I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me, every year, Valentine’s Day comes creeping up and before I know it, it’s February 13th and I’m at a loss for a good date/gift idea the day before it’s due. I know that there are many people who don’t believe in giving material gifts on the day of romance, while others believe that giving gifts illustrates affection. This year, I thought I would get a head start and maybe help out other poor lost souls like myself searching for the right idea. So, after some research and time with my thinking cap on, as I snuggled with a tea under my fuzzy plaid blanket, here’s what I came up with: 14 out-of-the-chocolate-box romantic ideas for the homebodies, the adventurists, the creatives, and of course, the foodies.
Make your own chocolate
If your sweetheart has a sweet tooth, why not put a little love into the mix with some homemade chocolate? I personally love fudge, and my mother-in-law’s recipe is quick and easy! Follow the link for a PDF of Linda’s fudge recipe or try allrecipes.com for some other sweet ideas.
Learn something new together
Sometimes as couples we can get stuck in our daily routines. Try going to Galt Museum to see one of its history exhibits, or walk around the Nature Centre and breathe in some fresh, brisk air. You could even take a cooking class together and learn how to make your favourite food! Lethbridge is full of opportunities to expand your mind, so why not do it together?
Make dinner together
There have been many studies that show how cooking together can strengthen your relationship and make you feel closer as a couple. Spending that time together as a team can increase feelings of intimacy. If you’re already experienced chefs, head to the grocery store for some ingredients and make your favourite dish at home together. You can even follow along with a YouTube video if you’re feeling like trying something new! Light some candles and get your favourite playlist going in the background.
Head to your favourite outdoor spot to watch the sunset and take some selfies with the gorgeous view behind you. Bring your fur baby(s) too! You can even see if someone nearby will take a goofy photo of the two of you. Then, pick your favourites and print them off at the photo lab. Start a collage or a new photo album of your adventures together.
Hang out and reminisce
Sometimes it’s fun just to sit and share a bottle of wine with the music playing in the background, while you talk about some of your favourite times together. It’s a great way to reconnect and maybe remind each other of some of the finer details that you might’ve forgotten.
Switch it up! If one of you does the dishes all the time, or most of the cooking –trade places! Get out of your comfort zone and show your partner you really care by doing a task that might not exactly be your favourite. It might even help you realize just how much you appreciate the other person by stepping into their shoes for a day.
A great way to grow together as a couple is by doing charitable work for the community. Watching your partner engage in volunteerism can rekindle admiration and respect. Not to mention that the feeling of doing something for the community will have you both in a good mood when you get home and open the outlets for communication. If you need help finding the perfect volunteer opportunity as a couple, you can visit Volunteer Lethbridge and the staff there will help you find what you’re looking for.
Let’s make a deal
Sometimes the pressure of Valentine’s Day lies in purchasing a gift. Maybe you’re afraid you won’t spend as much as the other person, or that your gift won’t seem as thoughtful. Even the playing field and make a deal that you’ll make each other’s gifts with a $10 cap on materials. Check out Pinterest for some ideas. Or try this idea that my partner did for me one year:
Age small squares of paper by crumpling them and soaking in black tea. After they dry, write different date ideas and then roll into individual scrolls. Tie each scroll and put in a jar or wooden box. Give the jar/box as a gift to your loved one. You can make as many scrolls as you like, or even use the ideas from this list. Then, when your partner wants to pull a scroll you’ll both be surprised!
Southern Alberta is a great hot-spot for outdoor winter activities. We’re close to the mountains and we have the coulees! Head to Castle Mountain or Fernie for a mountain get away and do some skiing or winter hiking. You can even hit up a cross-country path at
Cameron Lake. There are also free public skating sessions offered by the City you can check out. You could even enjoy a serene walk in Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden.
For more outdoor activity ideas, check out the Top 7 list from our November/December issue!
Don’t feel like spending all that money on going out? Cut your costs in half and turn your house into the venue! Turn your dining room into an intimate little bistro and your living room into a cozy home theatre complete with popcorn. You’ll even have fun during the transformation process. You can get a theme going such as visiting another country like India, Italy, or Germany. Decorate and cook according to your theme; find a bottle of wine from the region to pair with the meal– and why not try a foreign film for real authenticity?!
Never underestimate the power of a slow dance in the living room. Dim the lights, put on your song and get swept away as you dance together. Cheesy? Absolutely. Effective? Even more so. There’s a little bit of romance hiding in all of us.
Write something original
Often how we feel about others can be hard to express. Writing a letter, a poem, or even a song can be a great way to say the things that have been on your mind for some time. There is nothing more intimate or meaningful than a personal love note.
Just because it’s Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate with friends too! Have a couples night and play board games to get that competitive edge going. Make it a potluck or fondue party and enjoy yummy snacks while you battle your friends during an intense game of sequence.
Get nostalgic and recreate your first date. Try to find the movie the two of you saw, or go to the places you visited. Do you have pictures lying around from that first date? Take some new photos during your second first date or retake one of your favourites for a before and after for the photo album.
There’s a lot of history and stories that surround the true meaning of Valentine’s Day and where it came from, and while many believe that it’s simply another greeting card money grab, it never hurts to dedicate a day every once in a while, to show your spouse how much you love and appreciate him/her. Hopefully this list helps you feel a little less lost as the day approaches! Best of luck to you all, and I hope you have a peaceful and romantic day that is perfectly suited to the both of you.
Do you have a fabulous out-of-the-box idea? Email [email protected] and we’ll add it to the list!