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5 Ways to Enjoy Valentine's Day (without breaking the bank)

Ah yes, Valentine's Day is just around the corner, the holiday for love, flowers and overpriced set dinner menus. This time of year is definitely when I try my best to avoid any sort of dinner reservations. Listed below I have put together 5 fun date ideas for Valentine's Day that will not break the bank and will help avoid long waits and crowds. You can maximize your time spent with a loved one and save a few dollars, for that house you plan to buy later on this year.

  1. Picnic at Piedmont Park: Piedmont Park is a fantastic location for all sorts of activities like concerts and picnics! With only being a few blocks away from the Midtown location of Trader Joe's, it is the perfect spot to host a picnic. Stop by Trader Joe's to grab your favorite meats/cheeses and pair with a bottle of rosé or a dry sparkling wine for a romantic afternoon in the sunshine. For 1/4 of the price of any in town Atlanta restaurant and plenty of room to toss a blanket, there will be no wait times and you won't break the bank! If you really want to socialize, you can always pop into Park Tavern for a drink as well.

  2. Enjoy a Local Art Show: One thing I love about living in Atlanta is there is never a shortage of events to attend during the weeks and weekends. With Valentine's Day falling on a Wednesday you have two weekend opportunities to celebrate. On Saturday Feb 10th the Super Market Atlanta in Poncey Highlands will be hosting it's annual "Lover's Below" event that hosts multiple local artists including my favorite pottery by Jacqueline Evadne, as well as Atlanta based musicians and DJ's. An art show and dance party? Sign me up! Tickets and information are included in this link:

  3. Wine Tasting: Although I was making this list in order to avoid restaurants and set menus, I consider wine tasting to be its own category. There are many wine focused restaurants throughout Atlanta such as Barcelona Wine Bar where you can order a few tapas and enjoy 3oz pour wine flights. Or you can go to a specific wine shop such as VinoTeca for an easy afternoon tasting. The sommeliers at VinoTeca are very knowledgeable and make learning about wine easy yet effective. On the weekends their patio is always accompanied by an easy listening band or a single acoustic artist to set the proper afternoon mood.

  4. Go for a Hike/Coffee at Kennesaw Mountain: For the more outdoorsy and active folks, why not start Valentine's Day weekend at the crack of dawn with a lovely hike and coffee/breakfast after? Kennesaw Mountain is perfect for just that! The hike is about 2.4 miles with some nice inclines. Once you've worked up an appetite, head on down to Basecamp at Kennesaw Mountain for a hearty breakfast! (Parking at Kennesaw Mountain is $5)

  5. Create an Intimate Dining Setting at Home: One of my favorite ways to get the 'dining' experience without the hassle or inflated prices is to plan a candle lit dinner in the comfort of your own home. Get a nice table cloth, pick out a few sides and an entree, and you can cut your expenses by more than half in comparison to a restaurant. You may be able to impress your date/significant other when you personally whip up a 5 course meal with fresh ingredients and the added flavor of 'love'. Maybe it's time to bust out Nonna's family chicken Parmesan recipe you've been meaning to try!

Holiday's don't always need to be expensive to celebrate, remember it's always about who you spend the time with, not how much you spend on them. Have a lovely and safe Valentine's Day and I hope some of these ideas are helpful!

William Bernd


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