During COVID, each new holiday celebration has become an exercise in creativity. Valentine’s Day — typically commemorated with fancy restaurant dinners, romantic vacations, or kids’ school celebrations — must likewise look different during 2021.
Folks, we’ve made it this far. It would be tragic to mess up now. So with that in mind, here’s our best shot at some solid #StayAtHome ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day curing COVID. Whether you’re attached or single, we’ve got you covered. And we promise: None of it involves Zoom!
Order Up Dinner-and-a-Movie You’ll Genuinely LOVE
Show some love to your local restaurants by ordering up some delectables for delivery or takeout. How can you make it feel more special than ordering food any other day of this bizarre year of COVID? Why, you can choose a theme, of course, and add a movie! Consider:
Appetizer Extravaganza. It’s Valentine’s Day, which means following your heart’s desires. If that means foregoing the main course in favor of an all-appetizer menu, so be it. Heart-warming food-themed movie pairings could include Chef, Julie & Julia, Babette’s Feast, or Mrs. Doubtfire (Robin Williams makes an amazing case for ordering takeout!).
Dessert City. Choose a restaurant with a wide array of dessert options and order up several. For the sake of nutrition (and perhaps digestive health?), just add at least one main course. Ponder sweet film fare like Chocolat, Waitress, or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The Spicy & Sensual Feast. Spicy foods — think Mexican, Thai, Korean, Japanese, African, or Indian — have long had a reputation for being aphrodisiacs. It could be an old wives’ tale. It could also be delicious. Since we keep this blog 100% family-friendly, however, we’ll let you do the googling required to find an appropriately spicy movie accompaniment.
Convey Your Love in the Cheesiest Way Possible
Like, literally cheesy. As long as you limit participation to members of your own household, you can:
Have a fondue party. Swiss fondue recipes date back to 1699. We think they’re just right for Valentine’s Day 2021, given that dipping bread, apples, and veggies into a pot of melted cheese and wine is equal parts impressive, fancy-feeling, and easy. For bonus points, follow up all that cheese with a chocolate fondue, luxuriously dipping fruit, marshmallows, and rice krispie treats.
Pull together a stellar charcuterie board. Charcuterie boards, too, look and feel fancy while requiring a minimum amount of effort or talent. Stock up on things like french bread, crackers, nuts, grapes, apples, veggies, dried fruits, cured meats (e.g., salami, prosciutto, pancetta, coppa, mortadella), spreads (e.g., mustards, jams, fig spread), and of course an array of cheeses. Display it all on the cutting board from your kitchen. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, consider incorporating chocolate, conversation hearts, and other candies.
Have a Valentine’s Day-themed Game Night
Again, sticking with ONLY the folks in your household…
Try Valentine’s Day karaoke roulette. Make a YouTube playlist of karaoke versions of popular love songs. Draw names from a hat to choose singers. Hearing your tone-deaf spouse warbling “My Heart Will Go On” into a hairbrush could very well make up for having to stay home (again).
Play Valentine’s Day pictionary or charades. The names of well-known romantic comedies work well for both. Think Titanic, Runaway Bride, 50 First Dates, The Notebook, 10 Things I Hate About You, Moonstruck, Crazy Rich Asians, The Princess Bride… the list goes on and on.
Communally create silly love stories. With at least two people, paper, and something to write with, you can play the age-old parlor game Exquisite Corpse. In the writing version of the game, participants take turns writing sentences that follow set rules, folding the paper down so their sentences can’t be seen by the next person adding to the story. When revealed and read in full, laughter invariably ensues. For Valentine’s Day, construct writing prompts so that they tell a story with a “they meet” beginning, a few middle hurdles, and a happy ending (obviously).
Host an at-home trivia night. If your true love is trivia night at your local pub, why not pour a couple of brews and let the Random Trivia Generator play the role of host? Choose a category — science, history, arts, entertainment, geography, and general — and see how you do.
Go on a Virtually Fantastic Valentine’s Day Adventure
Get out of the house… without getting out of the house! While COVID has not offered many upsides, the amazing proliferation of VR experiences is absolutely a silver lining. This Valentine’s Day, you can:
Tour one of the world’s best museums. Google Arts & Culture has put together a fantastic collection of virtual museum and site tours from around the world. You may be stuck in your living room, but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit gorgeous sites like the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, The Met in New York, or the J. Paul Getty Museum in LA.
Do some armchair travel. Smithsonian magazine has curated a collection of VR experiences and digital exhibits. Go on a dog sled ride, tour the home of writer Jane Austen in the charming village of Chawton, or simply watch fireflies flickering in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Live vicariously — by looking out other people’s windows. WindowSwap invites you to cycle through windowsill live-cam views around the world. In only a few minutes’ time, you could find yourself visiting a working farm in Italy, the rooftops of a Russian city, or someone’s suburban backyard. Birds, cats, shadows, music, and mysterious noises abound. There’s no need to be lonely when you can circle the globe via other people’s windows!
Hold a Heart-warming Valentine’s Day Film Festival
A good ol’ movie night is always a great excuse for snuggling up on the couch with your sweeties. This is true even if your sweeties are but pets or imaginary friends. If you’d like some help coming up with your line-up, check out O’s slide show of “40 of the Most Romantic Valentine’s Day Movies,” The Cut’s list of the “25 Best Romantic Comedies to Watch Now,” Elle’s list of “The 20 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time,” or TV Guide’s list of “17 Bad Romantic Comedies We Can’t Help But Love.”
Or is it that you’ve had enough of all that lovey-dovey romantic comedy fare? Meaning that you’d prefer a movie that reminds you how wondrous it can be to be single? Vogue offers “10 Movies That Will Make You Happy to Be Single,” and VICE has “7 Movies on Netflix that Prove Being Single Is the Best.”
Snag a Sweet Show From the Comfort of Your Own Couch
Looking for something beyond the usual movie-night fare? These days, almost every comedian in the world who’s even remotely funny has their own comedy special on Netflix. Paste magazine’s rundown of “The 30 Best Stand-up Comedy Specials on Netflix” has something for everyone.
If you’re more of a theater buff, watch a recorded performance of must-see musicals like Billy Elliot, Les Misérables, Into the Woods, Miss Saigon, Kinky Boots, and so much more on Broadway HD. You can try the streaming service for a 7-day free trial, conveniently signing up… just before Valentine’s Day.
Bonus Insurance Tip: Since you spend so very much time in your home these days, why not take a moment to make sure you’ve got the right homeowners insurance coverage for the best price? In just a few minutes, our quick and easy quoting tool helps you compare coverages and see if you can save.