Midterms should be over by the time you read this. Unfortunately, as I write this midterms are still in full swing. It is for this very reason that I condensed my Valentine’s Day search to the “V-Day” abbreviation; last minute cramming requires every saved second. Expecting to find Valentine’s Day dating ideas—which is, after all, the aim of this article—I was delightfully surprised to find the top few results linking instead to the “V-Day” Global Movement to End Violence Against Women and Girls webpage. Not only did I learn about the above movement (check ’em out for yourselves!), I also found a title for this article, which ousted the title I had previously planned on using: “Valentine’s Day dating ideas for broke-ass college students.” Too many words.
After all, February 14 isn’t just about typical Valentine’s Day activities. If our dating ideas list down below doesn’t tickle your fancy, don’t be afraid to perform a few Google searches of your own. Perhaps you will stumble on a movement worthy of your support or an interesting fact that has nothing to do with your initial search. For example, did you know Portland turns 166 years old this February? And Oregon’s birthday is on V-Day itself!
Without further delay, here is the promised collaborative Valentine’s Day dating ideas list for broke-ass college students that I know you’ve been patiently awaiting:
- Dollar store shopping spree! There’s a Dollar Tree and a Goodwill on West Burnside (and all over the rest of town), and you never know what you’ll find at a dollar store.
- Print out some vintage valentines off the internet and fill a kiddie swimming pool with them. Let your lover(s) wade in the valentines until they are tired and then offer them ramen. Talk about good times, am I right?
- Classic movies at Laurelhurst, Cinema 21, 5th Avenue Cinema, Revolution Hall, Northwest Film Center, etc. Make sure to watch something completely unrelated to Valentine’s Day, thereby maintaining your hipster status.
- Do one of those playful movie fashion montages at Buffalo Exchange. Buy nothing. Film everything.
- Plan a dessert-loop walk. Be sure to hit one or both of Cacao Drink Chocolate’s two downtown locations. If you haven’t ever had drinking chocolate: it is to hot chocolate as espresso is to coffee. Time your walk so that just as you’re finishing one cup of chocolate—hey, there’s another Cacao, let’s get another!
- Build an indoor fort, binge-watch cheesy rom-coms, binge-eat dessert, binge-nap.
- Get your dance on! There are plenty of cheap classes, and Portland Dancesport, HobNob Grille, and Norse Hall all offer free group lessons for your first visit.
- Stay the classic route and cook a mouthwatering home-cooked meal. If the weather’s not too bad (and even if it is), you can burn off those calories strolling the city streets or going for a hike in a city park. (Pro-tip: Impress your partner by calling it a dérive.)
- Check out the new Green Zebra Grocery across the street from Cramer Hall. Get cozy in their tiny aisles and shop together for that home cooked meal!
- If all else fails: Dress up in drag and try to sneak into Darcelle’s. Once inside, somehow convince everyone you both know all the lyrics to Prince’s “Kiss” and then proceed to sing it as a duet (even though it’s not a duet traditionally). Bonus points if you sing the horn breakdown from the Art of Noise (feat. Tom Jones) version.