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Top Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day with Your Loved Ones 

Feb 03, 2022|

It may not be a public holiday (aka, a day off work), but that doesn’t stop over half the population in the United States from celebrating Valentine’s Day. February 14th is considered one of the most romantic holidays of the year. It’s also a time to express your love to the people you care about—from partners to kids to friends.

Whoever you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with this year, these ideas will ensure your celebration is both fun and safe for everyone.

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The history of Valentine’s Day

Today, Valentine’s Day is all about candy, cards, and gifts, but the holiday itself actually commemorates the deaths of two Christian martyrs named Valentine in the years 296 and 496. And although it’s now considered a romantic day, Valentine’s Day wasn’t associated with love until the Middle Ages, when people began linking it to the belief that birds began their mating season on February 14th.

Today, it’s a holiday celebrated across the world, typically commemorated with cards, flowers, and chocolates or gifts to express your love to partners, friends, and family.

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Spending Valentine’s Day with friends

Valentine’s Day may have romantic roots, but there’s no better day to spend with your besties. Here are a few ideas to make it a special day for everyone:

  • Go out to eat. If you and your friends are busy with work and the daily grind, there’s no better day to make time for a dinner out at a restaurant with friends than Valentine’s Day. Don’t feel like going out? Get together and make a meal at home.
  • Have a goodie exchange. Get your friends together for some sweet treats by hosting a goodie exchange. Have everyone bring their favorite treat, with one condition—it has to be related to Valentine’s Day, whether it’s red, pink, or heart-shaped.
  • Get away for a weekend. Who says Valentine’s Day needs to be just one day? Make it a long weekend! Get your closest friends together for a weekend getaway close to home. Book a hotel or Airbnb. Enjoy the local scenery, activities, and most of all some time together with your BFFs.
A group of friends having dinner at a restaurant.

Spending Valentine’s Day with family

Planning on making Valentine’s Day a family affair? Here are some fun things to do on Valentine’s Day the whole family will enjoy:

  • Have a family Valentine’s Day exchange. Remember in school when you’d decorate mailboxes and leave valentines for your friends? You can do the same thing at home! Decorate boxes or folders together with stickers or other craft supplies, then make valentines for each other. This is a fun activity for kids, and they’ll love receiving valentines from siblings and parents.
  • Make a valentine-themed meal. Enlist the family’s help to make a themed dinner. Set the table with heart-shaped plates and decorate with red and pink balloons, then make a delicious fun meal. It’s easy to transform any meal into a heart-shaped affair—heart-shaped pancakes or waffles for breakfast, heart-shaped sandwiches with cookie cutters, or use a heart pan to make pizza dough.
  • Have a family movie night. Make it a night in with a movie the whole family will love. Can’t decide which movie to watch? If you need some ideas, have everyone write their favorite movie down on a piece of paper, put them in a bowl, and draw.
  • Call long-distance family members and tell them you love them. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to connect with loved ones you don’t see often. You and your kids can video chat grandparents, cousins, or other family members and wish them a happy Valentine’s Day.
Mother and young daughter watching a movie together on an iPad.

Spending Valentine’s Day with your partner

Valentine’s Day is the most romantic holiday, and what better way to spend it than with your partner? If you’re stuck for ideas, try these romantic Valentine’s Day ideas:

  • Have a phone-free dessert night. Put the phones aside for the evening and make a tasty dessert together—chocolate fondue, heart-shaped cake, or your favorite dessert are good starting points. Or you can experiment and try baking something new together. Try your new creations over candlelight and your favorite romantic music.
  • Spend the day in nature. If the weather permits, spend the day enjoying nature together. Go for a hike, bike ride, or just a walk through your favorite park. If it’s cold and snowy (it is February, after all), try a new outdoor activity together, like snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
  • Enjoy a romantic meal. If the way to your Valentine’s heart is food, a romantic dinner together is the perfect way to spend the evening. You can reserve a spot at your favorite restaurant (tip: don’t wait until the day or even week before!), or you can cook a dinner for two right at home. Set the mood with candles, mood lighting, and create a playlist of love songs or instrumentals.
  • Recreate your first date. Feeling nostalgic? Recreate your first date together. Try and remember the little details, like how you were wearing your hair, what you wore, and the activity you did. You can even make a playlist of popular songs during the time and see if your partner remembers. It will be fun reliving your first real date and the perfect way to spend the most romantic day of the year.

Ways to make Valentine’s Day extra special

Whether you’re spending the day with family, friends, or your partner, here are a few tips to make it the day extra special:

  • Leave valentines or notes in your kids’ lunchboxes or backpacks in the morning.
  • Get festive by wearing red or pink clothes.
  • Decorate the house with balloons or paper hearts.
  • Set a romantic mood with a candle-lit dinner. (Keep in mind that candles at the dinner table can be risky, so keep candles away from combustible materials like napkins or decorations, always use appropriate holders, and move them away from the table while you eat if you have little ones who are prone to knocking things over or reaching across the table. And, as always, make sure your smoke detectors are working and batteries are up to date.)
  • Make valentines for your family members and leave them in places they’ll find later.
  • Write a love note on the bathroom mirror in soap or washable marker.
  • Add a festive touch to a meal with a heart-shaped cookie cutter or a little red food dye.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, it really is the thought that counts. Whether you want to go all out to celebrate Valentine’s Day or just enjoy a laid-back evening at home, your friends and family are sure to feel the love—and that’s what matters.

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