View photo gallery: A little candlelight is no substitute for spark, but these heady restaurants, outdoor tableaux and fun date destinations can certainly help bring the heat.

If you’re in a relationship, you can spare yourself your annual Valentine’s Day panic attack: We have five date ideas that won’t cost you a week’s salary. In fact, all of them ring up at under $30 bucks a person.

There are plenty of other ideas in the Going Out Guide (just search “valentine”). And if you’re hoping to do something extra special — like, you know, pop the question -- check out our photo gallery of the area’s most romantic venues.

The weekend before Valentine’s Day:

Chocolate and Cabernet Tasting at Breaux Vineyards

Make a roadtrip to this vineyard near Harper’s Ferry for a vertical tasting of cabs and a plate of awesome hand-rolled truffles. In Purcellville, check out a similar event at the gorgeous Sunset Hills estate.

Ideas for Feb. 14:

Making Whoopie: Stories About Sex

Speakeasy DC’s open-mike storytelling night at Town Danceboutique strips down to unmentionables for Valentine’s Day.

The Mansion on O Street’s Happy ‘H’our

Get silly at a chocolate fountain, sip a glass of champagne and roam the eclectic mansion. Pony up an extra $15, and you can get a numerology report to find out if you and your valentine have a future.

Sweet Talk With the Sweater Set

Twee folkies sing sweet nothings at the Dunes, and the cupcakes are included. Could this be the single gal’s anti-Valentine’s party?

Cheap Date night for ‘Civilization (all you can eat)’

Woolly Mammoth Theatre's regular Cheap Date night returns on Valentine’s Day, meaning tickets to the Feb. 14 show are all $20.