Want to plan a romantic Valentine’s Day date for your partner or significant other? Make February 14th special by considering the preparations necessary for activities, food, gifts, and any other element that your date might enjoy.
EditPlanning a Meal
- Cook for your date. Add a personal touch to your Valentine’s Day meal and avoid having to make a dinner reservation on this busy holiday. Make a home-cooked meal for your date and invite him or her over to eat with you for an intimate meal.
- Make sure you plan out the recipes you want to make so you can get all your ingredients bought and ready ahead of time. It’s always a good idea to get extra, just in case you make a mistake or miscalculate your measurements.
- Try out a classic heart-shaped dessert like cookies or cake, or give other dishes the same whimsical treatment by cutting or arranging them into classic heart shapes.
- Avoid really messy foods that could spoil the romantic atmosphere or ruin nice clothes that you and your date might be wearing. Stick to foods you both enjoy, perhaps of a slightly higher quality than you normally eat.
- Set the mood for your homemade meal by lighting candles, setting up flowers, playing romantic music, using your best cutlery and plates, and any other decorations—if that’s what your date is into!
- Make reservations at a restaurant. Call ahead far in advance to reserve a table at a favorite restaurant, or one you’ve never tried but you know your date will love. Use dinner as an occasion to dress up, or just to enjoy some great cuisine and spend time together.
- You don’t need your dinner reservation to be at someplace extra fancy or expensive. Choose a burger joint where you shared your first kiss instead of a five-star restaurant with too-small portions—it’s more important that the location is meaningful or sentimental for your date.
- Try a lunch reservation, or a time earlier or later than a typical dinner, to avoid the busy dinner rush that most restaurants will have on the holiday.
- Ask if the wait staff can surprise your date with a special dessert, or have the in-house band or musician play your date’s favorite song or a love song.
- Order food to eat at home. Get the best of both worlds of eating out and dining in by getting takeout or delivery from your date’s favorite restaurant and eating it in the comfort and privacy of home.
- Remember that restaurants will be busy on this holiday, even for deliveries or takeout orders. Make sure to call in your order well in advance so you can pick it up or have it delivered by the time you expect.
- Add your own romantic touches to a takeout meal, like personalized writing on a cake, a beverage that your date loves, etc. You can even ask a restaurant if they can personalize an order, even if it’s just arranging your pizza toppings into a heart!
- Surprise your date with their favorite cuisine. Find a restaurant, grocery store, or other location that has food that will remind your date of home, favorite travels, or other happy times. Think of what your date has told you is particularly special to them.
- Check specialty grocery stores, international aisles, and import stores if you’re looking for food items typically found in other countries.
- Find a restaurant that serves your date’s favorite kind of food, look up recipes to make yourself, or even enlist the help of a family member who knows just how to make your date’s favorite dish.
- Get creative with how and where you eat. Make the experience of Valentine’s Day dinner an adventure in itself by doing something unique, like joining a supper club, attending dinner theater, or doing a taste test.
- Be entertained while you eat by checking out dinner theater, available in many cities, at which you watch a live performance while being served a meal.
- Get exposed to new chefs and restaurants by joining a supper club, or create your own “food tour” by getting just one appetizer, drink, or other small item from several different restaurants in the same night.
- Take a picnic up to a scenic hill or mountain, or to a spot that’s special to your date or significant to a time in your relationship together.
- You can even make dinner a unique sensory experience by feeding bites of food to your blindfolded date and having him or her guess what the food is!
EditOrganizing an Activity
- Plan a special outing. Go see a movie, watch or play a sport, see a concert or play, or another activity your date would enjoy. Try for an activity that you don’t get to do together often, or that your date has been wanting to do for awhile.
- Check event locations for special Valentine’s Day parties, activities, or discounts to take advantage of. Choose activities perfect for two to create an intimate date.
- Go ice skating, skiing, or another fun activity that takes advantage of the last of winter if the weather is still cold and snowy in your area.
- If the weather is warmer, go out and do something in nature that you and your date love to do together, like hiking, camping, or just walking around town. Or try something special like sailing or a hot air balloon ride.
- Get cozy at home. Have your date right at home, where you can have privacy, intimacy, and plenty of fun for free or very little money.
- Try building a blanket fort like you did when you were a kid, playing board games or video games, watching movies or binging on a new TV series. Cuddle up and enjoy each other’s company!
- If you planned an outdoor date that got ruined by weather, just go with the flow and bring it indoors if you can. Try an indoor picnic, for example, by laying out a blanket on the floor with some treats in a basket.
- Surprise your date. Go for an element of surprise for any activity you have planned, even if it’s simply an evening at home. Set something up before your sweetheart comes home, or present a gift or activity to them in a creative, unexpected way.
- Travel somewhere new or loved. Get out of town and stay in a hotel, bed and breakfast, or go camping somewhere you’ve both never been or where you and your date love going.
- You don’t have to make a big, expensive trip to a faraway place. You can even have a “staycation” where you stay someplace new within your own city! Or, check out a nearby town that you and your date have never had the chance to go to.
- Try heading back to the place that you and your date first met, or another spot that’s romantic and significant to your relationship.
EditDeciding on a Gift
- Consider your date’s interests and hobbies. Think of your date’s favorite books, movies, TV shows, bands, etc. when buying a gift. Choose something your date has been waiting for or which has a special sentimental or emotional value.
- Try buying something to add to a collection if your date has a running collection of any item, like postcards, stamps, etc. Add a romantic element by making the collectible item have something to do with a place you’ve shared a kiss, had a date, or created an inside joke.
- Try personalizing any gift with your date’s initials, yours together, or anything else that is personal to your date or your relationship. You could personalize a picture frame, a bookmark in a book your date will love, etc.
- Think about what your date has told you they love or miss about a certain time period or place, either from earlier in your relationship, their childhood, or another special time. Try to recreate a piece of that sentimental place or time period for him or her.
- Make or buy a card. Write in a card to let your date know how you feel, set a romantic mood, or just make your date laugh. If you buy a card, make sure you write a personal message inside it.
- Try making a card with folded paper, markers or pens, and any other decorative elements you want to make it personal and unique to your date.
- You can make several cards, to leave for your date to find at different places and times throughout the day for a sweet and romantic way to communicate even when you’re apart.
- Make your gift a fun activity. Your Valentine’s Day gift doesn’t have to be an object. Make your gift an experience that you share together, whether you travel somewhere new, see a show, or go on an adventure.
- Try giving your date the gift of a class in something they’ve always wanted to learn, like cooking, dancing, or woodworking. Your date can do the class on his or her own, or you can attend it together.
- Try ending your date on a beautiful overlook, a quaint park or garden, or someplace that is unique and special to your date or your relationship.
- Try a “coupon book” of fun activities or sweet things that you will do for your date whenever he or she redeems each one.
- Go traditional with flowers, chocolates, and stuffed animals. Try the typical trifecta of Valentine’s Day gifts, which are available almost anywhere before and on the holiday, if your date enjoys those things.
- Try getting a type of chocolate that your date particularly enjoys, or another type of candy or treat they love. Personalize it with a sweet note or arrange candies into sweet words or hearts.
- You don’t need to stick with an arrangement of flowers from the floral department. Try picking your date’s favorite wildflowers (from a permitted area), buying a different kind of plant they can enjoy planting outside or keeping indoors, or even making origami or paper flowers.
- Consider that many people enjoy a more personalized gift than what’s available at every store on Valentine’s Day, but others really do enjoy stuffed animals, flowers, and candy. It’s worth asking your date ahead of time before the holiday what they like instead of trying to guess.
- Always plan ahead. What you want for your date might not be available right before the holiday.
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