If you want to get your loved one something special and creative for Valentine’s Day that *isn’t* chocolates and flowers, this is the guide for you! Even if you’re not an Auburn local, you can find most of these items at local businesses.
Read on for thoughtful, last-minute-friendly Valentine’s Day gift ideas that will show you put in the effort (without breaking the bank).
1. For the homebody
These thrifted cocktail glasses and a make-your-own candle are the perfect gifts. (Elizabeth Hobbs / The Bama Buzz)
If going out isn’t normally your thing, here are some gift ideas to make a night-in even more special. Small and thoughtful goes a long way in my book, and who doesn’t love a good date night in?
- Build-your-own-candle experience or a custom candle from Auburn Candle Company
- Pair of unique drinking glasses from your local thrift store wrapped in a box with your favorite cocktail ingredients
- Grab a printto-go charcuterie board and pastries from The Grazer Coffee Co.
- Upgrade to gourmet popcorn from Auburn Popcorn Company paired with your favorite movie
2. For the bookworm
There are plenty of great books to choose from at Auburn’s local bookstore coffee shops. (Elizabeth Hobbs / The Bama Buzz)
Bookworms are easy to please—get them a book from your local bookstore! Pair it with their favorite wine or dessert for a crowd-pleasing gift.
Auburn Oil. Co. and Well Red are two local bookstores with plenty of gift options:
- Grab a book on their wishlist + pair it with a gift card to their favorite coffee shop
- Take a chance on a “blind date with a book” mystery book
- Enhance their reading experience with book accessories, book marks, key chains and more
- For the writers, get a journal or field notes notebook and some pens for all of their creative thoughts
3. For the art lover
Support local artists and get a unique gift—what could be better? (Elizabeth Hobbs / The Bama Buzz)
If your person loves making or appreciating art, these gifts won’t disappoint. Buying locally-made goods is effortless but will guarantee you’ll have a one-of-a-kind gift. Here’s some artsy goodies you can find around Auburn:
- Prints, mugs, trinkets, jewelry or anything from the museum shop at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art
- Mini art trinket from the Art O Mat machine at the Jule Museum
- Prints, trays, jewelry, or knickknacks from Coffee Cat’s featured local artists
- Handmade jewelry from the Well
- Art from the LocAL Market
- An aesthetic coffee table book from Behind the Glass
4. For the coffee/tea aficionado
High Tea at the Well and Mama Mocha’s coffee subscription are two gifts I would love to get as a coffee and tea lover. (Elizabeth Hobbs / The Bama Buzz)
Here is how to impress the person who is always at a coffee shop or has a cup of coffee on hand:
- Locally-roasted coffee beans, mug and gift card from their favorite local coffee shop
- Thrifted funky mug from a thrift store paired with locally-roasted beans or teas
- Coffee subscription to Mama Mochas local coffee roaster
- Reserve a High Tea at the Well for a picture-perfect tea party
5. For the music lover
Think outside-the-box for the person who loves listening to music. (Elizabeth Hobbs / The Bama Buzz) (Gogue Performing Arts Center / Website)
For the person who loves music but maybe “doesn’t need anything,” treat them with a new hobby or a fun musical experience.
As someone who received a record player as a gift and is now a dedicated audiophile, I know I wouldn’t be disappointed to receive any of these as gifts:
- Merch or a record player and records from 10,000 Hz
- Book about music from Well Red or Auburn Oil Co.
- Tickets to a music event like the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center
- Date night at the Jailhouse open mic or live music events
6. For the gamer
Find an iconic game you can enjoy together, or try your hand at something new. (Elizabeth Hobbs / The Bama Buzz)
Gamers can be difficult to shop for, especially in a pinch. Try a tabletop game night in downtown Opelika or get some board games to play at home. Here’s some ideas to try depending on their interests:
- Date night at Opelika’s gaming hotspots Rock ‘N Roll Pinball or Gear Gaming
- Bookshelf board game from Auburn Oil Co.
7. For the plant lover
Treat your partner to a plant AND dinner in the same scenic environment. (Elizabeth Hobbs / The Bama Buzz)
If you haven’t been to Botanic yet, you’re missing out—especially for those with a green thumb. I usually stick to getting plant lovers a plant for every occasion, but if you want to step it up for Valentine’s Day, consider one of these options from Botanic:
- Reserve a romantic dinner at the Grille, Botanic’s farm-to-table style restaurant with a gorgeous view and incredible service
- Cute plant from the Greenhouse to add to their growing collection
- Gift card to the Garden Shoppe so they can stock up on all their gardening essentials
8. For the person who needs to relax
Who wouldn’t want a reservation or gift card for a spa treatment? (The Spa at Grand National / website) (Laurel Hotel and Spa / website)
We could all unwind with a spa treatment. Here are some spots you can book a luxurious spa experience, including a stay at the Laurel Hotel and Spa:
- Valentine’s Package, Stay & Spa Package, or Master Somm at the Laurel Hotel and Spa
- Couples spa treatment at Spa One Eighty
- Spa treatment at the Spa at Grand National which was recently named one of America’s favorite spas
9. For the foodie
Surprise your loved one with reservations to Auburn’s roof-to-table teaching restaurant for an elevated dining experience. (1856-Culinary Residence website)
These are ideas for the home chef or the big foodie in your life. Spruce up their home kitchen with accessories and decor, or treat them to a unique dining experience.
- Cookbook from a local bookstore to prepare dinner together at home
- Kitchen or bar accessories like a tea towel and dishware from Wrapsody
- Reservation to a one-of-its kind tasting menu dinner experience at 1856-Culinary Residence
- Reservations to one of Auburn’s charming local restaurants
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