Valentine’s Day is officially among us! For those in relationships (and for some single people too), there is an underlying pressure to find the perfect way to spend the holiday. Each year, people frantically search for gifts and date ideas to satisfy their sweethearts. However, having the perfect Valentine’s Day can be difficult when you’re balling on a budget.

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are projected to spend $19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day expenses this year. If you are a broke college student, you may be wondering how you can spend this holiday without putting your bank account in overdraft. Here are five affordable Valentine’s Day date ideas in Washington, D.C. that will surely keep your pockets and your bae happy.

1. Enjoy dinner and live music at Ben’s Next Door.

Ben’s Next Door is located “next door” to Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street and operates under the same management. On Wednesdays, they feature a live jazz band starting at 6 p.m. They also have happy hour specials on food (and drinks if you are 21+) until 7 p.m. Pull up, and enjoy a classy ambiance for the low. Check out the restaurant’s website here.


2. Take a salsa dance class with your boo.

DanceSport at Dupont Circle is offering Valentine’s Day salsa dance lessons for just $25 per couple. Whether you are an experienced dancer or a wallflower, this is definitely a great opportunity to step out your comfort zone and try something new, refreshing and fun! Don’t forget to register before you go!


3. Visit ‘The Wharf.’

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The Wharf is a new waterfront attraction located on the Potomac River. This lively destination has numerous options for dining, shopping and entertainment.  This spot seems like a great summer scene, but developers have made it suitable for winter too. Visit the pier, and check out The Torch, which is a large gas-powered flame that overlooks the riverside. You could also check out the massive ice skating rink, and later enjoy a warm drink at Dolcezza.


4. Catch a show at the Kennedy Center.

Every night, the Millennium Stage hosts free performances at the Kennedy Center. Ida Campbell and her Bluesz Nation Band will perform a medley of blues, R&B and gospel songs on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to witness some amazing musical talent!


5. Take a stroll through CityCenterDC

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CityCenterDC is an awesome hub of high-end stores, restaurants and public spaces located on H Street NW between 9th Street and 11th Street. Although the shopping and dining options are high-end and considerably expensive, this place is great for taking aesthetically-pleasing Instagram photos. You and your sweetheart could also stop at RareSweets for some delicious Valentine’s Day treats!

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