Cheap Dates for Valentineís Day

January 17, 2011 | Posted By: Laura Pagles
Hereís my idea for Valentineís Day: Take it back! Letís take it back from the crowds and over-priced limited menus. Letís take it back from the so-played music of the De Beers diamond ad and out-of-season roses.

Say it with me: I will not subscribe to a restaurant managerís contrived expression of my love.

Here are a few cheap date ideas intended to get you brainstorming on your own unique experience this February 14.

Campfire Símores
Pack a thermos of Irish coffee, build a fire in your backyard chiminea or local campground, or park out on your deck with a mini hibachi and bundle up together. Have your campfire supplies and símores ingredients packed and ready in advance, because forethought is hot.

A Meal Out in the A.M.
No, not the breakfast in bed clichť. Sleep in, brush off the morning breath, and skip dressing up. Load up on carbs and bacon before moving on to item three. Dine out on traditional gluttony (bisguits and gravy), fancy pancakes (crepes), or you-keep-me-spicaaay eggs (Huevos rancheros), all for less than appetizers and drinks off the Valentineís menu. Now spend the rest of the day burning it off.

Physical Exertion and Passions
Skip any option, like dance lessons, that proves just how little rhythm genetics bestowed upon your hips. Such options only leave you frustrated and realizing whoís better at leading. And avoid putting your partner in a position where they melt down mid-climbing wall because, ďOh yeah, youíre afraid of heights.Ē

Choose mutual feats of strength like hiking or snowshoeing. If food is your passion, find an exotic cooking class or tackle a new recipe together. On my bucket list, glider ride. Thatís too pricey for this post, but Iíd settle for a glass of wine and a gondola or zipline tour. Warning: all of the above may induce an increase in endorphin or adrenaline production.

Drive-In Movie (home or abroad)
Despite the low-fi sound and distracting patrons tromping around a gravel lot doubling as a movie theater, drive-in movies project (yep, I went there) simple romance. Those blessed with a local drive-in and a warm climate, sneak in your favorite takeout and dessert. Done.

As for the rest of us, drive-ins have closed for the season or for land development. Time to bust out the campfire, lawn chairs, and blankets again. Point a projector at the back of the garage and whisk your love away to the low-tech, big-picture experience of the drive-in. Rent the first movie you saw together Ė hopefully itís not ďTin CupĒ like mine.

Join me in taking back the heart in Valentineís Day. Your special day with snookems may have to land on a day before or day after for the sake of creativity. Just remember, forethought is hot, stressing about cash and a so-so night out is not.

Disclaimer: Maybe I'm a brat for not settling for a delivery of flowers accompanied by the best intentions. Iíve never been accused of being overly romantic. So are any of these doing it for you?
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February 1, 2011 | Posted By: equinoxrox
Love the idea of breakfast out, and YES the drive-in is doing it for me!
February 1, 2011 | Posted By: equinoxrox
Love the idea of breakfast out, and YES the drive-in is doing it for me!
February 3, 2011 | Posted By: DrPooh
I'm afraid I'd have a heart attack trying to shovel away enough of the snow in my back yard to have a place to sit to watch a fire in the pit. Used to enjoy DrIns as both a little kid and a young adult, but may have to hire the kids to walk in front of the big screen in the family room during the movie, oh wait they do that anyway. So now alls I need is those wonderfull odors from the snack bar: Buttery popcorn, hot dogs cooking on those continously turning metal cylinders, gosh I almost feel like I'm there right now. Any body remember "Willow".
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