That odd month with fewer days, ridiculous temperature shifts, and that lovely little day in the middle when you’re reminded (not-so-subtly) that you should spend time with your sweetheart.
For some, Valentine’s Day is an all-out extravaganza complete with flowers, chocolates, dinners, gifts, etc. In fact, consumers in the U.S. spend over $13 billion (yes, billion with a b) on Valentine’s Day every year. And if the spending isn’t daunting enough, the choices of where to go and what to buy are endless.
That’s where we come in! We totally understand that work, kids, and schedules leave you scrambling to plan something meaningful and budget friendly at the last minute, so this year we’ve compiled a few ideas to inspire you this Valentine’s Day.
The Cozy (FRUGAL!)
Let’s be honest – sometimes the thought of lining up a sitter, getting dressed up, making reservations, fighting crowds of first daters and spending a small fortune on one night out is just a bit much. Keep it simple and celebrate what Valentine’s Day is really all about – spending time with each other. Cozy up on the couch with a great movie, takeout or delivery from your favorite restaurant, a warm blanket and your love for a night all about just the two of you.
The Memory (FUN!)
Why reinvent the wheel? If you’ve got a spot that holds special meaning to you, take the time to revisit and recreate that memory on (or around) Valentine’s Day! Think back to your first date, first meeting, etc. and build the perfect date all around the memories of why you’re together in the first place!
The Adventure (FUN!)
My hubby and I have vowed to make this a new tradition this year. Rather than settling for a restaurant we’ve been to a thousand times before, we’ve decided to try somewhere new altogether. It may be wonderful, it may be terrible, but we’ll get a (child free) night to try it together and make a memory.
Some restaurants we’re scoping out in the Central Virginia area include:
- Malabar Indian Cuisine (http://www.malabarindiancuisine.com/)
- Thai Flavor (http://www.yelp.com/biz/thai-flavor-glen-allen)
- Nora (http://norarestaurant.com/)
For our Coastal Virginia readers, some options that enticed us included:
- Thai Arroy (http://www.thaiarroy.com/ver/)
- Som Bao Café (http://sombaocafe.com/#!/home)
- Monastery Restaurant (http://www.443granby.com/)
The Competition (FUN!)
Who doesn’t love a little competition? While it’s a little cold for many outdoor activities, find something indoors that can bring out the competitor in you. If you and your significant other are up for a night of friendly banter and bragging rights, check out these options:
In Central Virginia:
- Uptown Alley (http://uptownalleyrichmond.com/)
- Dave & Buster’s (http://www.daveandbusters.com/default.aspx)
In Coastal Virginia:
The Splurge (FABULOUS!)
Maybe Valentine’s Day is THE one night/day a year you have a sitter lined up, or has special significance to you and your partner. If that’s the case, go big or go home – complete with dinner and even an overnight stay if time permits. Many hotels offer dinner/accommodation packages for the holiday, so look for special packages and pricing (often with champagne or chocolates thrown in as well). A couple of our favorites are:
- The Retreat To Romance package at the Omni Richmond (from $304/night) which includes accommodations for 2, a $100 dinner credit, romantic turndown service with music and dim lights, and a bottle of sparkling wine.
- The Romantic Valentine’s Day Getaway at the Hilton Virginia Beach (from $199/night) which includes accommodations for 2, a $50 restaurant credit, in-room champagne and chocolate covered strawberries.
Bonus tip – if you aren’t set on celebrating ON Valentine’s Day, look for a weekend before or after when rates may be lower (and restaurants less crowded!)
The key to any date (Valentine’s Day or otherwise) is not how much you spend, but that you’re with someone you love, doing/eating/experiencing something you enjoy together, and making memories.
With that, cheers and Happy Valentine’s Day!
(photo credits Google Images)