Every year, Valentine’s Day seems to sneak up on our unsuspecting bank accounts as we're pressured to partake in an abundance of expensive romantic traditions such as fancy dinners and tried-and-true (and, again, expensive) gifts. So, yeah, your options on V-day are you can be either single or broke. If you're tired of the corporate, corny Valentine’s Day culture and still want to celebrate love with your friends or partner, try these less expensive and far cooler options.
Have a picnic at Lakeside Park With the Teddy Bears
4585-4657 Lakeside Drive
The teddy bear statues in Dallas' swanky Highland Park neighborhood are in a serene picnic spot and offer a great backdrop for cutesy photos. But, they also provide sort of scavenger hunt because they're not exactly easy to find. They're tucked away behind the park's benches and require some effort to find. But it's worth it just to delight in the scenic Lakeside Park for Valentine’s Day.
A Harder Alternative: Make it a morbid-romance kind of date and enjoy a picnic at Bonnie and Clyde's graves.
Public Art in Dallas
Celebrate Valentine’s Day by touring Dallas’ public art. Celebrate romance with your partner at “Plaza Cattle Drive” at 1428 Young St. or remake the scene depicted by “People at Play” at 6906 Churchill Way. The "I Love You" mural downtown and the mural that spells out "blank plus blank equals heart" — where you and a special someone can fill in the blanks with your bodies— are adorable and perfect for a keepsake.
10 Things I Hate About You
1201 E. Eighth St.
Fall in love with Heath Ledger again and for a good cause by purchasing $3 tickets ($7 at the door) to see 10 Things I Hate About You to support Townview’s period product drive. At 5 p.m., Friday Feb. 10, you can cringe at Kat's poem just as you did back in 1999, but this time pizza is included with your ticket.
... Or Watch a Classic Film on Valentine's Day
You can also indulge in Valentine’s Day classics such as Breakfast at Tiffany's at 4:15 p.m and 7:30 p.m on Feb. 14 at Angelika Dallas, The Wedding Singer at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Feb. 14 at Violet Crown, or channel your inner Kravis for the couple's favorite film, True Romance, at 8:30 p.m., Feb. 14, at Texas Theatre. Or don’t. You can also celebrate Valentine’s Day at home with the psychological horror film Consecration.
2600 Main St.
Get together with your actual loves, the loyal, funny, female friends in your life, with a Galentine’s Brunch at Punch Bowl Social from 10 a.m to 3 p.m on Saturday, Feb. 18. You can dress like your ex to see just how ridiculous you look in those no-vibe clothes. The event will have drinks, food and prizes set to heartbreak anthems played by a live DJ.
Explore the Dallas Zoo, and Maybe Even Adopt an Animal
650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway
Take advantage of the special $7 admission price for Valentine’s Day and, if your endless love extends to animals, consider adopting one at the Dallas Zoo and its Valentine’s Day special. We're surprised they still have any animals left after all those recent break-ins but, hey, get you a creature to love.
Late Night at the Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora St.
Celebrate a belated Valentine’s Day at the Nasher Sculpture Center until midnight on Friday, Feb. 17 with $10 admissions for adults. If the weather allows (thanks, global warming!), you can sit outside and have a cozy picnic while surrounded by art and those who appreciate it. You can also attend a special performance by DJ Richy Smart, with tickets starting at $20.
Valentine’s on Tap at the Perot
2201 N. Field St.
With food, drinks, and a Fleetwood Mac cover band, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science's Valentine’s Day on Tap is an exciting way to celebrate the day by being nerdy and cool — since you're both. Buy tickets for $25.
Trousdale — The Road Trip! at House of Blues
2200 N. Lamar St.
See a rising band together so you can always remind one another about how you saw them back before they played arenas. Our pick is the pop folk band out of the University of South Carolina, Trousdale, playing at the House of Blues this Valentine’s Day (doors open at 7 p.m.). This all-ages show invites 21+ attendees to the Foundation Room before the show for food and drinks. Tickets start at $15.
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change at Theatre Three
2699 Laclede St.
With tickets from $30 to $40, you can attend the Valentine’s Day performance of this musical comedy, which has a name to which we can all relate, sadly. So at least there will be holiday perks such as chocolates, flowers and Champagne to forget your narcissistic ex. This event also has special pricing for dates and groups over 10.
El Corazon at Bath House Cultural Center
521 E. Lawther Drive
Appreciate the artistic interpretations of the human heart at the Bath House Cultural Center with a heart-centered exhibition curated by Jose Vargas, running through March 4. The cultural center put out a call to artists to submit their interpretations of the human heart.