In honor of Valentine’s day, here are a few great ideas for the perfect date. All of which are reasonably affordable and off the beaten path. Even after six years together, we take date night very seriously around here.
1. At Home Spa Date
This is an easy one, you probably already have most of the supplies needed. None of us can afford or create the time to have a spa day as often as we need. But doing it at home with your partner is just as good, if not better.
Supplies: bubble bath, bath salts or bombs (or both), 2 sheet masks, your favorite lotion or massage oil, lots of candles, a great playlist, champagne optional.
Create: ambience, low to no artificial lights, instead lite candles to get the perfect lighting. Draw a warm bath with all the goodies, bubbles, bombs, salts and oils. Set out two sheet masks for you and your partner to wear. The heat from the bath opens your pores and lets the serum get to work. Play a great playlist. Spotify has many options or you can always make your own. Once you are done with the sheet mask and soak, or before you begin, take turns giving each other massages. The cherry on top is adding two glasses of champagne to enjoy while you relax with each other.
2. Bike Ride To Picnic Date
There are many variations of a picnic date, all of which I recommend. But adding a bike ride or dog walk is one my favorites. It combines physical stimulation with lounging and eating. Since Chris and I started dating we have been going on picnics, we even got engaged having a picnic in Griffith Park. We go to Shakespeare, movies, and concerts in the park – lay down a picnic blanket, pull out our food and enjoy.
Supplies: bike (only if you already own one), easily portable cooler, picnic blanket, food and drink of your choosing.
Create: pack the food and drinks to nibble on. We are big fans of charcuterie boards, instead of a board, I fill a couple Tupperware containers and bring some cold waters. Everything gets packed into a handy backpack cooler that my husband will wear while we ride our bikes to our local park. The picnic blanket goes in my bike basket. When we get the park, we lay out the blanket, sit and relax. Usually followed by laying side by side on the blanket talking and occasionally taking a cat nap.
3. Dinner Date At Home
The classic drinks and dinner date is fundamental. We love talking over a drink and dinner. For us it is something different, we spend most dinners in front of the tv. Kids (in our case, dogs) can prevent the ability to leave the house for date night. So why not do drinks and dinner at home?
Supplies: wine, or preferred spirits needed to mix you drinks of choice, groceries, plan out appetizers, dinner and dessert. Whatever can be made ahead of time and then heated when it’s time, is best. The food doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated, most importantly this is about spending time together not stressing out about the cooking.
Create: candles or low lighting, sit at the dinning room table or any room of your house that does not have a tv. Enjoy cocktail hour, sip and laugh. Spend this time together, not running around or cooking. Appetizers next. Once you have enjoyed your appetizers begin dinner and then share your dessert. Don’t rush any course, take your time like you would at a fancy restaurant. We like to play soft background music. It’s probably the only time that I pull out the nicer plates and cocktail glasses for just the two of us. It adds to the mood.
4. Stargazing Date
This is romantic, unique and so much fun. Lay under the stars, snuggle up under a blanket together and watch the stars.
Supplies: blankets(at least two), pillows, thermos full of hot chocolate, a yummy dessert to share.
Create: in my opinion this might be the simplest date to do, and the most romantic. You can do a little research and find a great look out spot, usually up a hill or mountain top. Or you can use your own backyard. Snuggle up next to each other and gaze at the wonders of the sky. There are several apps to download that help you navigate what can be seen from your location in the night sky. Sip hot cocoa and share a yummy dessert.
5. Camping Overnight Date
We need these dates every so often in our relationship. It helps us disconnect from the world and reconnect with each other. Even just a one night camping trip, can make us feel renewed. We can walk around, cook together, drink, enjoy the fresh outdoors, explore, and truly enjoy each other on a different level.
Supplies: camping gear of your choosing, if you do not already have camping gear I highly recommend you start investing in it now. A great pair of hiking boots, a good book, and the absolute must have, marshmallows for roasting.
Create: a home away from home, preferably with no cell phones or electronics of any kind. Walk around. Hike. Have a drink at your campsite. Read a good book. Curl up near the camp fire, make s’mores. A whole 24 to 48 hours with no cell service can do wonders for anyone and any relationship. You will connect in a completely different way.