11 Low-Effort Valentine Date Ideas, Thanks to TikTok

From solving a murder mystery to taking the four-course meal challenge.

So, it’s almost Valentine’s Day during a pandemic and you have no idea how to celebrate with your partner. You’re not alone. The obvious date ideas, like dinner and a movie, aren’t so easy to pull off with theaters and indoor dining closed in most places. Plus, if you live with your partner, you’ve probably done the at-home version of this date more times than you can count. Don’t worry, though, you can still find a way to make Valentine’s Day special this year—with a little help from our friends at TikTok.

TikTok has blessed us with so many genius hacks and ideas, like how to get the perfect “soap brows” and how to turn $10 men’s pants from Walmart into the perfect mom jeans. So, we really shouldn’t be surprised that the social media platform is filled with easy and affordable date ideas, too.

Ever since the pandemic began, couples have been finding ways to do date nights at home or go on safe adventures outside—and many have been sharing their experiences on TikTok. So, we rounded up some of our favorite TikTok-inspired date ideas below. Whether you want to spend V-Day stuffing your face with food from your favorite restaurants or doing a fun craft together, keep reading to find the idea that’s perfect for you and your significant other.

1. Do the Four-Course Meal Challenge.

The four-course meal challenge might sound fancy but it’s really whatever you and your partner want it to be. Here’s the premise: Play four rounds of rock-paper-scissors with your partner and let the winner of each round decide where you get takeout. The first round covers drinks, while the second is appetizers, the third is entrées, and the fourth is dessert. For a bit more of a challenge, you can follow this couple’s lead and make each item from scratch at home, letting the winner of each round decide what to make.

2. Make your own ice cream bar.

For the couple that loves to indulge their sweet tooths together, follow along for TikTok user @chandlerisaac‘s $20 date night idea. Start by heading to your local grocery store and picking up some cream, sugar, vanilla, ice cream salt, large Ziploc bags, and any candy toppings you and your partner want. Follow the recipe in the video for exact ingredient measurements and instructions and throw it back to the days of middle school science experiments to shake up some homemade ice cream. Then, you can share a sweet dessert and a sense of accomplishment with your S.O.

3. Solve a mystery together.

If you and your partner love to watch marathons of Criminal Minds or listen to true crime podcasts, this is the perfect date night idea for you. These Unsolved Case Files packets are available to purchase on Amazon for $30 and they’re filled with clues and murder suspects to guide you in cracking a cold case. Solving a (fictional) murder together? That’s romance, baby.

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Unsolved Case Files Murder Mystery Game

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4. Go plant shopping and DIY some planters.

TikTok couple Mags and Isa created a date that’s perfect for any plant lovers out there. They started by heading to a local plant shop and picking out succulents. Next, they bought air-dry clay and some craft paints to mold and decorate their own planters. You and your partner don’t have to be experts to pull this project off—you just have to be willing to get creative—and you can likely find all the supplies for under $30.

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Air-Dry Clay

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18ct Satin Acrylic Paint Pot Set

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5. Try this chaotic baking challenge with your partner.

One TikTok user shared a video of his parents being “freaking goals” and creating their own chaotic-but-cute date idea. The couple decided to do a baking challenge in which they had to make a dessert together while one of them was blindfolded and the other couldn’t talk. This challenge will put your non-verbal communication skills to the test, and, if you’re successful, leave you with a dessert to enjoy at the end. However, if a messy kitchen is a common root cause of your arguments, you might want to sit this one out.

6. Go on a how well do you know me? shopping spree.

To recreate this TikTok date idea, come up with a list of prompts for you and your partner and go on separate shopping trips to pick up an item for each category, keeping in mind your partner’s favorite things. TikTok user @ember.wolfheart did this trend with her partner using the prompts “favorite color,” “favorite snack,” “something that they need,” and “game/craft,” and the two of them revealed what they picked up for each other at the same time. This date idea will cost a bit of money, but you can agree on a budget together to keep it from getting too pricey. It’s an easy way for you and your partner to shower each other with gifts while also showing off your listening skills.

7. Plan a nostalgia-themed date.

TikTok user @jordan.dumb started a series of “15-second date ideas” and our favorite is this nostalgia-themed one. To recreate it, pick up a bunch of snacks that you and your partner were never allowed to have as kids, get a bottle of wine or your drink of choice, and then settle in and start watching your favorite Vine compilations on YouTube. Reminisce about the simpler times while you munch on some Little Debbie’s and Lunchables together.

8. Put together an Insta-worthy picnic.

Dreamy picnics have been all the rage in quarantine. So, if you live in a warm climate, pack up some blankets and some snacks, and go enjoy a perfectly picturesque picnic in a park with your S.O. Look to TikTok user @brycexavier‘s video for some inspiration on what snacks to bring (and how to try that cake-in-a-glass trend).

9. Document your adventures in a scrapbook.

This scrapbook for couples has been trending all over TikTok, and it’s filled with date ideas and space to document all your favorite memories. While some ideas will have to be saved for after the pandemic, some—like making your favorite cocktails, getting dressed up, and putting on some 1940s music—can easily be done at home. You can also order the matching instant camera to snap pics of all your adventures and paste them in the scrapbook.

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The Adventure Challenge Scrapbook

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10. Make that viral baked feta pasta.

If you’ve been on TikTok for more than five minutes, you know about this viral baked feta pasta. The pasta recipe, originally created by Finnish food blogger Jenni Häyrinen, just involves tossing together and roasting cherry tomatoes, olive oil, a block of feta cheese, basil, and some seasonings to make a creamy sauce to go with the pasta noodles. It’s perfect for any couple that wants to cook a nice meal together for Valentine’s Day but isn’t super savvy in the kitchen. Just plan ahead to make sure all the ingredients are in stock—this recipe was so popular that it caused feta cheese to sell out in Finland last year.

11. Learn a TikTok dance together.

If you’ve ever tried to learn a TikTok dance, then you know the activity is enough to take up an entire night. So, if you and your partner are up for it, find a fun dance on TikTok and challenge yourselves to learn and recreate it together. This is sure to test your patience, but, when you’re done, you’ll have a cute dancing video of you and your partner to cherish. Don’t know where to start? Head to Gabrielle Union’s page to find some of the dances she and husband Dwayne Wade have been recreating in quarantine. You can’t go wrong.

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