You can do something more meaningful that giving chocolates on your Valentine’s Day this year. What are some inexpensive ways to have fun and enjoy this season, and at the same time respect and help our environment, God’s creation? Even with these challenges you don’t have to be dateless or bored. It is possible to give your wallet and atmosphere a rest, and here are a few ideas for you and a friend or significant other to enjoy.
RECOUNT YOUR BLESSINGS AND BE GENEROUS
Volunteer at a food kitchen and help in aiding and feeding the homeless and others in need. Not only will you feel great for helping those less fortunate, you’ll be able to see your companion’s true heart in the process.
Adopt a Beach, Lake or River
If you live near a body of water, it is likely that others have left “souvenirs,” namely trash and debris, behind. Adopt your favorite spot and grab a trash bag and a pair of gloves and clean up one afternoon. You never known what oddities or treasures you might find.
REFUEL YOUR FAITH
Your Bible or Mine?
Attend a Bible study together. Never underestimate the power of fellowship, not to mention the closer the two of you grow in Christ, the closer you will grow together!
Attend a local service with your date. To make a day out of it, head to a pre-church class or prayer meeting, then a service and lunch. For an even more daring date, visit a church that’s not your denomination, and experience that of other Christians, then discuss.
REVISIT CHILDHOOD AND BE A KID AGAIN
Story Time/Movie Time
Explore the children’s section at a bookstore or the local library and reread your childhood favorites. Follow it up with a trip to the dollar theater and talk about your favorite movies.
Go to the park, feed the birds, and share childhood memories.
Go to the park and enjoy the life surrounding it. You could even bring some bread or bird seed for your feathered friends. Take the time while enjoying the surroundings to get to know each other even better. Share childhood memories while being a kid at heart and swinging on the swings or tire.
RECOMMIT IN A ROMANTIC SETTING
Music To Your Ears
Check your local paper’s entertainment section for free concerts in a park, mall, church, or civic center. Free concerts are going on all the time and make for a great time of enjoying a live performance of your significant other’s favorite genre.
Farmers’ Market Matchmaker
Visit your local farmers’ market and pick up fresh bread, artisan cheese, or fresh vegetables at a fraction of the cost of your supermarket, and make your own picnic dinner ahead of time instead of dining out.
RECREATE YOUR ARTSY SIDE
The Creative Dollar
Visit your local thrift/consignment store. Set aside $5 for yourself and $5 for your date, then roam through the store separately and buy the things you think your date will most enjoy.
Take a day and use your digital camera or the camera on your phone. See who can produce the most artistic and beautiful pictures of random locations, objects or people that you visit together.
RECLAIM YOUR ROOTS WITH THE NATURAL WORLD
Volunteer at a local animal shelter.
Many animal shelters allow people to volunteer to do things such as helping give baths or taking the animals for walks. This way, you get exercise, the animals get to enjoy life outside of their cages, and you might just make a fuzzy friend out of it.
Visit your local botanical gardens or nature center.
Many places offer beautiful botanical gardens or breathtaking nature centers or wildlife reserves. You’ll be enjoying God’s creation while taking in the sights and smells these treasures have to offer.
RELEASE YOUR ADVENTUROUS SIDE
Geocaching on bicycles.
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played all over the world. All you need is a sense of adventure and a GPS system, which is available on many new smart phones. Any city has locations you can search for treasures in. Try it with your bikes and save gas, and the environment, in the process. For more information visit www.geocaching.com
Take a bus trip.
You’d be surprised what attractions your town or city has to offer that you probably don’t see if you drive all the time. Try taking public transportation for an afternoon. Pick a place to go have coffee or go to a free art exhibit by way of bus. Getting to and fro might not be as time consuming as you think.