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8 Fun, Non-Cheesy Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day

Feb 13, 2015

Forgot to plan something for Valentine's Day, but don't want to do the typical cheeseball romance stuff? Here are some last-minute ideas that will let you show how much you care without feeling cliche — and without breaking the bank. (Okay, okay, some of these might be a little cheesy, but come on, it's Valentine's Day. Lighten up.)

And let's all remember: whether you're in a relationship or flying solo, Valentine's Day is a great opportunity to show your friends how much you love and appreciate them, so feel free to do some of these activities with your best buds.

1. Create something together. Always kicking around ideas for outrageous movie plots? Or commenting about funny things that could totally be on a TV show? Sit down and write a script together. Always going for walks in the park and snapping photographs? Try making a painting instead. Or just check out Pinterest for some cute DIY ideas for your house or apartment.

2. Binge watch Broad City. It's one of the funniest and smartest shows on TV right now, and it's the kind of show that's better to enjoy with someone else. It's often surreal and weird and a little gross, but at its core, it's actually a really tender love story — about love between two female friends. As of Valentine's Day there are only 15 episodes, so if you really commit, you can definitely get through all of it before the weekend's over. (Oh, and if you and your significant other have already watched it, you could take this time to go back and watch the web series where it all began.)

3. Have a cooking contest. See who can make the most creative (and delicious) heart-shaped food. It can be you versus your partner, or you can invite a few other couples over and compete against them. It will be fun to see what everyone comes up with — and then at the end you just get to feast.

Photographing a Kiss: Long Time Love Affairs

The Lovers
Joseph and Dorothy Bolotin Sharon, Pennsylvania Married on June 16, 1938. Dorothy, "I never think of it in terms of years. I think of it in terms of good years. In love, hot romance doesn’t last forever. So I would say that yes, I think love changes. I would say we’re still in love. It’s focusing, doing little things. He’s an amazing man."Lauren Fleishman
The Lovers
John and Sherma CampbellStar Valley, WyomingMarried on May 13, 1955Sherma When you start out, you think you love each other as much as you possibly can,but lovegrows—just like your inner self grows as time goes by and you have experiences.And now at thisstage of the game, I love him even more. I can’t even imagine life without him.
Jin Lin and Lai Mei ChenBrooklyn, New York Married on February 4, 1961Jin Lin We had so many things in common it was like our hearts were the same.
The Lovers
The Lovers
The Lovers
The Lovers
The Lovers
The Lovers
Joseph and Dorothy Bolotin Sharon, Pennsylvania Married on June 16, 1938. Dorothy, "I never think of it in terms of yea
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Lauren Fleishman
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4. Do a triple feature at the movie theater. If you're doing everything in your power to avoid Fifty Shades of Grey, don't worry, there's plenty of other films out there. We recommend catching The Boy Next Door if you want to giggle maniacally at one of the most awesomely bad movies in recent memory. Still unsure? This flowchart will help you pick the right feature for your mood.

5. Make your own candy. Instead of buying each other candy, make an activity out of it. Try concocting homemade peanut butter and jelly cups or roasted white chocolate and coffee truffles. Maybe try some homemade chocolate fondue. Or go crazy and make your own gummy bears. They'll taste even sweeter because you made them together. (Aww.)

6. Be a tourist in your own city. No matter where you live, there's likely some attraction — whether it's a park, restaurant or museum — that you've never been to. (Do you know how many New Yorkers have never been to the Statue of Liberty or the top of the Empire State Building?) Take this time to get to know your city a little better.

7. Buy a cheap flight to somewhere you've never been. Airlines like Jetblue are currently offering some crazy low prices, so use Valentine's Day as an opportunity to sit down with your person, compare schedules and then buy yourselves tickets to somewhere you've never been for a weekend getaway. Then spend the rest of the day searching for Airbnb deals and planning activities.

8. Nothing. Seriously, sometimes there's nothing more luxurious than just being with someone and having no plans whatsoever. Treat yourself to just doing nothing. Stay in bed all day. Nap. Play low-effort games like "Would you rather?" Order a pizza. Maybe go for a walk — but only if you feel like it.

See Photos of Love and Courtship in 1950s Japan

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A young couple on a date in a cafe in Tokyo.John Dominis—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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A young couple on a date in a cafe in Tokyo.
John Dominis—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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