Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.
It’s a time of year for love, whether that be with a romantic partner, family or friends. But it can also be an expensive time.
While Massachusetts has luxurious restaurants cooking up delicious multi-course meals, shops all around the state offer more affordable options as well.
Below is a list of Valentine’s Day date ideas created with budgeting in mind. You will find prices range from free to $50, with activities including everything from ice skating to make-your-own charcuterie boxes.
Food and Drink
BarKaya in Springfield has a special on Mondays, which Valentine’s Day falls on this year.
Customers can get a bowl of ramen for $10 between 5 pm and 10 pm, the perfect meal to warm up during the winter time.
“Experience our spicy seafood, pork belly, pinenut miso chicken, japanese curry chicken, or beef scallion ramen for only $10!” the restaurant wrote on its website.
Looking for a sweet treat?
Donut Homies in Worcester is offering a DIY Valentines Boxes. Customers can pick four heart-shaped doughnuts, with the choice of three icings, strawberry, vanilla and chocolate and three toppings, pink sprinkles, mini chocolate chips and fruity pebbles.
The packages come with utensils and a piping bag. Boxes can be picked up on Feb. 11 or Feb. 14 after 10 am or delivered in Worcester for an additional $5.
“Pre-order now to hold your box.. message me with the day you chose, pickup or delivery & then send payment to hold kit,” the shop posted to Facebook.
Donut Homies is located in Worcester Public Market so the treats can be enjoyed inside during the cold months. Once you’re done eating, the date can be continued with some shopping at many local stores.
If you and your partner enjoy charcuterie boards, then Kured in Boston may be for you.
Guests can even create a custom charcuterie box for between $18.99 and $33.99.
“Be your own charcuterie artist, customize a box exactly how you’d like it. Add whatever meats, cheeses, and extras you’d like,” the menu read. “If you don’t select all 3 options, we’ll increase the portion sizes of what you did select to fit the box.”
Kured was founded by two Boston College graduates who truly believe charcuterie can bring people together: a perfect mission for Valentine’s Day.
The Montague Bookmill
Bookworms may enjoy a cozy date at the Montague Bookmill.
The book store, open 11 am to 5 pm on Mondays, is housed in an 1842 Gristmill on the banks of the Sawmill River. When you’re done reading or picking out 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 book store, serves small bites like sandwiches at affordable prices, as well as coffee and beer. The cafe is open until 9 pm so you and your date can hang out into 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, Feb. 12 and Sunday, Feb. 13 where they will serve boozy milkshake specials.
Tickets for the event cost $14 and come with a drink choice of an alcoholic milkshake or hot chocolate. Vegan options are available as well.
“So grab your date, your galentines, or anyone else you want to celebrate this Valentine’s Day with and join us for some some sweet fun,” the ice cream parlor wrote.
If you consider yourself a gamer, there are also a lot of great arcades in Massachusetts.
Versus in Boston only costs $5 per entry for unlimited games. At the beginning of each week, the arcade hosts “Drive in Movie Mondays” where guests can watch their favorite movies while racing in a Mario Kart tournament. This weekly event falls on Valentine’s Day and is confirmed to be happening on Feb. 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 70′s and 80′s theme.
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If you’re looking for an outdoorsy activity, despite the cold, you may want to consider ice skating at Frog Pond on Boston Common.
Admission only costs $6 for skaters over 58 inches, making this a $12 date for two. If you don’t have skates, the pond also offers rentals for $12 a pair.
More outdoor ice skating can be found on the Worcester Common. The hours depend on the day, so be sure to check online before going.
“The City’s 12,000-square-foot rink, which opened in 2012, is 4,000 square feet larger than the rink at New York City’s Rockefeller Center. The Oval has piped-in music, skate rentals, concessions, holiday lights and more, making it a fun and affordable family-friendly activity,” the city’s website read.
Admission and rentals only cost $5 per person. The rink is also professionally maintained by the DCU Center’s management team.
If you and your partner enjoy art, there are a number of museums in Boston that can provide an educational date spot.
Two tickets at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum cost $40, gaining guests access to two floors of the famed collection and the romantic views in the courtyard.
Student tickets are even cheaper, going for $13 each and $18 each for seniors.
The Museum of Fine Arts is close by in the Fenway area of Boston, with tickets for adults costing $25 each, $10 for ages 7 to 17 and free for children six and younger.
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 entirely devoted to local history. The museum includes a research library of more than 7,000 titles, an archive that houses thousands of documents and a collection of artifacts,” the website read.
If you’re Western Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams offers adult tickets for $20, seniors and veterans for $18 and students for $12.
“With vast galleries and a stunning collection of indoor and outdoor performing arts venues, MASS MoCA is able to embrace all forms of art: music, sculpture, dance, film, painting, photography, theater, and new, boundary-crossing works of art that defy easy classification,” its website read.
Movies and Shows
There’s nothing more classic than a movie date. Some films out right now 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 Theatre. These cinemas offer some of the same and often, unique films not showed at other theaters. Ticket prices are around the same as larger theaters as well.
Those looking to stay in, either because of the cold or the coronavirus, there are a number of romantic films 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’re more into live performances, you may want to check out Night Shift Brewing’s “LOVE is a DRAG” show on Feb. 12 in Boston. Tickets only cost $15 per person and include a reservation to the show and your first drink. There is also a special menu for the event.