A day completely dedicated to celebrating — or rejecting — love often evokes mixed emotions from everyone. Whether or not you spend the day single or with a partner, it is usually an ordeal to figure out something to do that is budget-conscious, enjoyable and not too cliché. Here are some date ideas for lots of different types of couples and even friend dates for those of you who are embracing the single life this season.
Romantic — Get some take-out — just be sure to order it with plenty of time on account of how busy restaurants will be — and drive to the nearest scenic overlook. There are several between Johnson City and Asheville, and the views can’t be beat if you go around sunset. Load up your car with a good playlist, and you’ll be all set for a fun trip as well as avoid those crowded restaurants.
Keeping with the theme of avoiding crowded restaurants, cook dinner at home and have a movie night. Cooking together is fun, and not having to get dressed up to go out can be really appealing.
Adventurous — If you and your significant other or friend feel like tapping into your artistic side, go to a local pottery studio and paint some pottery. Most studios charge a flat fee — usually $10 or less — plus the cost of your ceramic piece. You can easily finish the whole thing for less than $20 per person. Into the Fire on Oakland Avenue in Johnson City is open for walk-ins all weekend and is also offering both pottery and canvas painting workshops Saturday and Sunday for couples. Student discounts are offered, which makes this an especially budget friendly idea.
Fuel your wanderlust by googling pre-made scavenger hunts and embark on an all day journey. This would also be fun with a group of friends. Split up into teams and see who meets greater success in their endeavors. A little friendly competition can be fun!
Up the ante on the scavenger hunt idea by going geocaching. Do a quick Google search for geocaching in your preferred city, and make sure your GPS is ready to go. Johnson City has a large network of geocache locations — see visitjohnsoncitytn.com/geocaching for more information.
Active — For couples that are athletic, check if local gyms are offering any couples workout or dance classes. Real Hot Yoga in Johnson City is offering a couples yoga class this Saturday, and they encourage couples to reserve their spot immediately since space is limited. Real Hot Yoga offers a 20 percent discount for ETSU students with a valid ID, bringing the cost to less than $50 per couple.
For an even more frugal option, try looking online for dance lessons and teach yourselves to Tango, Swing or Salsa.
Nerdy — Indulge your inner nerd by having an all-day — or all-weekend — movie marathon. If your best friend or significant other hasn’t seen every single “Star Wars” or “Harry Potter movie,” then now is your chance to introduce them. Literary nerds can kick back and enjoy a Jane Austen-a-thon or even try some Emily Bronte classics.
Video games are also a good option. This is a great chance to try some new RPG or strategy games that you wouldn’t typically pick out.
Whatever option you choose and whomever you spend the weekend with, remember that it isn’t about the money put into it. What really matters is the quality time spent together. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by trivial things that don’t really matter. Put away your phones, and don’t give everyone on your Twitter and Instagram feeds a play-by-play. Valentine’s Day haters everywhere will thank you.