I’ve combed the internet and my brain for things to do with your loved ones to make Valentine’s Day extra special this year! I love reading TimeOut NY; some of the events that go down in the city blow my mind. The most hilarious one that I never knew about is Love in Times Square. Apparently people go to the red stairs and do different public displays of affection, from marriage proposals to weddings to good old fashioned make out sessions. That’s an obvious New York City only event, but here are five things to do with your significant other on February 14th:
- FIND A LOCAL COMEDY SHOW
This is especially entertaining if you’re a person who finds V-day cheesy or annoying. Even if you’re on a budget, improv nights or amateur comedy can be hilarious. Sometimes the worse the performer, the better. There’s a “Live Tinder” show in NYC by comedian, writer, and musician Lane Moore. She takes the stage to open up her Tinder profile, swipe left, message guys that pique her (and the audience’s) interest, and even call them live. Sounds so funny!
- MUSEUM TOUR
Another off-beat thing to do if a fancy dinner isn’t your jam: look around at museums in your area to see if any do special events on the 14th. The Tenement Museum in Manhattan showcases the affairs of the heart that played out among New York’s optimistic working-class immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries on a guided tour. If money is tight find museums with suggested donations rather than flat entrance fees and make a game of the visit.
- GET SPORTY
Some couples love to workout together! Big D and I have been known to use our date nights to go paddle boarding or do a SoulCycle class together, followed by dinner. So fun AND efficient! We all know how very important it is to our relationships to have regular date nights. The activity doesn’t really matter; it’s being alone together uninterrupted by kids, pets, jobs… whatever gets in the way of 1:1 time. Another active idea is ice skating and a fun apres skate dessert. Or maybe take a country dancing or salsa class?
- RECREATE YOUR FIRST DATE
How fun would it be to do the exact (or as close to exact as possible) thing you did on your first date? Or if you had a horrible first date maybe have a “redo?” It’s so good to go back in time to those first feelings of love and excitement. Extra points if you still own something you wore from that night and bust it out! While out maybe engage in “Twenty Questions”… or some other game to spark new conversations.
- BREAKFAST IN BED
How about a 2-for-1? You can make breakfast for your valentine and surprise him/her in bed. Start the day off right! And the kids will love breakfast in bed as well. Just be sure to wake up your valentine before the kids get up, especially if breakfast involves any whipped cream. 😉
VALENTINE FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!!
- RETHINK GIFTS
Especially for the purpose of teaching kids what Valentine’s Day is really about (LOVE!), make gifts about expressions that build intimacy and connection. Ideas such as handmade cards, extra time together, or coupons for service, not purchased gifts. Sometimes the best gift of all is a letter of appreciation! Give and encourage your kids to give gifts of the heart this year.
- RED AND PINK DINNER
If you’re celebrating as a family this year, make dinner extra special with a pink and red theme. Use food coloring to color pasta, bread, or eggs. Sprinkle foods with paprika or other red spices. Cut toast or fruit into heart shapes. Marinara sauce and ketchup are red! Use your imagination and make it special. At dinner go around the table and have each person take a turn in the “love seat”… each person says something they love about the family member in the love seat.
- SPREAD THE LOVE
In college there was one year in particular I didn’t have a special valentine. I decided rather than feeling sorry for myself, I would spread joy to others. My roomie and I baked cookies and doorbell ditched them to people we assumed would also not be celebrating with a significant other. This was one of my most memorable V-days ever! Have the kids help brainstorm people in the neighborhood or church congregation who may be spending February 14th alone. Bake cookies or make valentines and then deliver them. I promise you will feel the love!
- MAKE COUPON BOOKS
Find some printables like these and have the kids fill out one or two for each family member. Let the kids really spend time thinking about what the recipient would most enjoy. Examples like, “I will make your bed every morning for a week” or “I’ll play with my little sister for 30 minutes while you make dinner” are golden, and cost zero dollars.
- FAMILY FUN
If all of the above sounds like too much work or not your family’s jam, take the family to do something fun like visiting an indoor water park, a trampoline center, or go roller skating. A dinner before or after somewhere easy like Chipotle makes it a relaxing evening for the parents as well! And while you’re waiting for your food maybe call someone dear to your family and pass the phone around to take turns telling this person you love them. Then ask that person to “Pass it forward” by calling someone they love and doing the same. Spread the love this Valentine’s Day!
Comment your suggestions or traditions below! I’d love to hear what activities you have planned this year.