There's no wrong way to celebrate Valentine's Day. You can indulge in an insanely oversized teddy bear. You can treat yourselves to an uber-expensive dinner. You could rent a hot air balloon to fly around the city and toss tiny heart-shaped chocolates down upon the masses like some kind of benevolent sky queen.
Anything goes — even staying in.
Some people love to plot massive declarations of affection. But if you're in the camp that prefers a little privacy — or you just want to save some cash this year — then welcome home. Because the most romantic Valentine's Day date ideas begin and end right in your own abode. Maybe a tasty Valentine's Day cocktail or low-key dinner is what the doctor ordered this year.
But remember, spending Feb. 14 at home isn't an excuse to forgo planning. Unless you and your partner have previously decided to Netflix and chill, popping on some random romantic movie will likely result in a little V-Day resentment. As with any other date night, intention is everything. You've got to have a game plan, even if the plan is simple. There's a big difference between throwing on the first movie you see and setting up a cozy movie night complete with their favorite snacks, a romantic film and ambient lighting.
To make sure your Valentine's night in doesn't feel like every other night in, check out these 13 at-home date ideas tailor-made for couples who prefer a low-key celebration.
Serenade Each Other With Cheesy Love Songs
You don't need a dive bar with a karaoke machine to belt out your favorite ballads. Clear the living room floor, open a bottle of wine, and take turns serenading each other with a karaoke microphone. There are tons of love-song karaoke playlists on YouTube (such as this one) that you can follow, or each person can take turns picking out cheesy songs for the other to sing.
Turn Your Dining Room Into a Romantic Restaurant
Fine dining doesn't have to involve fancy reservations and overpriced prix fixe menus. Turn your dining room into a cozy, romantic restaurant by setting the table with candles, flowers, cloth napkins and Valentine's Day decor. Whether you order takeout or whip up a meal together, you'll feel like you're dining out without having to leave the house. And don't forget to dress up!
Make Your Own Prix Fixe Menu
If you love the idea of a fancy dinner but don't want to deal with a crowded restaurant, why not create your own three- or four-course prix fixe menu? Plan out multiple courses and cook together or assign each other dishes to make. Dress up, set the table and enjoy your own homemade fine dining experience.
Have An Indoor Picnic
Lay out a blanket in your living room and grab some wine and charcuterie, and have an indoor picnic. You can even mimic the night sky by stringing up some twinkle lights above you. Bonus points for creating a homemade basket filled with your partner's favorite snacks and treats.
If you and your partner love going out for fancy cocktails, try your hand at making them yourselves. Pick a signature cocktail for the night and gather all the ingredients you need to mix it up. You can even create your own custom cocktail recipes and give them fun names based on inside jokes for a personal touch.
Paint Each Other's Portraits
This is a date night for couples who like to get a little silly. Grab some canvases and paints, and take turns painting portraits of each other. You don't have to be an artist to have fun with this activity — it's all about enjoying the process and laughing at the end result. Plus, you'll have a one-of-a-kind piece of art to hang (or hide) in your home.
Partake in a DIY Wine-Tasting
Just because you're staying in doesn't mean you can't enjoy a fancy wine-tasting experience. Pick up a few bottles of different wines and blind taste-test them together, taking notes on your favorites. You can even pair each wine with a small cheese or charcuterie plate for an extra gourmet touch.
Get a Little Competitive
If you two are all about friendly competition, then set up a game night with your favorite board, card or video games. You can even make it more interesting by incorporating bets. Maybe the winner gets breakfast in bed the next day or gets to choose the next date night activity.
Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Create a scavenger hunt for your partner with clues that lead to different areas of your home. You can make it as simple or elaborate as you want and have the final clue lead to a romantic surprise at the end.
Get to Know Each Other Better
Even if you've been together for years, there's always more to learn about your partner. Grab a set of conversation cards (these Intimacy Cards and Date Deck are perfect for a day such as Feb. 14), and take turns asking each other questions. You might be surprised at what you find out!
Take a Virtual Dance Class
You don't need a dance floor to get your groove on. Take a virtual couple's dance class and learn some new choreography together. You can find tons of classes on YouTube (here's one specifically for Valentine's Day), from salsa and tango to hip-hop and ballroom.
Have a Spa Night
Pamper each other with a spa night at home. Draw a bath, light some candles, and enjoy an evening of total relaxation together. Soft spa music and fluffy robes are highly recommended.
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