Valentine's Day Dating Guide
You have two options for giving on Valentine’s Day: give a great gift or plan a great date. The right gift may last a lifetime, but the right date can make memories that are far more valuable. Or, simply look at it like a non-romantic. You get to join in on a date, so it’s like giving a gift to yourself!
- The point of Valentine’s Day is to be with our loved one, not buy their affection. A little planning can get you out of having to spend a lot of money.
Dessert on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge
The idea: Walk the Bob at night for a midnight picnic
The cost: One bottle, world’s finest champagne (André, $5); one dessert, something a little off the beaten path (Chocolate/Raspberry torte from the Lithuanian bakery, $14.25)
The reason: You see the bridge every day, but how often do you actually walk it? If you’re worried about the cold, swap out the champagne for a thermos of spiked hot chocolate, walk a little closer to your date, and take a moment to remind yourself how Omaha really is kinda pretty in the winter. Or wear matching Snuggies, you weirdos.
Eat for Cheap at a Classy Place
The idea: Pick the expensive restaurant you wish you could afford for dinner and eat lunch there
The cost: depends, but there are ways to make it cheaper. Sushi restaurant, Matsu, for example, offers over 30 rolls at ½ price for lunch, in addition to drink specials. Check Restaurant.com for more deals.
The reason: What’s better than a really expensive Valentine’s dinner? If you’re broke, a cheap lunch (star for you if you dress black-tie midday)! Sure, a lunch date lacks a little of the romance of the evening, but it’s a fun way to sample exotic foods, shows some thought on your part, and leaves your night open for more interesting entertainment.
Watch an Indie Flick at Film Streams
The idea: Go to Film Streams, and watch the kind of movie you always pretend to watch, but never do
The cost: An economical $9
The reason: Be honest, when’s the last time you went to Film Streams to see a movie? If you’ve never been, don’t tell anyone, just go: it’s one of Omaha’s true gems. Film Streams operates the theater as a nonprofit, focusing on cinematic education, and helping to redefine the idea of going to the theater in the Midwest. They’ll have four offerings on Valentine’s Day, and Avatar isn’t any of them. A Single Man is a “romantic tale of love interrupted” starring Colin Firth and the beautiful Julianne Moore, while Azur & Asmar is an award winning children’s movie that looks like nothing you’ve ever seen–both are perfect date films for the crowd that thinks Couples Retreat aims jusssst a little low.
- You want to spend a little for Valentine’s Day, but your stimulus check never arrived. The key is to get maximum bang for your buck while finding something that’s genuinely fun.
Take a Dance Class
The cost: About $50 for an hour of private instruction
The reason: First, admit that you were born with two left feet. Second, pay a professional to teach you how to hide it. The big decision here is what step to choose. Save time by taking advantage of the Access Dance network. They work with local studios to help match students to instructors teaching over 30 different dance syles. For those who are effort disinclined, check out Omaha Ballroom’s package deals. By partnering with Sweet Cakes and Roses, they offer dancing, roses, and dessert for one discounted price.
Try out Yoga, Couple’s Massage, or the Spa together
The idea: Rather than shipping the girlfriend off to the salon for a manicure, spend the day doing something relaxing together
The cost: $50 for a couple’s yoga class, $120 and up for couple’s massage, depending on spa options
The reason: There’s nothing too original about pampering a lady on Valentine’s Day, but somewhere along the line (probs post Queer Eye), guys realized most of this stuff is pretty fun. Bikram (hot) yoga, for example, is known to be an intense workout. And who doesn’t like getting a massage? Remember: the idea is simply to enjoy the day together. Take the sense of calm you gain and use it to strengthen your relationship (and should you break up, at least you’ll have "inner peace" for the singles’ circuit!).
- Don’t you hate it when you you reach for your wallet, only to find all that extra cash clogging your folding action? It’s like trying to wedge a Thighmaster full of money into your back pocket! Yea, totally hate when that happens!
Eat More Than is Probably Safe
The idea: Throw caution to the wind for one day, and turn excess funds into excess calories
The cost: Many restaurants use a prix fixe/special menu for Valentine’s Day; upscale steakhouse Fleming’s has “sharing entrees” for two starting at $89, for example
The reason: It’s nice of Fleming’s to throw in a $25 gift card for booking on Valentine’s Day weekend, but really, this is one day to sign the check without looking. Play it safe with this one, though, and choose a spot guaranteed to set the mood. While our friends at Gastronomic Fight Club are duking it out with Omaha Magazine’s Best of Omaha to claim the title of “Bestest Restaurant Listerer,” they both agree that V. Mertz is Top 3 material.
Do Like Your Little Brother Told You and “Get a Room!”
The idea: Break out from the same old rut and let someone else make the bed for once
The cost: $200, including dinner and champagne (Regency Lodge)
The reason: Who doesn’t like staying in a hotel? Besides, does your house have an indoor pool? Leave the kids and the dog with the babysitter, but stay in Omaha on Saturday night. Ease into Sunday morning with Valentine’s Day bellinis and chocolate strawberries in bed, comforted by the thought that in just 24 more hours you can begin another beautiful week commuting to work.