Chocolates, flowers, dinner, babysitters… the cost of going on a date for Valentine’s Day adds up fast. Instead of spending a small fortune and ending up lost in a crowd, why not celebrate at home? Staying in with your loved one(s) can be budget-friendly and self-indulgent. Here are nine at-home date night ideas that will allow you to make lasting memories with the people you love most.
If You Want to Include the Whole Family:
Getting a babysitter for your date night can be costly. And, parents, let’s be honest. Waiting until the kids go to bed to celebrate Valentine’s Day is a recipe for ending up asleep on the couch by 8:30. If you’re looking for creative ways to get the entire family in on the fun without spending a fortune, here are three family-friendly Valentine’s dates you can do at home with your kiddos:
Build a Fort
No matter how old or young your kids are, they can still enjoy building a fort in the living room! Use your dining chairs, sofa cushions, and blankets to build a fort big enough to fit everyone, and make sure you’ve got a clear view of the television. Grab some pizza and popcorn to make it a simple but memorable dinner-and-a-movie night under the fort!
Decorate Sugar Cookies
Keep family night simple with a cookie decorating party. Opt for simple slice-and-bake cookies or go the extra mile to make heart-shaped sugar cookies with your little ones. Create a decorating station at your kitchen table that includes pink, white, and red sprinkles, frosting, and candy toppings. Then, let the kids have at it! When they’re all done decorating, have a contest and recognize each child for being the best in some category (most sprinkles, most creative use of candy, etc.). Make sure to lay down a tablecloth to make clean-up easier.
Create a Hot Chocolate Bar
If you have an outdoor area — a backyard, apartment patio, or public courtyard — create a hot chocolate bar in your kitchen and enjoy your warm drinks outside. Set up your hot cocoa station using a crockpot to keep the chocolate hot, and don’t forget to create a spread of delicious toppings like marshmallows, sprinkles, peppermint sticks, chocolate chips, cinnamon, and whipped cream. Make sure the hot chocolate isn’t too hot for your little ones. Pour, top, and enjoy!
If You Want to Celebrate With Friends:
Want to celebrate an inclusive get-together with all of your friends? Invite singles, couples, and those who identify as “it’s complicated” to come over for a celebration of love, no matter what their Facebook relationship status says.
Organize a Progressive Dinner
A progressive dinner is held at several different homes: you move from one home to the next, eating one course at each home. The first home hosts the appetizer. The next, soup or salad. Then a small main course and a dessert at the following homes. This splits up the cost of cooking for all of your friends. If you don’t live within walking distance, you could drive or rideshare to each others’ homes.
Alternatively, you could host a progressive potluck at your place! Everyone brings a different course and sets up their station in a different part of your home: the dining room, the living room, outside, etc. The end goal is to take your time enjoying a meal together. Progressive dinners can last for hours, so make sure to start your first course early!
Host Battle of the Sexes Game Night
For a night full of laughs, organize a game night where the women team up against the men. Ask friends to bring their favorite games and see whether the men or women will win it all! For a well-coordinated game night, make sure to have plenty of seating and enough table space for the games.
Cheese and Wine Bring-And-Share
You supply the crackers (and your favorite bottle of wine) and your friends supply their favorite cheese board item and wine pairing! When inviting friends over, ask them to bring a bottle of wine and their favorite cheese board item: cheese, fruit, jam or charcuterie. Ask a few friends to bring cheese boards or simply use plates. Then do some tastings to see what pairs best!
If You Want to Cozy Up With Your Significant Other:
The key to making a date night at home feel special instead of like any other ordinary night is by planning for it. Go the extra mile to make your home feel magical for your partner. Create a romantic ambiance with candles and music. Add special, but affordable home decor and Valentine’s decorations to show them that you made a little extra effort. Finally, choose one of these three creative Valentine’s date ideas to show your significant other how much you care:
Cook Dinner for Each Other
Take turns making courses for each other so you can enjoy a long, slow dinner together. The person who prepares the course also serves the course, giving you each a turn to serve and be served. Planning this meal will require a little preparation and coordination ahead of time, but that’s part of the fun! Decide together days in advance what the menu will be and buy the ingredients so you’re ready on February 14th. As you take turns cooking, engage in conversation: reminisce on how you met and/or play “Would You Rather” for some fun banter. Finally, don’t forget to set a romantic table for your partner!
Create a Bucket List
Purchase an 8”x10” frame in advance for this activity. Plan your future adventures by taking turns adding items to your romantic bucket list. Write each item by hand and frame the list after you’re done! Place the frame somewhere you both will see it to remind you of the experiences to come.
Have a DIY Spa Night
Set up a spa in your living room and pamper each other with some DIY spa treatments. Start by setting the mood with low, ambient music, and candles — opt for a eucalyptus scent to get maximum spa vibes. Set out the cucumber water, and treat each other to massages, face masks, and warm tea. The night is bound to make you feel completely relaxed!
No matter which stay-at-home date night idea you decide to do or who you decide to celebrate Valentine’s Day with, make sure you do it in comfort and style! Visit your local CORT Furniture Outlet to shop discounted furniture sets and decor. With the best affordable furniture brands in-store at a fraction of retail cost, CORT Furniture Outlet has something that can make your home extra cozy this Valentine’s Day.