Non-Material Valentine’s Day Activities & Gift Ideas

If you’ve been following along in recent months, you know gifts are my love language. Surprisingly though, I’m not big on Valentine’s Day gifts. Don’t get me wrong, I love receiving flowers and a card like any other girl but I do think big, showy gifts really aren’t necessary. Especially coming out of the holidays, it feels a little unnecessary to give or expect more gifts. That said, I think Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to celebrate love and do something a little extra special or thoughtful for your significant other. If you’re planning to celebrate, here are a few non-material Valentine’s Day activities and gifts that show you care!

1 // Get a couples massage. Perhaps I’m biased because this is 100% the gift I’d give and want to receive but who doesn’t love being pampered?! [Hint, hint, Kevin!] In my opinion, it’s the perfect way to unwind and relax, together! Plus, you can take advantage of all the spa amenities that usually include a sauna, steam room and hot tub.

2 // Cook dinner together at home. This one may not seem all that original but there are things you can do to make it special. For starters, wait until after the kids go to bed, or better yet, send them off to their grandparents. Plan a fancy meal you wouldn’t normally make – steak, lobster, scallops, etc. – and go all out with some appetizers, fun sides and a tasty dessert. Then, turn it into an experience and do all the prep and cooking together while listening to music and sharing some wine. Once everything is ready, share the meal over a romantic, candlelit table for two.

3 // Take a weekend getaway or staycation. It doesn’t have to be fancy and heck, you don’t even need to go anywhere, but a new setting is sometimes just what you need to reconnect. Spend time exploring together or stay in bed and order room service. Whatever your fancy, it always feels like a small luxury to sleep in a nice, large ,clean bed you won’t have to make or launder afterwards. If you’re in the Chicagoland area, I can’t recommend Destination Kohler enough. Kevin and I recently visited and had the best time.

4 // Try something new together. Sky’s the limit with this one but it’s really about getting out there and doing something new together. It can be something extreme, like skydiving or bungee jumping or more low key, like ice skating or kayaking. It often seems like we reserve these experiences for vacations but there’s no reason we can’t try them on any ordinary Saturday at home.

5 // Take a class together. Cooking, painting, pottery, photography, dancing, yoga, golf, you name it, it’s fun to learn together. Plus, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Take whatever you learned and continue to practice with each other long after the class ends. Kevin and I still reach for recipes we made during a cooking class we took at The Social Table back in 2017.

6 // Play tourist at home. Perhaps that means visiting the theatre for a play, ballet or comedy show or maybe it’s checking out one of the local museums but we so often take for granted the best attractions in our very own backyard. Kevin and I have lived in Chicago for almost 10 years and I can’t tell you the last time I visited Millennium Park, Adler Planetarium or Navy Pier. And who knows, it may even feel like you’re on vacation!

7 // Complete a home renovation project or invest in a joint gift. Okay, so this one is a bit materialistic but it’s not self serving. Take advantage of Valentine’s Day to check off a wish list item. Whether it’s a home renovation project you’ve been saving up for or a big ticket item – appliances, king bed, Peloton, maybe even a puppy – joint gifts can be expensive but also very worth it in the long run.

8 // Take a scenic walk, hike or drive. This may sound silly but it’s actually a lot of fun to walk or drive around new areas and explore. Of course, interesting geographic terrain adds a little something extra but even if you’re just checking out a new neighborhood in your city, it’s fun to talk about the houses, landmarks or other quirky facts you discover. Take it up a notch and put away your phones so you can focus on good quality conversation along the way. It may surprise you just how relaxing this can be!

As of right now, we have zero plans for Valentine’s Day but I would bet we’ll end up doing one or multiple items from the above list to celebrate ourselves!



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