Celebrating Valentine’s Day at home? These ideas go beyond your couch and Netflix

Got plans for Valentine's Day?
Got plans for Valentine's Day? (Pexels stock image)

It might not be your typical Valentine’s Day, complete with packed restaurants and a couples massage.

But you can still make the holiday memorable, pandemic or no pandemic.

We wanted to get your wheels turning, so here are some ideas, as the holiday draws closer and closer.

For a meal

A traditional approach:

Cook something together! It might be fun to agree on a recipe and then tackle it side by side, and you’ll definitely want to aim for something you wouldn’t make on an average Tuesday. Go through all the steps together -- maybe you could even follow a YouTube tutorial together.

Here are some examples of dishes that are a little more out of the box:

  • Breakfast risotto with bacon and poached egg (who says you have to do dinner? Brunch would be fun, too).
  • Beef bourguignjang (yes, this is a spicy take on French beef bourguignon, by Chrissy Teigen), and it’s incredible.
  • Miso spaghetti (it’s kind of like pasta carbonara -- with a twist. Easy to make but decadent, and it requires a few fun and different ingredients if you’re looking to spice it up).

Something more adventurous:

Take one of those MasterClasses you see advertised all over. You and your partner could try your hand at cocktails, a full meal -- heck, it doesn’t even need to be food-related. You could take any class that piques your interest. But we will say, the culinary classes include lessons from big names such as Gordon Ramsay, Thomas Keller, Gabriela Cámara and more.

You could even do a music class together. You’re building this date, not us! What would work best for you guys?

*And here’s a backup plan if you’re not the cooking types: Order fancy takeout, and eat somewhere different. Not just at the table -- we’re thinking you set up a picnic on the ground, do breakfast in bed or something unique and memorable. And remember, so many local businesses are still hurting from the fallout of COVID-19. Supporting local vendors this Valentine’s Day is a great way to give back. Ordering flowers from your neighborhood shop, picking up some cupcakes at the bakery up the street or grabbing some carryout from your local eatery helps -- every dollar of it.

After dinner

A traditional approach:

Dance. You could learn one together (again, YouTube is your friend!), or just build the playlist as a couple and enjoy being in each other’s arms.

Existing in this pandemic chapter of life has been hard for many people. This might be a good opportunity to remember what the holiday is all about: Reconnecting, love and companionship. Aren’t you glad you have one another?

Something more adventurous:

Learn your first Tik-Tok dance. Record it. Upload it. Die laughing.

Get outside

A traditional approach:

If it’s a chilly night, bundle up! For little kids, all they need is just 20 minutes of fresh air, and you’d be surprised how much difference it can make. Adults can’t be much different, can we?

If it’s freezing where you live, just give it a shot. Wear snowpants if you’re in the Northeast or Midwest. Take a brisk walk. Embrace that it’s a thing you might not normally do. A change of scenery can be good!

Something more adventurous:

Still go outside, but bring tons of blankets, pour wine, make a fire if your house has that option and star-gaze.

Involve your friends

A traditional approach:

Set up a little Zoom get-together -- or maybe even a virtual double date.

Something more adventurous:

Make it a BIG Zoom party. Play Quiplash or check out the Houseparty app. Here’s a handy list of fun games you can play on Zoom.

Grab a writing utensil

A traditional approach:

It might be cool -- and a bonding experience, of sorts -- to make a bucket list or a gratitude list together. You could even paint, play music, write; do something that feels intimate and creative, if that’s your thing.

Even if you’re not doing the exact same thing at the same time, it might feel good just to be in the same room together, letting the creative juices flow.

Something more adventurous:

Jot down fun memories together. Fold them up on notecards and tuck them away in your basement. It m might be fun to look back on some day!

You can include details from your first date, your wedding, or anything at all.

And hey, we’re not knocking Netflix. If a binge session would bring you immense joy, go all out. Stock all the best snacks, drinks, and watch as much as you’d like. Here are some recommendations, below.

25 of the best romantic comedies currently streaming on Netflix, Hulu and more -- Check out our list.

It might feel nice to get your children out of the way, too -- so perhaps if there are grandparents in the area who you’d feel comfortable with (and who are willing!) to take on the kids, consider that. Otherwise? We’re thinking it could be an early bedtime night. 🙂

Let us know what you end up trying, in the comments below.

About the Author:

Michelle is the Managing Editor of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which writes for all of the company's news websites.