Valentine’s Day is almost here—and although it’s nice to spend some special time with the ones we love, some of us can be forgiven if we’re just a little tired of the same old February 14 routine.
This year, why not mix things up a little—and spend Valentine’s Day at the cottage, away from it all? Just think: snuggling in front of the fire. Watching the snow fall slowly over the trees. Peace and quiet and solitude.
To make your get-away truly special, think about the things you love to do together as a couple—and then find ways to add an element of surprise to delight your sweetie.
So, with that in mind, here are five Valentine’s Day ideas to kick-start your romantic creativity.
If there’s snow on the ground, plan a snowshoe hike, cross-country ski trek or ice-skating marathon. Tap into your inner child with snow angels and a playful snowball fight. Better yet, shuffle your feet through the snow and leave a romantic message for your sweetheart. Have a Thermos of hot chocolate on-hand for warmth and energy, and spend a little time snuggling before you head back.
If it’s on the warm side, carry a picnic lunch to a beautiful lookout or picnic spot. Sip wine and whisper sweet nothings to your Valentine as you enjoy the view.
Valentine’s Day Cottage Cuisine
Get close by preparing a romantic meal or decadent Valentine treat together. For an easy-but-delicious main meal, cook steaks in a cast-iron skillet over the fireplace or wood-burning stove. And, of course, if you’re spending time in the kitchen, there’s nothing quite like a bowl of warm, comforting soup to take the chill off.
If you’re in a mood for sweets, pair up to bake a batch of sticky cinnamon rolls, brownies, or fluffy chocolate mousse with real whipped cream. If your cooking facilities are limited, stop at a bakery or grocery store to pick up melting chocolate and strawberries, or the fixings for s’mores.
Keep your Valentine’s Day activities relaxing and low-tech with some friendly competition. Dig out those old board games and while away the hours playing Scrabble or another favourite. If your cottage is on the chilly side, Twister or old-fashioned hide-and-seek in the dark is a good way to warm up.
If you’re feeling especially creative, surprise your sweetie by customizing a game board with meaningful places and events from your life together. For example, change the property names on the Monopoly board to the places where you first met, had your first date, or became engaged.
Another option is to order a puzzle made from a photo either of the two of you or of a location that holds special meaning—like your cottage. Several websites offer this service at a reasonable cost—and you can even select a heart-shaped puzzle for a little extra romance. Once the puzzle is finished, you can have it framed to be a lasting memento of your Valentine getaway.
(And if you get hungry, take a look at our 10 best board-gaming snacks.)
Heat Things Up
Set the mood with a roaring fire in a cozy fireplace, and choose activities you can do snuggled close. (If a fireplace isn’t an option, group a dozen or so candles together to create a romantic glow.)
Curl up together under a quilt, pour some Champagne or sparkling cider, and reminisce with old scrapbooks or photo albums, or play “Truth or Dare.” If you’re feeling particularly romantic, read Valentine poems to each other.
Exchange soothing massages and enjoy some quiet time together. For a really romantic mood, put together a playlist of meaningful songs and play it throughout your getaway.
Valentine’s Day Activities for Family Fun
If your Valentine’s Day cottage getaway includes your children or extended family, you can still carve out time for romance. Create a scavenger hunt to get the kids outside. Make fun clues that will lead them to snacks and a new DVD. Later, set them up in a room together to watch their movie while you and your honey enjoy a little time alone. (Just be sure your laptop or portable DVD player is charged ahead of time if electricity is limited at the cottage.)
For more family fun together, check out our favourite winter games at the cottage.
Have other ideas for Valentine’s Day activities? Post them in the comments!