No matter if you’re newly dating, recently single, in a long-term relationship, or happily solo, Valentine’s Day is historically stressful. Pricey menus, overbooked restaurants, or the shame of being single? No, thank you. And don’t even get me started on that awkward phase when you just started seeing each other and aren’t sure if you’re at the buying-presents level or if you should keep it casual. Whatever’s got you stressing this year, keeping it simple with some at-home Valentine’s Day ideas may be the way to go.
No matter what your relationship status says on Facebook, we all deserve a little extra love on February 14. Here are the best at-home Valentine’s Day ideas to make your holiday stress-free, enjoyable, and special. Overpriced restaurant menus and depressing nights alone need not apply.
If you’re in a relationship…
Order a kit to upgrade your night in
If you’re looking to make your night special but don’t have the time (or energy) to figure out how, why not order everything you need straight to your door? Whether you’re craving an evening of cocktail-making, wine-tasting, cooking, or something a little sexier, there are tons of options for kits that will elevate your Valentine’s Day at home. Pick a kit that aligns with your idea of the perfect date night, and once it arrives, all you’ll have to do is unbox everything and put on a playlist to set the mood. Your significant other will be so impressed!
Have a picnic
Because what’s more worthy of a romantic holiday than a picnic? If it’s warm where you live, enjoy the weather by spreading a picnic blanket in the backyard or nearby park, and enjoy dinner (and a bottle of wine) sitting under the stars. And if you live by a beach, lake, or forest? Even better. If it’s too cold outside, DIY your own picnic by lying a blanket on the floor in the living room. Make it extra cozy with a lit fire or candles, and enjoy a romantic evening that will feel more special than your average night in. If you’re long-distance, mail your partner candles, order pizza on Postmates (for both of you), and send over a Zoom link so you can have the same experience together from miles away.
Relive one of your favorite trips
If the doldrums of winter have you itching to travel, bring vacation to you this Valentine’s Day. If you had a magnifique trip to France a couple of years ago, look through pictures, play French music, and cook some croque monsieurs. Or make some piña coladas and put on a sundress to celebrate that beach trip you have booked for later this year. You can also recreate the trip you’ve always wanted to take together: make sushi if you’ve both been dreaming of visiting Japan, or set up a DIY poker table to transport yourselves to Las Vegas. And if you’re in different locations this year, reminiscing about experiences and reliving happy memories will make your Facetime date feel more special.
Re-create your favorite restaurant or hotel at home
At-home Valentine’s Day ideas can be just as fun and special as a fancy date night out. Get takeout from your favorite date-night restaurant, or mix it up by ordering a few different kinds of food for a buffet of all your favorites (eggplant parmesan and spicy tuna rolls? Yes, please!). Light candles and get out a nice tablecloth to create a romantic atmosphere. Make it extra special by dressing up in nice clothes or even just spritzing on your nice perfume. You’ll feel like you’re at a fancy restaurant, but without the expensive prices and sometimes weird food (who actually likes escargot anyway?). Oh, and if you want to re-create a romantic sleepover at a hotel, change your sheets, hang up fancy robes in the closet, and leave all distractions outside of the bedroom.
If you recently went through a breakup…
Create your own spa experience
Breakups are never easy, especially when the month of love comes along to remind you. The fix? Put all your energy and love into self-care with an at-home spa experience. First, set the atmosphere. Dim the lights, light candles, diffuse essential oils, turn on relaxing music, and put on a cozy robe. Stock up on all the luxurious products you love, whether it’s a CBD bath bomb or a high-quality hair mask, and get ready for a full day of pampering. Take a bath, indulge in dry brushing or exfoliating, give yourself a facial massage for relaxation and de-puffing, and finish off with a manicure or pedicure in your favorite color. End the night with a glass of champagne or a cup of tea.
Have breakfast in bed
Sure, breakfast in bed is typically reserved for mornings, but why not make it a nighttime thing? Breakfast for dinner is always fun (scrambled eggs, anyone?), and eating it in bed (with a mimosa or two) will feel like you’re at a luxurious hotel or on vacation. Trust me, you’ll be thrilled you don’t have to go out for date night when you’re relaxing in pajamas, eating pancakes, and bingeing Sex and the City for five hours straight (without anyone telling you to change the channel).
