Staying in for Valentine’s
Valentine’s at Home (Date Night Ideas for Grown-Ups!)
Whether it’s because you’re nursing a baby through the night, because you’re self-isolating courtesy of Covid, because you’re just too knackered to face a night out or because you couldn’t get a babysitter, come the 14th February, when it comes to parents, a fair few of us will be swapping our dinner plans and cinema tickets for a night in at home.
So, with this is mind, this week, I’ve decided to have a look at what options are out there for those of us staying in for Valentine’s; because staying in doesn’t have to mean sitting in front of Coronation Street with half a Toblerone (although, it if that’s your bag, go for it) there are plenty of exciting date night activities out there for you to enjoy with your partner, OR without one, from the comfort of your own home.
If the way to your partner’s heart is through their stomach, then why not try an at-home cook-along class together?
There are several brilliant chefs and cookery schools out there that offer Zoom masterclasses, but speaking from experience, I heartily recommend the brilliant Alice Through the Year.
Perfect for parents staying in, Alice’s Valentine’s Day 3 Course Cook Along rocks a relaxed vibe and is brought to you by a fellow small person parent! So – if you fancy learning something new, eating something yummy or just ogling Alice’s gorgeous cottage kitchen, then do check it out (details HERE) the class starts at 7pm on 14th February and it all looks absolutely DELICIOUS!
If you’re giving Valentine’s Day the swerve: cook along by yourself, for yourself: you deserve it!
Dance the Night Away
Lockdown saw thousands of the Great British public donning their leggings and learning to dance at home, and it’s this uptake in virtual dance lessons that inspired my next date night suggestion.
Why not use Valentine’s night as a chance to learn a routine or two! As per cooking classes, there are zillions of options available; but in terms of catering for all dancing abilities, check out Pineapple Studios’ Online Class page: where you can sign up to a class on the 14th tackling anything from beginner Flamenco and Argentine Tango to 80s/90s dance! Details HERE.
If you fancy something slightly sillier, why not crack out the ever popular motion-based dance video game: Just Dance and hone your “Gangnam Style” moves or practise the “Macarena”!
When was the last time that you sat down with another adult and played a board game, or that you did a puzzle that wasn’t of Peppa Pig? So, why not take Valentine’s Night as a chance open a bottle of wine, grab some bar snacks and host a Games Night at home?
If you’re playing as a couple, look for games that work well as two-player games (think Chess, Scrabble, Monopoly, Jenga, Connect Four etc.); there are so many fab new games on the market at the moment, there’s something for every type and taste; current chart toppers include:
· Ticket to Ride
· Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective
· Tiny Towns
If you’ve got a smart device, you could check out Jackbox for remote game playing: enabling you to play addictive games online and with your friends and family too! Details HERE
A Night Under the Stars
If your baby monitor connection allows you to go as far as your back garden(!), then why not enjoy Valentine’s night cuddled up under the stars. Light a campfire (or fire pit), toast s’mores, drink hot chocolate and wrap up in snuggly blankets. Stargaze, talk, tell stories and listen to music. The perfect calm and serene way to celebrate on a wintery February night.
The Stargazing Forecast for 14th Feb? Apparently the Bright Moon will be passing the Beehive (details HERE) – Brownie Points aplenty to anyone who knows what that means: answers on a postcard!
I think most parents would probably like to (and deserve to!) check themselves in to a luxury spa, but whether they actually have the time to do it is an entirely different matter! So, why not use Valentine’s Day as the perfect excuse to DIY the experience and spa at home!
Turn the lights down low, do some yoga, run a bubble bath for two, give each other massages (yep, those toddler-lifting and baby-carrier induced knots in your back weren’t always there!), light candles and listen to plinky plonky zen music. Dig out the face masks and the cucumber slices, pop your smartphone in the bread bin and switch off.
Learn how to give a basic back massage HERE!
Whether you’re a budding artist or not, taking part in a life-drawing class can be a really fun thing to do as a date-night activity (or by yourself), and doing it in the comfort of your own home even more so. So, for a low-pressure and relaxing evening of sketching and scribbling, why not have a look at some of the life-drawing classes available online.
This one (HERE) #LifeDrawingLive was streamed by the Royal Academy in 2018 and you can still watch along and join in with it (or it’s subsequent other live classes) as an easygoing, real-time date night option.
Netflix and Chill
I mean actually Netflix and chill; because sometimes a movie night, a bag of popcorn and a takeaway enjoyed in your comfiest PJs is exactly what Doctor Valentine ordered. If you want to up your movie watching game, why not get yourself a screen projector and go for the full cinema vibe!
Breakfast in Bed
And finally, for those not marking the festival of love in the evening, why not treat your other half (and yourself!) to a Valentine’s Day breakfast in bed! Whether you venture into making one of the BBC GoodFood recipes shown HERE, or you just plonk some croissants and a cuppa on a tray; starting the day snuggled up under the covers with a delicious brekkie will melt even the coldest of hearts!
And that’s about it! Those are my ideas for a romantic Valentine’s night in at home; hopefully it’s given you some food for thought!
NEXT WEEK, I’m talking Monday 14th February all over again, this time with the kids in mind: how to celebrate Valentine’s Day (on a school day/night) as a family!
Until next week!