By Kennedy Mapes
Valentine’s Day: Some associate it with red chocolate boxes, love poems, and happiness. Others associate it with tears, junk food, and the existential dread…maybe a bit of alcohol, as well. Whether you are looking forward to the holiday of love or counting the seconds until the day has passed, it is undeniable that the celebration of this holiday will have to be altered to adhere to the guidelines of the COVID-19 era, much like many of the events and holidays we have experienced since the beginning months of 2020.
If you despise the 14th of February, COVID-19 may have just made it easier for you to ignore all things sappy and lovey-dovey as people will likely be celebrating in the comfort of their own homes this year.
For the hopeless romantics, the lovers of love, the bromances and the gal pals who want to celebrate but don’t know what to do, The Collegiate put together a list of fun, safe, virtual friendly activities for you and your partner, or you and your friends, to do at home, or through your screens, on Valentine’s Day.
- Have a Game Night
Get together some of your favorite board games: Monopoly, Uno, Euchre, Cards Against Humanity, whatever it may be. Set them up, grab some of your favorite snacks, and have a game night together!
- Try to cook a gourmet meal together
Venture out of your comfort zone and try a new recipe! Find a fancy, creative meal from Pinterest or YouTube and try to recreate it.
- Have a car picnic
Get takeout from your favorite restaurant, then drive to a location with a pretty view. You could drive to the lakeshore and enjoy the views of the frozen lake or you could drive to the top of a nearby parking garage and watch the snow fall while staring at the city skyline.
- Sip and Paint: Bob Ross Edition
Pick up some of your favorite wine, (sparkling juice if you’re under 21) grab an easel and some paint and search up a Bob Ross painting tutorial online. Laugh at all your “happy accidents” as you try to follow it together, then compare the final results!
- Spa night
Relax together. Light some candles or incense, do your skincare routines together, slap on some face masks, maybe even a hair mask, all while listening to episodes from your favorite podcasts or reading excerpts from your favorite books.
- Night of Nostalgia
Do things that remind you of your childhood. Play some of the games you used to love as a kid. Break out the PlayStation 2 or your old Wii and play some “Guitar Hero” or “Just Dance” together. Follow it up with watching some of your favorite throwback movies.
- Have your own wine tasting
Head to the grocery store and buy some wine that you have never tried before and try it together. If you’re feeling super fancy, you could try to create your own charcuterie boards.
- Netflix Party
Netflix now has a new feature that allows you to stream movies together virtually. Pick out some of your favorite Rom-Coms and have a movie marathon!
- Have your own trivia night
If you’re celebrating your virtual Valentine’s Day with a group of people, you could host a trivia night! Whether you’re a history buff, an entertainment enthusiast, or an art connoisseur, trivia nights can be so much fun to participate in and even more fun to create on your own. Have each person create a category and questions to go along with it and trivia away!
- Get to know each other
Whether you’re celebrating with someone you’ve known for a few weeks or someone you’ve known for 10 years, you’d be surprised how much you can learn about each other if you ask the right questions! The internet is a great place to search for good questions to ask, but if you don’t feel like looking for the questions on your own, buy the card game “We’re Not Really Strangers.” This card game is all about creating meaningful connections, starting deep conversations, and getting to know each other on a more personal level.
- Rom-Com Charades or Pictionary
A more lighthearted and goofy game option is charades or Pictionary with a Valentine’s Day twist. Make it all about Rom-Coms! Act out scenes from some of your favorite movies or draw clues and have the other players guess what it is!
- Gift each other care packages and open them together
Surprise each other with some cute, personalized care packages and open them together. If you’re celebrating virtually, mail the presents ahead of time and open them together over Zoom, FaceTime, etc. Fill the package with their favorite snacks, an item with their favorite color, some of their favorite scents, maybe a book or a record, and something that reminds you of them. You could even add a little note inside explaining why you chose each item.
- Start a book club
Pick a book to start reading that interests everyone involved and have your first meeting on Valentine’s Day. You can discuss the book while sipping your wine (or juice) and eating some yummy chocolates!
- Create a bucket list together
Create a post-covid bucket list of all of the things you want to do once it is safe to do so again. You could even go as far as planning a real vacation to a dream destination. Pick the ideal season and create a budget. Then find flights, places to stay, and plan an itinerary!
- Art share
This is for the artistic and creative people out there. Use this day as an opportunity to share that creativity with other people! Show off some of the paintings, poems, songs, or clothes that you’ve created and share where you got your inspiration from. Or, better yet, you could create art specifically for the people you are celebrating with.
- Karaoke night
When life takes away your karaoke bars, you create your own karaoke bars. Whip up some cocktails, (or juice…again), plug in your speakers, start up some tunes, and belt your hearts out.
- Show and Tell: Tour guide edition
Take a stroll through some of your favorite places in your hometown and take your virtual valentine with you. Take them to your favorite coffee shop, take a walk through your favorite park, and guide them through all of the places in your hometown that are special to you.
- Go stargazing together
Whether you are physically with someone, or virtually celebrating this year, we all live under the same stars. Simply stare at the night sky together in peace. Bundle up and lay outside, or drive to a destination and sit in your car. Listen to relaxing music and search the sky for shooting stars.
- $15 fashion show
Head to a local thrift store, pick out a full outfit for a maximum of $15 and bring each other along on the journey. Try them on for each other and have your own virtual fashion show. If you want to make it really interesting, pick out outfits for each other!
- Go “camping” in your living room
Put the fort building skills you acquired when you were 10 to the test and create a killer fort in your living room. Fill it with comfy pillows and blankets, the junkiest of junk food, a TV or laptop, and some of your favorite movies and enjoy the comfort of camping in your own home: all of the fun of real camping, with none of the bugs or possible weather disruptions.
COVID-19 has prompted us to sacrifice many things in the past year with holidays being no exception. Although it is difficult not to celebrate to the fullest extent with everyone we want to be with, there are things we can do to make the most of the situation and to stay connected with the ones we love while also being safe and staying healthy.