Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is rolling around once again, filling shops with heart-shaped gifts and red roses. Yet this year, the holiday is looking a little different for obvious reasons. Where you may typically plan romantic meals out or indulge in gift-giving, ideas in lockdown seem a little harder to come by. Somehow the value of a candlelit dinner at home is rather diminished when held in the same place that we now cook our meals in every day. However, this may not be such a bad thing, as the holiday’s increasing focus towards commercialization is limited due to the lack of in-person shopping, this is the perfect opportunity to simply spend time to appreciate our loved ones and enjoy each others company. There are plenty of virtual events out there being run to bring people together and have a great Valentine’s Day this year, no matter what the circumstances may be.
One of St Andrews based groups running an event aiming to bring people together this Valentine’s is Populus. The group aims to reduce loneliness by holding icebreakers and other events throughout the year, encouraging connections between people. This year they’re running a Valentine’s Day Match-Up! The event allows you to sign up to be matched with someone, either romantically or platonically for a virtual meeting on the 14th of February. The sign-up form asks questions such as ‘name three things you’re looking for in a partner or a friend’ as well as inquiring about your qualities and interests. This feels like the perfect opportunity to meet new people, in whatever capacity you might be looking for, and connect with others during this strange time. Over 110 people have already signed up, including a few alumni and staff members! You can find the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/339535033769905 – it promises to be a great evening!
Similarly, multiple groups and companies are taking the opportunity to run free online workshops for the holiday. These look like great events to try something new with your partners or friends, and many of them are free! Some of the most interesting ideas I’ve found with these events are free cooking or cocktail making workshop; you simply buy the listed ingredients ahead of time (given in the event details) and follow along the steps live on video. This is a perfect alternative for those wanting Valentine’s meal or drinks together who may not physically be in the same location. These events vary from full main course meals, cocktails, and even chocolate truffle making!
Finally, if you’re looking for something a little different to do this Valentine’s Day, “Let’s Do This” is running a Valentines Virtual Half Marathon on Saturday 13th. You can sign up online for either 1km, 5km, or 10km and run along, connected with thousands of others! You simply capture your run with a tracking device or app, and complete your race through an online leaderboard and shared photo gallery of all those taking part. Upon completion, you’re offered a bespoke medal as well as prizes for winners and leading age category runners. This seems like a great way to connect with others across the country in a new and exciting way!
Whether you’re looking for romantic ideas for you and your partner or simply fun things to complete with friends and loved ones, there are plenty of events taking place this Valentine’s Day. While most of us are subjected to some kind of lockdown, this seems like the perfect opportunity to look around for something different, and find innovative online events to enjoy the holiday this year!