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Anti-Valentine’s Day Celebrations

Valentine’s Day is one of the more over-commercialized holidays of the year, with lots of pink and white candies, cards, and goodies being thrown at you left and right. But, more than that, it is about thoughtfulness — doing something special for those who are close to you. So, whether you are single or not, we've put together four alternatives to Cupid's red, white, and romantic traditions for you and your friends or significant other to consider this Valentine's Day.

Mexican Night

Credit: Flickr/house of sims

There is no need to dine out on Valentine’s Day. Between the pricey prix fixe menus, which are often limited to more unusual and eccentric dishes (which could be a miss rather than a hit), and the overly romantic atmosphere, which some find cheesy, many would rather stay in. As the holiday is about spending time with your significant other, opt for a low-key dinner with international flavors. We're inspired by one fellow The Daily Meal editor, who has created a new Valentine's Day tradition with her boyfriend. Every Valentine's Day, she says "we go to our favorite Mexican restaurant for some strong margaritas and freshly made guacamole. It's something we look forward to each year." Sounds good to us; we're inspired to do something similar.

Don’t want to go out? Try these Mexican dishes at home:

Movie Night

Credit: Eric Wolfinger

For a low-key alternative to the Cupid craziness, why not curl up on the couch with your significant other or best friends and a couple of good movies? For the single men and women, hanging with friends and watching your favorite flicks (likely romantic comedies for the ladies, action movies for the men) will get your mind off the fact you are single. And, for the lovebirds, what is better than snuggling together on the couch? You will want to make sure to have a couple of bottles of wine, and your favorite snacks or finger foods, on hand as well, in case you get hungry.

If you’d rather see a movie on the big screen, we recommend starting the evening off with the movie at dusk, followed by a fun dinner at your nearest bar for a lively night out. Who knows where the night will go?

Wondering what to serve?

If you’re in the mood for The Notebook: Put together a plate of your favorite cheeses, fruits, crackers, and nuts; serve with a couple bottles of your favorite wine. Or, whip up some of these wonton cups or crostini.

If Casino-Royale is more your style: Stock the fridge with your favorite beer, make a big batch of queso, and don’t forget the wings.

Girls-Only Barhop

Credit: Flickr/bythelyre

If you live in the big city, get a group of your single lady friends together for a glamorous night out on the town. Pull something dressy and flattering out of the closet, throw on the heels, and put on a pretty face. Before the big night, assemble a list of your five or six favorite upscale bars or lounges and map out the route for the night. Think glamorous hotel bars and sophisticated spots that you wouldn’t ordinarily frequent, and lots of Champagne cocktails; after all, you’re surrounded by your best girl friends and celebrating being single (just don’t ditch them if you meet someone; a big no-no).

Guys-Only Video Game Competition

Credit: Arthur Bovino

For the single guys who don’t want to hang around their nearest sports bar dodging Cupid’s arrow, gather together in front of the largest big-screen TV you or your friends have for a heated night of competition. Whether it tennis matches, PGA golf, or pro soccer, put your favorite games on your Wii or PlayStation and set up a ladder of competitors. Those lower down can challenge players ranked higher up. The person at the top of the ladder by the end of the night wins.

What to serve?

Order in your favorite pizza (or make this delicious bacon-topped creation, and make sure to stock the bar).