Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day comes every year and every year, you have to get through it. The good news is, you do not have to do the same old chocolates, dinner, roses routine as everyone else. This year, try thinking a little outside the box. We combed the internet for the best, offbeat, funky, and downright weird ways to celebrate. Romantics and wannabe love masters: Take note.
1. Throw a party
This works especially well if you and your beau just got started or if you and your pals live that single life. Time recommends keeping it simple. Just toss up a few decorations — the cheaper and tackier the better — and you have a party on your hands. Ask your guests to BYOB, and you could not have any easier solution to your V-Day plans.
Next: Especially if you don’t have a significant other, try this idea.
2. Two words: Galentine’s Day
If you watched Parks and Recreation, you may have heard about Leslie Knope’s Galentine’s Day. This faux holiday gives you and your gals a chance to celebrate female solidarity. Guys, don’t feel left out! You can throw a guyantines party for your bromance, too. Grab yourself some chocolate, some wine, and some bad TV and settle in for a great time.
Next: Celebrate your love by giving back.
3. Get outside your own head by volunteering
Why not distract yourself from the whole shebang by giving back? Soup kitchens, animal shelters, community gardens, and all manner of organizations need help every day of the year. If you do not have a spot you already give back, try VolunteerMatch to find somewhere to start.
Next: Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? Level up with this idea.
4. Have breakfast for dinner — in bed
This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday. That makes this the perfect opportunity to lounge around in your pajamas. Instead of getting gussied up and going out or making an elaborate dinner, keep it simple. Make the day extra decadent by serving your honey — and yourself, of course — breakfast for dinner in bed. Country Living has some great recipes to get you started.
Next: When everything is pink and red, go left with this next idea.
5. Set a theme that fits your relationship
Most Valentine’s Day themes run the gamut from sweet to gag-inducingly romantic, with healthy helpings of lace, pink and red decor. Why not take your Valentine’s Day in a direction you and your significant other actually enjoy? Maybe that’s video games for you, or old movies. Maybe you want to spend all evening paying homage to bacon. Go ahead and celebrate each other with stuff you actually like. No heart-shaped stuff required.
Next: Get way outside of the box with your sweetheart.
6. Do something really extreme
No, we’re not talking about calling your ex from outside their last known address. Time recommends an exhilarating activity that will beat the pants off dinner and a movie. Give skydiving a try, spring for a NASCAR Racing Experience, or get a new perspective by hang-gliding. Nothing tests your love like death-defying stunts, and your friends might actually want to hear about this one.
Next: If you have your heart set on heart-shaped stuff, we’ve got you covered.
7. Instead of chocolate, get one of these babies
Heart-shaped chocolates are nice and all, but they don’t exactly scream “creativity.” Fortunately, heart-shaped pizza exists. And cheese. And all kinds of other things. If you want to give your Valentine something just a little different, try a festive version of something they already love. You can’t go wrong there.
Next: Think outside the menu for this idea.
8. Take a culinary adventure
Valentine’s Day pretty much cornered the market on snooty waiters and overpriced meals that fail to satisfy. How many of us have run through the drive-thru after a V-Day “tasting menu?” Skip all of that and take a food tour instead. A lot of cities have organized tours, or you can create your own and surprise your sweetheart. Bonus: You will almost definitely not go home hungry.
Next: Step outside of your comfort zone for this Valentine’s Day.
9. Explore a nearby town or city
Cosmopolitan suggests taking an overnight in a town or city you have never explored. Even just the next town over can hold exciting adventures, if you do not spend significant time there. Find a cheap place to stay, check out the diner options, maybe find a nice walk down a new main street. Nothing gets the romance going like getting out of dodge!
Next: Instead of a stuffed animal, take a different angle on the holiday.
10. Instead of a stuffed bear, go boozy
Nothing says “I love you and I know what you would like for this personal holiday” like a generic stuffed toy. Instead, get your loved one a delicious and unique gift. Three words: boozy gummy bears. Yes, they exist. You can buy these bad boys, or if you get creative, you can also make your own. Nothing says Valentine’s Day like combining sweets and alcohol.
Next: Get your brain in on the action with this great idea.
11. Learn something, why don’t you?
Instead of doing the same old thing, learn something about how other cultures celebrate love. For example, in Malaysia, on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, women write their numbers on oranges before throwing them into the closest river. Superstition goes that the man of their dreams will pick it up. In reality however, fruit vendors often collect and sell the oranges — complete with numbers! Why not celebrate your romantic day with a unusual tradition from around the world?
Next: Nobody ever said you had to go all out on Feb. 14.
12. Celebrate on a totally different day
Let’s get real. On Feb. 14, restaurants often serve special — more expensive — menus, bars and movie theaters get crowded, and just try finding a good bouquet. Instead, save some coin and stress by celebrating on a different day entirely. Bonus: Candy and other trinkets see deep discounts the day after. Go ahead, have a couples’ pig out on all of that cheap chocolate. You deserve it.
Next: Get your blood pumping with this fun couples’ activity.
13. Sweat it out together
Whether you are a SoulCycle devotee, a CrossFit king or queen or more of a couch marathoner, couples’ fitness derives serious benefits. Celebrate your relationship by getting a workout together. Studies show that couples report feeling more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partners after an exciting physical challenge. And isn’t that what this Valentine’s Day thing is all about?
Next: Take a walk down memory lane to celebrate this year.
14. Get a little retro
If you two tied the knot, reread your vows together to really get the waterworks going. It will help you reflect on your relationship and rekindle those lovin’ feelings. Besides, chances are good you worked hard on those! You could also revisit your first date to reminisce on all of the great times you two have had since then. Don’t forget to laugh at any awkward moments your first day or night together created.
Next: Social media makes this last idea easier.
15. Take to social media and have a mushy memory fest
How often do we really look back at all of those cute photos and posts? HuffPo suggests cuddling up on the couch — cozy clothes mandatory — with a glass of something and reading through old digital love notes. Scroll through photos of you two and remind each other of the good times past. Find those funny notes you left on his wall or her Instagram, and giggle over how cute you are. Because you’re adorable. Embrace it.
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