Dinner and a movie is overdone. A picnic is beyond lame. Casually staying in doesn’t do the holiday justice. For those couples that want a Valentine’s Day date without ants and overpriced food, this list may provide more creative alternatives (with price in mind). They are equal parts unorthodox and weird as cute and quirky.

Pawn and thrift shopping

Legacy shopaholic

A rack of clothing sits outside local thrift shop Here Today Gone Tomorrow. 

Fun often comes, especially on dates, from sharing unique experiences with someone whose company you enjoy. Sifting through isles of junk and relics of the past does not make the most romantic date, but content to fill an uncomfortable silence is abundant in second hand stores.

While there’s no purchase necessary, leaving with a special souvenir of the day would put this Valentine’s Day in the books, for better or for worse.

Make stories for passersby in a crowded setting

Fabricating backstories while people-watching affords couples a chance to flex their creative muscles in an innocent enough way. Look for (in the least stalker way possible) a good vantage point in a crowded area, whether it be in the mall food court or from a park bench.

This offers a perfect setting for light conversation and the opportunity to weave in getting-to-know-you information or get gushy depending on the nature of your selected valentine.

Rent bikes and ride down the levee or a bike trail

There is no shortage of bike trails in the more rural parts of Louisiana, but my favorite is the Tammany Trace starting in Covington. If the drive is an impediment, the levee boasts a romantic view of the river on a moonlit night. Bike rental is cheaper than a lobster dinner at the least.

Bikes on Campus

Bikes sit outside on January 10, 2020 in front of Nicholson Gateway.

Arts and crafts

There are certainly professional venues like Painting with a Twist or BrushFire Art Studio to guide one’s creative process, but true genius comes from within. If crafting at home is an option, all your operation needs and more can be found at Hobby Lobby.

Make an amalgamation of pottery, papier-mâché, pipe cleaners and top it off with some googly eyes for a lighthearted and memorable (if fragile) joint project.

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