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The international day of love is quickly approaching, whether your wallet is ready or not. In Lancaster, it’s easy to find ways to express your love and devotion to your partner even if you’re not filthy rich. With all the history, small businesses, delicious eats, and scenery, you and your partner can enjoy a day full of experiences, not just stuff, in Lancaster. Below are some ideas we’ve come up with make this Valentine’s Day unforgettable.

Visit a Museum: Whether you’re into history, science, or gadgetry, there’s a museum for you somewhere in the county. The North Museum and the Lancaster Science factory are both interactive science museums gears towards families. Every town from Ephrata to Mount Joy has a historical society with artifacts from the early days of the town. The Watch and Clock museum features timepieces of all shapes and sizes. Art museums in the City of Lancaster feature local contemporary artists who are on their way to bigger acclaim. Before you pay full-price for entry, check with your local library. As I’ve said in previous blogs, the Library System of Lancaster County is an untapped treasure, and in this case, the treasure is museum passes you can check out like books and movies for free with your library card.

Purchase flowers from a local florist: Lancaster county’s rural areas and countless greenhouses supply local florists and flower arrangers with beautiful colorful flowers year-round, mid-February included. Local arrangers and deliverers like Royer’s, El Jardin, and Flowers by Paulette would be more than happy to take your business and create for you a unique bouquet for your partner.

Volunteer Together: If you and your partner spend time talking about social change a lot, then an afternoon spent volunteering together may be an incredible bonding opportunity for you. Elderly citizens may feel especially lonely on Valentine’s day if they live in a retirement community or if their partner has long since passed. Volunteering at a women’s shelter, a retirement community, or for another group of people who may feel particularly down in the dumps on February 14 could make a huge impact.

Upcycle: If you’re low on funds but have a little extra, time, you could flex your thrifting and bargaining skills at a local thrift store or consignment shop. You can either discover something that a local artisan has already upcycled at stores like Hidden Treasures, or you could try your luck at Goodwill and a Pinterest DIY tutorial to create a personal gift unlike any other.

Local spirits: For couples who like to indulge in libations, take Valentine’s day as an opportunity to crawl some of the local breweries, distilleries, and wineries. Alternatively, you could surprise your partner with a bottle of locally sourced and produced alcohol from Thistle Finch, Wacker, Lancaster Brewing Company, or any other of the fine establishments in the area.

Order In: Avoid the crowds and have your dinner delivered to your house. Most locally-owned pizzerias and Chinese restaurants will offer delivery, so kill two birds with one stone: stay at home and support your local restaurateurs. Some favorites include Lancaster’s House of Pizza, Two Cousin’s Pizza, and Sakura.