The 2021 Guide to Valentine’s Day
31 Pandemic-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in 2021
Valentine’s Day is meant to be a light-hearted day to express our love with thoughtful gestures and gifts, yet, I often hear many people tell me – whether they’re in a relationship, single, or heartbroken – that they find Valentine’s’ Day quite stressful.
In fact, would you be surprised to hear that there’s actually such a thing as “Valentine’s Day stress” and it can negatively impact emotional well-being? Probably not.
I get it, for many, Valentine’s Day is a holiday that’s often loaded with romantic expectations that can distort the main intention of the day – to express our love and affection for those we care about.
And more than ever, given that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, we need connection more than ever. This is way I’m encouraging you to try and approach this Valentine’s Day in a stress-free manner, because love is not canceled.
With a bit of thought and planning, you can make this Valentine’s day special – Whether you’re in a relationship, single, or heartbroken, here are 31 ideas to help you have a light-hearted and memorable Valentine’s Day in 2021.
If you’re in a relationship, and have been living together in lockdown for months and months now, here are several ideas to choose from to help you do something special so that this Valentine’s Day doesn’t become just another day in lockdown.
Have an Extra Special Dinner
Having a nice dinner is one of the most common ideas couples do for Valentine’s Day. So, whether you try a new recipe or use some unique ingredients, why not elevate the experience by making it a little extra special. Go the extra mile and light candles, play a romantic playlist, set the table, and don’t forget to include one of the great ice cream dessert ideas in this article!
Design a Dessert
Make dessert a little more creative by setting out a “dessert bar” with ingredients such as ice cream, cookies, and toppings such as chocolate syrup, whip cream, and fruit. Then have all the participants build their own dessert, and don’t forget to name your one-of-a-kind dessert.
Catch a Double-Feature
What’s more romantic than watching a romantic movie? Watching two romantic movies! There’s something indulgent about watching two movies in a day. And this Sunday, Valentine’s Day, is a perfect day to catch a double-feature.
Perhaps you and your partner can each pick a movie and surprise one another with your choice. For some movie ideas, check out Rotten Tomatoes 100 Romantic Movies of all time.
An ice cream cocktail? Yes, it’s a thing! Take cocktails to a whole other level by incorporating your favourite ice cream.
And if you need inspiration, check out this great video of me and a mixologist making a romantic “Lover’s Club” cocktail make a cocktail inspired by Baskin-Robbins’ Valentine’s Day best-seller Love Potion #31.
Take in a Virtual Concert
Catch a virtual concert by looking up some of your favourite musical artists to see if they are doing a special Valentine’s Day performance. For example, Josh Groban will be doing live virtual events this Valentine’s Day weekend.
Otherwise, you can watch one of these concert films on Netflix.
Making fondue is a classic romantic dessert and with good reason! Not only is it a fun activity you can do together, but you can get creative with the items you dip in the chocolate fondue, such as fruit, pretzels, marshmallows, Rice Krispie treats, etc.
You can also try coating some strawberries, refrigerating them, and then adding them as fancy toppers to your ice cream.
Make a Valentine’s Day Playlist
Collect some of your favourite love songs and enjoy an evening listening to your selection. You can describe what it is about the songs that you love. Is it the lyrics, the melody, or does it remind you of a special memory?
And if you need some ideas, check out my personal “Love Is…” playlist, with hours and hours of feel-good love songs.
There’s nothing like the smell of homemade baked goods to fill a home with love. To enhance this idea, think of ways to incorporate your baked goods with your favourite ice cream.
For example, you can bake cookies and make some ice cream sandwiches or brownies go amazingly topped with Love Potion #31.
Let’s Play! Bust Out the Board Games
Put your comfy clothes on, grab your favourite snacks (including your favourite ice cream,) and settle in for an evening of board games. Not only is this activity plain fun, but studies have shown time and time again how important having fun is to a couple’s overall health.
Get back to basics, play something classic like chess, play card games, or do a puzzle together.
At-Home Wine Tasting
For those who are missing visiting your favourite local vineyards, why not set up your own wine tasting event. And for an interesting twist, try pairing your favourite ice creams such as, classic chocolate, or vanilla with wines.
For some ideas on some creative pairings of wine and ice cream, check out this article.
Take a Virtual Cooking Class
Many online cooking classes are available to teach you how to make homemade favourites, such as pizza, sushi, or, you guessed it, desserts! There’s something special about having someone lead you through a process like this to make your creations taste that much more delicious!
Never underestimate the power, and good fun, of an at-home dance party! Start by preparing a playlist of the songs that are guaranteed to inspire you. And while you might need a bit of time warming up, once you get going, you’ll be dancing like nobody is watching in no time!
Let the Conversation Flow
Want to get some good conversation flowing? Why not try conversation starters! You can either purchase a box of conversation cards or if you’re short on time due to deliveries, then try these online conversation starters.
Watch a Comedy Show
Whether you stream a recorded comedy show or try to catch a live virtual comedy show, laughing with your partner or friends is one of the healthiest ways to relieve stress and promote a healthy state of being. Check out this extensive list of comedy specials.
Box of Chocolates
Surprise your loved one with an extra special box of chocolates – this year’s Baskin-Robbins Box of Chocolate Cake. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s a great twist on a holiday classic.
