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the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

Budget-friendly Valentine’s Day date ideas

Looking for ways to make Wednesday special? Look no further

“We fancy like Apple bees on a date night.”  That’s what Walker Hayes sings in his popular romance tune “Fancy Like,” a song that puts us all in our feels…  And we’re fancy like that here at the Gauntlet this Valentine’s Day. 

Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to connect with your partner, but as high school students, making this day extra special can be hard when you lack the finances to take your date out to a fancy dinner. But regardless, this special day is coming up, and if you have a boo, here’s what you could do to make this night awesome on a budget! 


Picnic in the Park 

Two lovers sharing a meal on a gingham picnic blanket. Art by Yara Nimer via Canva.

Grab your gingham picnic blankets! We are going to the park! If you’ve watched any cheesy rom-com or cartoon, you’d know that a picnic date in the park is a classic. As seen in Pixar’s Up, Carl and Ellie lie and chat while watching the clouds together on a sunny day, a plate of cheese and bread at hand. This is a top-tier date idea for those still getting to know each other; sitting down in the park and enjoying the fresh air can be great for new couples because it calls for endless conversation, good snacks, and best of all, it’s free.



Beach Walks

A couple enjoying the sun while taking a walk on the beach. Art by Yara Nimer via Canva.

Living in Florida has its perks, and this is one of them— a classic beach date where you can get sunburnt with the one you love most. Going on a walk exploring beautiful piers and wildlife is a plus. Not only is the beach awesome for a date, but it’ll make up for your lack of vitamin D, too, a problem for Gen-Z as acknowledged by the Huffington Post. So, not only will you be bonding with your significant other, but your body will thank you for the much-needed sun exposure.



Drive-in movie theater

Two people on a date enjoying a movie in the comfort of their own vehicle. Art created by Yara Nimer via Canva.

If you’re someone who loves going to the movies, but feels the idea is too overdone, a drive-in movie theater is the way to go. Just a few miles north in Ruskin, you’ll find the Ruskin Family Drive-In. You just need $7 for the admission fee, which gets you two movies and a portable radio. This is a great way to build a connection with your partner without someone throwing popcorn at you. This is perfect for couples who want that classic, date night-feel without the restrictions our movie theaters have today. 




Cooking Together

A couple enjoying each other’s company while cooking a meal together. Art created by Yara Nimer via Canva.

It might be a tad cliche, but cooking together is not only a fun date idea but can help you really connect with your partner. You can learn how they deal with an unfortunate mess on the floor, or how they cut their cucumbers. Overall, cooking with your partner can help you get to know them emotionally and show you how they react to sticky situations. Also, learning what your partner likes in terms of food and spices, is really important. In the end, it’s all about quality time, even if the food is burnt to a crisp.  Try some of these date night recipes from The New York Times



Museum Date

A couple delving into the art world together. Art created by Yara Nimer via Canva.

Do you and your date like art? For only $5 a person, you and your partner can be art critics for the day. The Ringling has a huge selection of contemporary art you can unpack together. Museums can really help you get into the mind of your partner. Seeing how they interpret certain pieces can help you grasp their analytical skills and worldview. If you and your date aren’t into the contemporary art scene, The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, which was recently visited by our AP United State History students, is great for those who are interested in historical art and artifacts. “It really put it into place for me,”senior Sarabeth Wester said, “all the different styles, modes, and pieces really showed me all the different perspectives of that important time in our nation’s history.”


You may not have a million dollars for an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii this Valentine’s Day, but these date ideas are great for building connections. Even though a fancy dinner at the Chateau-13 is great, it’s more important to focus on the bond between you and your date while keeping your budget happy. 

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About the Contributor
Yara Nimer
Yara Nimer, Staff Writer
Yara Nimer is a Junior and a Staff writer for the Gauntlet. This is her second year writing for the Gauntlet. She loves Yoga, reading, and going to the beach with friends. Her favorite films are Black Swan, Parasite, and The Truman Show. Yara spends a lot of her time listening to Lana del Ray, The Weekend, Zach Bryan, and Hozier. You can always find her either being too loud in the hallway or ranting to Mr. Revard.  

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