Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.
It’s a time of year for love, whether with a romantic partner, family or friends. But it can also be an expensive time.
While Massachusetts has luxurious restaurants that cook up delicious multi-course meals, businesses across the state also offer more affordable options.
Below is a list of Valentine’s Day date ideas created with budgeting in mind. You’ll find prices ranging from free to $50, with activities ranging from ice skating to do-it-yourself deli boxes.
Food and drink
BarKaya in Springfield has a special on Mondays, which falls on Valentine’s Day this year.
Customers can get a bowl of ramen for $10 between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., the perfect meal to warm up during the winter.
“Check out our Spicy Seafood, Pork Belly, Pine Nut Miso Chicken, Japanese Chicken Curry, or Scallion Ramen for just $10!” the restaurant wrote on its website.
Want a sweet treat?
Donut Homies in Worcester offers DIY boxes for Valentine’s Day. Customers can choose from four heart-shaped donuts, with the choice of three icings, strawberry, vanilla and chocolate and three toppings, pink sprinkles, mini chocolate chips and fruity pebbles.
Packages come with utensils and a piping bag. Boxes can be picked up Feb. 11 or Feb. 14 after 10 a.m. or delivered to Worcester for an additional $5.
“Pre-order now to keep your box. Message me with your chosen day, pickup or delivery, then send payment to keep the kit,” the shop said on Facebook.
Donut Homies is located in the Worcester Public Market so the treats can be enjoyed indoors during the cold months. Once you’ve finished eating, the date can continue with some shopping at many local stores.
If you and your partner love charcuterie boards, then Kured in Boston might be for you.
Guests can even create a personalized deli box for $18.99-$33.99.
“Be your own charcuterie, customize a box exactly the way you want. Add the meats, cheeses and extras you want,” the menu reads. what you have selected to fit in the box.”
Kured was founded by two Boston College grads who truly believe deli meats can bring people together—a perfect Valentine’s Day mission.
Bookworms can enjoy a cozy rendezvous at The Montague Bookmill.
The bookstore, open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, is housed in an 1842 gristmill on the banks of the Sawmill River. When you’re done reading or choosing books, the shop is surrounded by other activities, including a music store called Turn it Up! which sells CDs and vinyl, and the art gallery, Sawmill River Arts.
The Lady Killigrew, in the same building as the bookstore, serves small bites like sandwiches at affordable prices, as well as coffee and beer. The cafe is open until 9:00 p.m. so you and your date can hang out in the evening.
New City Microcreamery
New City Microcreamery in Hudson is hosting an event called “Valentine’s After Hours Party – ‘Love is Sweet'” on Saturday February 12 and Sunday February 13 where they will be serving alcoholic milkshake specials.
Tickets for the event are $14 and come with a choice of drink, an alcoholic milkshake or hot chocolate. Vegan options are also available.
“So grab your date, galentines or anyone else you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with and join us for some fun,” the ice cream parlor wrote.
If you consider yourself a gamer, there are also plenty of great arcades in Massachusetts.
Versus in Boston is just $5 per entry for unlimited play. At the start of each week, the arcade hosts “Drive in Movie Mondays” where guests can watch their favorite movies while competing in a Mario Kart tournament. This weekly event falls on Valentine’s Day and is confirmed to take place on February 14.
Free Play in Worcester also offers unlimited arcade games, charging $7 on weekdays and $10 on weekends. In Hadley, The Quarters offers unlimited games for $10 and has a 70s and 80s theme.
- Related content: Does anyone throw an axe? Here are some indoor Massachusetts activities to have fun while staying warm this winter
If you’re looking for an outdoor activity, despite the cold, you might want to consider ice skating at Frog Pond on Boston Common.
Admission is just $6 for skaters over 58 inches, making it a $12 date for two. If you don’t have skates, the pond also offers rentals for $12 a pair.
More outdoor ice skates can be found on Worcester Common. Hours depend on the day, so be sure to check online before you go.
“The city’s 12,000 square foot rink, which opened in 2012, is 4,000 square feet larger than the rink at Rockefeller Center in New York. The Oval offers background music, skate rentals, concessions, Christmas lights and more, making it a fun and affordable family activity,” the town’s website states.
Admission and rental are only $5 per person. The rink is also professionally maintained by the DCU Center management team.
If you and your partner love art, there are a number of museums in Boston that can provide an educational venue.
Two tickets to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum are $40, allowing guests access to two floors of the famous collection and romantic views of the courtyard.
Student tickets are even cheaper, costing $13 each and $18 each for seniors.
The Museum of Fine Arts is nearby in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood, with adult tickets costing $25 each, $10 for ages 7 to 17, and free for children six and under.
If you’re looking for something even cheaper, the Worcester Historical Museum is offering free tickets for the whole month of February.
“The Worcester Historical Museum is the only institution in the city devoted entirely to local history. The museum includes a research library of over 7,000 titles, an archive that houses thousands of documents, and a collection of artifacts,” the website states.
If you’re in Western Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams has tickets for adults at $20, seniors and veterans at $18, and students at $12.
“With extensive galleries and a superb collection of indoor and outdoor performing arts venues, MASS MoCA is able to embrace all art forms: music, sculpture, dance, film, painting, photography, theater and news works of art that cross borders that defy easy classification,” reads its website.
Movies and shows
There is nothing more classic than a date at the cinema. Some currently released films include “Spider-Man: No Way Home”, “West Side Story”, “Encanto”, and “Redeeming Love”.
If you’re looking to support local businesses, there are also a bunch of historic movie theaters across Massachusetts like Amherst Cinema, The Screening Room in Newburyport, Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, and Somerville Theater. These theaters offer some of the same, often unique, films that are not shown in other theaters. Ticket prices are about the same as at major theaters.
Those looking to stay, whether it’s the cold weather or the coronavirus, there are a number of romantic movies on streaming services.
Netflix has originals like “Set It Up”, “Malcolm and Marie”, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Always be my Maybe” alongside some 2000s favorites like “Easy A” and ” The Prince & Me”. ”
On Hulu, viewers can find “The Princess Bride”, “500 Days of Summer”, “La La Land”, “Love Simon” and “Sixteen Candles”.
If you prefer live performances, you might want to catch Night Shift Brewing’s “LOVE is a DRAG” show on February 12 in Boston. Tickets are just $15 per person and include a reservation for the show and your first drink. There is also a special menu for the event.