This post was published in January of 2020, before the COVID-19 crisis. Please use your personal judgement to determine if these activities are safe and right for you, and be sure to follow city and state mandated guidelines. Stay safe!
I’ve mentioned before that I love Valentine’s Day. For me, you don’t need a designated day to tell the people in your life that you love them dearly, but it’s a lovely reminder to take the time to tell loved ones just how much they mean to you.
Since my two love languages are quality time and gift giving, Valentine’s Day is all about spending time with people I love, and giving them something small -but thoughtful- to show that I care.
I love to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home and avoid bustling restaurants and large crowds, so I’ve rounded up some of my favorite at-home ideas for you to try this year!
Cook Dinner Together
Choose a menu (try something new) and purchase your ingredients ahead of time. Have fun cooking, taste-testing, and experimenting in the kitchen. This is one of our favorite tasks to do together, and we have so much fun.
Watch a Movie
It doesn’t need to be romantic, if that’s not your thing; Derrick and I prefer to watch action movies or thrillers. But, if you are looking for romance, check out this list of 25 romantic moviesand give them a watch. Another fun idea is to create an at-home “theater” and invite friends over to join you. Set up a Make Your Own Popcorn Bar with fun and delicious toppings and have at it. Some topping ideas: caramel, butter, M&Ms, fudge sauce, chocolate chips, or sprinkles.
Have a Board Game Night
Whether you play with just your significant other, or you invite some close friends over, choose some of your favorite board games and prepare a few refreshments. For an extra twist, offer up a prize to the winners.
Bring the Restaurant Home
Think candles. Flowers. Multiple courses or fondue. Champagne. What would you expect to see and taste at a nice restaurant? For an extra special touch, consider dressing up in your finest attire, and just have fun with it! Or…
Have an Indoor Picnic
This is one of my favorite ways to celebrate an occasion at home, and was actually part of how my husband proposed to me! So picnics have a very special place in my heart. Set up a picnic blanket on the floor, light a few candles, and spruce the space up with fresh flowers. Cook something special together or order your favorite takeout.
Make a Bonfire in the Backyard
If the weather is nice, make a bonfire in the backyard, pour yourself some hot chocolate, and bundle up! If you’re in the mood, make s’mores. These gourmet s’mores are a big flavor step-up from just plain chocolate and marshmallow. If the weather is poor and you are unable to have a bonfire, make s’mores indoors! If you have a gas range, you can toast marshmallows over your stove. Otherwise, bake a sheet of s’mores and enjoy with wine and a movie.
Go Star Gazing
This is another weather-dependent idea, but if the night is nice, grab a blanket, bundle up, and head outdoors to star gaze. Pack a little picnic basket of refreshments and a thermos full of hot chocolate, and relax.
Order food from your favorite restaurant, or from someplace new. Pour yourselves a glass of wine or champagne, and enjoy!
Have a Spa Night In
Give each other massages, or take a relaxing bubble bath to unwind. I love to line the edge of my bath with tea lights, pour in my favorite bath milk, apply a soothing face mask, and listen to soft music.
Bake a Dessert Together
You can even make it a contest. Find a recipe neither of you has made before, set a timer, and see who can make the best dessert in that time frame.
Make an Indulgent Breakfast
One of our favorite indulgent breakfasts are my raspberry mascarpone stuffed French toast. Made with buttery brioche, tart raspberries, and creamy mascarpone, I’ll serve this dish with a side of fresh fruit and sausages. It only comes out on special occasions in my house, but I guarantee you’ll want to eat it every day!
If pancakes are more your style, try making these cute heart shaped ones and serving them with fresh strawberries, cream, and a cup of coffee or a mimosa.
Create a Scavenger Hunt
This one is particularly fun on rainy days. Hide a gift for your loved one somewhere, and create and place clues all over the house. Put a clue on their nightstand so they find it when they wake up, and let the fun begin!
Try Your Hand at Making Ice Cream
No churn ice cream is very simple to make and only requires a few ingredients. I like to use this vanilla ice cream recipe as a base and add in other flavors or toppings, such as walnuts or frozen berries.
Find a New Hobby to do Together
Derrick and I have many hobbies that we like to do in our own time, but we hardly have any we can really do together. One of our resolutions this year was to find something we can do together, such as baking classes or salsa dancing, to improve on skills we already have or to learn new ones.
Do Something Nice for Someone Else
Prepare baked goods and leave them on your neighbor’s porch, or pay it forward. Do something for someone else without expecting anything in return: the feeling you get from performing a kind act is more than gift enough.
Channel Your Inner Mixologist
Shake up a few cocktails from that old recipe book of yours, or try your hand at your own creations. Get creative!
At Home Wine Tasting
Buy three or four bottles of wine (brands and flavors you’ve never had before) and set up an at-home wine tasting. Pair with cheese, crackers, salted meats, and fresh fruits. For added fun: do the tasting test blindfolded and try to correctly guess which wine it is.
This idea requires leaving your home. One of the sweetest things you can do is buy a bucket full of long stem roses (or any flower of your choice), and distribute them at your local nursing home. The elderly often get lonely and have no one to visit them. Stay and chat for a while, and listen to what they have to say. Many of them have incredible stories to share. It’s such a simple way for you to brighten a someone’s day!