21 Valentine’s Day date ideas: totally free or very cheap things you can do with your partner on 14 February

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy a romantic date with your partner
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day, is just around the corner. 14 February is synonymous with love, relationships, intimacy and big, bold gestures.

Many people take their partners, or new love interests, out on dates on this day - and while going on a V-Day date can quickly become expensive as you attempt to impress your other half this doesn’t have to be the case.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With the cost of living crisis continuing to cause financial stresses and strains for people across the UK, in 2023 it’s important to remember that you don’t have to spend a lot - or even any - money to show someone how much you care about them. Always remember that classic Beatles line “money can’t buy me love”.

So, with that in mind, here are some great date night ideas which are either completely free or won’t cost much money - and you could enjoy them on any day or night of the year too, not just Valentine’s Day.

21 totally free or very cheap things you can do with your partner on Valentine’s Day21 totally free or very cheap things you can do with your partner on Valentine’s Day
21 totally free or very cheap things you can do with your partner on Valentine’s Day

Have a film night

A film night is always a good idea and, assuming that you already have a subscription to a film streaming service like Netflix or a few DVDs, it will be completely free. You and your partner could show each other your favourite films, if you haven’t watched these already, or you could choose films neither of you have seen before. Get comfy on the sofa and hit ‘play’.

Have a karaoke night

If you fancy doing something fun together - but don’t have money to spend - then look for karaoke versions of your favourite songs on Youtube and have a good sing song. Pick some love songs to add to the romantic atmosphere. You could also choose songs for each other.

Make a relationship time capsule or make a scrapbook

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Many of us save things over the course of our relationships, be it a cinema ticket, a train ticket from a trip you shared or a receipt from a first date meal. You could either put these things in a relationship capsule or get creative and make a scrapbook. This would cost a small amount of money to buy a box or a scrapbook and some things to help you decorate such as coloured pen, glue, glitter or ribbons - unless you already have these things, of course.

Make your own ice-cream bar

An ice-cream sundae is a winning dessert, and if you make your own ice cream bar with your date then you can both make it exactly the way you want it. At this time of year, many of us have chocolates and other various treats left over from Christmas too, so this is the perfect way to use it all up too. You could each make your own, or make each other’s desserts.

Make your own wine tasting or make cocktails

Use bottles of alcohol you already have to create your own wine tasting night. Again, this is the time of year when people have many bottles of booze in their cupboard - be it a bottle of something that was opened for just one drink or a present that you were saving for a special occasion. If you and your date both bring a few bottles each then you could create your own alcohol tasting evening, or you could even make some cocktails. If you are making cocktails you may have to spend a bit of money buying some mixers, but this won’t cost a lot.

Challenge each other to make one dish each out of ingredients you already have

When we think of a Valentine’s Day date, we tend to think of a lavish three course dinner in a fancy candlelit restaurant, but you don’t have to splash the cash to eat a delicious meal. If you don’t have the money to spare then you and your partner can challenge each other to cook either a starter, main or dessert using only ingredients you already have. Whichever dish of the three is left you can then cook that together. If you’re struggling for inspiration then there are apps which you can use to help you find a recipe, simply by inputting the ingredients you have.

Play a game

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A fun activity to do with your date is play a game. This could mean a board game, if you have them, or if not you can play that classic game of truth or dare. You may not have played this since you were a teenager, but you can also play this as an adult. You can take it seriously or approach it in a more light-hearted way, but either way you could definitely find out more about your other half by playing this. The dare part of the game could also lead to lots of fun and giggles.

Learn a new skill together

Youtube is full of tutorials on how to do various things, so you could spend Valentine’s Day (and the days and weeks beyond) learning a new skill with your other half. It could be learning a language, it could be origami - anything at all! It will be a lovely bonding experience for you to share.

