If I’m being honest, I’m not a crazy fan of Valentine’s Day. Matt and I have been together for 11 years now and our anniversary is on February 24th (rather conveniently) so not only is this not our first rodeo, but we’d rather usually celebrate a bit more of a momentous event literally 10 days later. Having said that, this year I’m ditching Matt for our anniversary just because of the way travel dates lined up (don’t worry we’re celebrating after!) so we actually wanted to do something for V-Day for once. It got me thinking for the first time in years about a way to celebrate that doesn’t feed into the whole commercial, over-the-top aspect of the holiday but gives us a chance to just have a date (something we need to do even more of since we both work from home now!). Read on for 5 non-cheesy dates that you can easily adapt for either your SO or your friends!
1. Hit Rewind
Recreate your first date or where you first met! Or if you’re with friends, hit up something you all did in your early years of friendship! Matt and I first met playing intramural soccer together when we were both at UVic (as wee 19 year old’s, ah so young!!!). On our 9 year anniversary, we went back to Victoria and it was soooooo much fun and brought back so many memories. We went to the club we first made out at (it was called Plan B sigh, what a legendary place), went to the old soccer pitch we played at, walked around the university where we’d meet up 24/7 for coffee during those early years, cruised by the gym we loved to crush our workouts in together, etc. I couldn’t swing a trip this week because I’m gone next week for a bit, but we’ve been talking about a Victoria trip for awhile now so I’d love to go again!
2. Go Stargazing
Okay, so maaaaybe the stargazing won’t be quite as epic as this Yukon snap with the Northern Lights above (more about the Yukon tomorrow PS!). But one date idea Matt and I have literally been talking about for years now is to do a sleepover upstairs on our rooftop deck and watch the stars. Even if you don’t want to camp out (and I for one really don’t want to now that we’re having a freak snow storm here in Vancouver), take advantage of the earlier nights and instead of getting all dressed up for a typical dinner out, get all bundled up, pack some mulled wine in a thermos plus some snacks and walk out or drive out to a place where you can cozy up together and star spot. Only have time during the day? Make it a picnic! Extra points for an epic lookout point (if you’re in Vancouver, you can’t go wrong with any of these idyllic locations).
3. Go On a Mini-Adventure
Whether that’s heading up the Sea to Sky Gondola, going on a snowy hike, or if you’re in warmer temps, paddle-boarding, kayaking, biking, etc, pick a destination or an activity and go on a little adventure together. Better yet, add a touch of adrenaline to it! I’ll never forget while in my Psych BA learning that people fall in love faster and experience more attachment if their initial “courtships” have an element of adrenaline in it, whether that’s a suspension bridge, bungee jumping, etc. Just a little something to keep in mind if you’re newly dating someone ;). I also have very active and adventure-oriented friends so if I was doing a Galentines celebration (which we are but this time just squeezing in a quick brunch!), I know they’d be into an epic hike followed by cocktails somewhere.
4. Wine & Watercolour
A few years ago, I was randomly going through a stressful time and really was craving a creative hobby to let off some steam. I picked up a super basic watercolour kit and pretty much right away, a new passion was born. Matt watched me for years since then just dabbling away on my own, and then this winter because he had a DIY component to a family gift he was doing he joined me in painting one cozy winter night while we were having drinks. It was the most fun and soothing and lovely way to spend time together, and I was really happy that he enjoyed it so much (and that he’s randomly so good!!). If you don’t have what you need at home, in almost every city there’s some sort of wine & painting class, or a lot of ceramics classes allow you to bring in wine! I remember this one guy in particular in Kits who owned a make-your-own ceramics place urging us to come back with a bottle of vino and our friends a few years ago. Whatever you do, bonding together with your SO or friends over something creative will guarantee a super fun night! And if you do something with the girls, that opens up the door to a lot of other potentially more girly options – flower crown building, etc.
5. Breakfast Club
If you’re similarly not a big Valentine’s Day person but want to celebrate and show your love in a small way, and particularly when Valentine’s Day falls on a weekday like it does this year, connecting over a sweet breakfast is a really nice way to still fit in a celebration. Matt’s favourite thing is these My New Roots banana bread pancakes that take me forever to make, but he loves them so much so it’s a nice treat to make him every once in awhile. Make an event out of the whole breakfast with a little mimosa station, lovely linens, a bouquet and beautiful presentation! Because the girls and I are busy this year we’re squeezing in a little brunch together, so I also love this for something with your friends or family (my dad actually used to make us heart-shaped pancakes so clearly love = pancakes in my family!).
Hope you guys loved this post and that if you’re stuck for ideas come the 14th, this helps out a bit! Do you guys typically celebrate Valentine’s Day or just take it easy?