Inexpensive Valentine's Day Ideas for DFW

Bring Your Own Wine and Chocolates to the Dallas Arboretum, and More Great Ideas

••• Angela Patterson

You don't have to have Bill Gates' bank account to show your sweetie how much you care. Here are some ideas to make Valentine's Day special--regardless of your budget.

Here's one tip to remember: Life's too short to drink cheap champagne. Go for the mid-range stuff at least.

  • 01 of 12

    Give Blood: Carter Blood Bank

    With DFW's recent ice and snowstorms, blood drives have been canceled and Carters lost four days of blood supply. They are in need of life-saving blood. Bring a friend or a family member and give the gift of life this month.

    It won't cost you a thing--but what you give will be priceless. Every pint of blood you save can save up to three lives.

  • 02 of 12
    ••• Angela Patterson

    If you're looking for an opportunity to snuggle up with your sweetie, then take a trip to the Dallas Zoo. Penguin Days means it's $5 admission throughout the month of February. The temperature has dropped and so has the price of admission! So make like a penguin and enjoy the cooler temps and cheaper prices.

    The Dallas Zoo is located at 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway (I-35 at Marsalis). The Zoo is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • 03 of 12

    Dallas Arboretum

    ••• Angela Patterson

    Take a stroll hand-in-hand through the Dallas Arboretum. It's some of the most beautiful outdoor scenery in the Metroplex. The winter flowers are in bloom (colorful pansies, flowering kale) and ornamental shrubs and trees make the perfect setting for your Kodak moment. Pack a picnic basket and make it a romantic getaway. Picnic tables are available but feel free to bring your own blankets, wine and chocolates, champagne and strawberries, or fabulous spread. It's perfectly OK to bring glass items/adult beverages to the Arboretum. There are areas with a stunning view of White Rock Lake. Animals not allowed (except for service animals). Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $15 for adults.

    The Dallas Arboretum is located at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, TX 75218.

  • 04 of 12

    Free Chocolate in Fort Worth: Schakolad

    Sundance Square is sharing love and truffles with you from Schakolad Chocolate Factory. When you spend $25.00 or more at a participating retailer you'll receive a voucher for two absolutely free, ooey-gooey chocolate truffles from Schakolad*. Share one with a friend, give both to your sweetie, or eat them on the spot. Either way, you'll feel all sorts of love. *While supplies last.

    Participating Retailers: Barse Jewelry, Coyote Urban Boutique, Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop, Earth Bones, Leddy's Ranch, LOFT, Parfumerie Marie Antoinette & Spa, Milan Gallery, Retro Cowboy Schakolad Chocolate Factory, Sid Richardson Gift Shop, Texas Rangers Team Store, Thomas Kinkade, The Skin Clinic Inc.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12
    ••• Angela Patterson

    How about a glass of champagne and the best panoramic view of the Metroplex? Have cocktails in the bar at Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck and enjoy the view from the top of Reunion Tower. Hours 5 p.m.to 11 p.m. Kitchen closes at 10. Closed on Sundays but they will remain open Sunday, February 13, 2011. 

    Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, 300 Reunion Boulevard East, Dallas, TX 75207. 214-741-5560.

  • 06 of 12
    ••• Courtesy of Bread Winners Cafe

    Bread Winners Cafe makes the perfect dessert: Cake Balls. Cake Balls are little 2-or 3-bite balls of cake covered in rich, delicious frosting. They're perfect because you can eat one or two or a lot. DFW loves dessert but the large slice of cake is so last year. These mini desserts are the perfect after-dinner indulgence and only $1.99 apiece or $22.99 a dozen.

    Here's a Sweetheart of a Deal: A Sweeatheart box filled with your choice of Red Velvet Cakeballs (pictured), Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Sinful Sampler, Mini Cream Puffs for $9.99 each.

    Heart-shaped Iced Sugar Cookies with a message: $2.39 each, $6.59 decorated 2-pack, $26.99 dozen. 

    Uptown, Park Cities and Plano locations. 

  • 07 of 12

    I know it's where you buy your paper goods and 30-can cases of soda, but Costco has some of the freshest, highest-quality flowers in DFW if you want to give a bouquet or don't mind arranging them yourself. Costco has a special offer now where you can pre-order 36 red roses with baby's breath, greens, in a vase, delivered for only $69.99. All orders must be placed by 11 a.m. February 9th for delivery either February 12th or February 13th only. Specific date may not be chosen. No cancellations or changes will be accepted after February 4, 2013 “no exceptions." Any questions please call 1-888-620-8895, Monday-Saturday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, or email: Costco@vistaflor.com and save your email receipt.

    Locations throughout DFW.

  • 08 of 12
    ••• Photo courtesy The Cakeball Co.
    Everyone loves cakeballs. Here's a sweet Valentine's deal to save you some dough this holiday. The Sweetheart Special consists of a variety of cake ball flavors like strawberry, birthday cake, brownie and wedding cake. Prices are $15 for six, $25 for 12, $40 for 18 and $50 for 24.

    Like them on Facebook. Although cakeballs will be in stock around the big day, it's recommended that you email or call in your order to ensure you get the right sweets for your sweetie. (I'm thinking Wedding Cake!)

    214-559-5788. The Cakeball Compay, 10230 E. Northwest Highway, Open from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 11 - 2 p.m.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Love is in the air at DFW Kroger locations. For Valentine's Day they are offering long-stemmed, chocolate-covered strawberries $1.99 each. The dipped delights are available in either dark or white chocolate in the bakery. Pick up a bouquet of one dozen roses, in select colors, for only $19.99. 

  • 10 of 12
    It's called the HeartBaker! If you don't want to fight the crowds at popular restaurants or destroy the kitchen cooking, then take home a heartbaker pizza from Papa Murphy's. It's only $8. Perfect for your sweetheart or all your little sweethearts (the kids will love it). Take it and bake it at your home -- whenever you want. Locations throughout DFW. (Available February 8, 2013).
  • 11 of 12

    Norma's Café

    Norma’s Café brings romance to the table on February 14 with its Valentine’s Day specials. Love birds can cuddle up and share a romantic southern meal. Each location will serve a different delectable couples menu for only $29.99. Dine in at the original Oak Cliff store and enjoy a finger lickin’ appetizer sampler, a choice of Monterey Chicken or Rib Eye Steak with a loaded baked potato and a luscious four layer red velvet cake. Love is also in the air at the North Dallas location, offering an appetizer sampler, a choice of Tilapia Veracruz or Brisket Tacos with selected sides and the scrumptious four layer red velvet cake. On this special day guests can BYOB at both location Cheers to love at Norma’s Café.

    For full menu and locations.

  • 12 of 12
    ••• Photo credit: Dave Carlin
    If you want to skip flowers, a trip to the bed 'n breakfast or lingerie this year, perhaps you might consider some gourmet chocolates from DFW's finest chocolatiers. You can pick and choose from the tastiest and most unusual pairings of flavors. I'm quite sure they will be happy to package up your Valentine's Day gift for your sweetie. The good thing about chocolates is that although they are gourmet chocolates, there will be something to fit every budget.