Valentine’s Day: Adapting to the New Normal
This year has required many to adjust their normal routines and find new ways to celebrate holidays and milestones. Dating has also changed significantly due to restaurant closures, canceled events, and having to wear masks when you leave the house. In a world altered by COVID, a date night out went from dinner and a movie to take out on the couch and Netflix. With all the advanced technologies available today, Valentine’s Day can still be a special night whether your significant other is by your side or long distance.
Stream the latest documentary or concert
By now, almost everyone has access to at least one streaming TV service. Do your scrolling and searching ahead of Valentine’s day and pick a documentary that discusses a topic you both enjoy or select a few Oscar-winning movies you haven’t seen yet. If your loved one is in another state or quarantining at their own home, use the group streaming functions such as Netflix Party, Hulu Watch Party, or Disney+ Group Watch to watch together and chat throughout the movie.
Once you pick the movie, documentary, or tv show, pick a drink and food that matches the theme of whatever you decide to watch. For example, if you are watching a movie based in Italy, make your own pizza or grab a nice glass of red wine. Is the movie scary? Try creating a drink or food that might “scare” you or be out of your comfort zone.
Another option for an entertainment-based Valentine’s Day date is to take advantage of the free live-streamed concerts. With music venues closed, many artists are taking to the screen to connect with their fans and provide a fun night singing along to your favorite songs or listening to the newest single from an up-and-coming artist. Whether it be through YouTube, Facebook, or music platforms like Stageit, there are a ton of virtual concerts that you can take part in. In fact, these platforms are working together to get music out to the masses.1
Take a Virtual Trip
Another way to use technology to make this Valentine’s day special means getting out of the house – virtually at least. Museums, art galleries, and other cultural exhibits are hosting virtual tours to provide a new setting to learn and explore the world while stuck at home due to COVID. For example, the Smithsonian Natural History Museum is offering a guided walk-through online that allows you to see the exhibits as if you’re walking the floor of the museum in Washington, D.C. Or, for a more romantic option, there is always viewing the aurora borealis with your loved one.
In addition, there’s no need to book your trip to Paris to see all of the art in the Louvre when technology allows you to view art from around the world virtually. In fact, the Google Cultural Institute offers audio-guided tours for their exhibits like Street Art from around the world.
Learn Something New Together
Rather than going out and spending hundreds of dollars on a prix fixe menu at your favorite fancy restaurant, sign up for a virtual cooking class. Companies like Sur La Table offer a variety of online cooking classes from Sushi to Italian for just $29 per household. Other higher-end options like CocuSocial allows you to have a live, interactive cooking course with celebrity chefs that offer a unique and memorable virtual Valentine’s Day.
To try something new, hop on a virtual paint night to test your creative skills. Don’t worry, they walk you through the steps if you haven’t done much painting before! Yaymaker, which normally hosts in-person paint nights, has moved to an online platform so couples can enjoy the classic date night at home during COVID.
Host a Game Night
Interested in making this Valentine’s Day a double date? Create an online game night for you and some of your closest friends. Since COVID began, online games and virtual meetups have changed how we socialize. This Valentine’s day try a themed online trivia date or create a themed game of virtual jeopardy. After nearly a year in quarantine, everyone is starting to get Zoom fatigue. Try using these ideas to create Valentine’s Day experiences to remember.