When it comes to modifying our special days and holidays, we should all be pandemic pros by now. Still, this year may be bringing more new norms in our planning since there never seems to be a consensus about health precautions, and so many restaurants and venues are short on employees. If you are looking for some alternative options to stoke the fires of romance, or you’re just not that into Valentine traditions, we found some great alternatives to the typical February 14th.
- Create your own room service menu. Not so much a date, but a great way to start or spend the day. Create and print out a little room service menu that has all your loved one’s favorite breakfasts, snacks, or indulgent foods on it. It need not be fancy—how about a toast menu with a selection of spreads? Serve on a tray and bring it in before he or she gets out of bed. Maybe take turns in the morning and the evening so both can enjoy the joy of being spoiled.
- Friends-entines. Organize a big group meal with friends and singles. It may prove tricky with restaurants that cater to covers for two, but why reserve friendly gatherings just for Thanksgiving? It’s a day of love after all, and who’s to say it has to be exclusive to couples?
- Go late, go cheap. Set a budget and see what you and your partner can find on the reduced racks on February 15th. This is a great idea for teenage couples who are on a budget and just want to play around with the idea of Valentines. Compete for the best deal or just spend the day eating reduced chocolate.
- BLANKET FORT! Upgrade the sofa-cushion-structure of your childhood by building a truly grown-up fort: think fat, squishy cushions, twinkly fairy lights, artfully-draped sheets and cozy knitted throws. Setting it up together is an activity in itself, but once you’re done, bring your favorite books or a laptop for an impromptu cinema experience, or just hang out, drink wine, and laze the night away. It’s low-key, but still totally lovely.
- Galentine’s Day. Send out a Zoom invite in advance to girlfriends young and old. Tell your friends to block off an hour or two on a specific date. They should have their favorite drink, or mocktail, plus a snack on hand and let the evening unfold like a regular happy hour, only virtually. Talk, drink, snack, and catch up.
- Make a bucket list. Nothing says commitment to your relationship like making shared goals—and they can be as full-on or as fun as you like. Make a list of things to do in the next year, before your wedding, on your honeymoon or even the rest of your lives.
- Dogsit. Even if you don’t have a dog, fixate your love on a canine companion. Scope out a pooch you’d like to look after on Rover.com or sit for a friend who is planning a night out. You and your S.O. can hang out with a new furry friend for the day while earning some extra dough. If you do have a pup of your own, center your day around it—go on a long walk, hit the dog park, give a bath, or go on a shopping spree for new toys and treats.
- Make a time capsule. Freezing time may not be an option, but capturing a little slice of it can be if you put together a couple’s time capsule. Use any reasonably-sized container, from a shoe box to a biscuit tin, and fill it with photos, ticket stubs, and other keepsakes, and even a letter to your future selves. Then you just need to set a date for when you’ll open it—save it till next Valentine’s Day, or make the wait even longer.