Let’s be completely honest: Valentine’s Day isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, even if you are in a relationship. But we’ve figured out that the trick is to celebrate the “holiday” in your own way, whether that’s with the traditional flowers, a greeting card, chocolates and dinner, or otherwise. This February 14, learn to practice self-love or show your partner how much you care with the top things to do on Valentine’s Day. We decided to rule out the traditional dinner date since we’re pretty sure you’ve done a ton of these, whether with an S.O. or your friends (and not just on this holiday either).
And guess what? Since V-Day falls on a Wednesday this year, we wanted to make sure we served up an equal number of low-key ideas and actual outings. We searched high and low to make a list of 25 unique things to do on Valentine’s Day. They seriously run the gamut, including all-out pampering, charitable endeavors, cultural events, and chill things you can do with someone special, a friend, or even by yourself. Now, go on and celebrate the day of love—whichever way happens to work for you.
Try a wine-and-dine movie theater. Upscale movie theaters like iPic offer cozy seating and full wine-and-dinner service. While the price may be higher than a regular movie, who doesn’t want watch something on the big screen while munching on some truffle fries and sipping cabernet? Oh yeah, and the pods often have blankets—perfect for cuddling.
Go to a jazz club. There’s just something about cozying up and listening to this type of music with your S.O. Plus, you can usually get a reservation if you’re up for cocktails and apps.
Participate in an undie run for charity. Strip down to your skivvies and run for a good cause. Although none of the runs are taking place right on V-Day this year, they are all happening that week.
Attend a romantic night at the planetarium. Stargazing is always best with someone dear to you. If you live in New York City, try making a night out of Romance Under the Stars at the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. There’ll be cocktails, a quartet, and love stories.
Take a relaxing bath and get your Zen on. This can be done solo or with a partner. And dare we mention Lush has a new Valentine’s Day collection, complete with rose bath bombs, a pout-perfecting lip scrub, and more.
Check out a burlesque show. Even if you don’t know how to dance, you can get in the mood with some burlesque. Acts tend to be innovative—and sultry.
Re-create your first date. Go to that restaurant where you first met or the cocktail bar where you said cheers over martinis. If your first date was a little awkward, then redo your favorite early date (see, we get you).
Have breakfast in bed. This luxury shouldn’t just be reserved for hotel stays. Wake up an hour early, whip up something tasty, and settle in for some together time before you head off to work.
Get an at-home couples massage. We get it—there’s likely no time to head to the spa on this special day. Order a massage therapist duo to come to you with an on-demand app like Zeel.
Make your own wine vintage. Wine tasting is great, but creating your own vintage? Even better. Places like The Wine Foundry in Napa allow you to stomp on your own grapes and take home your very own bottles. Save your first pour for celebrating your anniversary.
Watch the sunset or sunrise. Grab a blanket and watch the night or morning sky. We know you want to snap a pic, but leave your phone inside. This is all about taking in the moment.
Embrace singledom (or just reminisce). Read former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman’s new book, Single State of Mind, which we’ve heard is pretty darn entertaining.
Have a fun photo shoot. It doesn’t have to be your engagement to take some pictures together (and you don’t have to necessarily hire a photographer, either). If you’re flying solo this year, getting a few new dating profile pics taken is also totally acceptable.
Serve up a Valentine’s Day–inspired meal. Sur La Table, in particular, has a ton of cooking classes leading up to the big day, which range from “French Lovers” to “Chocoholics.” Then, re-create the feast on February 14.
Enjoy a love story. Classics include Wuthering Heights, Romeo and Juliet, and Pride and Prejudice (although Twilight is also a guilty pleasure).
Go to paint night together. Unleashing your inner artist is always fine with wine in hand, but some locations have V-Day-specific events. This can be a great way to bond with your partner or go meet some other singles.
Commission a couples illustration. No boring card here. Hire an illustrator to create a custom sketch of you and your S.O. We like How Heart Thou, who also donates 50% of proceeds to a good cause (prices upon request).
Watch your wedding video. Calling all married couples: This is your time to reminisce about your nuptials. (That’s right—your video is not just reserved for anniversaries.)
Try a couples workout. As you probably already know, the duo that sweats together stays together. Even cuter? Ask your person which workout they’re in the mood for that day, and head to the class with them.
Bake a heart-shaped pizza. Or something heart-shaped. Really, what isn’t delicious in heart form?
Spend the night doing karaoke. Word to the wise: Book a private room if you want to vent about a breakup.
Get a mixology lesson. Sip on something tasty as you learn how to make your favorite cocktails. Head to the exclusive Apothéke Academy in New York, which features ingredients from the rooftop garden and the farmers market.
Make it a game night. Set up a round or two of poker or Cards Against Humanity, if that’s more your thing. If you're feeling fancy, get dressed up and head to the casino for some slots and blackjack.
Play hooky. We don’t usually condone calling in sick, but sometimes a day of rest is the best (especially if you can spend it with the one you love).
Watch a love story unfold on film. Whether it’s The Holiday, Love Actually, or even something classic, get in a romantic state of mind.