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9 ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day from afar

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If you can’t see your Valentine in person this year, you can still make this Valentine’s Day a holiday to remember. And Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romantic relationships, it’s also the perfect time to show some love to your friends!

This year, why not take some inspiration from how Finland celebrates Valentine’s Day? Known instead as Ystävänpäivä, or, Friend’s Day, the Finnish spend February 14th celebrating their best buds, families, neighbors and colleagues, as well as their beau.

To help you get in the mood, are some of our favourite ways that you can enjoy the holiday together, even from afar.

1. Get busy in the kitchen

Together, choose a recipe that you’d love to tuck into, and make sure you’ve both shopped for all the ingredients you need. Then cook simultaneously on a video call! Follow the steps together in your own kitchens, and at the end of the process you can compare your culinary skills and enjoy the same dish. This is great as a virtual date night or in place of grabbing a bite with your pals in person.

2. Virtual movie night

You could also take this party to the couch and watch a movie together. Snuggle into your own sofas, press ‘play’ at the same time and message or video call through the film, so you can gasp at the plot or predict which hunk the leading lady will end up with, as you would if you were in the same place. Bonus: You don’t have to share the snacks!

3. Tour a museum

Many museums are taking their archives online for you to enjoy from home. Share your screen on a video call and together you could explore the galleries of theLouvre or theVan Gogh Museum, or roam the hallowed digital halls of theBritish Museum or theSmithsonian – you can even tour parts ofNASA andThe Vatican.

4. Kick it old school

Put your screens aside – pen and paper are the original language of love. Nothing says “I’m thinking of you,” more than a hand-written letter or card. Find some nice stationary or a funny card, and write a nice note to someone you love. Whether it’s your partner, best friend or a family member, this is a much more personal gesture than sending a text and is guaranteed to put a smile on their face.

5. ‘Go’ to the theater

Who says a night in always has to be a movie night? If you’re a couple of culture-lovers, you could also simultaneously watch a show. Enjoy front-row seats to Broadway musicals onBroadwayHD, watch Shakespeare plays and critically-acclaimed productions onDigital Theatre and pretend you’re in the West End with theNational Theatre. Hot tip: Pick up some ice cream beforehand so that you can mimic the halftime snacking experience.

6. Go for a walk ‘together’

Wherever you are in the world, make a plan to go for a walk at the same time whilst on the phone. Set off at the same time, describe what you’re both seeing as you walk and text each other photos of the views or the street scenes or the wildlife that you encounter as you explore. It might not be an arm-in-arm stroll along a seafront, but it’s a fun way to share an experience and works well both in the countryside or in a city.

7. Mail handmade gifts

Hey, Cupid, you could also get creative. Write a series of letters designed to be opened once a week, draw or paint a picture of your favorite memory together, or make a scrapbook of photos or mementos from your trips and dates. As all wise grandparents say, “Homemade gifts always mean the most!”

8. Plan a trip

Whether it’s a day-trip to the beach, a weekend spent exploring a new city or a long travel adventure, having something planned to look forward to together can be a huge mood-booster. You could while away hours researching beautiful locations, planning a trip and choosing all of the things you’ll do when you get there.

9. Enjoy a sunrise or sunset

No matter where you are in the world, the sun rises and the sun sets each day. (Unless you live in the far north, where the sun doesn’t rise at all during the winter or set during the summer…) But, if you don’t live in the Arctic, start or end your Valentine’s Day with both of you finding a great spot to watch the sun do its thing.

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