Cheap, Easy, and Stunningly Romantic Date Ideas (and Kids' Activities, too)

Sometimes holidays creep up on us, and we are completely unprepared...even though the last thing we want is for our loved ones to feel, well, unloved. Here are some easy but incredibly romantic date night in ideas. The trick to making these special? Turn your phones off (yep, off) and be aware of your significant other's (or child's) love language. Not sure what their love language is? This might be the perfect time to take this free quiz together! (Here's the link for a kids' love languages test.) Showing your love means being willing to enter into their world, their needs.

These ideas could really be used anytime at all, not just for Valentine’s Day! Try to make an in-home date night happen once a week. It’s needed…trust me.

  1. Game Night – pull out a board game or some cards and get some flirtatious competition going. Turn off the TV and hide the phones and focus on some simple fun. Maybe pull
  2. Take-Out w/Candles – light some candles, put on some music, maybe sit on the floor, and eat takeout (or a frozen pizza) together while actually having a conversation.
  3. Adult Fort – build a fort together with pillows, blankets, chairs, etc.. Then snuggle in it while watching a movie. Or not.
  4. Cook/Bake Together – put the kids to bed and go into the kitchen together. Whip up a new recipe, a pan of brownies, make pancakes, whatever. Laugh and cook together (or throw flour at each other and drink a bottle of wine).
  5. Reading Night – read aloud to your hubby (could be a marriage book or a novel, a fun article you found, or poetry if you’re really brave). Maybe take turns reading and giving each other a shoulder massage. Or if reading’s not your thing, listen to a podcast or audiobook. The important thing is to use your imagination and to come up with new material for conversations together.
  6. Redbox & Popcorn – ridiculously cheap and way comfier than the movie theater. A library movie is even better.
  7. Treat Him Like A King – I know v-day is supposed to be all romantic for the girl, but you’d be surprised how happy this will make him, and how much more likely he will be to want to pamper you later. Bring him his slippers and robe. Prepare him one of his favorite treats or snacks. Give him a foot or back massage. Ask him about his day. Do something you usually don’t do for him because you don’t have the time or money. You know him best; what would make him feel like a king, a man worthy of your love?
  8. Breakfast in Bed – nothing like enjoying a luxurious breakfast in bed, where you can actually eat slowly for once. Have littles and can’t finagle a late morning alone? Serve breakfast in bed at night!
  9. Stargaze – you don’t have to know anything about the stars to appreciate them. Grab some blankets and go lay outside after dark. Sip a beverage, bring a flashlight, and talk about how small you are in the light of the God who made the universe.
  10. Get Active – what’s something you used to do when you were young and in love? Pillow fights? Lifting weights? Running? Playing guitar? Do one activity together, even if it’s only for 15 minutes and you’re laughing at each other the whole time. Get your blood pumping and loosen up all those tense muscles.

Cheap, Easy, and Simple Kid Holiday/Valentine's Day Ideas

  1. Sprinkles – it’s amazing how much some festive sprinkles and spruce up an otherwise normal day. Add them to pancakes or oatmeal for breakfast, make cookies together and toss them on top, whip up some smoothies and sprinkle on the color.
  2. Bake Together – clear your schedule for the day and let the kids help you bake! Kids can be helpful if you give them a little responsibility. They can stir, roll out dough, crack eggs, measure dry ingredients, etc. Or just hand them a spoonful of batter and turn on some music and let them dance around while you bake them some cookies. Sound stressful? Don’t worry, you have a fun date night later that night to look forward to ;) 
  3. Make Valentines – they don’t have to be fancy or pre-planned. Scribbles totally count. Pick some friends, cousins, or maybe Daddy to write to. Stick the valentines in envelopes and send them out. You do it, too! Color, write, whatever. Snail mail is a touch more thoughtful than a text, don’t you think?
  4. Hand Prints – make some hand prints with your kiddos in red and pink paint. You can do it for a valentine card, or on something sturdier to save or gift. Write this poem on it: “This is my hand/ My hand will do/ A thousand loving things for you/ And you will remember/ When I am tall/ That once my hand was just this small.”
  5. Special Outing – take your kids out for doughnuts and eat them at the park (less mess, more room for them to run crazy). Eat a picnic lunch (in your own backyard, even). Read them a short passage from the Bible and talk about love (“How do you show your love to Mommy? To your brother?”). Turn out all the lights watch a movie snuggled together in the dark before bed. It doesn’t have to be big. It just has to show them that you care.
  6. Combine Ideas w/a Friend – What have you done before with your kids that’s simple and cost-effective? What makes your kids feel loved/special? Share with each other and jot down some ideas. Maybe do something special with that other mom, tag-teaming the kiddos together!

Have fun and let go of your own expectations! Often our plans go awry and things look anything but perfect...but making a little extra effort goes a long way, and if we forget about results and simply enjoy the fun, the people we love will, too!

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." // John 13:34-35

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