So you forgot about Valentine’s Day? Don’t panic, we remembered.

Gentlemen, you’ve been wondering why your lady’s face has been alight with smiles this week and her voice laden with excited energy.

Ladies, your knight has been dropping hints about not being able to wait to give you a thoughtful surprise, and you had no idea what he meant.

Now, the vibrant reds of roses mix with the sweet smells of perfume, wine and chocolate to churn your stomach because you forgot about Valentine’s Day.

With little money and no time, how can you avoid letting your sweetheart down?

Don’t worry. Indianapolis is a vibrant metropolis, and you—with a little thoughtfulness, creativity and some help from us–—can make tomorrow a day your special someone won’t forget.

Check out our guide to Indianapolis’ most cost-effective and romantic options for Valentine’s Day, and rest easy knowing there are lots of ways to make the holiday work for you.

Our ideas:

Want an idea that gives you an excuse to snuggle close to your sweetie? Why not a downtown carriage ride? There are a couple of companies that provide year-round carriage rides in downtown Indianapolis.

You might want to call ahead, just in case:

Yellow Rose Carriages: (317) 634-3400

Blue Ribbon Carriages: (317) 631-4169

A 25-minute ride is $50.

A little too expensive for your taste? Grab some friends and split the cost. Up to four adults can fit together in the carriages at no extra cost.

Want to spend some quality time with your valentine? How about a stroll along the canal? We have found that the most romantic spot along the canal is right behind the Indiana Historical Society, located at 450 W. Ohio St.

If you’re ready, say “I love you” more than usual.

Want to go somewhere nice but don’t have the money? Just go for dessert. Dessert is fairly inexpensive at most restaurants, and it’s equally as elegant and romantic.

Here are some ideas:

Lorenzo’s Ristorante

Lorenzo’s has tantalizing dessert options like tiramisu, chocolate fudge cake and tartufo that are sure to sweeten up your evening.

(Reservations can be made online or by phone)

Located at 15 E. Maryland St.

The Cheesecake Factory

Need we say more? Many amazing desserts are certain to melt your special someone’s heart.

Located at 8701 Keystone Crossing.

Think of three of your favorite memories with your sweetheart—and share them.

Guys, no matter what, pick up the check.

Want to be really romantic (and economical)? How about a picnic in your living room with a movie to follow?

Ways to gain extra romance points:

-Include candlelight (electrical or otherwise)

-Let your date choose the movie

-Cook the meal yourself

-Make his/her favorite food

-Background music (We’re sure there is a Valentine’s Day playlist out there.)


Roses are the staple flower of love, but did you know the color of a rose means something specific? A red rose symbolizes the deep love of romantic relationships. A yellow rose symbolizes the joy and friendship between two people. A white rose symbolizes purity and innocence.

Be careful when gifting roses, though — Two roses intertwining symbolizes engagement and marriage.

Tulips are a symbol of perfect love. They also have a declarative connotation, so if you want to say those most sacred three words for the first time tomorrow, a tulip would be a lovely complement.

Hydrangeas are a symbol of gratitude for being understood. They also convey a sense of sincere emotion. Perhaps they are not best given alone, but hydrangeas in a bouquet are sure to enhance the meaning of other blooms.

Romantic restaurants around Circle City:

Qdoba Mexican Grill

Price: $5-$10

6334 Guilford Ave.

Qdoba is offering a special on Valentine’s Day: Give your sweetheart a kiss at the register and it will serve as a coupon for buy one, get one free.

Mama Carolla’s Old Italian Restaurant

Price: $15-$20

1031 E. 54th St.

A quaint, romantic restaurant that serves incredible Italian cuisine. Specialties include chicken rigatoni, manicoti and lasagna.

R Bistro

Price: $20-$25

888 Massachusetts Ave.

Mouth-watering modern American fare. The menu changes each week, so you’re sure to have a meal made with the freshest ingredients.

–Kevin Vogel contributed

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