Life happens even when you are wildly, madly in love. Work deadlines, your son’s soccer game and daughter’s dance class, your guy’s business trip—all can conspire to distract you from making a restaurant reservation three months in advance. And then it’s the day before Valentine’s. Sure, you can score candy and flowers anywhere, but what can you do for a last-minute date? Imagination can turn simple outings into celebratory events. Here are some ideas.
Night in at the movies
Pop some popcorn and pour some drinks. Pass around the heart-shaped box of chocolates you gave each other and get ready to snuggle amid pillows and blankets. The weather outside may be February frightful, but that will make it extra cozy under the blankets while streaming your favorite Netflix movies.
Treat him to a spa experience. Set the mood with candles, soft lights and music for an evening of pampering. Start with a relaxing bubble bath and follow up with a massage.
Ditch the stay-cation for a short getaway. A retreat in the woods gives him a chance to enjoy the peace of solitude and beauty of natural surroundings. A seaside weekend affords the chance to unwind and stroll on beaches that are not crowded with summer visitors.
Surprise dinner at home
There’s no getting around that Thursday is a busy weeknight that leaves little time to whip a complicated candlelit dinner at home. Try takeout from your local gourmet food shop or visit the ready-to-cook section of your grocery. If you both enjoy cooking, bring home groceries for a simple meal you can cook together.
Is he still hanging on to the same old college sweatshirt he wore when you first met? Go shopping at the local mall for style ideas and treat him to a new sweater or shirt or, heck, entire wardrobe. If he balks at buying, treat him to a latte, make note of his best sizes and colors and go shopping online later.
Tour for tacos
Turn the search for your favorite fast food into culinary adventure with a tour of the best taco trucks in town. Stop for drinks along the way. Instagram highlights of the tour.
Picnic in the park
A picnic in the park in February on the West Coast may call for sweaters and warm blankets, but do you need a better excuse to snuggle up for a cozy afternoon lunch? Enjoy fresh air and open sky along with a bottle of wine, loaf of rustic bread and cheese.
Retro bowling date
Laugh together as you remember high school dates, milkshakes and making out. Try out your rusty skills at the local bowling alley and forget about totaling up gutter balls.
Last chance for a late seating
You really, really, really want to go out for a special dinner but it’s Valentine’s Day morning. You could waste hours phoning around town to find the last spot at the bar at the local sports tavern. Or you can head on over to OpenTable.com to find out how far you’ll have to go to score a late seating at a romantic bistro.