February 14 isn’t that far away, so it’s time to start planning your date with that special someone for Valentine’s Day.
Whether you’re trying to limit your exposure to other people because of the pandemic, want to avoid spending a small fortune on a single date or just want to keep things intimate and cozy, staying home for Valentine’s Day isn’t a bad idea — as long as you do it with some style.
Skip the overpriced roses and forget about making reservations. We’ve got some better ideas:
Host a Private Movie Night
The most important thing couples can do on Valentine’s Day is spend it together, doing something entirely different from their usual routine. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the movies with your beloved (and, thanks to COVID-19, it has probably been quite a while), something as simple as an at-home movie night can take on hugely romantic significance.
If you’re short on ideas, why not go old-school and pick a classic? “Rear Window” is a Hitchcock romance with a bit of mystery, and “Ghost” is a bittersweet romance with a mix of humor and supernatural drama.
If you’re looking for something easy and light, Netflix has a whole array of rom-coms, like “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Always Be My Maybe.” If pure romance isn’t your thing, try an adventure flick where the hero and heroine end up together like, “The Mummy” (1999 version).
All you need to make this date night work is a couch, a television or other viewing device (a laptop will do), a couple of soft blankets and a table full of your favorite snacks.
Enjoy Drinks and a Charcuterie Board Together
If you’d like Valentine’s Day to have a touch of elegance and luxury, why not go for an at-home wine tasting event served with a charcuterie plate full of delicacies?
Head to your local wine shop or grocery store and pick up a variety of those small sample bottles of wine. Make sure that you get a wide array of types and flavors, and pour each into its own glass. You can lay the charcuterie board out and pretend that you’re sampling the wares at a fine winery — all without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Is wine not your beloved’s drink of choice? That’s okay, too! Skip the wine and go straight for the cocktails, instead. Find a few recipes for romantic drinks that seem appealing, like a Raspberry Chocolate Martini or Potion D’ Amour, break out the blender and make the whole process a romantic adventure.
Send Your Partner on a Special Treasure Hunt
If you and your partner have a playful relationship, an indoor treasure hunt could be the perfect Valentine’s Day surprise — especially if your partner has to work during the day. (That gives you plenty of time to set up the surprise for when they come home.)
Pick up a variety of small gifts that you know will please your partner, whether it’s chocolates, a stuffed toy, jewelry, clothes, books or something else. Hide them around the house and leave a clue with each one that will lead to the next.
Put the first clue on a handwritten card that you pin to the door, and make yourself the final “prize” in their treasure hunt. You can be waiting in your hiding place with flowers or a glass of wine to share.
Make Cooking Dinner Together a Romantic Adventure
Cooking a meal together with your beloved can be an incredibly sensuous experience, especially if you make it something a little out of the ordinary. Set the table with your best plates and glassware, and invite your partner to join you in the preparations.
Pick a meal that has special significance to you both, or something that you find sensuous and exotic (like steak and lobster or sushi). Remember: Even if your partner doesn’t cook, they can help with the prep work and otherwise keep you company while you showcase your culinary prowess.
Not sure you can channel your inner Bobby Flay or Cat Cora effectively enough to pull off a whole dinner? No worries — you can actually hire a chef to teach a virtual cooking class while you and your partner follow along at home. There are also plenty of how-to videos available on YouTube and other streaming sites that will make things easier.
Play Some Games Together
On Valentine’s Day, it’s closeness that counts, so cuddle up with your partner at the kitchen table and play a few games together over a plate full of snacks and a glass or two of your favorite wine or drinks.
Look for one-on-one games that you can easily play with just two people. Card games, like Uno or Spades, are always good — but so are games like “36 Questions,” and “Dare Duel,” both of which were designed with couples in mind.
Play your cards right (pun intended), and you and your partner can both learn something new about each other this Valentine’s Day — and strengthen the bonds between you at the same time.
Valentine’s Day is the first chance we have to celebrate after the new year begins, and doing something special is a great way to combat the post-holiday blues — so feel free to splurge, indulge and otherwise go all out! You won’t regret the investment of your time and energy into such a wonderful time.