Gone are the days when you can just pick up flowers on the way to a last-minute dinner date. This Valentine’s Day we are not accepting anything less than perfect.
With the big day falling on a Friday this year, there’s no excuse not to pull out all the stops and make the whole Valentine’s weekend special.
Classic Valentine’s Day ideas
Are you falling in love with love this year?
You can’t quite beat an oldie but a goodie – breakfast in bed, flowers, chocolates – but you can have an ultra-romantic Valentine’s Day without recycling the same old gifts as last year.
A Valentine’s date night has so much potential to go from basic to brilliant. Turn a romantic walk in the local park into a tour of Kensington Palace and grounds. Upgrade dinner and a movie to dinner and a West End show, with & Juliet, Waitress and MAMMA MIA packed with romance. Really impress your sweetheart when you invite them to the opening night of Pretty Woman: The Musical in the West End!
And then there’s always one way to make sure the day is as romantic as can be: leaving the kids at home.
It’s always worth getting a babysitter but, if that’s not an option, there are some work-arounds. Find yourself a kids-only event where they can play to their heart’s content while your date goes uninterrupted. We recommend KidZania at London’s Westfield which lets kids live out their grown-up aspirations for four hours – plenty of time to have a cozy time together.
Alternative Valentine’s Day ideas
Who says you can’t get all romantic at a circus or a stadium tour?
This year make it all about what YOU want to do – not what the card companies say Valentine’s Day should be like. If you and your partner like to go against the grain, searching for your perfect Valentine’s Day should only involve checking that the event you book actually takes place on 14 February.
So get yourself into to Continental Circus Berlin, go behind the scenes at Old Trafford or do any of the countless other activities you’ve always wanted to check out. Any event can be your own perfect Valentine.
Every year on 13 February, women all over the world put their best friends first and make time to celebrate each other. Made popular by Leslie Knope from Parks And Recreation, Galentine’s Day has since become a cultural phenomenon and has been marked by lavish brunches, presents and lots of girls supporting girls.
As well as (or instead of!) your Valentine’s Day plans, see what all your girlfriends are doing and treat yourselves to some no-partners-allowed time together. Get down to a day spa, take on a group class, or even try your hand at something wacky like axe throwing. The most important thing is that you are doing it all together.
Want to be left alone this Valentine’s Day?
Coupled life is not for everyone so, the lead up to Valentine’s Day can get a bit overwhelming. When everywhere you turn is an array of hearts and flowers, you might be looking for some much-needed respite.
We don’t recommend retreating into your shell but instead booking yourself something that treats Valentine’s like any other day. The animals at the ZSL zoos in London and Whipsnade aren’t worried how many cards they’ll get this year so neither should you.
There’s nothing like a bit of space for introspection and an exhibition is the perfect place to go on a self-date. When you’re marvelling at the wonders of science at BODY WORLDS, experiencing the treasures of King Tutankhamun, or exploring the life of Van Gogh, Valentine’s Day will be a long forgotten memory.
All about the music
Just want to go to a gig with your boo? When the biggest love in your lives is music, all the Valentine’s Day cards in the world would never compare to feeling the bass pulsing through the pair of you at a concert.
How wonderful is finding out that your favourite artist is coming to town on Valentine’s Day? All you need to do is get your tickets booked, your hands stamped on the way in and then see if there’s a way to get a shout out to your love from the lead singer.
Here’s a load of music events happening on Valentine’s Day in your area:
Black Voices Quintet Present: the Soul of Nina Simone
Bowling For Soup
Dance With The Dead
Marvin Gaye VS Stevie Wonder
There are plenty more options too. Visit Ticketmaster.co.uk for more.