To me, Valentine’s Day has always been about time together. A special day to celebrate the love our family shares. Some years my husband and I get dressed up, go out to a nice restaurant, and have a nice time. Other years, we will take a low key (and low cost) approach, and still have a nice time. It’s fun for both of us no matter what, as long as we do something out of the ordinary together. If your budget is tight this year, here are 10 cheap and free ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
This year, we haven’t decided on our plans. With the holiday fast approaching, I have begun the discussions of options with my Valentine. While looking at these options, I started to think of my Sister and her Son as well as my Brother and his family and ideas for them to do with their kiddos. Have I told you we have a new one on the way yet? We do! My Brother gave me the good news over the holidays. We are so excited!
Wondering what to do for Valentine’s Day 2016? Here’s some Ideas…
10 Cheap and Free Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day
#1 Enjoy the Outdoors
Going on a picnic or nature hike are two of mine and my Husband’s favorite things to do on holidays. Living in the South, we tend to have good weather anytime to explore the outdoors. We really enjoy our time at our local State Parks checking out the wildlife and plant growth. Personally, I feel we can see more beauty in ourselves when we can find it in something so simple as a lone weed growing in a patch of winter-killed plants. Or a moth that flutters about the same as a summer butterfly. Don’t have a park nearby? Why not have a picnic mid-town and watch the nature that is the people around you? Occasionally we do that too.
Sledding and ice skating are fun activities, if you happen to live in a colder region. Build a snowman or make snow angels. You could even have a flirtatious snowball fight.
#2 Enhance Your Flowers
If giving a 1/2 dozen, or a dozen or however many flowers, you can jazz it up a bit. A simple way is to attach a little love note to each one individually. Or describe your upcoming evening in small details on each flower to build intrigue. Planning a surprise vacation? What better way to tell the news? The possibilities are endless!
#3 The Local Library
With the kids, I am always looking for a way for them to express their creative energy in ways other than driving their parents crazy. One great way is to go to our local library. Not only for the books but mine offers free classes, crafts, and activities for children of all different age groups. I am thinking the Puppet Show and the Crafternoon will be big hits.
#4 Make a Special Meal at Home Together
Lately, my Husband has really been discovering he likes truffle oil and butter. We like to cook together, and he is terrible to shop for gifts for. I found this delicious recipe for Truffled Mac and Cheese (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/truffled-mac-and-cheese-recipe.html) I want to try out. An evening of trying a new recipe together and dressing up to enjoy it by candle light in our dining room. Perfection!
#5 Baking Treats for Others
I work from home but my Husband still commutes to the office. I typically like to share some love at any holiday and this year I am thinking I will send them each some heart shaped brownies. I have a special recipe I follow. I learned it touring a brewery years ago. Using your favorite box mix, replace the water required with a dark beer to the same volume. That’s it! And it changes the chemistry of the brownie making it a bit more rich. I’ve never had a complaint.
#6 Local Fair or Carnival
I live in Florida which means I am lucky enough to be one of the first places of the fair/carnival season stops. Our local county fair is always here for Valentine’s Day. I’ve spent many a Valentine’s on the tilt-a-whirl or even roller coasters in my younger, more adventurous days.
# 7 Scavenger Hunt
Hide you Valentine’s favorite treats around the house or neighborhood and send them on a scavenger hunt to collect.
#8 Good Morning Kisses
Before anyone else wakes up, sneak into the bathroom and decorate the mirror with good morning kisses in lipstick. Maybe even a love note. It’s not too hard to clean off. I promise.
#9 Take a Class
Whether it’s with your partner, your children, or friends, taking a class and doing something outside of your normal comfort zone is a great way to bond and grow. I’m a huge fan of the local paint night classes or pottery classes. There’s wine glass designing, cooking, crafting, wine making and many other offerings in different areas. I tend to use Groupon (www.groupon.com) and Living Social (www.livingsocial.com) for good ideas and deals.
# 10 Planning Ahead for Next Year
I think this year I will start a new “Love Notes Jar” for the Husband and I. Once a week, I plan to leave a little love note in a mason jar for him starting Valentine’s Day. I will thank him for something he did, or recognize him for something I observed, or just to tell him I love him. Next year, that will be his gift, and mine. A night of going through reasons I have loved him during our 9th year of marriage will be fun!
I hope you each have a wonderful holiday and this post has given you some creative ideas. Holidays don’t have to be about spending a ton of money. In our family, I really try to focus on making my valentine smile by my gestures. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Written by About a Mom contributor, Sarah. Sarah is 34, married to her true prince, and a loving Aunt to 3 amazing kiddos 2, 4, and 6. Her days are spent with family and friends, traveling, cooking, her pets, or gardening. There’s also the occasional sci-fi celebration that brightens her life.