Valentine’s Day might be a celebration of love, but that doesn’t mean only romantic couples are allowed to participate. Despite what the Valentine’s cards and jewelry commercials might tell you, there isn’t one “right” way to spend the holiday. All types of affection, from platonic connections to self-love, are worth honoring.
No matter your relationship status, mark the 14th of February on your calendar and plan a fun date to remember. Here are 10 ideas to inspire you, whether you spend the day cozying up with your significant other, connecting with friends, or kicking back by yourself.
1. Enjoy a Home-Cooked Meal
Skip the busy dinner spots on Valentine’s Day and share an intimate meal at home instead. Recreate the feeling of a cozy restaurant with mood lighting and soft music. For the food, cook up a nourishing dinner for one, whip up a feast with your partner, or invite friends to bring their own dishes for a potluck.
You can also take your homemade meal to your garden or a nearby park to soak up the moonlight for especially dreamy vibes. Just be sure to bring a coat and extra blankets if your city gets cold this time of year!
2. Have a Spa Day
Feeling a little frazzled? Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to slow down and show yourself some love with a spa day. If you prefer getting pampered with a pal, invite a loved one or friend to join you for massages, skin treatments, or a sauna session.
If you’re on a budget, get the spa experience at home instead, complete with a bubble bath, relaxing music, essential oils, and face masks. Finish the day with some light yoga or meditation to carry your sense of calm beyond the bathroom. Single or taken, caring for your body is always a major act of love.
3. Throw a Valentine’s Day Party
Valentine’s Day isn’t only for lovey-dovey pairs. Share the love with your closest friends by organizing a Valentine’s bash. Stock up on chocolates and candy hearts and decorate your space with red and pink streamers. You can also set up a valentine card writing booth, where you and your best friends can create special messages for one another to be exchanged during the party.
4. Get Active
If moving your body is your favorite way to have fun, plan a Valentine’s date around a new activity that gets your heart pumping, such as paintball, rock climbing, or hot yoga. Challenging yourself to do a sport or pastime you’ve never tried can offer a boost of self-confidence, whether you’re solo or spending the day with someone special. And if you do end up working up a sweat with a friend or partner, don’t forget to cheer each other on and celebrate your success once the activity is over.
5. Show Off Your Artsy Side
Love is the inspiration behind countless pop songs, classic paintings, and other famous works of art. Let love inspire you on Valentine’s Day by channeling your inner artist. Whether you go alone, with a partner, or alongside a friend, art classes can make for a fun and creative date. Try booking your spot in a local painting class or pottery workshop.
You can also get creative outside of the classroom by making Valentine’s Day-inspired collages, scrapbooks, and other crafts at home. If paint and glue aren’t your thing, pick up a camera and explore your town, snapping artistic shots instead.
6. Make New Friends
Valentine’s Day is all about relationships, and that includes connecting with new people. Put your social life first this holiday by forging new friendships in a virtual space, like Jaumo. Bond with others over shared interests or celebrate Valentine’s Day with other singles in a voice chat room.
To meet people offline, look up local meet-up groups and events where other potential friends might be hanging out. If you’re in a relationship, consider tapping another couple you’d like to get to know better for a Valentine’s Day double date.
7. Go Dancing
No celebration, including Valentine’s Day, feels complete without dancing. Check nightlife spots in your area for special Valentine’s Day festivities. You’ll likely find a variety of options, from singles-only parties to events for friends and couples. Then, take your date — or yourself — and spend the evening letting loose on the dance floor.
Alternatively, throw a mini dance party in your house. Put on your favorite going-out clothes and press play on an upbeat playlist. To really get in the Valentine’s Day mood, queue up your favorite love songs instead.
If you’re feeling pressured to spend Valentine’s Day a certain way, get away from all the noise by going on a camping date. Packing up your tent and heading to a quiet spot in nature is a great way to escape the busyness of everyday life and reconnect with yourself.
Keep in mind that camping alone in a secluded spot can be a rewarding experience, though it’s not typically recommended to beginner campers. Invite your significant other or a few friends so you feel safe, while getting to know each other more deeply without distractions.
9. Stay in a Fancy Hotel
Spending the night in a luxurious hotel can make for a romantic Valentine’s Day, especially for couples. You and your partner can order room service, schedule a couple’s massage, and indulge in a five-star meal at the on-site restaurant.
However, there’s no rule that only couples can enjoy a Valentine’s Day hotel stay. It can also be a fun option for friends and even singles looking to break out of their mundane home-alone routine. Just be sure to plan in advance, as rooms can get filled up quickly on holidays.
10. Volunteer at a Local Organization
One of the best ways to spread the love on the 14th of February is by contributing to your community. Volunteering with an organization that focuses on a cause you care about — whether it be rescuing animals, cleaning up litter, or anything in between — can be much more meaningful than exchanging roses and chocolates (though no one said you can’t do both!).
Volunteering can also make for a fulfilling date activity. Ask your significant other or a friend to join you for a memorable Valentine’s Day of giving back.
Spend Valentine’s Day Your Way
If you thought the only way to celebrate Valentine’s Day was with a dinner reservation for two, think again. There are endless ways for couples, friends, and singles to make the most of this special day, in a style that suits them. Get started with one of the date ideas discussed above, and see where the day takes you!