You could get chocolates from the pharmacy in a last minute effort. You could get strawberries shipped to your house. There's always a cheesy card that you can hope will make their heart flutter. Sound familiar? This year, get your loved one something more personal, all while supporting your local neighborhood businesses. It's not so hard with our handy gift guide.
Let's start with dinner.
Cliché? Maybe. But these restaurants are sure to impress.
1. Naco Taco (Cambridge) is perfect for those dreaming of a warmer place. Grab a margarita, some guacamole and tacos to share.
2. If live music is more your speed, check out Bella Luna & the Milky Way (Jamaica Plain) They'll be hosting a 3 course dinner with a side of classic love songs.
3. A top-rated restaurant, Red Bird (Waltham) has the ambiance for the quintessential date night. Cozy up with a cocktail and enjoy dishes like duck confit and homemade gnocchi.
4. Pizza is the way to one's heart, right? Hearth Pizzeria (Needham) is made for locavores. Devour pizza made with local and seasonal ingredients.
5. Osteria Nino (Burlington) is ushering in San Valentino with special dishes all weekend long. Think lobster pappardelle and chocolate mousse cheesecake.
6. Daddy Jones Bar (Somerville), a cocktail bar in Magoun Square, serves up Greek dishes all night long. Want to celebrate earlier in the day? They serve brunch on the weekends.
Maybe you're more the Netflix and chill type.
Stay in, take out. Enjoy gourmet food in the comfort of your own home.
7. Del Sur Empanadas (Burlington) serves up organic empanadas. Pro tip: you can purchase them frozen. Just pop them in the oven and pretend like you made them!
8. Don't forget about dessert! Yummy Mummy Bakery (Westborough) is famous for their brownies. Butterscotch Walnut Blondies or Peanut Butter Brownies are a sure way to woo your lover.
8. Pantry (Brookline) lets you choose from a variety of dishes and then gives you the recipe and ingredients for you to cook at home. Delivery is available if you really want to stay inside.
Health and fitness gurus, these are for you.
Green juices and yoga classes sound better than chocolate.
10. Mother Juice (Cambridge) is a hip spot for juices, salads, and breakfast bowls. Juice cleanse for two?
11. Start Valentine's Day with couples' massages at East West Massage (Newton). You can even rent out the sauna or steam room for extra relaxation.
12. Date idea: get your 'om' on at Borealis Yoga (Medford). They offer classes for everyone at every level, like Broga and Meditation.
13. Be pampered at Beautiful Moi! (Lexington). This spa specializes in facials, lash extensions, waxing and massages so you can look and feel your best for date night.
14. Vélo-City (Boston) offers heart-pumping spinning classes. Burn off those chocolates and challenge one another at this Back Bay studio.
15. Acupuncture Together (Cambridge) is a community practice, so you and your loved one can get acupuncture side-by-side. You'll both leave feeling calmed.
16. Ever wanted to try pole dancing? C2 Fortress (South Boston) offers Ascent Pole classes- you don't need to be a dancer to enjoy this fun workout.
What a girl wants: something special
These Valentine's Day gifts err on the side of classic, but are a bit more personal.
17. Central Square Florist (Cambridge) boasts a wide variety of flowers. Maybe try a bouquet of lilies this year, or a seasonal arrangement, instead of roses. That's just as romantic.
18. Pick out a scarf, candle, or gourmet chocolates for her at Just Next Door (Newton). You're bound to find something for her at this gift shop.
19. A special memory deserves a special frame from Walden Framer (Lexington). Whether a piece of art or a photograph, she's sure to adore it.
20. For jewelry with meaning, stop by Esmeralda (Cambridge) for gorgeous earrings, necklaces, and bracelets made by women in the Dominican Republic.
21. Design a charm or pendant for your leading lady at Heart & Stone Jewelry (Northborough). A touch of personalization will mean the world to her.
22. Treat her to a blow-out at DH Estética (Boston). She'll look and feel her best, just in time for dinner.
23. Petra (Lexington) is for the fashionista. Not sure what she'd like? The staff at this boutique can help you find something from fun tops to cozy sweaters to stylish accessories.
24. Thinking of popping the question? J. Briggs & Co (Northborough) designs stunning, unique engagement rings and weddings bands.
What a guy wants: a surprise
These out-of-the-box ideas blow a box of chocolates or cologne out of the water.
25. Craft beer and spirits are a go-to gift, like the ones found at Apex Wine and Spirits (Lexington). More a fan of wine? They have a wide selection of reds and whites.
26. There's plenty for her and him at Quinstance (Burlington). Almost all products are handmade in the US. Check out their grooming products for men at their Men's Valentine's Shopping event on February 8th.
27. Surprise him with framed artwork from Cambridge Art & Frame. You'll leave a lasting impression on him.
28. Make him feel special with a trip to 968 The Shop (Somerville) for a fresh haircut. He'll feel confident for that Valentine's Day dinner date.
29. If you have old photographs or videos lying around, Everpresent can digitize them, preserving them for years to come.
30. Pick up some sweets for your sweetheart at Follow the Honey (Cambridge). You can't go wrong with local honey, chocolates or candles.
A memorable gift is an experience.
These experiences are good bets for a fun time.
31. Laughter is always a good thing. Head to ImprovBoston (Cambridge) for a date. Their mainstage show is interactive and each performance is unique.
32. Indigo Fire Studio (Belmont) hosts clay-making and glass-fusing classes. Their Sip & Spin Pottery class is BYOB, perfect for date night.
33. Challenge each other at Rock Spot Climbing (South Boston) with drop-in rock climbing and bouldering. You'll get in a workout and you'll get those endorphins flowing.
There are so many ways to celebrate Valentine's Day other than with a box of chocolates or cologne. By shopping locally, you're giving a meaningful gift. What are you doing for Valentine's Day? Any ideas we missed? Let us know by tweeting us at @NiftNetworks.