Wendy Rush

It’s Valentine’s Day again? Yikes. It’s no secret that people have been struggling on the finances the last few years. Even if you don’t live paycheck to paycheck, there are probably still adjustments you’ve had to make. Inflation rates. Higher gas and energy bills. Increased rent. It’s a lot.

But just because your wallet is a little emptier doesn’t mean you have to skimp on Valentine’s Day. I mean, we are Las Vegas after all. There’s a ton of stuff for us to do that doesn’t cost the typical arm and leg. Yes, there are plenty that DO cost that much, if you’re so inclined. If you’re like most of us, you might need to get a little creative on your spending this Valentine’s Day.

What People Really Want, And Don’t Want, For Valentine’s Day

But what if your guy or gal is expecting jewelry for Valentine’s Day? You can’t really skimp on that and get away with it. Or can you? According to a poll by YouGov, only 16% of women want jewelry for Valentine’s Day. And there are lots of options on places like Etsy where you can get a less expensive piece of jewelry that’s more valuable with things like personalized messages or photos.

So what ranked higher than jewelry? Cards, flowers, chocolates and nice dinners out were all high on the list of desirable Valentine’s Day gifts. Even homemade meals and baked goods (and sex stuff) ranked higher than jewelry. That gives you lots of options for this year’s gift giving. And it seems the jewelry thing is pretty low on all women’s (and men’s) lists, regardless of age.

So in the year of ever-rising prices, we’ll be okay. We just need to spend more thought (and less money) on this year’s holiday. And this list is a good way to get those creative gears turning. Some of these ideas are Vegas-specific. But others can be done wherever you live. – Wendy Rush

  • Ethel M's Cactus Garden 'Lights Of Love'

    love winter couple in christmas lighted city at snowfall

    From February 2nd – February 18th, Ethel M’s Cactus Garden in Henderson will be lit up with red, pink, purple and white lights. If you are an Instagrammer, it provides an amazing backdrop for a Valentine’s Day photo or two. The cost is just a $2 donation that goes to benefit our local non-profit organizations. If you want to throw some extra cash down on chocolates as well, they have lots of options for that as well. Open every night 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.

    Total Cost: $2 Per Person (a bit more if you’re buying chocolates)

    If you’re not in Las Vegas, a romantic walk through any park with nice scenery is a lovely way to spend Valentine’s Day. And you can bring the chocolates with you!

  • Personal Massage

    Cheerful young happy couple making massage at home

    Putting a little thought into a massage at home can go a long way. First and foremost, make sure the sheets are clean. You can watch a YouTube video like this one about massage techniques. Grab some candles and massage oils and you’re good to go. There are even massage stones or massage guns you can get at a low price to make it more effective. And don’t forget the aromatherapy! Very important.

    Cost: Massage Gun – $40, Candles: $5 each, Massage Oil – $10

    Total Cost: $55 – $75

  • Trip To Adult Store

    sign sex shop. adult shop. pink letters in neon light illuminated.advertising.

    There are many adult stores in Las Vegas. Lion’s Den, The Love Store, Deja Vu Love Boutique. Take your pick. You can wrap a gift card for your special someone and go with them to the store to use it. The shopping is fun foreplay and you’ll both be excited to get home and play. You can spend a little or a lot. It’s up to you.

    If you’re not in Vegas, you might not have as many adult stores to choose from, but trust me. There’s one somewhere near you. Or you can shop online and anticipate the delivery for another day.

    Total Cost: $25 and Up

  • Romantic Picnic

    A playful bi-racial couple enjoying a picnic.

    For the cost of some takeout and a blanket you already have at home, you could get pretty romantic on Valentine’s Day. Do it in your backyard or drive to some remote location around Vegas (Red Rock, Mount Charleston, Lake Las Vegas, to name a few). If you have the means to build a fire or bring candles, even better.

    Cost: $20 – $50

  • Dinner & A Movie At Home

    Happy couple watching tv while eating pizza. Shallow depth of field, focus on the man.

    Las Vegas is a huge night for Valentine’s Day. And not only will you pay a lot to go out to dinner, but you’re going to have to fight some pretty big crowds. So why not do dinner at home? You can order in, make your own meal, or grab takeout. It doesn’t have to break the bank. And you already have those streaming services, so the movie is free.

    Cost: $25 – $60

  • Romantic Ride On The High Roller

    A low angle shot of the High Roller ferris wheel in Las Vegas and the half moon at night

    This one is obviously just for those of us in Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day. The famous High Roller ride is 30 minutes of breathtaking views up to 550 feet off the ground. But get ready for some crowds cause this one is a popular V-day pick.

