Weather got you down? You're in good company. If you need something to look forward to during these miserable months, one of these hot dates with that special someone just might do the trick.
And one of the best parts -- these romantic ideas don't cost a fortune. Find a whole new reason to be excited for the weekend...
1. Dinner and a Movie: Try brunch and a matinee; fancy restaurants are way more affordable in the A.M.
2. Check In to Your Private Hotel: Transform your bedroom into a getaway retreat by setting it up as a hotel room, complete with number on the door, mints on a freshly made bed (use crisp white cotton sheets), a huge stack of towels and a few fizzy bath tablets in the bathroom (for an instant Jacuzzi), nice stationery and a pen (for writing each other love notes), a bottle of something chilling in an ice bucket, and room service.
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3. Take in the Art Scene: If it takes a little black dress (and a little red wine) to put you in the mood, get yourself on the invitation lists of local art galleries. They usually serve complementary wine and hors d'oeuvres.
4. Expand Your Palate: See if your liquor store hosts wine-tasting nights (it's only expensive if you buy). Cheers to you if you pull off vino vocab like "full-bodied" or "supple" with a straight face.
5. Mini Getaway: Check out small, nearby towns for affordable B&Bs. You'll feel like you're on vacation, but no expensive plane ticket is required.
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6. Double-Date Night: Dig out your favorite group board games and invite friends over for a night of fun. Jessica, 28, says because she and her husband don't have much money for a night on the town, they started picking up games at garage sales. "At first, just the two of us played. But we had friends over for dinner one night and discovered the fun of competing with other people. Sometimes it's every person on their own or else we play in teams: the girls against the guys or couples against couples. I think we have more fun than if we just went out somewhere on a regular date night, and it is certainly a lot cheaper. We all pitch in for a big pasta dinner and one of those big bottles of wine."
7. Spa for Two: Turn your bathroom into a home spa for under $25: Fill your tub with water and bubble bath. Pack every safe and available surface with tea lights and turn out the lights. Burn essential oil in a purpose-made burner or light some incense. Play some soft background music. When you get out of the "Jacuzzi," wrap yourselves in towels warmed in the dryer. Then massage each other into a delightful daze with lavender-scented lotion (drugstore brands are around $5).
8. An Afternoon Adventure: Take a stroll through a house you'd (someday) love to own. Check out the real estate listings for weekend open houses so you don't have to deal with a hard sell from the agent. There's nothing wrong with dreaming!
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9. Learn Something New: Form your own private book club for two. Read the same books and spend the night at a local coffee shop discussing your thoughts.
10. Private At-Home Screening: And if it's just too miserable to enjoy a night on the town, swing by the local library and look over their video selection (some libraries work with other branches and let you preorder a specific title). Then go to the drive-thru at a local fast-food joint and get two meals to take home.
Need ideas for steamy post-date activities? Don't miss our most popular bedroom moves!
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.