Celebrate Valentine's Day With a Stay-at-Home Date Night
If crowded restaurants aren’t your style, and PDA makes you cringe.
Maybe you forgot to make dinner reservations, or maybe you’re not a fan of crowds. Maybe you’re on a tight budget, or maybe you simply like the idea of a romantic night in the comfort of your own home. Whatever your reason for staying in on Valentine’s Day, I totally get it. I’m a big fan of stay-at-home date nights, especially when it comes to super-busy holidays like Valentine’s Day. Just let me say one thing, fellow love hermit. Don’t let your night roll by like any old, regular night. Resist the Netflix urge, and hide the takeout menu. Make plans and preparations, so you and your S.O. actually feel like you’re on a romantic date night. (By make plans, I mean follow the plans I've already laid out for you below, and thank me later.)
Step 1: Make a DIY Valentine’s Day Gift
A handmade gift, like this 52 Reasons I Love You Jar, is a thoughtful, meaningful — not to mention budget-friendly — alternative to a store-bought trinket. You’ll want to make this gift in advance, as it might require some time.
Step 2: Decorate Your Home
Make Valentine’s Day (and your S.O.) feel ultra-special by decking out the house in festive, love-themed decor. This XOXO wreath is a perfect way to greet your love.
Make sure dinner is romantic by decorating your dining area with this whimsical paper heart chandelier.
Make It: Paper Heart Chandelier
Step 3: Make a Flower Arrangement
Don’t forget the basics — flowers are a must! Instead of dishing out serious cash for a professional arrangement, make your own with grocery store flowers. Before you buy your blooms, learn what they mean with our fun flower symbolism quiz.
Make It: DIY Flower Arrangement
Step 4: Sip Cocktails in Fancy Flutes
Buy the ingredients to make one of our Valentine’s Day cocktails, and make these DIY glittered flutes ahead of time for sophisticated sipping. More of a wine couple? We’ve got you covered there, too, with bottles for every budget and an adorable wine glass DIY.
Whether you're rendezvousing on a romantic island getaway or keeping warm by the fire, you can channel an island feel with this beachy delight. A mix of Malibu rum, lime and lemon juice makes for a fun, flirty cocktail — perfect to share with someone special. Get the recipe.
Step 5: Serve an Unexpected Dinner
Impress your Valentine with a bright red bowl of Borscht. This Russian soup is delicious and chock-full of romantic powers thanks to the beet, an aphrodisiac.
Make It: Borscht
Step 6: Satisfy Your Sweet Teeth
Is it even Valentine’s Day if you don't overload on sugar? Make one of our tasty treats, and woo your sweetheart with your creativity.
Chocolate Brownie Pudding
This super chocolatey treat is sure to satisfy your sweetie's sweetest tooth. Is it a brownie? Is it pudding? We're not sure. All we know is that it's sinfully delicious. Get the recipe.
Cupid's Arrow Hot Chocolate
Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cookie Truffles
You're probably familiar with classic chocolate truffles. But these beauties mix chocolate sandwich cookies, cream cheese and fresh strawberries for a treat that's seriously irresistible. Plus, you can use a heart cookie cutter and hot-pink sprinkles to make them even more delightful. Get the recipe.
Conversation Heart Cookies
This year, swap those traditional candy conversation hearts for something homemade and customized. Make vanilla sandwich cookies and use a custom stamp-setting kit and food-safe decorating pen to create personalized and scrumptious messages right on top. Get the recipe.
Heritage Red Velvet Cake
You don't need any special supplies to make this sweet, heart-shaped cake. Just create a hand-drawn template and cut out the heart with a knife. If you can resist eating the cake scraps, crumble them and coat the cake for a soft, crumb layering. Get the recipe.
Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes
Nothing goes together quite like chocolate and strawberries, but here's a combination you probably haven't seen. Chocolate shortcakes give this traditional dessert an unexpected twist. Get the recipe.
White-Chocolate-Dipped Fortune Cookies
Surprise your valentine with a special delivery in the form of white-chocolate-dipped fortune cookies packaged in a personalized Chinese takeout box. Get the recipe and how-to.
Make your favorite muffin recipe extra-special for Valentine's Day by using heart-shaped muffin tins. The sweet results will surely surprise your significant other. Get the recipe at DIYNetwork.com.
Chocolate Mint Dessert Smoothie
You can still be naughty while remaining health conscious. Ingredients like pear and avocado make this healthy, but add in the cacao powder and dairy-free chocolate chip ice cream for a perfect after-dinner treat. Get the recipe.
Champagne-Glazed Fruit Tarts
Does your sweetheart prefer something a little less rich? These fruit tarts feature a mix of fresh fruits on mini tart shells with mascarpone cheese. The champagne-apricot glaze is the perfect mouthwatering finish. Get the recipe.
Cupid's Crispie Treats
Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Instead of going out for ice cream, why not treat your valentine to a night in with a homemade recipe? It's easier than you think, and you only need six ingredients. Get the recipe.
Strawberry Milk Whoopie Pies
These colorful whoopie pies might be too pretty to eat! Strawberry milk gives these pink sandwich cookies their sweet color and flavor, while vanilla icing and rainbow sprinkles embellish the exterior. Get the recipe.
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies
Imagine a dessert with brownies, cheesecake and a variety of chocolate chips all mixed together. This dream treat does exist, and your sweetheart won't be able to resist. Get the recipe.
Chocolate Biscuit Cake
Make your beau this royal-inspired chocolate cake made from tea biscuits, lots of chocolate and cinnamon. FYI, it was Prince William's groom cake, and it's simple to make, too. Get the recipe.
Chocolate truffles are the perfect bite-size treat to satisfy any sweet-tooth cravings. Plus, they're easier to make than you think. Customize the fillings with extracts or flavorings, cookie pieces, dried fruit and other add-ins. Your sweetheart will love the thoughtful, homemade mix. Get the recipe.
Orange and Cranberry Bread Pudding
Oranges, cranberries, cinnamon and cloves combine to form a sweet bread pudding that's perfect for a mouthwatering breakfast or as an after-dinner treat. Get the recipe.
S'mores for Two
Bundle up and head outdoors with a cooler packed full of just enough marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate to make s'mores for two. Pull out all the ingredients once the fire's crackling. See more at DIYNetwork.com.
BONUS STEP: Cook V-Day Breakfast
If you’re really looking to make Valentine’s Day a win, start the day with a breakfast full of heart-shaped carbs for your honey.