With eight milk-chocolate truffles on top of the cake and your choice of ice cream filling, it’s a dessert in a dessert!
Visit an Art Museum, Virtually
Not surprisingly, many of our beloved arts venues have also moved to virtual mediums so we can continue to enjoy the arts. Check out local museums as well as world-renowned museums for events. Browse the online event calendar for The AGO here.
Taking turns giving one another a massage is a great way to connect with your partner and relieve stress. Make sure to take your time and focus on the areas that your partner loves to have massaged. Whether it’s a long foot rub or an extended back rub, use this quality time to connect through the love language of physical touch.
An often overlooked Valentine’s Day activity is to do something active. Whether you bundle up and go for a long walk or do a hike you haven’t done before, or do a fun winter activity such as skating or tobogganing, you can’t go wrong with doing a physical activity together.
Have a Fancy Brunch
Think homemade waffles or crepes to elevate your brunch to Valentine’s Day status! And don’t forget to indulge your sweet tooth by getting creative topping your breakfast desserts with some Love Potion #31.
Acts of Kindness
While the pandemic has made it difficult to volunteer in traditional in-person ways, there are always ways that we can lend a helping hand. Whether it’s sharing your special meal by making a care package for an elderly neighbor, or giving someone who is living on their own a call to check up on them, or shoveling a neighbour’s driveway, there are all sorts of ways to spread the love this Valentine’s Day weekend.
SINGLE / DATING
If you are single this Valentine’s Day, there’s so much that you can do to celebrate. You can try one of the ideas listed above or opt for some of the creative ideas below that are just for singles.
Celebrate Galentine’s/Friends’ Valentine’s Day
Celebrate as the Latinos do! In Latin America, Valentine’s Day is known as “The Love and Friendship Day,” which opens up this holiday as an opportunity to celebrate the many loves of your life.
One of the most obvious ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a single person is to gather on Zoom with your other single friends.
However, so it doesn’t feel like you’re on yet another work call, make sure that you add something special to your group call.
- Have everyone dress up for the call (or at least their upper half, lol), or have the group dress in a festive red or pink.
- Start the call with an upbeat song to get the group in a social mood.
- Have everyone participate in a group activity that stimulates creativity – but with a common theme. For example, place an order for a themed product like Love Potion #31 from their local Baskin-Robbins shop, and then share your ice-cream concoctions and cocktails that you’ll enjoy on the call together.
Have a fall-back contingency plan”
If, for whatever reason, you’re finding it hard to find the time or energy to get things going, have a default or go-to solution that can salvage the evening!
My favourite: a quick visit to my local food delivery service to have them pick up and drop off any of Baskin-Robbins’ Valentine’s Day cakes or my loved one’s favourite ice cream. For the full line up of Valentine’s Day-ready treats, visit baskinrobbins.ca
Host a Virtual Watch Party
There are many ways that you can now watch a movie or show at the same time with friends. To have a more cohesive experience, download an extension such as TeleParty to stream a show together and chat in the chat bar at the same time.
Take a Deluxe Bath
Step up your usual bath routine with a bathtub table. These multipurpose tables allow you to read a book or tablet, have a snack (such as Love Potion #31!), have a candle, and even have a holder for your wine glass. What more can you ask for?!
Romance Yourself/Date Yourself
Even if you are single, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the many pleasures of Valentine’s Day. Go ahead and plan a special date with yourself – make yourself a nice dinner, light candles, and play the music you love. And don’t forget a dessert just for you, and enjoy not having to share this year. These practices of self-love are powerful for your self-esteem because you deserve it!
Organize a virtual trivia night with friends using an online application such as HouseParty, Kahoot, or Jackbox. Have someone volunteer to be the organizer and set up Valentine’s Day inspired trivia for the group.
Delivery! SHARE THE LOVE
If you have a friend who is going through a breakup, make their Valentine’s Day by surprising them with an unforgettable care package. What better treat to send them than an ice-cream delivery – the quintessential indulgence to help people through the heartache blues.
Just because we can’t be together in-person this year doesn’t mean you can’t show your support.
If you’re heartbroken this year, you can still do many of the activities listed above. Either with friends or on your own if you prefer. The most important thing is to ensure that you are taking good care of your healing heart and giving yourself the love you want, need, and deserve.
Have an At-Home Spa Day
Just because going to the spa is off-limits for the time being doesn’t mean we can’t pamper ourselves at home. Take that long bath, put on that goopy facemask, do the pedicure, etc., and indulge in a relaxed at-home spa day.
One of the best ways to deal with the Valentine’s Day blues is to sing them out! Whether you sing the blues with your friends or sing on your own, the most important thing is that you feel it all and express what’s in your heart. And if you need a little inspiration, check out my breakup playlists (“Scorned” is my favourite!)
Name a Cockroach After Your Ex
Back by popular demand, the San Antonio Zoo is running their “Cry me a cockroach” event. For $5 you can purchase a cockroach and name it after your ex, and then on February 14th, the cockroaches will be fed to hungry birds and reptiles.
However you choose to spend your Valentine’s Day weekend, I hope some of these ideas have inspired you to make this year’s unusual Valentine’s Day memorable.
Happy Valentine’s Day!