    Cost: $23.50 and up.

  • Have A Sexy Game Night

    A closeup view of a set of foreplay dice, on a wooden surface.

    Who doesn’t love game night? If you want to keep it G-rated, you can just dust off some old board games and make an evening of it. If you want to get a little more romantic with it, try love dice, sex cards, or blindfold your partner and have them guess different items. The sky is the limit. And you can make it really fun with Valentine’s themed treats like candy or pink popcorn.

    Cost: $0 – 25

  • Thrift Store Challenge

    Young multiracial couple having fun at clothing flea market - Best friends sharing time shopping on cheap sale - Lovers enjoying everyday life moments - Wardrobe fashion shop concept with happy people

    I love this one! Preset a budget and split it in half. If you want to spend only $40 for Valentine’s Day, each person gets $20. Then you have to put together the best Valentine’s Day gift for your partner with your money. And we have a ton of thrift stores here. Goodwill, Salvation Army, Savers, and lots of independent ones as well. This is also fun at the dollar store. If you’re not in Vegas, find a thrift or dollar store near you and have fun!

    Cost: As much as you want to spend.


  • Bellagio Fountains

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 04: The Fountains of Bellagio launch for the first time since the resort closed on March 17 because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on June 4, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fountains went off twice twice just before the doors were opened; first to the song "Simple Gifts," a tribute to frontline workers around the world, and then to "Viva Las Vegas," to celebrate Las Vegas residents. Hotel-casinos throughout the state are opening today as part of a phased reopening of the economy with social distancing guidelines and other restrictions in place. MGM Resorts International reopened Bellagio, New York-New York Hotel & Casino, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino and The Signature today. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    If you plan to be near the Las Vegas Strip on Valentine’s Day, this is a free way to do something romantic. Water shows at the Bellagio run every 15 – 30 minutes, depending on the day and time of day. And you can double your efforts by checking out the Conservatory while you are there.

    Cost: FREE

  • Make A Dollar Store Basket

    Basket with gifts and heart isolated on a white background.

    This is how I do Valentine’s Day for my little one every year. Cause they’re all about baskets full of goodies. And it’s easy to do at the dollar store. We have a ton of them in Las Vegas so you’re sure to find one near you. You’d seriously be surprised at what you can find at the dollar store. They even have balloons!

    Cost: $5 – 25

  • Make Cookies Together At Home

    Mix of cookies for Valentine's day

    We all know getting a man’s heart is through his stomach. And women really like quality time. This accomplishes both. Get in the kitchen and make some Valentine’s Day cookies together. Or you can splurge on a full meal. If you’re feeling really cutesy, pick up some matching aprons for epic photo ops.

    Cost: $10 (for cookie dough and icings) – $50 (if you’re getting matching aprons or making a full meal)

  • Eiffel Tower At The Paris Hotel

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 22: (L-R) Bassist Michael Anthony, drummer Jason Bonham, singer/guitarist Sammy Hagar and guitarist Vic Johnson perform at the launch of Sammy Beach Bar Cocktail Co. at Beer Park at Paris Las Vegas on September 22, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Sammy Hagar)

    The Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck at The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas gives you awesome views of the strip. And they do a light show every half hour from sunset to midnight. The cost is just about $25 per person, so you could get a whole lot of romance for just fifty bucks. They are open every day from noon to midnight.

    Cost: $24.50 per person

  • Do A Personalized Puzzle Together

    Couple in love sitting on the floor next to a table, solving a jigsaw puzzle problem and enjoying their leisure time activities.

    This one is super cute but requires some planning ahead. Photo gift sites like Shutterfly will make a jigsaw puzzle out of your personal photo. Amazon and Wal-Mart do it too. So if your sweetheart is a puzzle guy or gal, this is a fun way to spend Valentine’s Day. Throw in some popcorn and other snacks to make it extra special.

    Cost: $10 – 45 per puzzle (depending on size)

  • Heart-Shaped Breakfast in Bed

    Heart shaped pancakes with raspberries and honey for St. Valentine's Day on wooden baclground

    For the cost of breakfast and a heart-shaped cookie cutter, you can make the sweetest gift for Valentine’s Day. Pancakes, eggs and even sausage (when bought raw) can be shaped into these cutters. To make your sausage heart-shaped, make sure you get the raw sausage that is ground in a big roll and not sausage links.

    Cost: $10 – $40 (depending on toppings and what you already have in the house)

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