Ever noticed how hard it is to get a last-minute dinner reservation on Valentine’s Day? Unless you're Vogue editor Anna Wintour, you’ll have better luck sneaking silverware out of the presidential state dinner than booking a table on Feb. 14.
If you waited too long to pick up the phone, or simply want to break the Valentine’s Day dinner tradition, there are plenty of other ways to fan the flames of romance on Friday. Staying in for the holiday can be just as rewarding as an extravagant night on the town. And with Winter Storm Pax marching its way up the Eastern Seaboard, who wants to go out in all this bad weather anyway?
Even if it’s as simple as rolling out the picnic blanket in front of the fireplace, kicking off your shoes and having Chinese takeout while watching the flames dance, it’s being together that counts. You and your special someone won’t regret it.
Here are some date ideas for a stay-at-home Valentine’s Day to get you started.
Watch an entire Netflix original series.
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With the second season of Netflix’s hit series “House of Cards” being released on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to catch up on a Netflix original show.
The streaming media provider now has several Netflix-branded series in its repertoire. Are you and your special someone the political drama types? “House of Cards” with Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright is sure to satisfy your appetite for salacious D.C. politicking. Are you more the horror show junkie? Check out “Hemlock Grove.”
“Orange Is the New Black,” about a New York yuppie whose world is turned upside-down when she’s suddenly thrown into jail for crimes she committed in her youth, is also a big hit.
The best part? All of the episodes are released at once, so there’s no waiting to see what comes next.
If you and your date want a night to veg out together, grab a few bags of popcorn and a bottle of wine and settle in for a Netflix marathon.
Make dinner with a ready-to-cook dinner kit.
If you’re not much of a chef, but want to prove yourself with a home-cooked meal, don’t worry. There are people you can pay to do most of the thinking for you, right down to picking out the ingredients.
Recently, there’s been a proliferation of ready-to-cook dinner kit businesses that will buy, measure, cut, store and ship all the components you’ll need right to your home. They remove most of the hassle and offer reassurance that you won’t over-spice the chicken mole.
Check out Plated, HelloFresh, Chefday! and BlueApron to get an idea of what’s out there and which businesses serve your area. Who knows, maybe you'll even purchase a year’s membership and make it a habit!
Add some candles, a bottle of champagne, some dim lighting and you’re all set for a romantic Valentine’s Day evening in.
Make a piece of art, using your bodies as the paintbrushes.
If you’ve ever wanted to make love on a canvas, this one’s for you. Love Is Art is all about offering you and your significant other a chance to create something that is truly one-of-a-kind. The idea is to showcase your, err, “intimate” talents on a 54’ by 41’ white canvas.
The company will send you a painting kit with everything you need to create an abstract piece of art, including paints that are safe for your body. The only thing you have to do is get creative about how you’ll apply it.
Kits costs $60 to $79 depending on the quantity and type of colors.
Have a cheese and wine picnic in front of the fireplace.
Spread a blanket out in front of the fireplace for a cozy indoor picnic. Visit your local cheese and meats shop for some good eats, pick up a bottle of wine, light some candles and lose yourselves to the sultry sound of Michael Bublé.
Check out Wine Enthusiasts pairing guide for what goes best with what.
For the couple looking to take their cheese and wine date to the next level, Urban Cheese Craft offers DIY cheese kits that can turn any amateur cheese enthusiast into a full-blown cheesemonger.
Restore an old piece of furniture.
If you live together, and you’ve been wanting to find a use for that antique bureau you found at a thrift store awhile back, what better way is there to bond than by repurposing something as a couple?
Make a Valentine’s Day date to give an old piece of furniture a much-needed facelift. Go shopping for fun colors to stain the wood with, pick out some new nobs and handles and run by the hardware store for all the tools you’ll need for getting the job done.
Then get working! The progress you’ll make on the bureau is a perfect metaphor for the progress you’re making in the relationship.
Have a game night.
They can be get-to-know you games like “Would You Rather,” trivia games, card games or even naughty games. It doesn’t matter, what ‘s important is that you’re hanging out and laughing with one another!
Have a themed date night.
Have the two of you been wanting to take a trip to Italy for some time now? Why not bring Italy to you?
Pick an Italian dish to cook together (pizzas are easy, right?), grab a bottle of Chianti and a pint of gelato, pop in “Roman Holiday” and let the Italian staycation begin!
Pick another far-off destination and get creative with the theme. Remember, it’s the thought that counts, not how much you spend. Happy Valentine’s Day!