Dammit, it’s here again. Can you even believe it? Your sweetie’s already texting you on what you’re doing next Tuesday night even though you usually just go home, watch Netflix with no pants and snack on lunch meat because you don’t feel like cooking. Congrats on another year with your honey! This year, if you want to treat your special baby boo cake, maybe do it without breaking the bank. Or maybe you’re in a new relationship that started a week ago and you’re considering ending it on February 15. Either way, we’ve given you a budget of $20 so that even if this is an awkward fourth Tinder date, you can rest easy knowing that your checking account isn’t taking a punch in the gut.

Spread your love, but not your wealth. Happy Valentine’s Day, you frugal feller.

Show them your rugged side.

Nothing is hotter than a sweaty traipse into the depths of the only slightly touched edge of wilderness with your attractive mate. The elevation has you both gasping for air and your cell phone reception is gone. The only thing left to do is share the inner workings of your soul between jagged breaths to fill the empty slicing silence of Mother Nature, the true matchmaker. Luckily, nature is free (sometimes), so you can explore intimacy with your beau and really get to know what he or she looks like at their dirtiest.

1. Go for a winter hike.

Dream Lake via Facebook

When: During park hours

Where: Check out popular winter hikes in the Denver area here.

Cost: Park admissions less than $20

What: Although the mountains have snow, that shouldn’t stop you from making a hiking trip this Valentine’s Day weekend. Get your warmest coat and boots on and explore the outdoors with your S.O.

2. Strap on snowshoes.

When: During park hours

Where: Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park

Cost: $5 for daily rental not including park admission ($20 per vehicle)

What: Rent snowshoes for cheap from Estes Park Mountain Shop and explore one of these popular snowshoeing trails.

3. Share s’mores under a full moon.

Campfire at Standley Lake via Facebook

When: Saturday, February 11, 6 – 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

Where: Standley Lake Regional Park, Westminster

What: Join a park naturalist for a full moon stroll and enjoy some s’mores under the full moon. No flashlights needed. Dress appropriately for the weather. Register here.

Show them your soft side.

If this side doesn’t exist inside of you, then on Valentine’s Day just pretend to have the soul of a kitten. Shower your lover with lots of hugs and puddles of emotion by letting them know that you too sometimes cry during those ASPCA commercials. They will feel good knowing you are a human being and cuddle you with feverish passion.

4. Kiss a puppy.

Smooches with Pooches via Facebook

When: Saturday, February 11, 11 a.m.– 2 p.m

Where: Halcyon, a Hotel in Cherry Creek, 245 N. Columbine St., Denver

Cost: Donation

What: Visit Smooches with Pooches, a doggie kissing booth inside the lobby at Halcyon. Get your picture taken smooching an available MaxFund animal, or bring your own furry friend. For a small donation to MaxFund, you’ll walk away with a snapshot of you and your real Valentine.

5. Watch a movie.

UA Meadows Stadium 12 via Facebook

When: Sunday, February 12

Cost: $7 per ticket

Where: UA Meadows Stadium 12, Littleton

What: Sobbing to A Dog’s Purpose and pretending you just got fake butter in your eyes.


When: Tuesday, February 14

Where: Century 16 Bel Mar, Lakewood

Cost: $5.25 per ticket

What: Sobbing to A Dog’s Purpose again and being honest about it.

6. Go to the zoo.

Lion at Denver Zoo via Facebook

When: Sunday and Monday, February 12 and 13, 10 a.m.– 4 p.m.

Where: Denver Zoo

Cost: Free

What: Unlimited lions, tigers and bears.

Teach them a new trick.

Are you a well-rounded individual? Prove it. Spice up an old relationship or excite curiosity in a new one by showing your lover what you’re good at. Or, if you’re not good at anything besides binge drinking, take a class to learn something you lazy ass.

7. Learn how to make pasta.

Making Pasta via Pixabay

When: Monday, February 13, 7 – 9:30 p.m.

Where: 1818 N. Gaylord St., Denver

Cost: $10 per ticket

What: Take a class from the Denver Makers Collective on how to make delicious noodles from scratch and then take them home to eat with your lover.

8. Get on your dancing shoes.

When: Tuesday, February 14, 7 – 8 p.m.

Where: The Grizzly Rose, 5450 N. Valley Hwy, Denver

Cost: Free

What: Get line-dancing lessons from Miss Rosalie and show your honey pie you’re light on your feet.

9. Pretend you’re good at ice skating. 

Skating Evergreen Lake via Facebook

When: During public skating hours.

