Save, splurge: Valentine date ideas
MANILA, Philippines - There are basically two ways to go on a Valentine’s Day date: either go on a budget or go for gold.
There is no right or wrong. If you’re strapped for cash, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to invite your special other to a fantastic date on the day of hearts. If you’re itching to use your hard-earned bonus for your date, go on right ahead.
Here are our Valentine date suggestions:
1) A fancy dinner
Don’t necessarily go for the most expensive restaurant in the most expensive part of town. A great Valentine’s Day dinner date depends largely on ambiance. If you have a restaurant in mind based on good reviews from your friends or from research, look up photographs of the place first. Will its interiors be capable of amping up the romantic vibe or is it too gaudy?
Of course, make sure the food tastes great to make the night a satisfying feast for the senses.
Check out these recipes from Rappler columnists Rachel Alejandro and Sam Oh:
- Easy healthy recipes for 2013
- Recipes for romance
- Cutie cake pops
- Kesong puti salad with passion-ette
For cash-strapped lovers, there is no shame in dining in. In fact, this is your chance to show your date how ingenious and resourceful you are. Choose a special part of your house or apartment for the romantic evening. It can be the balcony, garden-facing terrace, or the garden itself. Deck it out with candles and flowers (roses are the best choice!).
Unleash the chef in you by preparing gourmet meals using ingredients that can be acquired cheaply from supermarkets. You’ll be able to find cheap steak if you research well and ask around.
The great thing about dining in is that the more romantic, private parts of your home are just a few steps away. A candle-lit bubble bath anyone?
2) "Honeymoon" somewhere exotic
If you’ve been in a relationship long enough, you know by now which parts of the world or country your loved one is dying to visit. If you’ve got enough cash and you’re feeling particularly generous this year, book yourselves a ticket to his or her desired travel destination.
Up the ante by going 5-star all the way so that no crappy detail, stressful tour packages, or sub-par hotel room ruins the magic. At random moments during the trip, surprise your date with a single-stem rose, chocolates, or a great-smelling perfume.
Who ever said “exotic” means you have to travel? You can bring "exotic" right into your house! Take your family’s camping tent and set it up in your garden, spacious balcony or (best choice) roof deck. Spruce it up with pretty lights, soft sheets, and pillows.
Fill it with all of your date’s favorite things in the world: comic books, stuffed toys, board games, food. Hide a special gift somewhere in the tent. On V-day, lead your blind-folded date inside the tent.
When they open their eyes, they will discover a totally unfamiliar, “exotic” place. You can spend the night doing home-buddy things like watching movies on a laptop. Then, open the tent door to gaze at the stars. During the course of the night, let your date discover the gift you've hidden in the tent.
If you forget to “bring” something or if your date suddenly needs something, you can just go back in the house and get it! Set your alarm clock so that you can watch the sunrise.
3) Do something artsy and cultured
The month of hearts is a month full of concerts, plays, musicals, ballet productions, and operas. No doubt, theaters all over the country already have romantic productions all lined up for February.
Choose a performance you think your date will enjoy the most based on his or her personality, preferences, and past experiences. You can enjoy the evening watching beautiful art while holding hands and imbibing the passion true art evokes.
After your evening of culture, have a late dinner or midnight snack in a good restaurant or walk around a park while talking about the performance you just watched.
The following suggestion may be cheaper but it requires more creativity and effort, especially for the not-so-artistically-inclined. If you can’t afford tickets to the latest musical production or concert, be the performance!
Bring back the guitar skills you learned with your high school friends and compose a special song for your special other. On the evening of Valentine’s, walk with your date in a park with a nice ambiance. Find a nice spot and serenade them there.
Even better, go for the surprise factor and serenade them when they least expect it, whether they’re in their room or washing plates in the kitchen.
If you’re more into visual arts, paint a picture that best represents your relationship and unveil it in front of them on Valentine’s.
If you’re going for an actual activity you can do together, buy scrapbook materials, print your best couple photos and spend the whole day making a scrapbook side-by-side!
There are many more ways to go high or low for a Valentine’s Day date. There’s no reason why your wallet should limit your romantic evening if your imagination knows no bounds. Happy Valentine’s! - Rappler.com