood by building a truly grown-up fort: think fat, squishy cushions, twinkly fairy lights, artfully-draped sheets and cosy knitted throws. Setting it up together is an activity in itself, but once you’re done, bring your favourite books or a laptop for an impromptu fort cinema experience, or just hang out, drink wine and laze the night away. It’s low-key, but still totally lovely.
11. Do a Library Book Swap
12. Watch the Sunrise or Sunset Together
13. Set up a Scavenger Hunt
14. Make a Time Capsule
Freezing time may not be an option, but capturing a little slice of it can be, if you put together a couple’s time capsule. Use any reasonably-sized container, from a shoe box to a biscuit tin, and fill it with photos, ticket stubs, and other keepsakes, and even a letter to your future selves. Then you just need to set a date for when you’ll open it – save it till next Valentine’s Day, or make the wait even longer.
Cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas
15. Make Breakfast in Bed
Is there anything more luxurious than a lazy morning in bed? Yes: a lazy morning in bed with breakfast or brunch! Choose the most indulgent offerings you can think of, like scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, fluffy pancakes or French toast.
READ MORE: Romantic Quotes to Steal for Your V-Day Card
16. Enjoy a Wine and Cheese Evening
Wine and cheese: is there any finer pairing? (Apart from you and your other half, that is.) Supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl have award-winning own-brand wine ranges that start from just £2.99, so whether you love a robust red or a fruity fizz, there’s a bottle or two you’re bound to enjoy. Add a cheese selection board - The Fine Cheese Co. has some great options - and source some tasty bread and/or crackers, and you're set for a gourmet evening. To really gild the lily, include olives and charcuterie, too.
17. Make an Indoor Picnic
If you or your partner’s idea of a dream dinner is sausage rolls and scotch eggs, this is the Valentine’s Day date idea for you. Spread out your biggest blanket and light a few candles to set the scene, and when it comes to food, go as casual or as chic as you like. Pinterest has tons of ideas for clever platters and salads that have serious wow-factor but are actually super simple – and cost-effective – to put together. Don't forget to lay out a picnic blanket to help create the mood.
18. Go eBay Shopping for Gifts
The goal: to find the best Valentine’s Day gift for each other, under a certain budget. Not only is this a sustainable suggestion, as you’ll be providing a new home for pre-loved buys, you could end up with either a vintage find, a great bargain or the weirdest, wackiest, most brilliant presents you’ve ever bought for each other.
19. Spice Up Your Sex Life
Explore the wonderful world of sex toys for couples if you fancy trying something new for Valentine's Day. Whether you're new to sex toys or already firm fans, you can find some fabulous options to really spice things up in the bedroom - or the living room, or the bathroom, or the kitchen floor...
READ MORE: The 18 Best Sex Toy Shops Online
20. Mix Your Own Cocktails
Head online for a cheap shaker, and go for it with the garnishes: we’re talking citrus slices, edible flowers, fresh herbs, the works. To keep costs down, buy one bottle of spirit that you can use to make multiple cocktails: vodka, for example, can be used in anything from a Cosmopolitan to an espresso martini. There’s only one golden rule for this date idea: don’t forget the ice.
READ MORE: Our Favourite Celebrity Engagement Rings
21. Try Painting or Life Drawing
22. Recreate Your Favourite TakeawayOrdering a cheesy pizza or Deliverooing a delicious tub of noodles is always a good idea, but for Valentine’s Day, you can make it feel more special by DIYing your other half’s dish of choice. If you’re not the most confident cook, you can always get the sides (prawn crackers, poppadums, garlic bread) from the supermarket and just try to master the main. However it turns out, they’ll appreciate the effort regardless.
23. Have a Winter BBQ
There’s no reason to limit your BBQs to the summer months – as long as the rain holds off, you can grill at any time of year, and the glowing coals will help keep you both toasty. While meat may be a classic option, there are plenty of seafood, vegetarian and vegan barbecue recipes you can try. For pudding, make it s’mores: heat up cubes of chocolate and squishy marshmallows inside two Graham crackers and scoff the lot. We defy you to stop at one. Consider a fire pit or patio heater if you really feel the cold.
24. Bake Together
Still have a taste for sourdough? Not over banana bread? Bake these lockdown favourites with your other half, or try something new together. Whatever you bake, make things even more Valentines-appropriate by buying heart-shaped pans or cookie cutters for decoration.
More Valentine’s Day Ideas
25. Book a Chocolate Tasting or Making Class
26. Get Your Tarot Cards Read
27. Play Crazy Golf
28. Recreate Your First Date
29. Take a Cooking Class
30. Go Ice SkatingBecause Valentine’s Day falls before spring has sprung, most open-air ice rinks will still be open, and they’ll be much less crowded than they were at Christmas too. However, if your town doesn’t have one, your nearest indoor rink will still do the trick – and if you’re steady on your feet? It’s just another excuse to hold hands.
31. Take a Spa Day
32. Go Bowling
33. Take a Dance Lesson
suggest that moving in sync with a partner can improve feelings of closeness, and it’s exercise that releases tons of endorphins, so you’ll both leave the studio on a natural happy high.
34. Immerse Yourselves in a Mystery
Need more inspiration? Don’t miss our roundup of the best date ideas for newlyweds – there’s bound to be something you and your OH will love!