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5 Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Ideas

Still unsure of your Valentine’s Day plans this year?

While tracking down the perfect floral arrangement, a box of chocolates, or dinner reservations may be difficult in the final days leading up to the holiday– let alone the day before– don’t despair!

There’s still time to plan a great date or get-together with friends. Here are five quick and easy ways to make this Valentine’s Day special for loved ones when you’re running short on time.

If reservations are a no-go, consider having a picnic or making a special recipe.

While popular culture is full of images of couples at expensive restaurants on Valentine’s Day, the idea that this is the only way to have a dinner to remember couldn’t be farther from the truth. Something as simple as a picnic at a park you and your valentine frequent, or cooking them their favorite special dinner from their childhood, is a perfect way to switch things up with a unique and heartfelt personal touch. If you’re doing dinner at home, you might bring out the stringed lights or a few candles; You can even have different ‘courses’ for your meal and crack open a favorite beverage, all from the comfort of your own space or the great outdoors.

No flowers, no sweat!

This one is great for the plant-lover in your life or a valentine who simply appreciates gifts that think a little outside the box. Flowers are in high demand around the holiday, of course, but one thing that you’ll still be able to find– and will last much longer, for that matter– are potted plants. An adorable desktop succulent or leafy window-side friend is a gift that keeps on giving; while flowers only keep for a few days, a plant can be admired for years to come.

Get creative with your Valentine’s Day treats, too.

If you find the stores wiped clean of chocolate box assortments, don’t panic quite yet. There’s a wealth of easy ways to make your own Valentine’s candy, many of which require minimal or no baking at all; stock up on the chocolate chips other any other melt-able sweets that your valentine loves, and combine them with everything from peanut butter to marshmallow creme for some handmade treats that won’t be found anywhere else. If you have the time, it may also be worth peeking in the baking aisle to see if there are any candy molds on hand. And don’t forget the deliciousness of a particularly good chocolate-covered strawberry! This is also great for loved ones who may have dietary restrictions if you’re having trouble finding the sweet treats you need on the store shelves.

Take a mini-road trip to explore a new place.

Check out an art museum, a sculpture garden, an antique bookstore, or a tucked-away hole-in-the-wall that might just have the best pizza you’ve ever tasted. There are plenty of places you can still go this Valentine’s Day on short notice if you’re feeling adventurous; finding the right spot can be as simple as considering your valentine’s interests and doing a little googling. For the music lover in your life, for instance, checking out a new record store might just be the perfect way to celebrate.

Make your valentine an extra special, well, valentine.

Breaking out the safety scissors and glue sticks isn’t just for kids; there’s nothing like receiving a homemade Valentine’s Day card made just for you. Do some looking around for materials you might have at home, or stop by your local arts and crafts store; so long as it comes from the heart, you can’t go wrong (unless you spill the glitter, that is.)

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