Do all your favorite traditions for yourself
If you typically love Valentine’s Day, carry on with all the same traditions. But this year, dedicate the traditions to the most worthy relationship: the one you have with yourself. Buy yourself your favorite flowers, indulge in a fancy box of chocolates, or treat yo’ self to that splurge item you’ve been wanting. Write yourself a love letter, cook your favorite meal, and light some candles for some romantic me-time (thank God you don’t need two people to orgasm, am I right?). While it may sound cheesy and feel silly, spending the money, time, and energy on yourself that you would normally spend on someone else will remind you that self-love is truly the best kind.
If you’re celebrating with friends…
DIY a wine and paint night
Wine and painting classes are all the rage these days, so why not re-create them from the comfort of your own home? Order some cheap canvases and paint supplies online, look up a Youtube video for step-by-step painting, and pour a couple of glasses of wine for your friends. You’ll have a lot of fun, get your creativity on, and maybe even come away with new portraits to hang up in your homes (or you’ll laugh at how bad they turned out, but either way, it will be a great time).
Host a tasting
If a girl’s trip to Napa Valley isn’t in the cards this year, bring Napa Valley to you. Host a simple wine tasting by sampling a few local wines, or get more detailed with cheese or chocolate pairings. Don’t forget an Insta-worthy cheese board, which is always a crowd-pleaser. And if you want to step up your game, create cards that detail the origins of each wine, the different notes in each sample, and which foods they pair well with. If beer or whiskey is more your friend group’s style, sample a few different types for a DIY flight. Pair with pretzels and beer cheese or takeout from your favorite brewery. This is your important reminder that a box of chocolates pairs well with just about any alcohol.
Bring the sports bar to you
If your group of friends is more the “screw Valentine’s Day” type, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun on February 14. Forget the fancy foods and elegant wine—opt for something a little more casual by turning your home into your favorite local sports bar (every friend group has one). Turn on a pre-recorded game, ESPN Sports Center, or any past-season highlights to set the scene. Grab some beers and make (or order) all of your favorite bar appetizers like wings, pizza, or onion rings. If the night breaks out into a game of good old-fashioned beer pong, even better. Loungewear attire is highly encouraged.
If you’re spending V-Day solo…
Throw a party for one
Because you don’t need to have company over to have a dinner party, plan a special night in for just you. Hang up string lights, make some mini appetizers, pop the nice champagne, turn on jazz music, and dress up in your favorite dinner-party attire. Why should you dress up your home (and your OOTD) just for other people? After all, celebrating yourself is the best possible occasion to bring out the nice silverware. Oh, and if your idea of a “party” looks more like beer kegs and loud music, why not throw one at home for yourself? A beer keg might be excessive, but pour yourself a cold beer, turn on the playlist that makes you want to dance, and snack on your favorite party food. Rager for one, please!
Have a movie marathon
For a special night at home, don’t settle for the same Netflix show you watch every night (Bridgerton can wait until tomorrow). Switch it up by planning a special movie marathon. Watch as many movies as you can get through of your favorite franchise like Harry Potter or Star Wars, or pick a genre you love (’80s teen movies or historical dramas are both classic choices). Get all your favorite movie snacks, put your phone away, and snuggle up in your coziest sweats for a movie marathon. The best part about being solo with no one else to disturb you is that you can fantasize about Mr. Darcy, John Cusack, or Gal Gadot all night long (whatever tickles your fancy).
Create a self-love night
Not to sound like a broken record, but the most worthy kind of love is self-love, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not. Take this February 14 as an opportunity to get to know yourself, woo yourself, care for yourself, and prioritize yourself. Plan out a schedule in advance of all the things you want to do to practice self-love. For example, revisit a childhood hobby, make a playlist of all your favorite songs, create a vision board, make a list of what you love most about yourself, cook an indulgent meal you love, and watch your favorite movie. For some more reflective self-love, try journaling prompts dedicated to getting to know yourself better, or squeeze in as many activities as you can from our Self-Love Challenge.