The average person will spend over $130 on Valentine’s Day this year, according to a report from the National Retail Federation. This amounts to a pretty pricey mid-February evening for those of short on cash.
Happily, there are lots of free things to do this Valentine’s Day that will leave you wondering why you ever paid a premium for fun. Check out the following ideas and be sure to hit up MrFreeStuff.com for a complete list of 60 dates that don’t cost a thing.
Note: And most of these can include your pets, if you choose to bring them along and have them join in on the fun. Or if you are alone with them and want to invite single friends over. All sorts of possibilities. You can make it a Galentine’s Day or Palentine’s Day or whatever you want ! You could even fundraise with your dog’s kisses for your favorite animal rescue. Smooches from Pooches.
1. Create a Game Night
Host a game night this Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s a mellow game of Scrabble or a high-intensity round of Texas Hold ‘Em, you’ll enjoy a little friendly competition with your date. Tug of war, throw the frisbee, ball or chew the stuffed animal works for Fido.
2. Head to the Playground
Skip the pricey restaurant. Have a picnic at home or at the park with lunch meats, cheese, potato salad, French bread and wine. At the playground enjoy some kid-like fun. Compete on the swingset or see who can hold out the longest on the merry-go-round. Chase the dog or have the dog chase you. Climb the monkey bars.
3. Volunteer Together
Valentine’s Day seems to be all about what you’re doing for your special someone. Why not collaborate and do something for others instead? Soup kitchens, animal shelters and nursery homes could use a few good volunteers, so spend your Feb. 14 brightening someone else’s day.
4. Make S’Mores
Forget chocolate-covered strawberries; s’mores are where it’s at this Valentine’s Day! Roast marshmallows over your kitchen stove, expertly melt chocolate and create a multi-layered, gooey treat. Camp out at home, back yard and toast the marshmallows and chocolate over the fire.
5. Bring the Spa Home
Spas and salons will be brimming with lovey-dovey couples this Valentine’s Day, but you can skip the crowds and create a better experience at home. Gather your candles, towels and favorite CDs and prepare a steamy bath. Complete the experience with a couples massage.
6. Get Touristy
Despite how long you’ve lived in your current city, there are likely several hidden gems you haven’t yet experienced. Stop by the local visitor’s center with your date and inquire about free things to do in your community, then hit the road toward discovery.
7. Host a Movie Night
Host a movie night and ask friends to bring their favorite snack to share. Peruse your DVD collection for a funny or thought-provoking flick and leave the tear-jerkers for just the two of you.
8. Relive Storytime
Open a bottle of wine or pop the top on your favorite brew and settle in for an evening of storytelling. Share passages from your favorite books or pick up your favorite childhood classics from the local library. Once upon a time…
9. Cook Dinner Together
Cooking a meal for your loved one has long been a Valentine’s Day tradition, but why not prepare something together? Challenge each other to create a tasty meal out of items you already have in your pantry and toast to your resourcefulness.
10. Host a Wine Tasting
Tasting flights will cost you a pretty penny at fancy restaurants, but you can bring the experience home for less. Ask friends to bring a bottle of wine and their favorite snack pairing and enjoy an intellectual discussion about tannins and undercurrents.