Home is Where the Heart Is

Home is Where the Heart Is

If you aren’t looking to go out this year for Valentine’s Day, consider having your own sweet and romantic Valentine’s Day celebration in the comforts of your home. You can go all out or keep things relaxed and low key—it’s up to you to decide what kind of date suits you and your love as a couple.

You can craft a memorable Valentine’s evening at home with as much or as little fuss as you like, whether you’re looking to relax, partake in a new activity with your partner, or indulge in a fancy meal. Here are some suggestions for a few fun date ideas at home.

Hunker Down and Relax

Chances are, your favorite date night spot—or that one you’ve been meaning to try—is now offering takeout and would be happy to help you have an awesome, romantic Valentine’s Day at home. (Check out our dining guide on page 57 for some restaurant ideas!) Order in and break out the good china, then pop in a movie because your clean-up time will be minimal!

Relaxing Valentine’s Day Agenda:

APPETIZER Shrimp Cocktail or Fried Calamari, to go.

Entrées Steak, potatoes, and green beans, all grilled to perfection and still steaming once you get them home.

Dessert A romantic surprise from your favorite local bakery or a decadent slice of chocolate cake for two (bonus points if you decide to bake it the night before).

Drinks Pop open a bottle of champagne and make a toast to one another.

Activities Look through some old photo albums, watch your wedding video (again), and curl up to some of your favorite romance comedies.

Alternative Menu suggestion Your favorite Chinese food entrées sized big enough to share, of course, plus soup, eggrolls and fortune cookies to read out loud. Swap out traditional dessert for a box of tantalizing chocolates, or add onto your own dessert ideas.

Light the fire, dim the lights, and wrap yourselves in each others’ arms for a relaxing evening at home.

Together is Better

Cooking together can be a fun experience—especially when you both enjoy the food of choice. There are dozens of delicious and romantic things to cook together at home for Valentine’s Day. Here’s an idea for an activity-filled Valentine’s Day date at home.

Activities Based Valentine’s Day Agenda:

Appetizer Tossed salad with a homemade dressing and a plate of bacon wrapped scallops to share.

Entrées Butterflied, hand-breaded chicken parmesan with bowtie pasta and homemade spaghetti sauce (or, at least doctored jar sauce), and homemade garlic knots tossed to perfection.

Dessert Homemade chocolate chip cookies or brownies dusted with confectioner’s sugar (bonus points for baking in a pan results in all brownies having edges).

Drinks A nice pinot noir or your personal favorite vintage to enjoy as you’re preparing the meal, and again when you sit down to eat.

Activities Try your own romantic version of your favorite board games with a twist on the rules. If board games aren’t your thing, consider trying your own version of The Newlywed Game, where you can ask each other a list of interesting questions that pertain to yourselves and your relationship. Skipping games altogether, you can also have some fun snapping photos photo-booth style, just as if you were dating ages ago. Down the road, you’ll be thrilled to have some more cute couple shots in your archives.

Alternative Menu Suggestion Any Italian food is romantic, meat or not. Make a wonderful pasta dish with your favorite accompaniments–seafood, vegetables, garlic, mushrooms, whatever you like.

Have fun making a mess together in the kitchen and finish up the night in a playful mood. Leave the dishes for later and focus on each other’s company.

Live it Up

If you’re looking to go out all out this year, opt for a no holds barred approach. Look into hiring a private or personal chef to prepare your meal (guaranteeing some delicious leftovers), along with some of your significant other’s favorite things. Create the perfect romantic setting under your own roof, complete with candles, music, and flowers to add the finishing touches.

Sky’s the Limit Valentine’s Day Agenda:

Appetizer Puff pastry appetizer selections along with a nice salad or cream-based soup like Lobster or Crab Bisque.

Entrées Chicken Piccata in a white wine sauce or Maryland style crab cakes, twice-baked potatoes, and your favorite sautéed or grilled vegetables.

Dessert Finish off the meal with Crème Brulee, Baked Alaska, or another exciting treat involving a blowtorch.

Drinks A private mixologist or bartender can offer the perfect selections based on your meal, or you can turn to your all-time favorite cocktails. A refreshing gin and tonic, mojito, or even a fancy champagne cocktail could be a great fit.

Activities Hit the hot tub with a cocktail or exchange personal massages. Another romantic option would be to recreate a music playlist with some of the songs you danced to at your wedding or other songs that mean something to you and play them for a few moments of slow dancing at home.

Alternative Menu Suggestion Work with the chef to customize your own menu from scratch. Avoid ingredients you both despise and work to include some of your favorite flavors and accompaniments.

Whatever you decide to do for Valentine’s Day this year, customize it with your sweetheart and yourself in mind. Prepare a wonderful evening of your favorite things and the rest of the pieces are sure to fall into place.


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