The List: 5 ways to celebrate Valentine's Day COVID-safe

Category:  Opinions
Thursday, February 11th, 2021 at 10:59 AM
The List: 5 ways to celebrate Valentine's Day COVID-safe by Julia Petrovich
Graphic: Eric Johnson

During the pandemic, planning events for the holidays has become increasingly difficult. Valentine’s Day is one of the only holidays we haven’t yet had to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions, so many are now scrambling to figure out what they can safely do with their loved ones. In that scramble, many creative ideas for celebrating Feb. 14 have become popular.

  1. Online movie dates

    A trip to the movies can be one popular way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. However, with certain movie theaters closed and threats of the virus remaining, it’s not very plausible unless you pay for a private screening, which is an option currently being offered by Cinemark. But what about if you’re not even in the same location? Regardless of whether you manage to spend the day with your partner physically or not, watching a movie with your loved ones is not entirely out of the question. Many streaming services and several apps offer the ability to synchronize screens and the chosen movie while simultaneously chatting face-to-face over a camera. For starters, Airtime is one of the most popular apps to do this, and Netflix also offers this feature. Pick a movie, maybe a romantic watch like “The Notebook” or “Dirty Dancing,” decorate your living space for a cozy at-home theater, eat some delicious popcorn and candy, and enjoy with those that you love!

  2. A virtual cooking class

    Among the most popular ways to celebrate the holiday is to attend lunch or dinner with your loved ones. Although many restaurants are currently limited, or not at all offering indoor dining, there is still a way to enjoy a meal with the people of your choice. By either choosing to enroll in a virtual cooking class, following along with a selected YouTube video, or simply just following a favorite recipe, you and your loved ones can video chat, cook and share a meal just like you would if going to a restaurant. Grab your pots, pans and loved ones and enjoy a night of cooking, eating and shared love.

  3. Outdoor fun

    Although many indoor areas are closed, the great outdoors are still widely available to explore and share with others. Hiking may be a non-traditional Valentine’s Day event, but in times like these it serves as a wonderful alternative. Researching local hiking trails and tagging alongside loved ones to embark on a day of adventure, fun and love while remaining COVID-safe is a perfect substitute. There is a local trail in Meadville, the Ernst Bike Trail, that would be perfect for the holiday hike. Grab your hiking boots and set out!

  4. Game night

    Whether you choose to try your hand at a video game marathon, or maybe you'd like to go the traditional tabletop board game route, a Zoom game night is another perfect way to celebrate Valentine's Day this year. Set up a video chat, choose any type of game, possibly Monopoly or Life, and spend the night enjoying each other’s company while hosting friendly competition. To make the night even more interesting, prizes could be offered to the winners of each game. May the love games begin!

  5. Creative crafting

    For those with a more creative and interactive side, an online craft night is a fun way to celebrate the upcoming romantic holiday. Either choose a specific tutorial, “5 Minute Crafts” on YouTube offers many, or create something original and present it to that someone special over video chat. Collect your supplies, loved ones and sweets for a night of endless love and creativity.

In times like these, where negativity seems to ravage the world, peace and positivity is a necessity. By celebrating Valentine’s Day with those who mean the most to you, whether it be friends, family or a significant other, this February holiday can serve as an outlet for you and your loved ones to have fun and relax.

Julia Petrovich is a staff writer for The Spectator. She can be reached at

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