Visit a garden centre and buy a plant

This date idea does involve spending a little money, but it’s a super cute idea. Take a trip to your local garden centre and choose a plant you can then look after together. This could be a plant that you then nurture together for years to come which would be very sweet. A lot of garden centres also have lovely cafes, so if you have the money to do so, you could also call in for a cup of tea and a big slice of cake.

Go for a walk together or ride a bike together

There’s a big wide world out there - and it’s completely free to go and explore it. Depending on your preference, you could go for a walk hand in hand or each ride a bike and then stop off somewhere to enjoy a nice view. If you’re walking, this is a great time to have a meaningful conversation and if you’re riding a bike then it will be great to plan the route and enjoy some exercise together.

Explore a new area of your town or city together

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

No matter where in the UK you live there will be an area that you haven’t been to before so Valentine’s Day is a good time to get to know somewhere new together. If you don’t have the money to spend on public transport then either pick somewhere you can walk to or drive. It’s still technically free if you’ve already got the petrol in your car. You may end up discovering hidden gems in your locality and find a new place that you want to return to again and again.

Volunteer together

Give back to your local community and go and volunteer together, possibly in a charity shop or for a local organisation. The people you are helping will be really grateful for your time, you’ll feel good for your kind deed and you’ll still get to spend time with your other half.

Share your memories

This sounds really simple, but a great thing to do on Valentine’s Day could be to sit with your other half and share some of your favourite memories from your time together. This is something you can do no matter how long you have been together and could remind you of some brilliant times that you may have forgotten about. You’ll feel full of love in no time.

Give each other massages

Everybody likes to relax and have a massage, and to create the perfect intimate evening with your partner you can give each other massages. You could watch some Youtube tutorials beforehand to help with your technique if you wish, but you don’t have to - just ask your partner to tell you what they like. If you wish, you could spend some money buying some massage oil, but any moisturiser you have in your bathroom cupboard will also work just as well.

Have a quiz night

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Test your general knowledge by having a quiz night with your other half. There may be a pub quiz in your local pub, which could be free (or very cheap) to enter. If not, then you could each think of some questions to ask each other ahead of time - and keep the score for each other. This is an ideal date activity for a competitive couple.

Go for a drive - with no particular destination

Get in the car and go for a drive with your partner. It’s not about the destination - in fact, don’t have a destination in mind - it’s about spending time with your person. With the many demands of modern living, it can be hard to find quality time to spend, just the two of you, but going out in this way will mean you can really focus on each other. Don’t look at your phones, just talk to each other. We all know that some of the best and deepest conversations can happen on car journeys.

Visit your local art gallery or museum

Many art galleries and museums have free entry, so go and look in yours. You could both learn a lot and enjoy doing and seeing something different and cultured. If you feel you can afford to do so, many places have boxes for donations near the exit.

Watch the sunset and/or sunrise together

A sunset or sunrise is very romantic, so stay awake longer than usual to watch one or both of these things together. You can do this from the comfort of your own home if you wish, or go out in your back garden, or travel to a local beauty spot to get the best view. You’re sure to feel the romance vibes after seeing such a stunning scene.

Create your own spa day

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Most people have various beauty products in their bathroom cabinets, from face masks to moisturisers, you could create your own pamper evening simply using these things that you’ve already got. Again, many people get given beauty products such as bath and body sets for Christmas so this is the perfect time to use them. You could run a bath you can share and pamper each other. It would be the ultimate relaxing Valentine’s night.

Listen to live music

Many pubs and bars have bands which play there, so you could go and discover a new artist together and listen to some live music by visiting one of your local venues. You are likely to want to buy a drink when you are there, of course, but if you really don’t have the money then you can drink tap water or stick to soft drinks to keep the price down.

Go to a street food market

There are various food markets up and down the country and, in a bid to attract custom, many traders offer free samples. You and your date could easily spend some time looking around a food market and enjoying all the samples. To help support local trade you could then both agree to buy your favourite food from the samples you have tried, but only if you can actually afford to do so.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.