By: Elizabeth Livingston, author of

With Valentine’s day right around the corner, I know many of you will be trying to come up with some ways to show your partner you care.  Valentine’s day can be one of those holidays where costs can add up quickly.  Dinner, movie, gifts and more can easily add up to over $100!

As a mom and wife, I know holidays can be a busy time and without proper planning you can easily go over budget.  Below are a few Valentine’s Day date ideas that are fun, romantic and budget friendly!

1.Romantic indoor picnic

Think of a romantic outdoor picnic and simply recreate the scene anywhere in your home.  Bring out the blankets, candles, pillows and picnic basket.  You can even get extra creative, hang some string lights and make your own “fort” in front of your fireplace!

2.  Drive in movie theater

Drive in movie theaters are not commonly thought of for a movie date, but why not?  I love the idea of being in the car, bringing your own snacks (or grab some at concessions) and cuddling with some blankets while watching one of the newest flicks.  Many theaters even have areas if you wish to camp outside instead of being in your car.  Great way to think out of the bubble!

Our local drive-in theatres generally cost about $7-$10 per person. Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre (Henderson) offers movies every Friday and Saturday.  The Eden Drive-In closes during the Winter but begins showing movies during the weekend beginning in March. For more information visit their websites at &

3. Breakfast in bed

Don’t have time to do a romantic date later in the evening?  This is a creative way to spend time with your partner and not have to spend much.  I love to make themed pancakes for special holidays so heart shaped pancakes are absolutely on my list for Valentine’s day!

4. Ice skating

How fun would this be during the winter time?  I feel like winter is made for ice skating and bundling up. The Ice House (Greensboro) offers public skating most days (times do vary) during the week.  During the week days, general admission is $6.00, including skate rentals.  If you go during the weekend admission is $7.00 with $3.00 for skate rental. Visit their website ( for more information.

Winston Salem Fairgrounds offers public skating throughout the week with $7.00 admission and $3.00 for rental skates.  Some days they offer discounted admission for $7.00, including skate rental. Visit their website ( for more information.

5. Painting classes

You may have seen these advertised as paint or pottery classes for women, many of these places offer date nights.  Especially around Valentine’s Day, you will be able to find a lot of partner classes with discounts.

The Mad Platter (Greensboro) offers “date night” on Fridays where two people paint for the price of one. They even offer a buy one get one on the studio fee. Visit their website for more information.

Wine & Design (Greensboro) offers “date night” on different days throughout the month.  Each night has a different theme to paint.  The price is $25.00 per person. Check out their calendar for all upcoming sessions at

Merlot and Van Gogh (Winston Salem) offers scheduled classes and open paint times.  You can bring your own food and drinks for the class, which is certainly a bonus! Check out their calendar for all upcoming sessions and open paint times at

6. Indoor Smores

Who says s’mores is a summer time treat?  S’mores is one of my favorite desserts year-round and they are so easy to make. If you have a fireplace, then set up camp and enjoy inside or you can even enjoy this treat outside bundled in blankets!

7. Homemade pizza family night

Planning on spending Valentine’s Day with the kids? Create a homemade Valentine’s Day pizza bar right in your kitchen.  Have different toppings that each person can choose to make their own personal pizza or have a giant family pizza that you all can create together. If you want to get really creative you can even have the pepperoni cut into the shape of hearts. This is an excellent idea to include everyone…and to be honest who doesn’t love pizza?

8. Comedy Club

Love to laugh? Imagine spending your evening next to your partner sharing laughter. The Triad area has many comedy clubs to choose from. The Comedy Zone (Greensboro), The Idiot Box (Greensboro) and Laughing Gas (Winston-Salem) all have tickets for under $10. Prices may vary depending on the night and/or comedian. One things for sure, it’ll be a fun night! Get ready to share smiles.

9. Outdoor Hike/Walk

This is a great way to spend one on one time with your partner while enjoying the outdoors (and burning some calories!). Hanging Rock State Park and Pilot Mountain State Park have great trails and both have beautiful views from the top! If hiking and going for walks is an activity you already do together, then try a different park or venture out into a new hiking trail! I’m not sure if it’s just me, but something about walking outdoors really pushes out great conversations.

10. Family gift exchange

A family gift exchange is another great option if you plan to spend the holiday with your family.  This is a great way to incorporate everyone in the family in the spirit of the holiday.  You can have each family member create a homemade card and exchange it using the same style as secret Santa.


For additional date night ideas, visit the TMoM Date Night Directory here