Can’t believe it’s already been a year since my last Valentine’s Day post — the message still remains the same: Give me experiences. While I love gifts, as most of us do, I also love and have grown to appreciate experiences. Forget the chocolates and the roses. Keep the necklaces and bracelets aside for now. Give me your hand to hold as we fly to visit new countries. Give me conversation. Give me your time. Give me experiences. Give me you. This is a concept I’ve tried to implement not just on special days, but most days in my relationship. Whether that’s a relationship with a partner, family, friends, or yourself, it’s important to realize the best things in life are memories and experiences. It is the simplest, yet most luxurious gift anyone could wrap up and offer me.
So with Valentine's Day approaching, here are some ideas to make the day (or upcoming weekend) unique and special. Spice things up and be spontaneous! (whether you're a couple or single showing yourself some self-love with your friends).
1. Go on a staycation
You don't need to go anywhere to be spontaneous and travel. To experience the feeling of a home away from home, book into a romantic hotel. Take off work, don't make any plans and then get creative together for your day of relaxation.
Real dancing - You can take a class together or hit a salsa club.
3. Ice skating.
There's a reason why couples are always hitting the rink in our favorite rom-coms. Go with your girlfriends or your significant other. Ice skating is always a fun idea.
4. A scavenger hunt.
You can make up your own, complete with creative challenges, photo missions, and sexy prizes or look for a local public event like the Amazing Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt in New York City.
5. A wine & Tapas crawl.
Skip the prix-fixe Valentine's Dinner restaurant - Hop from place-to-place (you can always check Opentable for ideas), grab seats at the bar, and order different kinds of wine and tapas all along the way. Way more interesting experience than a sit-down dinner.
6. Be a tourist in your own town.
Especially in Miami or NYC, there is so much to do that we sometimes don't take advantage. Put everything else on hold for the day and do all the activities you have on your list but haven't made time for.
7. Watch old romantic movies.
If you want to stay in but need a change from Netflix shows - stream classics like Casablanca and Roman Holiday or timeless favorites like Say Anything and The Bodyguard.
8. Cook Together
There's no reason to drop a fortune at a fancy dinner when you can make a meal yourself. Can't cook (like me…)? Meal delivery services like Plated have made it easier than ever to refine those culinary skills.
9. Go to an Event
Tickets to a local jazz club, a musical, sports game or museum tour? Either idea will be fun and outgoing. Dress up and splurge on fancy cocktails to make the outing extra special.
10. HAVE A SPA DAY
The only thing you really need to create your own at-home spa is some candles and oils.
11. DO A PUZZLE
Working with others on a puzzle will keep you entertained for hours without requiring too much energy.
12. SIT BY A FIRE
The most romantic Valentine's Day activity can be something as simple as keeping warm by the fire, with some hot cocoa for those currently freezing.
13. GRAB A COFFEE
A dimly lit coffee house can be just as romantic as a candle-lit restaurant. We did this for our wedding anniversary! And it was a night of fun & laughter while wearing some fancy outfits.
14. SHARE A MILKSHAKE
If coffee/tea isn’t romantic enough, then go old-fashioned by ordering one milkshake and two straws. You can add a modern twist by seeking out a place that serves boozy shakes or crazy toppings like the ones at Black Tap NYC.
Ladies, if you’re like me and love to wear red on Valentine’s Day (or any occasion), this red satin dress is cute & affordable from Forever 21. So dress up and have some fun… but I get it, who doesn't love flowers and some jewelry, or Valentine’s Day chocolates and fancy dinners. There's no reason you can't do it all, if you can't think of a gift to get, last year’s Valentine’s Day post has some ideas. Point is whatever you chose to do/wear/gift, appreciate the time you spend with the people in your life. Don't stress over gifts or getting the best photo to share on Instagram - live in the moment and enjoy.
Unpaid post - literally just a hobby run amok.