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Valentine’s day on a budget

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s important to start thinking about what you can do to celebrate the evening without breaking the bank.


  1. Print up a scavenger hunt. Take your valentine to the mall, park or any public place and bring along a scavenger hunt. Websites like Pinterest often have printable hunts or ideas to inspire you to create your own list. See who can find the most items on your list and have a great time doing it.
  2. Disposable Camera Date. Walk around downtown and ask strangers to take pictures of you with a disposable camera, take some selfies or show off your photography skills. After the roll has been used up, take it to be developed. Some stores have a long wait time and some have as little as one-hour development. You can pick up your photos and create an album to give to your loved one as a gift for the next date or a future anniversary.
  3. Tyler Rose Garden. The Tyler Rose Garden is open daily for viewing. There are hundreds of different roses to see in full bloom — a very romantic setting for you and your sweetheart. There is also a Rose Museum that you can tour and learn about the history of Tyler, Texas for a small admission price.
  4. Volunteer at a local animal shelter. This is not only a great way to give back to the community, but you get to spend time with adorable animals and your crush. Information on SPCA of East Texas or Pets Fur People can be found online.
  5. Take a walk in the park. Rose Rudman park is located on Donnybrook Avenue and is a choose-your-own-length walking trail. Accompanied by many maps, this well-maintained path has short, medium and long trails to choose from. A walk through nature is a wonderful way to get to know someone and see some beautiful sights.
  6. Go googly-eye bombing. Take a walk around town and find some public spaces that need some googly-eyes. Take pictures of your googly-eyed adventure and see who made the funniest face at the end of the day.
  7. Go star-gazing. Go out on a blanket and look at the stars. Make up constellations or see if you can find real ones. Cloud-gazing is a romantic adventure as well. If going out into nature to see the stars isn’t an option during the winter, try taking a trip to the Center for Earth and Space Science Education at TJC. CESSE has many exhibits and programs that are held at the center, located on TJC’s campus. CESSE is open Tuesday through Saturday. More information about events and times can be found at

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