Eight alternatives to the classic Valentine’s Day date

Jamison Guice, Campus Carrier features editor

Jana Morning, Campus Carrier asst. features editor

Car rides:

What is more romantic than love song playlists, watching the sunset, stargazing and feeling the cold air flow through the windows as you and your Valentine’s date cruise along back roads? If you are unsure about what to do for the special day, plan a car ride on Main or Mountain Campus. You might even be able to squeeze in some carpool karaoke and listen to your date belt out all the wrong words to your favorite song. If thinking of taking a scenic drive, Stretch Road is the ultimate mini road trip because, even though you will be swerving to avoid potholes, you will have plenty of miles to enjoy alone time with your beau. Whether you have an actual destination in mind, or your Valentine is the destination, just enjoy the ride and the fact that it is lost cost!

Virtual Concerts:

Instead of going to a live concert, a virtual concert is a safer opportunity to enjoy a band’s music. Even though you will not get the same rush of being in an outdoor space surrounded by other fans or an indoor amphitheater, a virtual concert allows you and your Valentine to experience the music with each other’s company. The website Eventbrite offers plenty of virtual concerts with a variety of themes, from Amy Winehouse to reggae. When perusing tickets, be sure to compare prices because some events are free. One concert in particular is the Computer Love! Virtual Valentine’s Day Live Concert, hosted by The Harold Washington Cultural Center (HWCC), where iconic love songs will be performed along with surprise artist appearances. 

Stream Favorite Movie:

It is pretty basic but stream your favorite romantic comedy movie. Need some ideas? Here are a few: “The Notebook,” “Always Be My Maybe,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Titanic,” “What Men Want,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “The Half of It.” These dewy sweet movies will set the tone for your Valentine’s date, especially if you are going for the romantic vibe. However, do not feel afraid to spice up the night and throw a curveball since not everyone likes a rom-com. “My Bloody Valentine” and “Deadpool” were technically marketed on Feb. 14 and are great ways to eat through an entire bucket of popcorn. 

Campus Events:

Campus events are a perfect way for extroverts to flaunt their relationship to single persons that are claiming yet another “Palentine’s” or “Galentine’s” year! On Friday, KCAB is hosting a Flashback Friday from 8 to 11 p.m. So, strap on your disco pants and start dancing with your date. Even though this is not a Valentine’s-themed event, it is a great way to start a fun weekend. If you are more interested in holiday specific events, KCAB is also hosting a Pals & Gals event from 8 to 10 p.m. on Saturday to celebrate the weekend with your best friend(s). Make sure to keep an eye out for last-minute events with clubs or organizations!

Virtual museum tours:

Another sweet idea for couples is to enjoy a virtual museum tour! Because of COVID-19, many galleries have become open to the public via the internet. For example, the Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam allows you to go online and view his paintings, drawings, letters and stories all from the comfort of your own room! Other museums, like The Spy Museum, let you go on more interactive virtual tours. You are able to swipe through different galleries and click on icons that will tell you more about the pieces. Art museums have been go-to date ideas for years, so do not let COVID-19 stop you and your loved one from experiencing that this Valentine’s Day. If you have a specific museum in mind, just search your museum of choice followed by “virtual tours.” 

Bonfire/roasting marshmallows:

For those looking for a cozy way to celebrate this Valentine’s Day, you will want to take advantage of the many on-campus locations where you and your significant other can nuzzle up by the fire and roast marshmallows as you watch the sunset. All you will need are graham crackers, marshmallows, a chocolate bar and metal tongs or sticks to hold your perfectly roasted marshmallows over the fire. Morgan and Deerfield, the House O’ Dreams and the Victory Lake campgrounds have areas where fire pits are available for student use. Remember: a low fire or hot coals provide the best conditions for making s’mores by an open fire. Keep a safe distance from the fire and have your ingredients ready!

Indoor picnic:

Let’s be honest, it has been a cold winter. Not everyone finds 30 degrees Fahrenheit a romantic temperature, so here is an alternative — an indoor picnic!

  1. Start with the recipe for your favorite dish.

2. Run to the store and grab the ingredients for your dinner of choice. This may include your favorite desserts as well if you are looking to impress. 

3. Find an on-campus kitchen and begin preparing the food. 

4. Finally, once the food is prepared, throw down a blanket and organize the food to look like a spectacular feast. 

Valentine’s Day is a holiday made for romance, so do not forget to grab some flowers and chocolates to set the mood for your romantic indoor candlelit dinner. 

Recreate your favorite date:

Whether it is recreating you and your Valentine’s first date or just recreating a favorite, reconstructing a past rendezvous can spark a sense of nostalgia and bring up memories worth reflecting on. Sometimes the best dates require thinking outside the box! Try creating your own mini-golf course or rewatching the first movie you saw together using a mini projector in your dorm room. For long-distance lovers, recreating in-person dates might not be a possibility. Set aside time to video chat with your significant other and watch a movie together or eat dinner at the same time from your respective locations; in this case, Zoom is no longer just for classes. No matter where you are, near or far, spending time with someone you love will make for a special night. 

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