Ditch the Romance: 7 Things to Do With Your Friends on Valentine’s Day

Published on February 11, 2020

Although Valentine’s Day spending is on track for a record high this year, the percent of people spending the 14th with their partner is at an all-time low.

Why? It’s simple: people are starting to realize it’s more fun to spend the February holiday with friends.

While time-pressed couples are busy pleading for last-minute dinner reservations, savvy friend groups can take advantage of great deals on group events. If you’re looking for a low-stress, highly memorable alternative to the traditional chocolates and roses, here are a few fun activities you and your squad will love more than any cupid’s arrow.

Plan a Group Potluck

Valentine’s Day spending will average nearly $200 this year – a ridiculously high number for what’s usually an unmemorable event. Why not save money and hassle this year by having a potluck instead?

Setup is as easy as organizing a group chat and deciding what everyone wants to provide. The foodies in your group can bring their favorite recipes, or try out a new dish they’ve been eager to share. Not a cook? Don’t worry – Valentine’s means great deals on wine bottles that will pair perfectly with any and every dish. Or just bring takeout – nobody will mind as long as there’s enough for everyone!

For a fun added twist, make it a V-day themed potluck. Heart-eyes emoji cookies, perhaps? Red and white jello parfait? A boozy love potion cocktail? Make sure there’s a prize for the most creative winner!

Make a Shopping Trip

Valentine’s is a big day for restaurants of all kinds – including pizza parlors serving heart-shaped pies. However, once the last-minute gift buyers are gone, most stores see far less foot traffic, especially compared to most Fridays.

Take advantage of your bargaining power by organizing a shopping trip with your friends. Make things more exciting by plotting a Secret Cupid event – each person is responsible for finding a gift for someone else. The more stores you’ll visit, the more likely you’ll be able to find that one perfect item to put a smile on your BFF’s face.

Plot a Weekend Getaway

This Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday, making the holiday a perfect opportunity to whisk your friends away for a non-romantic getaway. Ditch the spas and 5-stars hotels and opt for something more unique – or just rent out a lovely Airbnb for a full weekend of relaxation.

A getaway with friends can take a bit more pre-planning than a simple night out, but it’s worth the effort. The memories you’ll make and the pictures you’ll take will last far longer than any heart-shaped box of chocolates.

Want to get a little more adventurous? Try camping (or glamping!), RVing, or even a trip abroad – just make sure everyone’s on board before you depart!

Have A DIY Spa Day

One place you definitely don’t want to visit on Valentine’s is the local spa – it’s the go-to last-minute gift idea for every lazy husband. A clever alternative is to make your own spa day at home.

Find the friend willing to host (maybe the one with the biggest bathroom) and put together a Pinterest list of your favorite DIY relaxation recipes. Have everyone bring their own ideas and ingredients – just make sure there are enough face masks for everyone!

Stream a Non-Rom Com Movie Marathon

Every streaming service has dozens of cheesy rom-coms just waiting for your approval – or mockery. Whichever you prefer.

But, if you’re looking for something a little less Valentines-y, why not switch out the genres? Forget Bridget Jones! Horror movies feature a different kind of hearts and arrows, but they can be just as enjoyable with the right people around. Superhero movies, action & adventure, even artsy indie films – again, it’s all about who you’re with.

Go for a Ride

The wind in your hair, your favorite songs blasting through the speakers, and not a care in the world as you make your way along a scenic route. Even if you don’t care to drive, have a friend take the wheel while you play the DJ or sprawl out in the backseat singing along.

You might have to get out of the city to find that memorable scenery, but a bit of gas in the tank is worth the day out. This one’s highly recommended if you’ve never been down a certain road before. Don’t forget to stop along the way and take pictures – especially if you can pile in the car well before sunset.

Try a Pottery Class

Rubbing, caressing, touching, fondling – you’ll learn all this and more at your local pottery class. (Wait, what did you think we were talking about?)

These kinds of group classes are among the most popular options for a night out. Have a glass of wine while you learn from a laid-back expert alongside people who are just as artsy as you are. You’ll be surprised at what you learn – and how legitimately good you might be at your new hobby. If not, there’s always a consolation prize for the worst mug or vase!

Despite what the mainstream tells you, there’s nothing wrong with ditching the romance this year – the people who are always there for you deserve as much attention as romantic partners. Spending time with the people you care about is always worth the effort – no matter where you go or what you do this February 14th.

Simone Wu is the Product Marketing Manager and Coupon Specialist at CouponBirds, a company that helps customers discover the best deals and improve their shopping experiences. Simone holds a Master's degree from the Shanghai International Studies University.

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