When it comes to Valentine’s Day date ideas, it’s the thought that counts. But what if you ain’t even really had the time or presence of mind to think much about it? 

Now, I can’t tell you how your partner will react to the news that you didn’t have anything prepared, but I can guarantee you can still make them feel special on Valentine’s Day with any of these date ideas. 

Like arrows from Cupid’s quiver, these last-minute, low or no-cost date ideas will put stars in your person’s eyes.

1) At-home spa day: Now this one’s great because not only is it totally quarantine-friendly, it’s the type of thing that can be done for little to no cost. Don’t just run a bath, that’s just the basics. This is Valentine’s Day we’re talking about, so let’s go the extra mile. Break out the nail clippers and pumice stone and get to work on them feet. BTW, olive oil and tea tree oil combine to make a lovely foot moisturizer. Watch a couple massage tutorials on Youtube to get your technique right. And bonus points if you throw food and liquor into the mix for a little razzle dazzle.


2) Game night: This one’s another 100% homebound date idea. Grab some puzzles, board games, card games or drinking games. You can even make your own, such as Truth or Drink.  Pair this one with some romantic evening essentials: wine, weed and — in case you’re not savvy in the kitchen — a heart-shaped pizza.

3) Couples shopping challenge: Maybe just the thought ain’t enough for you and you’d rather spend a little bread to show your love. Ain’t no shame in that. This shopping challenge we found on Tik Tok is perfect for you. With your partner, go to your local Target, Walmart, Family Dollar, or whatever department store you frequent, split up and hunt for these five items for your significant other: 1) Something they need, 2) something that’s their favorite color, 3) something that reminds you of them, 4) their favorite drink and 5) their favorite snack.

4) Thrifty photoshoot: Find a thrift store, rummage to your heart’s desire, cop a couple of fits for the low and have a photoshoot while you and your boo rock your new clothes. It’s relatively low cost, creative and most importantly fun.

5) DIY candle making: Slide to a department store or an arts and craft store to cop a little candle making kit. This is one I’ve done before. Not only is it easy, but it was a lot of fun picking and mixing scents to create my own candle. Even made one that stank just for fun. 

6) Sip and Paint: Throw getting drunk and painting on the list of things that’s ten times more fun to do while in the crib than outside. Paint each other (nude, even, if you want) and get as drunk as you want to because you ain’t gotta worry about driving. Add some weed to the occasion and enjoy each other’s company and creativity. I might just gon ‘head and throw this one on my own V-Day itinerary, to be honest. Write some poems together to add a little extra love to the moment.

7) Short road trip: Milwaukee, Wis., Grand Rapids, Mich., Indianapolis, Ind., and  Ann Arbor, Mich. are all less than five hours away from Chicago. Skip town for a day and be a Midwest tourist for a little while. I love Chicago just as much as the next person, but it’s super refreshing to enjoy the zoos, museums and restaurants that our neighboring cities and states have to offer. Best part, if you get out early enough, you can make it back to your own bed at the end of the night.

is a staff writer with The TRiiBE. Email him with news tips.
is the editor-in-chief of The TRiiBE and a 2023-2024 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.