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Date Night Done Dirt Cheap

Written by Maggie Raker

February 14th is rapidly approaching. A day dedicated to love, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to focus on romance, celebrate those you love, and take time to care for yourself. Yet for many, this holiday can mean a stressful mixture of planning and budgeting. Are high prices and stress really necessary factors for romance? In this article, here are some nearly free (or completely free!) options for this year.

If you’re looking for options other than the usual expensive dinner, consider one of Salem’s many beautiful locations for a hike and as a potential picnic spot! Many local trails can be easily found on websites such as AllTrails, which provides ratings, descriptions, and even reviews. For example, on AllTrails, the Roanoke River Greenway Salem hike can be found and is described as “A beautiful paved urban riverside trail”, with reviews putting it at 4.2 stars. Do scenic water views sound like the right match for you and your significant other? If not, there’s plenty of more trails worth looking into too. 

If you’re looking for a little less greenery this year, this area can also be a great spot for local performances if you know where to look. Instead of paying for tickets this year, why not attend “The Aliens” by Annie Baker, a play produced at Radford University? There’s a show on Valentine’s Day starting at 7:30, with free admission! Or if you and those you love prefer music, you can go to see Jacob Ritter Trio play at Parkway Brewing Company at 5:30 with food trucks. If that’s too early for you, how about “Reggae Night”, hosted by The Ambassador at Martin’s Downtown? Starting at 9:30 with free admission, it could certainly make date night fun. 

Or if you want something more classically romantic, try exploring the local art scene! If you’re willing to go on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, Taubman Museum of Art offers free general admission for anyone to have access to the beautiful art inside. If you’d prefer something a little less known, try looking into local galleries such as Hatter Studio and The Little Gallery. Or remember there’s art right on campus for you and those you love to see! On Valentine’s Day, Olin Hall Galleries will contain two art exhibitions, Jennifer L. Hand’s “HABITATION” and Alex Foster’s “Propagated and Rooting”.

Whatever you do, let Valentine’s day be about love this year, instead of money or stress. Everyone should have the opportunity for such a day.