Valentine's Day is quickly approaching — and it's a weekend this year, so no excuses — and restaurants and floral delivery shops are booking up fast. But fret not: We've got you covered. If you want to take an alternative course with the one(s) you love, here are some awesome ideas for Feb. 14, and the days surrounding.
1. Take a couples dance class
Challenge yourself with a couples dance class. You'll laugh and work up a sweat as you tango, salsa, jump and swing around the dance floor. The Boston Center for Adult Education offers packages for couples lessons and Central Square's the Dance Complex has a host of drop-in options, from hip hop to tango to flamenco and funk.
2. Make sweet, sweet poetry
The Cantab Lounge's Boston Poetry Slam group will host their annual Erotic Poetry Night on Feb. 10. Several poets, including Dawn Gabriel, Sam Cha and Meaghan Ford, will share their steamiest, most romantic and laugh-out-loud funny rhymes. The event will include an open mic portion, so don't be shy.
3. Travel back in time
Union Square's Brass Union is traveling back to the 1970s. At their Decades Dance Party on Feb. 13 and 14, era-inspired drinks will be touring the circuit. Listen to tracks by DJ ABD while sipping the Harvey Wallbanger, an 80s-style Pina Colada and a 90s Bellini.
4. My Bloody Mary is “Single and Ready to Mingle”
At Outlook Kitchen and Bar in the Envoy Hotel, sample six varieties of Bloody Marys to accompany their specialty brunch and dinner options. You know these drinks are made specifically for Valentine's with names like, “Too Hot to Handle” and “Single and Ready to Mingle.”
5. Have a Mommy and Me Valentine’s Day celebration
If you have a new addition to the family, bring your little one along for Valentine’s Day. Mommybites Boston is hosting a child-friendly event on Feb. 12 to celebrate the holiday. There will demo classes for parent-wee one stretches and exercises, and snacks, gift bags and raffles are all part of the fun.
6. Dance the afternoon away at the Be My Valentine’s Day Ball
Make Valentine's Day a family event at the Valentine’s Day Ball at the Boston Teachers Union in Dorchester. A portion of the proceeds will be given to the Lupus Foundation of America. The ball is Feb. 6 and kids of all ages are welcome. Tickets are $10.
7. Attend the Boston Wine Expo
Challenge each other to wine tasting at the Boston Wine Expo. There will be chef demonstrations by Annie Copps, founder of Intellibelly.com, Nick Deutmeyer, chef de cuisine of Post 390 in Back Bay and many more. Other activities include a wine and food tasting and seminars on wines from around the world. The expo is a two-day event held at the Seaport World Trade Center and Seaport Hotel.
8. Scour the MFA on a Naked Scavenger Hunt
You won’t literally get naked at this event. Instead, you’ll be searching the MFA for sculptures, paintings and other risqué artwork. It’s an exploration of sexuality in art and history, a fun and educational Valentine’s Day activity for couples or friends alike.
9. Seduce the undead
The Davis Square Theatre will host WholeTone Opera and Jilian Flexner's "La Zombiata," a (very) loose interpretation of Verdi's "La Traviata," featuring romance-seeking zombies. The showrunners warn that the audience can expect to be splattered with fake blood during the performance, so pack a poncho or purchase one on-site.
10. Laugh out loud at the Mortified’s Doomed Valentine’s Day Show
Remember when you were 15 years old and formulating an elaborate plan for your first kiss? Everything had to go perfectly, but when it came time it all probably blew up in your face. The Mortified team is coming to The Coolidge to share these awkward, hilarious stories in a night of shared memories and comedy. You can recollect your own trials and errors in love, but leave knowing you won’t make the same mistakes. Newsweek called the Mortified show’s a “cultural phenomenon.”
11. Forget about heartbreak at the Thorns comedy show
It’s no problem if you’re single on Valentine’s Day. Comedy duo Thorns will be performing improv, storytelling, standup and songs on Feb. 14 at ImprovBoston. Here, you’ll laugh along to stories of heartbreak and loss and know that you aren’t alone. Proceeds will go to the Tucker Gosnell Center for Gastrointestinal Cancers at Massachusetts General Hospital.
12. Gift your valentine with these raunchy cookies
These creative sugar cookies are the perfect gift to give your valentine. Messages range from outrageous to sweet, some asking your lover to “tickle my pickle,” others wanting you to “be mine.” They’re a delicious bite of sugar topped with sass. Cookies are available from Commonwealth Market Feb.11 – 14 for $5.
13. Find your 'muse'
Cater to your artistic palette by taking a couples art class ($35-55) at Muse Paintbar. With help from a local artist, dates will paint on their respective canvases. At the end of the night, the two paintings will come together to form one large art piece. Wine, beer and appetizers are available during the lesson.
14. Handcraft a floral arrangement
Giving flowers as a gift is sure to warm any heart, but roses are a dime-a-dozen. (No, not literally, but you get the idea.) Learn how to arrange a unique bouquet for your honey by taking the Flower Arranging Workshop for Men at Shake Shack ($75 with $25 going to Youth in Crisis Ministries Peace Tournament) on Chestnut Hill on Feb. 13 from 10-11:30 a.m.. Alice’s Table, an experiential floral company with a pop-up in the shopping center, will instruct you on how to make a beautiful arrangement.
15. Take a cooking course
Test your culinary skills with a cooking class at the Joyful Kitchen Cooking School in Wellesley. Here, a professional chef will teach you the steps toward making a romantic four-course meal. Attend by yourself and surprise your valentine with a recreation. Or, take the class together.
16. Pucker up
The Independent in Union Square will be serving a series of rare sour beers, including Flash Passion Fruit Kicker and Allagash Nancy and Astrid, for their My Sour Valentine Brunch on Feb. 14. Three-buck grilled grapefruits sweeten the deal.
17. Eat out
While it’s fun to spice up the holiday with an unusual activity or gift, a delicious dinner served to you is always a treat. A number of restaurants are offering price-fixed Valentine’s Day dinners. Among them are Bar Boulud, Strega Prime and Serafina Boston. All you have to do is decide what to eat.
18.Write your own love story
WGBH and Massmouth are hosting their annual Taste of Love story slam at WGBH studios on Feb. 13. In its sixth year, the storytelling event will also dish out snacks from area restaurants and a signature cocktail.
19. Get a couples treatment at a local spa
Stressed? Use Valentine’s Day to unwind and clear your mind. Book a couples’ massage or relaxation treatment at a local spa. Together, you can loosen your muscles and leave all your worries away. When you return home, you can be focused solely on each other. A number of spas offer Valentine’s Day specials. Bella Sante has a couples massage with chocolate and champagne while Southwest Day Spa has a poetry for two package which consists of a couples massage and an aromatherapy facial.
20. Give back
Instead of buying an expensive gift, spend this Valentine’s Day giving back to the community. Many local organizations are always looking for volunteers to help out. Greater Boston Food Bank and Boston Medical Center are two such groups. You and your valentine(s) can spend the day working together and feel great that you’re supporting the local area.