Last year we brought you a comprehensive list of some of our favorite Valentine’s Day ideas! Rather than ditching our old ideas, we’re revisiting and updating some of our favorites for you as Valentine’s Day quickly approaches…
(Originally posted February 2015, updated February 2016)
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. (2016 update – this is still one of our favorite ideas!)
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! (2016 update – this is still one of our favorite ideas! If you started a new tradition in 2015 and loved it, continue it on this year.)
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.
Updated for 2016! Some restaurants we’re scoping out in the Central Virginia area include:
- Acacia Mid-town (http://acaciarestaurant.com)
- L’opossum (http://www.lopossum.com)
- Rappahannock (https://www.rroysters.com)
Updated for 2016! For our Coastal Virginia readers, some options that enticed us included:
- The Cellars (http://www.thecellarsvb.com)
- Terrapin (http://www.terrapinvirginiabeach.com)
- Byrd & Baldwin Bros. Steakhouse (http://www.byrdbaldwin.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!) (Updated for 2016!)
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).
This year we’re loving the Romantic Weekend Getaway at Smithfield Station in Smithfield, VA. While a bit out of the way and a tad pricey starting at $649, the package includes a ton:
*Two nights stay in any of our Boardwalk, Waterfront, or Lodge Rooms
*Champagne in room upon arrival
*Dinner for Two which includes cup of soup, appetizer to share, entrée, desert, coffee or tea and a bottle of house wine Friday night or Saturday night
*Lunch off the menu Saturday afternoon
*Your choice of two Station Bloody Mary’s or Mimosa’s and our Sumptuous Breakfast Buffet for two on Sunday morning.
The beauty of this package is that the rates are good all year, so no need to rush the celebration and getaway.
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!