6 Ways to Make Your Valentine's Day Celebration at Home Special

No reservations required for a romantic evening...or a fun day with the family.

If your idea of a romantic Valentine's Day usually involves a night on the town (preferably with a swanky dinner at a candlelit restaurant), this year may not exactly have you brimming with anticipation. With indoor dining limited in most of the country, Valentine's Day at home is probably in the cards for most couples (and Galentine's Day get-togethers are probably going virtual, too).

But before you get too bummed out, keep in mind that Valentine's Day at home can be plenty romantic—even if you have your kids at home with you and no sitter in sight.

01 of 06

Decide on your menu

If you like to cook, you can go all out with a multi-course extravaganza. (Check out a few easy-yet-impressive Valentine's Day menu ideas for inspiration.) Or go ahead and get creative—maybe you want to make it a night of fun appetizers and mini desserts, or serve a slew of aphrodisiacs in your feast.

And if cooking's not your thing, take a look at the local takeout offerings—odds are your go-to romantic restaurant is offering a Valentine's Day menu to go.

02 of 06

Set the mood

Think about how your favorite eateries create ambiance, and work the same magic at home.

Use your best dishes, clear away anything that's not-so-romantic (bye-bye laptop), and put together a stellar tablescape. Flowers can be pricey around Valentine's Day, so skip the roses and use plenty of votive candles. a cool table runner, and some potted herbs or succulents to add a touch of green.

Note: You don't have to eat in your dining room, either. Consider creating a cozy spot in the living room with cushions and the coffee table—or even serve dessert on trays in bed.

03 of 06

Plan for two seatings

If you have kids, opt to serve them dinner early and separately. Have a little fun with it by setting up their own "restaurant" with a kid-friendly menu, and play money or credit cards so they can pay their bill and tip the waiter.

After they're done eating, one of you can take bedtime duty while the other preps the just-the-grownups meal.

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Just add music

Don't forget about the soundtrack. You can put together a list of all your sentimental favorites, or just pull a romantic playlist from Spotify, Pandora or another streaming service.

(And since you're in your own space, slow dancing between courses is suggested.)

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Have a little fun

If your date nights at home are getting a little tired, Valentine's Day is the perfect time to mix it up. Consider splurging on a date night kit—like the Happily ones, which surprise you with themed boxes of activities, playlists, and treats that suit your interests.

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Give a little something special

Valentine's Day at home is the perfect time to remind the special people in your life just how much they mean to you. You can share a gift that shows your appreciation for your guy, your kids, or your gal. Even if money is tight, there are plenty of free (or nearly free) gifts you can give to make this Valentine's Day unforgettable.

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