*cheesy = whatever you deem as cheap, tacky or tawdry!

My first thought when I started compiling non-cheesy ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day list was: do married people still celebrate Valentine’s Day?

My second thought was making a reservation weeks in advance and trying to find a babysitter sounds exhausting.

So, we present to you a Top 10 list of non-cheesy valentine’s day celebration ideas for marking the occasion with your spouse/significant other — that don’t require a reservation or too much pre-planning.

Tradition. Every girl wants flowers. But not those (boring) red roses that come in that (boring) crystal vase. We love places like Petal & Print, Local Color Flowers, and Crimson & Clover. The arrangements are different and unique. Like us.

My first thought when I started compiling non-cheesy ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day list was: do married people still celebrate Valentine’s Day? Nostalgia. Recreate your first date meal or the dinner you ate the night you got engaged. Make a list – one for each year you’ve been married/dating/etc. – of reasons you really, really like each other. Read them out loud. Then tuck them away for the days that person is being extra annoying. (Or forgot the dry cleaning again!) Reread.

Ease. Don’t feel like cooking on V Day? Pull out your favorite take-out menu (Indian, Chinese, Thai, etc.) and pop a bottle of bubbly. We find that Champagne goes with basically everything.

Theme. Who doesn’t love a good theme night? Some of our favorite combos: binging on House of Cards with some “Freddy’s” BBQ. Dust off the China and have a luxurious meal while watching Downton Abbey. (Make your husband your servant and … we’ll leave it at that. This is a family blog!) Find a copy of Moonstruck and order in some pasta from Little Italy.

Activity. Instead of sitting at a stuffy dinner – do something! Head to the bowling alley and slip on those sexy bowling shoes. (Many are BYOB.) Take a cooking class. Go rock climbing. Stroll a museum. Do a coffee cupping (it’s a real thing!).

Mix it up. Instead of celebrating on Valentine’s Day – go the night before or day of. Parents love day dates! Kids are usually in school or with the nanny. You can have a leisurely brunch, hit a matinee, gorge on popcorn & still be home in time for the bus. Or even a lunch date. Sitting – even for an hour – without a kid climbing all over you, putting their fingers in your food, asking a million questions – is like a year’s worth of dates rolled into one.

Public Proclamation. Do something nice for those around her/him. Send an edible arrangement to her office. Make a donation to his favorite charity.

Celebration. Ok, you managed to snag a sitter (thanks MIL), but only at the very last minute. One of our favorite places to catch a great meal and still have a fancy schmancy night out? The bar. Pabu! Fleet Street Kitchen! Verde! They all have such great bars. And bars are good for people watching, and not feeling like you have to sit for hours, and eating the same great food as everyone around you, and conversating with strangers.

IOU. But for really real. Like you already bought the tickets and booked the sitter and reserved the table. “Our favorite food truck is doing a Mexican pop-up at our favorite restaurant so I went ahead and got us a spot.” Or “I know you love the New York Times Modern Love column and I heard they were coming to the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in DC so I bought you tickets.”

Kids. Face it. You’re a parent. And really a holiday about heart shaped everything and boxes of chocolate is more for the kids anyway. Let them see how much you love each other. Make pizza with heart-shaped pepperoni. And heart-shaped Rice Krispie treats. Eat in on the floor like a picnic. Exchange homemade valentines. Play them your wedding song. Teach them what love really means.