9 Unconventional Valentine's Day Ideas

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Tired of fancy dinners, chocolates and roses? Here are a few unusual Valentine's Day ideas.

Like birthdays, Valentine's Day celebrations become repetitive after a few years. If you've grown disenchanted with fancy dinners, chocolates and roses, worry not, because YourTango's rounded up a series of unconventional Valentine's Day ideas to combat the season's predictability. After all, what's romance without a little adventure?

1. Get cultured. Every culture celebrates the day of love a little differently. For instance, in Japan, women give men chocolates on February 14th, while some parts of Britain serve buns baked with caraway seeds and raisins. After checking out YourTango's feature on Valentine's Day around the world, try mixing a couple of fun new traditions into your date night.

2. Throw a Quirkyalone Day party. As much as we love batting heart-shaped piñatas during "Singles Awareness" parties, we'll concede that hating Valentine's Day can be just as trite and obnoxious as the day itself. Instead of throwing an anti-Valentine's party, participate in International Quirkyalone Day, where singles around the world throw feel-good parties celebrating empowerment, romance and gratitude. Sometimes, these get-togethers encourage mingling; other times, they're just an excuse to enjoy Valentine's Day without the collective self-pity that often accompanies other singles' parties. For ideas, check out the movement's website, which recommends hosting an event at a public place, such as a library, and advertising for it a few weeks ahead of time on Craigslist or Flavorpill.

3. Do touristy things in your own town. Since plenty of people already dismiss Valentine's Day as corny, plan a few touristy activities that you and your honey have never gotten around to doing, and don't be embarrassed to take a zillion couple-y pictures while visiting those attractions. For example, if you live in New York City, ride a carriage through Central Park, have dinner at Serendipity, and play arcade games at Dave & Buster's in Times Square. Actually sounds pretty romantic, eh?

4. Have a group date at someone's house. Gather a bunch of people for a stay-at-home group date and split the duties. For instance, the men buy flowers, cook and serve the women dinner, while the women plan games, decorate or provide gifts (we suggest baked goods!). Keep in mind that if your party consists of both singles and couples, there should be an even number of single men and women so that no one ends up feeling like a third wheel.

5. Volunteer. Valentine's Day is a celebration of love, so consider branching out from romance into charity and friendship. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, send flowers to nursing home residents, or check online listings for Valentine-themed fundraisers for reputable non-profits. Contact local women's and domestic violence shelters to ask how you can best show love to those who live and work there. Baking cookies or sending letters of appreciation to caregivers can make all the difference for people who have suffered because of corrupted relationships.

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