Where: Evergreen Lake, Evergreen

Cost: $14 for two adults

What: Named one of the 10 most beautiful ice rinks in the world by CNN and Sunset Magazine, Evergreen Lake is the world’s largest Zamboni-groomed outdoor ice rink. Drink hot cocoa and sit by the fire inside the picturesque lake house after a day out on the ice. Call 720-880-1391 for ice conditions, or visit the recreation website for more information.

Note: Fireworks not scheduled for Valentine’s Day

Prove that you’re an intellectual.

Is your muffin sauce attracted to your brains? Are you sure? Writing poetry just won’t cut it anymore these days, so read an article from a credible news source that you find engaging and share it in the middle of conversation with your own insightful opinion attached to it. Your butter bunny will feel so great they scored you, and now daydream about how your future offspring together would definitely be honor roll students.

10. Sit through a Shakespeare performance. Sort of.

Shakesbeer via Facebook

When: Monday, February 13, 7 – 9 p.m.

Where: Thump Coffee Capitol Hill Roastery, 1201 E. 13th Ave., Denver

Cost: Free

What: Watch a free performance of Romeo and Brewliet, a Shakesbeerian production by The Wit’s Shakesbeer.

11. Go see a comedy show.

When: Monday, February 13, 8 – 10 p.m.

Where: Rackhouse Pub, 2875 Blake St., Denver

Cost: $5 per ticket, includes a beer

What: The Pussy Bros. are turning one, so watch some stand-up by Denver comedy favorites Christie Buchele, Janae Burris and Rachel Weeks (The Pussy Bros.), Mara Wiles, and headliner Josh Blue. Also enjoy your first Bierstadt Lagerhaus or C Squared Ciders drink included with your admission.

12. Take a trip to the see the cosmos.

Fiske Planetarium via Facebook

When: Anytime from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Cost: $10.99 for two

Where: Fiske Planetarium, 2414 Regent Drive, Boulder

What: Enjoy two tickets to learn about the galaxy at the University of Colorado Boulder planetarium. Grab your discounted (45% off) tickets here.

Ravish them with fine cuisine.

Good food doesn’t have to be overpriced, so make sure your sweetie pie is well nourished before you hold their hand or caress them sweetly in the night—and save some cash!

13. Drink inside the grocery store.

When: Friday, February 10, 4:30–6:30 p.m.

Where: Whole Foods Market—Pearl location, 2905 Pearl St., Boulder

Cost: Free

What: Come to Mingling and Mixers to enjoy two spirits, one beer and one sparkling wine all paired with bites from Whole Foods Market. This is a stoplight themed mixer so wear red if you’re taken, yellow if you’re unsure, and green if you’re single.

14. Go to the Valentine’s Day Gummy Heart Festival.

When: Saturday, February 11, 11 a.m.­–2 p.m.

Where: The English Teacup, 1930 S. Havana St. #5, Aurora

Cost: Free

What: Enjoy a free chocolate and tea tasting and make valentines. There will also be a drawing for imported chocolates.

15. Enjoy an Italian dinner for two.

Inga’s Alpine Tavern via Facebook

When: Sunday, February 12, 6-8 p.m.

Where: Inga’s Alpine Tavern, 5151 Leetsdale Drive, Denver

Cost: $20

What: Enjoy two spaghetti dinners OR a pizza with a bottle of wine as you listen to lounge favorites by the Dave Aurthor Trio.

16. Get free Krispy Kreme donuts.

When: The whole damn month of February

Where: Click here for participating locations in Denver, Lone Tree and Thornton.

Cost: Free donut with the purchase of a coffee

What: A free donut dammit.

Make a grand gesture

Last but not least, remember what Valentine’s Day is all about—bullshit. If you don’t overdo it, it probably doesn’t count in your baby’s mind, so even if you’re going through a drive-thru at 3 a.m. to get a Fiery Doritos Tacos Supreme at Taco Bell, you better lean over into the passenger seat and look deep into their eyes and muster something sentimental. After all, it really is the thought that counts—and the effort—and the execution—and the timing—but not the money.

17. Visit the Loveland Fire & Ice Festival

Photo courtesy of VisitLoveland.com

When: All weekend, February 10-12. Click here for festival schedule.

Where: 4th Street in downtown Loveland

Cost: Free

What: The nation’s largest Valentine’s Day celebration. Find out more.

18. Get married. Sort of.

Uncle Nasty’s Mass Wedding via Facebook

When: Tuesday, February 14, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Where: Red Rocks Amphitheater

Cost: Free

What: Get married or renew your vows at the top of Red Rocks with like-minded people at Uncle Nasty’s Mass Wedding hosted by 103.5 The Fox radio station. There’s no judgment and there will be prizes. Click here to register and be part of the ceremony.