We’re almost a year into quarantining, and now it’s time to celebrate Quarantine Valentine’s Day. It’s usually a night for eating out, but we’ve got some great ways to make this year’s day of love special for everyone.
Have a picnic
If it’s time to get out of the house, you should pack up a picnic and enjoy the scenery. If you’re not much for packing a picnic, stop by a new-to-you deli to grab a few things. Sacramento’s Grazing Gouda has a gorgeous Large Heart Board for Valentine’s Day, if charcuterie is your thing. You could also pick up curbside from a favorite restaurant. If you feel it’s too chilly to sit outside, you could find a place to park with a great view and have a car lunch or dinner.
Head for the hills
Maybe it’s time to rethink “dates?” Get out for a hike together. Try the Quarry Trail in the Auburn State Recreation Area. Many of us aren’t getting too much outdoor time right now, if there is such a thing, and a lot of us have been staring at the inside of our own houses for too long. Get some fresh air and fresh perspective.
Have date night at home
Order up your favorites, get dressed up, and have dinner at home. Use the good plates, light the good candles, and enjoy. Or go the opposite route and throw on pajamas to eat on the couch while binge watching Netflix. Whatever makes you happy. For dessert, take a gander at chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches from West Sacramento’s Devil May Care Ice Cream.
Make something special
It can be really fun to open up a bottle of wine and cook your meal together. Maybe a 2017 Fairplay Malbec from Elevation Ten? For dinner Roseville Meats is offering a Sweetheart Box including two 8-ounce USDA Choice filets, two lobster tails and two pieces of cheesecake for a special price.
Pick out some movies, buy your favorite theater snacks, and get the popcorn popping. Watch the new movie you haven’t taken the time to watch yet. Watch your favorite romantic comedy from your teen years. This can be a romantic date night, a fun family night, or something fun with your nearest and dearest friends. Watch the anti-romance movie. Watch each person’s favorite movie. No judgment of butter quantity on that popcorn.
Fun for the kids
Young Rembrandts of Greater Sacramento is hosting a virtual ARTastic Valentine’s Day Drawing Party on February 14. The event will be hosted on Zoom and include games and a Valentine’s Day focused drawing lesson. For more information, go to youngrembrandts.com.
Whether you were a fan of the show “Parks and Rec” or not, you are probably becoming familiar with Leslie Knope’s Galentine’s Day. The day before Valentine’s Day she gathers together the women in her life to celebrate them and how important they are in her life. What could be better than enjoying friends while also enjoying waffles and mimosas? If your gals aren’t a brunching crowd, you might want to rethink your life. But you could probably come up with your own special thing.
Love is a game
Family favorite games at our house are Dutch Blitz and Farkle. And of course, Clue. My date and I like Bananagrams. You could play some old favorites or buy a new one to try. For the social media savvy, What Do You Meme is a fun time.
Love your neighbors
One of the most fun things we’ve done at our house over quarantine is to make little goodie bags for friends and do a drive-and-drop at their house. Valentine’s Day is a great time to show everyone a little extra love. Maybe you could drop off some tasty treats at the neighbor’s house and draw some sidewalk chalk hearts. Especially think of your neighbors whose main social interaction right now might be that chat you had for a few minutes across the street when you both got your mail.
Single ladies and guys
Male or female, if you’re on your own this Valentine’s Day, follow the other “Parks and Rec” phenomenon — “treat yo’ self.” Do something special just for you. Book a massage (somewhere following Covid-19 safety protocols, of course). Buy the book you’ve been wanting to read. Order up a fancy meal just for you. Get a really nice candle, and go ahead and burn it. Get that perfume or cologne that you love the smell of, and wear it every day. If you’re looking for something truly special, check out Warehouse Creative in Old Sacramento. It’s a gathering of makers selling their wares in one spot. From watercolors to wood burned crafts to candles to jewelry — it’s full of handcrafted goodness.
Love is all you need
Nothing will make you feel better than spreading some joy, especially if you can share it with some people who really need it. Buy or make some cards to deliver to a room and board facility or a skilled nursing home. It’s been a long year, and even a card can go a long way to make someone smile. It’s nice to be remembered, especially when you’ve had to have limited visitors.
Take a mural tour. Pick up the Strawberry Nutella ice cream from Gunther’s and see the sights. Wideopenwalls.com will help you get a list by neighborhood, or just help you map out your own tour. The site also has all of the information on each piece. You catch a glimpse as you drive by, but why not take some time to really appreciate them?
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about gifts, flowers, and chocolate (although there are awesome Sacramento area options for those things — Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates? Kobasic’s Candies?). Spend some time with people you love, and do something special together.