So Valentine’s Day is upon us once more, much to the chagrin of stressed out boyfriends gearing up for possibly the highest-pressure Thursday of the year – yup, worse than performance review.
More than one Singaporean guy is having nightmares of spending hundreds of dollars on a bouquet of flowers that costs 10 times more than it should and a meal at a posh restaurant where he commits every faux pas imaginable, only to have his date complain that it just wasn’t romantic enough.
If you’re determined to show your date a good time on 14 Feb without having to schedule your next date for 6 months later as you struggle to rebuild your savings, you’ll have to be very selective about what you choose to do. Here are some wallet-friendly suggestions.
Valentine’s Day 2019 – 9 date ideas in Singapore under $70 per couple
|Valentine’s Day activity||Cost per couple|
|Art jamming at Artary||$32.50|
|Ice skating at The Rink||$36|
|DIY rooftop picnic||Up to $50|
|Cafe hopping in Johor Bahru||Up to $50|
|Silent Disco at iLight Marina Bay||$50 to $60|
|Dinner at the beach||$50 to $70|
|Movie date at Cathay Platinum Movie Suites||$56|
|Partner yoga at The Yoga School||$58|
|Gin masterclass at JW Marriott South Beach||~$66|
Art jamming at Artary ($32.50)
Remember how much fun you had goofing around with paints back in school? Now you get do that as an adult with your significant other at an art jamming session (yup, it’s a thing now).
In contrast to art lessons, which are more serious and focused on techniques, art jamming sessions are just for you to muck around and have fun. At most places, all art materials are provided, so you and your partner just need to show up, preferably in some old clothes you don’t mind ruining.
Cost: The cheapest place we found is at Artary in Jurong and Tampines, which charges only $32.50 for 2 pax thanks to their opening 1-for-1 promotion. Other places that are nicer but more expensive are Boulevart ($32/pax) and Artify Studio ($35/pax).
Ice skating at The Rink ($36)
Invite your date to go for a run or head to the gym on Valentine’s Day, and unless you’re dating Mr Ironman or Ms Ironwoman, don’t be surprised if your suggestion is met with zero enthusiasm.
Ice skating, on the other hand, is romance disguised as a sport, especially if your date sucks at it, because, as every bashful secondary school boy knows, it gives you the perfect excuse to offer, ahem, a helping hand.
Cost: $18 per adult for 2 hours at The Rink, inclusive of skate boots rental, so $36 for a couple. Bring your own gloves and socks, otherwise you need to fork out an additional $2 for each item.
Rooftop picnic (under $50)
There are few things that can leave your date more starry-eyed than a panoramic view of Singapore’s skyline as you clink your wine glasses and make a toast. But that doesn’t mean you need to suck it up and pay for expensive cocktails at 1-Altitude or Ce La Vie.
There are a ton of free-to-access rooftops in Singapore. So long as it’s not raining, all you need are:
- Picnic mat or groundsheet ($2 at Daiso)
- A bottle of wine from Wine Connection or the supermarket (budget ~$30)
- Some nibbles from the deli section of Cold Storage (budget ~$10 to $15)
My personal favourite rooftop is the [email protected], which costs $5 by EZ-Link to access. Another good one is the 11th and 12th floor roof garden at Orchard Central, which is free.
Cost: Depends on how fancy you want your picnic to be. You can get a nice spread for 2 for well under $50.
Cafe hopping in Johor Bahru (under $50)
What happens if your beloved is the sort of person who likes nothing more than prancing from hipster cafe to hipster cafe, sipping on flat whites and gazing at you across vintage-style tables… but you’re not about to pay for multiple $6 coffees and $20 eggs benedicts?
You head across the Causeway, of course. Just take the day off work and head to Jalan Dhoby, the Haji Lane of Johor Bahru – heaps of IG-worthy cafes to choose from here.
Other than the novelty of being overseas and the thrill of having to watch out for bag snatchers, you also get to enjoy lower prices than in Singapore. A latte costs RM11 ($3.30) while eggs benedict costs RM27 ($9) at The Replacement, for example.
Cost: If you’re visiting 2 or 3 cafes, RM150 or $50 should more than cover both of you.
Silent Disco at iLight Singapore ($50 to $60)
On Valentine’s Day, Marina Bay Sands is going to be filled with couples whispering mushy crap to each other. But you don’t have to spend a four-figure sum on dinner at a celebrity chef restaurant to enjoy the bayfront views with your squeeze.
Instead, consider visiting the more low-key iLight Singapore festival, which runs till 11pm on most days and midnight on Fridays and weekends. Admission is free and there’s lots of light installations to take couple wefies with, plus a Camp Kilo food stall so you don’t have to eat at 7-11.
If you like dancing, there’s a special Valentine’s Ball edition of Silent Disco at Marina Bay where (as the name suggests) participants don headphones and dances to the music blasting in their ears.
Cost: Free admission to iLight Singapore. $25 (early bird ticket) / $30 (regular) per pax for Silent Disco, includes 1 drink.
Dinner at the beach ($50 to $70)
If you want to have a romantic restaurant meal in beautiful surroundings, get ready to beg your boss for a cash advance, because Valentine’s Day set menus are insanely expensive.
However, we get that the ambience at Subway or Seoul Garden won’t exactly have your date feeling amorous. So as a compromise, consider whisking your date to one of the more low key beaches. (Think Pasir Ris Park or Changi rather than Tanjong Beach…)
There are also some casual-but-nice restaurant options here, such as Georges at Pasir Ris Park and The Seagrill at Changi Beach. They’re not exactly cheap, but still a lot less expensive than a meal off a Valentines’ Day menu at Dempsey, which can get awfully close to $200/pax.
If you have a tent or a laptop with a few good movies, bring them along, as these little touches can really add to the atmosphere. Just don’t forget to bring lots of bug spray.
Cost: Refer to menus to get an estimate. Remember to come armed with a good credit card for dining too.
Movie date at Cathay Platinum Movie Suites ($56)
So maybe both of you have been dying to see the new Taiwanese tearjerker More Than Blue, but going on yet another movie date is just so blah.
Well, upgrade the experience to a premium date at Cathay Cineplexes’ Platinum Movie Suites and your date gets first class treatment at a price that’s really not too expensive.
You get huge, comfy seats in a posh setting (no idiots kicking your seat from behind), food, drinks and even blankets. It’s like watching a movie in the private living room of a very rich friend. Book ahead to avoid having to compete with every other couple in Singapore.
Cost: $28 per ticket on weekdays, comes with complimentary snack platter. You can add on $8 per pax to upgrade the platter to a main course + drink combo.
Partner yoga at The Yoga School ($58)
Does the idea of twisting your bodies into pretzels with your significant other get you all hot and bothered? If so, you might want to sign up for this 2-hour couple yoga workshop at The Yoga School.
J/K, it’s actually more an exercise to build trust and communication through partner-assisted yoga poses. Which does sound pretty romantic, to be honest. It’s certainly more meaningful than an overpriced dinner followed by Aquaman.
Cost: $58 per couple
Gin masterclass at JW Marriott South Beach ($56++)
Here’s an alternative to getting wasted at your favourite atas bar: Learn to actually make your own cocktails instead.
For this V-day special masterclass at the swanky new Court Martial Bar at JW Marriott South Beach, you and your date can make 2 gin-based cocktails (don’t worry, neither is a gin & tonic).
Not only does the activity sound fun, it can potentially help you save money if you learn to make and enjoy cocktails at home.
Cost: $28++ per person, inclusive of 2 cocktails
What are you doing this Valentine’s Day? Tell us in the comments!