At-Home Valentine’s Date Ideas to Support Local

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This year, we’ll be staying home for Valentine’s Day. It is not my favorite holiday anyway, but I still want it to be a fun day. My Valentine’s Day goals are simple: Break up the monotony of a pandemic winter stuck at home, connect with my husband a bit, and support the local Indianapolis businesses that really need us right now! Here are at-home valentine’s date ideas to support local.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Play board games. A little friendly competition is one of the things that helps my husband and I connect most. If you need some new games, check out this list of games perfect for two players. You can purchase games locally at Good Games (downtown), Family Time (86th and Michigan), and The Game Preserve (Fashion Mall and Greenwood).
  2. Rent a movie, but jazz it up by buying some fun candy. Support local by checking out the on-demand movie options available for Kan-Kan Cinema. Local candy and chocolate shops include Famous Candy & Soda Company (Speedway), Rocket Fizz (Monument Circle), The Fudge Kettle (Avon), and Newfangled Confections (sold at several locations).
  3. Plan on a fancy cocktail or mocktail. Hotel Tango has been sharing cocktail recipes on their Instagram. Amelia’s Bread also has cocktail kits, non-alcoholic beverages, wine, and more available to purchase. (You can do online ordering and curbside pick-up.) Indianapolis food bloggers A Couple Cooks have recipes for more than two hundred different cocktails.
  4. Treat yourself (…and your partner) beforehand to some new lingerie. Support local by buying from Uplight Intimate Apparel (Carmel). They offer both shipping and in-store pick-up.
  5. Grab a growler from your favorite local brewery. Order popcorn from Just Pop In (Broadripple), Back at home, go to a “concert” by watching music videos or live performances of your favorite performer on YouTube. (I love Tiny Desk Concerts on Youtube, personally!)
  6. Do some cookie decorating, while you get nostalgic binging a show you watched early in your relationship. (For us, that’s The West Wing, Friends, or Friday Night Lights.) You can buy cookie decorating kits from local Indy staple Taylor’s Bakery via their online shop. You can also get cookie and cake-pop kits from A Piece of Cake in Greenwood.
  7. Do a puzzle or collaborative painting while listening to a podcast or audiobook. Nickel Plate Arts has take-out art kits available with lots of fun bonuses at different price points.
  8. Choose a local restaurant, then match your music to your food category. Italian from Nesso or Iozzo’s? Play Dean Martin and Sinatra. Mexican from La Hacienda? Play some Rodrigo y Gabriela. (Did you know you can search Yelp by type of cuisine and/or neighborhood?)

Two bonus tips to make the night a good one:

  • Make it fancy. Dim the lights, pull out the special plates, light some candles. The location hasn’t changed, but the ambiance still can.
  • Choose your food and your movie ahead of time (or at least narrow down to 2 or 3 options). Don’t spend your whole night saying, “I don’t know, what do you wanna do?”

Happy Valentine’s Day, Indy moms!

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