A 2019 survey by the National Retail Foundation found Americans spend an average of $161.96 on Valentine’s Day. As a nation, the holiday spending in 2019 brought in about $27.4 billion. Statistically, each year the number increases. The reality is society has turned the day of expressing love into a commercial cash cow.

While chocolates, jewelry and flowers are wonderful gifts, spending time together as a couple is more thoughtful and expressive. Even though a night at home will require a little more strategy, the moments together will create memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.

If you’re struggling to come up with a creative Valentine’s date for a night in, here are our Valentine's Day approved ideas. Don’t worry, you can totally take the credit for these. We won’t tell!

Personal fire.

What is cozier than a warm fire coupled with a soft blanket and the one you love most? The only other thing to make a fire more romantic is smores and maybe a glass of wine. Don’t overthink the power of a bonfire and quality time with your Valentine.

Create a fancy meal together.

Cooking together is a great way couples can spend quality time together and reap the rewards of their hard work. Pick up a meal kit that takes the guesswork out of the complexity of cooking or research a meal you’ve always wanted to recreate. Learning new things together is a wonderful way couples can have a fun night indoors.

Movie and a charcuterie board.

The movie world has really upped its game in the last five years. Nowadays, you can rent a film even though it is a new theatrical release. Or you can tune into a streaming station and check out their new releases available. When it is movie time, turn off the other distractions and cuddle up.

A charcuterie board is a great way to have a little bit of everything – chocolate strawberries, cheese, crackers, and apples. Whatever you’re in the mood for. It is all fair game! A charcuterie board is a great way to treat yourself to a little of everything without feeling stuffed.

Board games.

Breaking out a board game can be a fun way to spend Valentine’s Day! If you want to double date but can’t be together physically, consider playing a virtual rendition of the board game with a couple far away. There are a ton of options – Uno, Monopoly, Scrabble, etc.

Book Reading.

Are you and your partner total book nerds? Go to the library or your favorite local bookstore and select a book to read together. Take turns reading the chapters. If you’re feeling extra nerdy, find a discussion guide online and discuss the plot, characters and pose what-if questions to each other. Book reading coupled with a yummy snack is a great way to spend a Valentine’s Day evening.

Go shopping.

Have you been searching for a piece of art for the house? Or maybe you like shopping for great vintage finds. If so, make a night out of it. Grab a bottle of wine and order in from your favorite restaurant, then go on an online scavenger hunt (as a couple) to find the perfect new treasure.

Dinner by candlelight.

Order in from your favorite local restaurant and light a few candles to create the perfect ambiance. The super-simple addition of candles can be the perfect way to zhoosh up your normal dinner routine on Valentine’s Day.

Stream a virtual concert.

Check out the virtual concerts available and stream one on Valentine’s Day. If there aren’t any concerts available, consider watching a previously recorded concert together. Listening to your favorite music together is a great way to have fun and relax.

Exercise.

Okay, this is definitely for the couples who are into yoga, cycling or dancing. Enroll in an online class that you can take together or watch an instructional video. Physical exercise is a great way to release stress and get those endorphins flowing.

Chocolate fondue.

Nothing is more delicious than chocolate-covered everything. Grab strawberries, blueberries, apples, oranges, graham crackers, pretzels, and anything else you can think of that pairs well with chocolate. Setting up a chocolate fondue station is a delicious treat to enjoy indoors or outside on the deck.

Brewery or wine tasting.

Visit your local brewery or vineyard and purchase to-go samples of various beers and/or wines. Create your own taste testing at home and spend an evening ranking which drinks you liked best.

If you’re more of a cocktail connoisseur, look for the different virtual cocktail classes available via Zoom.

Get a couples massage.

Many businesses had to get creative in 2020 and expand their services to be mobile-friendly. Many masseuses will come to your home and provide massages at a slightly increased rate. If you’re willing to splurge, this can be a fun way to spend the evening.

Have a cook-off.

If you’re a competitive couple or fans of the show Chopped, consider a cook-off and challenge each other to see which partner can make the best dish. If baking is more of your thing, do a bake-off. This is another idea that lends itself well to a virtual double date.

Take a virtual painting class.

If you and your Valentine are more of the artsy type, check out the virtual painting classes available. Studies show that when couples participate in art-centered classes together, their bodies release more oxytocin – which is associated with producing empathy, trust, sexual activity, and relationship building.

Watch the stars.

If you’re a couple that loves all things astronomy, lay a blanket on the ground and admire the stars together. There are a ton of books and apps available to help you map out which constellations will be visible.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to be fancy or cost a lot of money. Spending time with your special person and rejoicing in your admiration for each other is what February 14th is all about. Make the most out of your time together and find a way you to be bond over what matters most – each other!

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