Valentine’s Day is just over a week away so most young couples are probably trying to find the perfect gift or perfect box of chocolates for their significant other. My husband and I have been married for 22 years this year and we’ve learned over the years that we don’t need to fall for marketing gimmicks on one day of the year to reconnect. Albeit, we do acknowledge Valentine’s Day, we just don’t go out buying any of the stocked valentine-themed goods that retailers are telling us we need to show we love each other. And I would hope that my husband knows that he don’t need to buy me jewelry to show me he loves me. I am also at the point where I would rather spend $100.00 to enjoy an evening out with my husband rather than have him spend it on flowers that will go unnoticed on the 15th only to wilt within the week.
Romantic occasions should be about sharing emotions and setting a mood so you can start creating new memories, remembering why you fell in love and learning to connect with each other. Whether you’re a new couple starting a life-long journey together or a couple who have been together for several years and have a family, sometimes, it is essential to make the time just for each other and embrace yourselves as a couple. You can’t buy that kind of connection with your partner in a jewelry or candy store.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to spend Valentine’s Day with your significant other, here are a few of my favorite valentine’s day date ideas to get you started:
Make dinner together at home – Why does preparing a romantic dinner at home have to be a one person show? It’s a great way for both parties to contribute their own personal touches to the meal while communicating, interacting and making decisions together along the way. It’s a great way to add romance to the day, especially if you make it a point to be playful and flirty with each other. Trust me; your meal will taste so much better.
Couple’s Spa Date – Most spas have packages that cater to couples. If you’re a couple dealing with everyday stressors, what better way to help alleviate those stressors than being pampered together in a relaxing atmosphere? Not only will you feel more relaxed, you’ll feel better connected after it’s over.
Netflix and Chill –Turn down the lights, turn on the fireplace or light some candles, grab a blanket and watch romantic movies all night together.
Go out to a movie – Staying home to watch movies is great, but going out to a theater is a great excuse to get yourself dressed up and out of the house. Pick a movie that you both will enjoy and either precede it or follow it with dinner (if you don’t fill up on popcorn).
Take a winery or brewery tour – Take some time to visit a winery or brewery and sample some of the goods. You may find new favorites.
Go out for a romantic dinner –It doesn’t have to be a fancy or expensive restaurant; it can be anywhere someone else does the cooking and cleanup for you leaving you time to focus on each other. My husband and I are very inconsistent when it comes to Valentine’s Day dinner. In past years we have gone all out and ate at expensive restaurants, other’s we have done wing nights at a pub, last year we ate at Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen. We were together and that’s all that mattered. But if you are looking for somewhere romantic, I recommend the following Calgary restaurants:
- Chop Steakhouse
- Vintage Chophouse and Tavern
- Embarcadero Wine & Oyster Bar
- The Keg Steakhouse (one of my favorites)
- Bonterra Trattoria
- The Hayloft (located in Airdrie).
Indoor Picnic – A picnic is probably not the first thing you think of during the winter, but there’s no rule that says they have to be outdoors. Prepare your favorite picnic foods, lay a blanket out on the floor, or set a table in front of a fireplace. Turn on some music to set the mood, light some candles and pour up a glass of wine.
Write love notes to each other: One of my most memorable Valentine’s day was in 2011 when I woke up to find little post it notes all over the mirror in my bedroom and all over the bathroom, including one over the toilet paper roll and one in the shower. It was the sweetest gesture and even if we hadn’t done anything for the rest of the day, my valentine’s day that day would have still been complete!
Romantic Getaway – Plan a getaway for just the two of you. Some of my favorite getaways in Alberta include:
- Canmore – Canmore is a perfect destination any time of the year to help fuel the fires of romance. You’ll find spas to keep you both pampered and relaxed high-end or modest restaurants (I highly recommend breakfast at Chez Francois). The mountain views are beautiful and almost everything is easily accessible by foot if you enjoy walking.
- Banff – Banff is a great any time of the year. During the day you can visit the quaint shops, take a horse drawn carriage ride through town, lose yourself in the hot springs, or take the gondola to the top of sulfur Mountain to enjoy a delicious meal. At night, head out to enjoy a few drinks at a local bar, or snuggle together in front of a warm fireplace.
- Lake Louise – Book a hotel room overlooking the unspoiled natural beauty of Lake Louise. The area has plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy together during winter or stay in and enjoy each other’s company.
- Waterton Lake – Although most of the town is shut down during the winter there are still a couple of hotels and restaurants that stay open year round. In my opinion, it’s the perfect time to visit for a night away because it’s not overcrowded and taking pictures is a lot more personal. Be sure to check out Vimy’s Lounge and Grill and ask for a seat upstairs to enjoy the beautiful panoramic mountain views during dinner.
Whatever your plans, keep them fun and light. Keep issues with the kids, finances and work conversations out of the mix. It’s a time to reconnect and forget about the day to day things for a little while.
I would love to hear your ideas!
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