There is nothing worse than being single with no plans or not being able to fit in with the “typical” relationship plans on Valentine’s Day. The holiday itself has become so commercialized in the United States, and many people want to avoid the festivities at all costs. While on the topic of costs, there is also nothing more frustrating than when you’ve found that “special someone,” but your bank account can’t support your spectacular date idea. According to a 2017 survey from Live Science, almost half of Americans described Valentine’s Day as “overrated.” This Valentine’s Day, I decided to come up with a list of some atypical, but still incredibly fun, date ideas for anyone who’s single, broke, bored or just ready to do something different with your favorite person or people.
The first unconventional date idea for this “romantic” holiday is an at-home, or (in most of our cases) at-apartment, game night. Get some friends together, or even just yourself and your significant other, and spend the night playing board games! This is a great way to share some laughs and create some fun memories, all while avoiding being stuck elbow-to-elbow in a dimly-lit restaurant where you’ll probably end up paying double the amount for an average meal.
Second, the people have spoken: 2020 is a year of self-care and determination. That being said, another fun date idea is a workout class. The Drexel Recreational Center offers free classes that require sign-ups before the event, including BodyPump, Cycling and Barre, Pilates, Yoga, Cardio n’ Tone and more. This is a nice way to stay active, spend time with those you love and crush your 2020 goals. It also does not have to be a typical date night, as the classes are offered throughout the day, sometimes starting as early as 6 a.m.
Another fun date idea is cooking dinner at home. I personally hate going out to eat on the weekend because of the price of the food, wait time for the meal and plenty of other annoyances that come with going to a restaurant. A romantic, or just friendly, home-cooked meal steers directly away from the cliche candle-lit dinners at restaurants, but can still be just as delicious.
Museums are also an amazing and educational date idea that many people fail to consider. Philadelphia is filled with museums, most of which offer student discounts for entry. The Philadelphia Art Museum, the Franklin Institute, the Penn Museum, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Rodin Museum and plenty more are all within a subway or Uber ride away and will not break the bank. Fine art, science, literature, animals and various other interesting topics are on display at these museums, and it can be intriguing to discover new things with people who you share affection for. Finding a creative outlet to spark a discussion can easily revitalize friendships and relationships through intellect, while steering the conversation away from boring small talk!
Volunteering is another unusual date idea, but an excellent way to get involved in the community and make an impact on the lives of others, while spending time with the person or people you love the most. The Lindy Center for Civic Engagement has countless organizations in need of volunteers, and it is extremely easy to Google different nonprofits and organizations throughout Philadelphia that are in need of volunteers. Poverty is a major social issue burdening the neighborhoods surrounding this campus, and what better way to spend a holiday designed for love than to show love for your community?
Last, but most certainly not least, a spa night at home is a perfect Valentine’s date idea to relax and alleviate the stress of week six at Drexel. Organizing a simple DIY spa night is inexpensive and easy, whether it is for that special someone or just for your friends! Anything from face masks to nails to taking a hot bath, lighting a candle and reading a book. Meditation, relaxation and other techniques are perfect ways to reduce stress and anxiety that may be causing tension or conflict in your relationships and friendships.
Valentine’s Day can be cliche, overrated and blown way out of proportion, both in the media and commercially. Especially in college, when social pressure is suffocating, it is difficult to find ways to spend the holiday without spending a fortune or feeling uncomfortable. I challenge everyone this year to do something fun and memorable, no matter who it is with.