he phrase “I love you” isn’t exclusive to romantic couples, nor should Valentine’s Day be either. In fact, there are myriad ways that love shows up in our lives — through family, friends, pets and more. This year, don’t wait for romantic inspiration (or a change in your Facebook relationship status) to plan your perfect Valentine’s Day. We’ve come up with fun ideas to celebrate alone, with family or friends — without the pressure of romance.
Express your family love
For moms and dads, it can be tempting to argue that every day is a testament to their love for their kids. But Valentine’s Day is a reminder to tell your kids how much you love and value them — even when they don’t unload the dishwasher or finish their homework. Here are some ways to celebrate together:
Bake with heart – Start the day with heart-shaped pancakes and maple syrup, or bake “heart-y” cookies, preparing icing and candies for decorating after school. Visit Nicety’s in Downtown Oakville for cookie cutters and other baking implements.
Love-inspired chocolate – Treat the family to a stunning gift box from Chocolate and Love in downtown Oakville, filled with their award-winning Fairtrade certified organic chocolate bars so you can spread love to your kids, and the Earth.
By candlelight – Make meal time special with a candlelit dinner for the entire family. Before eating, invite each person to share something they love about everyone at the table. Don’t feel like cooking? Treat yourself to takeout. Try Familia Fine Foods or The Platter Company in Burlington; and for dessert, try The Sweetest Thing in Kerr Village.
Crafted with love – For young kids, consider an afternoon of crafts at home or at a kid-friendly studio. For inspiration, visit Lollipop Art Lounge in Oakville or a 4 Cats studio in Burlington and Oakville.
Single in the suburbs
Being single has its perks, even on Valentine’s Day. While you could watch a romantic movie alone while devouring chocolate fudge ice cream (tempting though it is), consider these decidedly more celebratory ways to enjoy this day on your own or with friends:
I heart spa days – Book a luxurious spa treatment to get your glow on. Whether it’s a massage, pedicure or facial, try something outside your usual beauty routine at a local spa like Yellow Door Selfcare Studio in Oakville.
Galentine’s Day dinner – Officially the day before Valentine’s Day, it’s a great excuse to grab your besties for a culinary night at one of the many local restaurants with delicious fare and great atmosphere. Some faves are: Isabelle or Radius in Burlington;
Plank or Beacon in Oakville.
Burning love – If fitness is your gateway to good vibes, plan for an extra-long workout to sweat it out and feel the burn. Step it up by booking a personal trainer or ditching your usual routine to try something new like a class at SpinCo in downtown Oakville.
Retail therapy – Who can resist the power of retail therapy to boost your self-love and heal a broken heart. You can go small with a treat from a bakery like Anna Cakes or Sweet! Bakery in Oakville. Or fresh flowers for a lovely pick-me-up to yourself or a friend from Floral Collective in Oakville. If you crave more extravagance, consider selecting a piece of jewellery you can love and treasure for years to come.
Valentine’s Day is more than an invitation to express love to those you care about, it’s a chance to spread loving vibes in a world that can often feel lacking. Prolific love song writer, Burt Bacharach expressed it best: “What the world needs now, is love sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”