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

Celebrating Valentine's Day at home has perks—like no reservations required.

If an expensive dinner at a crowded restaurant leaves you feeling exhausted on Valentine's Day, it might be time to try something less high-profile. On the other hand, you may crave such a night out but are stuck without a sitter. Fortunately, planning a Valentine's Day celebration at home can be just as romantic—if not more romantic—because you can set the scene to match what you and your partner want to do that evening.

Whether it's a candlelit dinner, curated music, or your favorite meal that you both helped prepare, spending Valentine's Day at home can be a luxury—even if you have your kids with you. Here are six ideas to make your Valentine's Day extraordinary, no matter the venue.

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Decide on your menu

If you like to cook, you can go all out with a multi-course Valentine's Day extravaganza. 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, look at the local takeout offerings—odds are your go-to romantic restaurant is offering a Valentine's Day menu to go.

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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 create a stellar tablescape. Flowers can be pricey around Valentine's Day, so skip the roses and use plenty of votive candles (flameless candles are a safe option). A fantastic table runner and some potted herbs or succulents add a touch of green.

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

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Plan for the kids

If you have kids, opt to serve them dinner early and separately. Have a little fun 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 the kids eat, one takes care of bedtime duties while the other preps the just-the-grownups meal.

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Just add music

Remember the soundtrack. You can put together a list of all your sentimental favorites or 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

Valentine's Day is the perfect time to mix it up if your date nights are getting a little tired. 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 how much they mean to you. Share your appreciation with a Valentine's Day gift from the heart:

Even if money is tight, you can give plenty of free (or nearly free) gifts to make this Valentine's Day unforgettable.

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