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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

These At-Home Valentine’s Day Dates Are Romantic AF

The season of love is dawning upon us: Valentine’s Day. Personally, I’m absolutely buzzing with immense anticipation as Cupid takes aim. But I understand that Valentine’s Day transcends mere romance and romantic gestures: No matter what your romantic escapade may be, Valentine’s Day is all about special quality time with the ones you love. And an at-home date night might just be the most special thing you can do.

It’s not uncommon for many folks to find themselves scrambling to pull off some last-minute plans. A fancy dinner night out may be destined for some, but for others, a cozy night in is always the way to go. After all, daily life can get crazy, and it’s all too easy for time to slip away.

Planning for Valentine’s Day can be nerve-wracking or chaotic, but these date ideas will still make the night special. And, if you’re planning this last minute, there is definitely something to be said about the spontaneity of the moment and shared experiences. These curated date ideas promise to create intimacy between you and your loved one, ensuring that every moment is meaningful. And remember — the most meaningful gestures stem from the heart.

Plan an at-home wine tasting.

Imagine you are in wine country and plan a wine tasting for an at-home date night. Of course, nothing can replace the ambiance of Napa Valley or Bordeaux, but this is just as intimate and romantic. Don’t go in blindly though: Choose wines that would set the scene for your date. If a wine may be sentimental to you and your partner, that would be a great addition to the tasting. 

Bring the ambiance with an at-home dinner.

The lights are dimmed. The wine bottle is uncorked. The table is set. Romantic jazz music is queued… and dinner is served, at home! Why go out for dinner when you can create a fancy one right at home? (Table for two, please!) You make the dinner minimal and go for a frozen pizza from Target, or go hardcore and put a flank steak on the evening’s menu. And, of course, make it a no-tech night for this romantic dinner.

Make a time capsule.

For this sentimental activity, you need a bunch of trinkets and goodies to put in your capsule. Put out some snacks, maybe some wine, and add anything you want into your capsule. This could be a CD with your favorite songs at the time, or maybe a picture of the two of you at a baseball game. Maybe open it in a couple of months or a couple of years from now, but the day you open it will be a memorable one. 

Write “open when” letters.

I think this might be the cutest date idea. “Open when” letters work by giving a special someone a series of letters that they have to open at a certain event or date. Some good examples could be open “when we argue,” “when it’s our anniversary,” “when you have a bad day,” “when you need a laugh,” or “when you need a pep talk.” This idea is perfect for just about anyone and it’s incredibly sentimental. 

Have some fun in the kitchen.

Do we have any Food Network binge-watchers reading? I’m sure a lot of you are obsessed with cooking shows and in that case, this is the perfect date night for you. This can be so simple and be done with just the food you have in the house. To do this, just time yourselves to create a dish with a secret ingredient. And what’s even better than competing for the win, and then eating your meals after?

Set up an indoor picnic.

It doesn’t take much time and effort to create an indoor picnic. Though this date-night idea is indoors, this shouldn’t stop you from making it as aesthetic as possible. Lay out a comfy blanket and pillows and grab some snacks — you can never go wrong with a good charcuterie board to get the picnic going. Make sure to get an abundance of cheeses, meats, and olives to create your board. Maybe even add a pitcher of lemonade to really feel like you’re enjoying an outdoor summer picnic.  

Cozy up for a movie night.

There truly is nothing better than snuggling with your person and watching a cheesy movie. You can’t have a good movie night without snacks so, of course, you and your person can stock up on all sorts of treats, from buttery popcorn to decadent chocolates. When the snacks are secured, and the movie is picked, get bundled up with soft blankets and tons of pillows for the ultimate movie night. 

So, grab your roses and secure your last-minute rendezvous, because this Valentine’s Day is going to be the best one yet, even if it’s at home. I’m sure of it!

Gabriele Barrocas

Vanderbilt '27

I'm a freshman at Vanderbilt, studying neuroscience on a pre-medical track. I love all things fashion and advocating for ways to promote positive wellbeing. I'm from Boca Raton, Florida so of course I love spending my time at the beach.