Making sparks fly without making your wallet cry: A guide to an affordable Valentine’s Day

The Foghorn wishes everyone a happy Valentine’s Day! GRAPHIC BY KATE SAGARA

Kayla Quintero

Contributing Writer

Although the stereotypical Valentine’s Day experience includes a lavish and luxurious “wine and dine” element, it isn’t in the budget for most college students. Lucky for you, San Francisco has something for everyone, even those who don’t want to break the bank (nor that special someone’s heart). Whether you’re planning on spending the day with your gal or your pal, one of these ideas will guarantee you a lovely time this Valentine’s Day.

For the crafty couple

While receiving flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s Day is nice, a DIY token of love not only makes for a one-of-a-kind gift but also a fun activity that you and your Valentine can enjoy doing together. CounterPulse is hosting a free event to create 3D Valentine’s Day shadow boxes for and/or with your loved one. RSVP online to get decorative with lots of glitter and glue and make something special for someone!

A walk down Lovers’ Lane (plus a Presidio Picnic)

Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a stroll down the Lovers’ Lane trail in the Presidio National Park. This trail allows you and your partner to enjoy each other’s company amid the serenity of the Presidio and surrounding eucalyptus, cypress, and pine trees. You can also impress your Valentine with a little history lesson — “Lovers’ Lane” received its name because soldiers used the trail during the 1800s to meet their lovers in town. Pack for a picnic in the Presidio to seal the deal on a romantic and charming outing for the special day.

Love as painful as a pillow fight

Don’t have a romantic partner to spend this day of love and affection with? Ditch the tissue because it’s not an issue when you head over to Embarcadero Plaza with some friends to join other San Franciscans in an epic pillow fight — and, it’s free! The “Great San Francisco Pillow Fight” is an annual tradition in the city that acknowledges the fact that, sometimes, love does hurt. Bring a pillow and your pals for some actual “tough love” this Valentine’s Day.

Playing with games, not feelings

The Musée Mécanique at Fisherman’s Wharf has a vast collection of coin-operated games that make for an entertaining Valentine’s Day outing. Bring back the old school arcade dates with hundreds of mechanical games at the Musée Mécanique, including favorites such as pinball and Pac-Man. This Valentine’s Day you can “play on, player” in the best way possible!

Split a scoop at Loving Cup

Having a sweet treat is never a bad idea. Loving Cup offers a variety of hand-churned frozen yogurt flavors made from fresh, high-quality ingredients as well as an assortment of mix-ins to perfect your scoop. Whether you’re window shopping on Union Street or hanging out on Divisadero Street, stop into a Loving Cup location for a sweet date with your Valentine.


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