Five Last Minute Valentine's Day Dates That Require Little to No Effort

Ashlyn E. Inman

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Surprise!

Valentine's Day is this Sunday. I don't know about you, but with the mess of quarantine days blending together, the Hallmark holiday snuck up on me this year. But even with a few days to spare, you can still make the day special. That is, if you celebrate the holiday.

Especially with the pandemic, forget the usual dinner and a movie. You don't have to buy an extravagant gift to show your partner you care. Just spend some quality time together. Here are some no-fuss ideas for you take your Valentine’s game to the next level.

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1. The Chopped Challenge

If you're fans of the Food Network and not too inexperienced in the kitchen, this is the date for you. Flip a coin and let your partner call it. The winner gets to choose who does dinner and who does dessert. Once that's settled, set a timer for 5-10 minutes in the store for each partner to pick out 4 ingredients the other must use in their dish. You can agree that one item has to be Valentine’s themed if you want. Back at home, the partner on dinner duty gets to work on creating their masterpiece while the other watches and asks questions about their method. After the two of you finish dinner, the other partner begins on dessert and the roles are reversed. You are both allowed to use any ingredients you already have, but the point is to be creative with the ingredients your partner picked. Once dessert has been presented and devoured, you can pick a winner or call it a tie.

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2. Take a Hike

If you're lucky enough to be somewhere that isn't too terribly cold, take your partner out of town for the day and get some fresh air. The All Trails app and website will use your location to find trails close to you and you can filter hikes by difficulty and length. Hiking is a great way to be outside and have the opportunity to go mask-less if the trail is clear. If you don't have hiking boots, no problem! Pick a flat trail and wear tennis shoes.

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3. For Couples Who Love a Competition

Have a game night! Ditch the Xbox and opt for a classic board game like Scrabble, Life, or Monopoly. If you don't own a board game, you can get one cheap at your local WalMart. The reason I'm saying a board game instead of a video game is that you two will be focusing on each other—not a screen. You can even sweeten the deal by making it a prized competition: it could be anything from the loser does the dishes for a few days to the winner gets to pick what's for dinner. If board games are out of the question, you and your partner can download the Game Pigeon app on your smart phones and have the Game Pigeon Olympics! Face off on each game the app offers and keep track of who wins what. The person who wins more games over all gets the gold! (This also works for long distance couples!)

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4. For the Creative Couple

Go on an antique store tour or hunt! If your town has a downtown, it probably has an antique store. You can always use Yelp or TripAdvisor to help you locate the closest one to you! Taking a trip to one or more vintage store(s) with your partner because it’s a great way to get conversations started. Sometimes you see something that gives you nostalgia and sometimes you just find something really cool. If you end up purchasing something, not only do you have an awesome memento of a fun date, but you also support a small business. Additionally, if your partner loves old books or vinyl, you can take them on a "tour" of those kinds of shops; but that does require a bit of effort.

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5. For The Long Distance Couple

Valentine's Day can be extra hard if you and your partner aren't together. Trust me, l know. Disney+ now offers "group watch" which means you and your partner can watch the same movie at the same time. Watching a movie together through long distance is fun because you can live text throughout the film without one person getting mad that the other is talking over the characters. You can also do the same thing with Netflix Party and pick a movie or a comedy special! If you want to take it to the next level, you can pick a recipe that both of you can follow and make the same dinner or dessert together over FaceTime.

See, look at that! You planned a date with time to spare. That wasn't so bad, was it?

What are some of your favorite last- minute date ideas? Let me know in the comments below!

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I grew up in a small town in rural California, and earned my B.F.A. at Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, SC. After graduating, I moved to NYC where I lived for three years before relocating to Nashville. And that brings us to date! I've worked a variety of jobs from being on a farm to being on a stage to being in a cubicle. In short, I've lived the big city life, the small town life, the southern life, the northern life, and you get the idea. I'll be writing about entertainment and lifestyle topics for the most part because I have a background in theater, live in Music City, and also work for a fitness company! (Check out @WeightingForWarriors on Instagram!) ​ When I'm not writing you can probably find me reading, baking, crafting something, or screaming at a football game on TV.

Nashville, TN
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