Fifty Cheap Dates: Owlhaven-style

I first came up with this idea to share for Shalee’s Cheap Dates , but then realized Shannon wanted Valentines ideas for Works For Me Wednesday too. Since I’m still brain-dead from that nasty flu bug, I decided this post would serve both purposes.

One of hubby’s and my favorite Valentine’s Day dates actually involved a house full of kids. A couple years ago John had to work on Valentine’s Day. He didn’t get off work till 7:30, so it was a little late to be going anywhere. So our big kids cooked us up a home-date. They planned a meal, made menus, and set up a little table in the corner of our bedroom, complete with candles and a tablecloth. Then when hubby got home, we both changed into something fancy, and had dinner served to us: Fetticini Alfredo, shrimp, salad, rolls, and cheesecake for dessert.

The big kids put everyone to work, even the youngest– cooking, decorating menus, presenting us with a new menu before every course, serving, and carrying dishes away. Once they got us settled, the kids had the same dinner as we did, out at the dining room table, leaving us free to actually (gasp) have a conversation.

It was a delightful evening, and the only part I had in the planning was to take the big kids to the store so they could shop for the food. Oh, and I think I did give them $30 or so to buy the ingredients they needed. So there you have it: one more cheap Valentine’s date for Shalee’s — and Shannon’s– lists. Works for me!


  1. Sorry, I couldn’t find the right place to comment for the contest! But I want to thank you for the opportunity to write I am from — it did make me laugh, helped me remember good things, and I did cry a lot too. I love reading these, and am going over to read through the list of previously published entries.
    Sorry to hear about your father — 21 is too young for you, and what a shock it must have been. And, I’m sure you think of him everyday still.
    Thanks again,
    Susie J

  2. love that idea. now if only my 20 month old could cook…hmmm…guess we’ll have to wait a few years.

  3. That sounds great! Glad you are over the ‘yuckies’!

  4. Your kids must have felt so proud of themselves! Fun for everyone!

  5. This reminds me of a date in college where my suitemates set the entire thing up.

    I LOVE this family-involved idea. I bet your family loved giving YOU the treat that time.

    Now if only I could think of some things that a 10 year old and a 7 year old to make…

  6. That really is a special, inexpensive date. What wonderful kids you have. Mine is learning how to cook, so maybe someday. 😉

  7. Oh, I absolutely love that idea. Can’t wait till my kids get old enough to do that! I may have to bribe them, but it would be worth it! Thanks for sharing this with us! Have a great day. I posted a few ideas that we are always doing. 🙂

  8. That sounds lovely!!!! I think it’ll be awhile for us though, LOL! (and that’s ok!)

  9. What a great idea! Now, if only my 2 year old would learn how to cook. 🙂

    I offered one, fun cheap date idea in my post.

  10. What a great night! You have such thoughtful kids!

  11. We like to make a huge tea party complete with *real* teacups and tea with lots of milk and sugar, and lots of lovely little finger sandwiches and everything shaped like hearts. We make everything beautiful in time for Daddy to come home, and we call it dinner even though it’s very, very sweet…just like my life.

  12. I am up for that kind of cheap date night. But we couldn’t dine in the bedroom because our bed would be too close to the table…if you know what I mean. 🙂

  13. My kids would LOVE to do this for us. Thanks for the idea.

  14. This is a great idea and what an opportunity for everyone to express their love! Thanks for sharing it with us!


  15. My sister and I used to do this for our parent’s anniversary, except they’d let us join them in the meal. Funny thing was, I thought a “romantic” meal was a “quiet” one, so I shushed everyone nonstop. My poor parents.

  16. Your kids are so precious!!!!! What a special treat for ya’ll!!!!!

  17. We don’t have any children still at home but I thought this was a wonderful idea! I’m sure the children felt good about being a part of it, too.

  18. Awww, that took me back to an Anniversary dinner we did for my parents once. We set up a table, had menus, candles and made spaghetti. It was so fun and they loved it!!

    I love being together with family!!

  19. Oh, this is so SWEET! I love it. How very romantic this is. Thanks!

  20. That is a wonderful idea. I like how you got the whole family involved!

  21. Aww, what a sweet thing for them to do for you & your hubby! I love that idea. Thanks for sharing. Happy Valentine’s Day! =)

  22. Great idea. It also gives the kids an idea about what Valentine’s day is about.

  23. That is such a wonderful idea… hmmm, I think I might drop a few hints to my big kids!

  24. I have all boys — I don’t know if they’d think of this on their own. I might have to figure out a way to drop a hint. 🙂