Parenting is hard work—you both deserve a break to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and each other. Don’t let L-O-V-E fall by the wayside just because you’re stuck at home with the kids. Here are seven ways to get creative with your Valentine’s Day plans:
1. Do a day date
Play hooky or take the day off so you and your partner can enjoy a day date while the kids are at school or daycare. Maybe that means a trip to the art gallery, a movie matinée, or going for a nice lunch at a restaurant without a kids’ menu. Maybe it involves hanging out at home together just vegging out. Or, you know, doing other stuff.
2. Make a ‘mix tape’
Back in the day, you burned CDs for each other before road trips and painstakingly wrote out song titles in ballpoint pen on the cassette tape liner. Making a nostalgic playlist on Spotify or iTunes is a fun way to remember back when you were crazy kids, rather than now, when you have crazy kids. Pour yourselves a drink, turn up the volume and settle in for a trip down memory lane.
3. Dinner chez vous
If you can’t get to a restaurant to celebrate, prep a romantic meal at home with all the fixings. May we suggest “sexy” foods like oysters, a rich pasta or chocolate-covered strawberries? Try your hand at DIY sushi (yeah, we’re picturing Samantha’s naked sushi escapades from the first Sex in the City movie). If cooking two meals (one for your kids, then one for yourselves) is too much work, order take-out from your favourite swanky spot or UberEats.
4. Delve in
Go deep (ha) with this popular New York Times love quiz, “The 36 Questions That Lead to Love,” which has also been turned into an app. With questions like “What is your most treasured memory?” there’s lots to find out about each other, even if you’ve been together for years.
5. Netflix and chill
But, like, seriously. If a nightly date with Netflix and your couch is already your standard after-the-kids-are-in-bed form of entertainment, spice things up with a slightly more indulgent rental on iTunes. It has so many new releases, just pretend you’re at a virtual Blockbuster (RIP). Pour yourselves a glass of wine and go nuts.
6. Fun and games
When’s the last time the two of you put down your phones, closed your laptops and played an old-fashioned board game together? If you’re feeling frisky, you could suggest strip poker. (Strip Uno or strip Go Fish is acceptable, too.) If you’re more into video games, hook up the dual controllers and slay the night away.
7. How novel
Some experts say women are more turned on by reading about sex than watching it. If you’re both into it, spice things up by reading each other chapters from a romance novel. You might like the Fifty Shades of Grey series. When in doubt, just grab anything with Fabio on the cover.