Maybe you just parted ways with your significant other. Or perhaps you are just not into the whole Hallmark aspect of Valentine’s Day. There are many ways to celebrate those who are special in our lives besides chocolate and expensive meals. Read on for twelve unconventional ways to celebrate—or rebel against—Valentine’s Day.
Have you heard of Galentine’s Day? It is the celebration of friendship among women—and is credited to Amy Poehler’s character Leslie in a 2010 episode of Parks and Recreation. In the show she put together a February 13 Galentine’s Day celebration in her own special way with booze and brunch (specifically including waffles). But the idea of celebrating one’s female besties has caught on in the real world, and even retailers have embraced the concept.
Galentine’s Day concepts generally begin with brunch, natch. But alternatively, gal pals can enjoy a spa day—it can be at a swanky spot or on-the-cheap at home. For sure, some ladies like to get together and watch a great rom com. Others zero in on women empowerment programming like female NASA mathematicians (previously unknown heroes, sheros?) in Hidden Figures or Reese Witherspoon’s portrayal of Cheryl Strayed and her incredible journey on the Pacific Crest Trail in Wild.
First Date Redux
This is a fun idea. Put in a little effort and take your loved one back to the spot or concept that first started those butterfly feelings. Perhaps it was a school dance with classic ‘90s music or chance meeting at Whole Foods. Or cook the meal that was the very first one shared. Whatever you do, try to remember as many specific details as possible. Be creative!
Two to Tango
Get physical! Sign up for a dance class and kick it off on Valentine’s Day. There’s no better way to keep the romance alive like a new adventure together—and salsa is very sexy indeed. If you are near ABQ, the Albuquerque Latin Dance Festival will hold its 9th Annual Latin Love Fest on Feb. 14 featuring a salsa lesson and musical guest Team Havana.
Perhaps your relationship is more based on zen-like qualities. Clear the space and take a mediation or yoga class together to celebrate your healthy, calm, and adult partnership. Or, if you’re single, set aside time to love and appreciate and connect to yourself through yoga!
Tandem Bike Ride
Put your teamwork to the test, spend some time outdoors, and work up a sweat. Tandem bikes are a fun way to explore your city at a leisurely pace, and never have to worry about keeping up with each other! Routes Bicycles in ABQ has ‘em available for rent.
Put the Art in Heart
Why not opt to view something beautiful or thought-provoking this Valentine’s Day? And especially since it falls on a Friday—gallery hopping would be ideal. Maybe catch the Jim Henson exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum (it leaves in April) or enjoy the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe since it is open until 7 p.m.
We were looking for bikes and found a Couples Paint Party taking place on Feb. 14 at Route Bicycles. SO heck yeah – that looks like fun. Reservation only, fees apply. Or create your own paint party at home—get a nice bottle of wine, spin your favorite tunes, and try a new medium. (This is not the eve to tackle painting the dirty walls in your guest room!)
Spread the Love
Instead of putting the focus on a romantic relationship—focus on spreading love outward. See if your local homelessness shelter, animal shelter, etc. could use some help. Or take the money that you would have spent on a fancy meal out and donate that to your favorite cause.
Speaking of flowers, instead of spending lots on flowers that will just wilt and die, why not try an alternative. Take a moment to plan your spring garden and put money aside for that purpose. Or start your vegetable garden indoors (recommended by garden.org) that can be transplanted outdoors in early spring. One great resource to learn the ins-and-outs of seeding to harvesting is Urban Farmer.
Counter Programming – Music & Entertainment
Choose some non-romantic entertainment, with friends or with your significant other. Rock out with ABQ’s own Red Light Cameras at Meow Wolf Santa Fe, hear country musician Ronnie Milsap at Sandia Resort and Casino, or experience illusionist/musician Criss Angel at Route 66 Resort. Or laugh the night away—Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live will be at Popejoy Hall—featuring the show’s creator and original host, Joel Hodgson, and his movie-riffing robots.
Try to enjoy the sense of calm and peace if you are alone. And remember that it’s better to be in no relationship than a bad one. So do whatever makes you happy. Embrace it. Want to binge watch Netflix? Then revel in the fact that no one else can fight over the control. Or indulge in some candy. Splurge on the fancy box—and keep all the favorite ones for yourself!
If you’re feeling down about Valentine’s day, see if any of your other single friends want to gather for a night of fun. Go to an action or horror movie, go bowling, or have a pizza party at someone’s house. Have fun indulging in anti-Valentine’s day activities and celebrate all the people you are happy you are NOT dating.
Since Valentine’s Day comes but once a year, you can choose to enjoy it or ignore it—there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to love. And doesn’t that make life interesting?