Countdown to Valentine's Day | Midwest Living

Countdown to Valentine's Day

Save the date! We've got 10 heart-warming ideas to get you into the Valentine's Day spirit.

Cupid-Approved Flapjacks

Start the month (and your day) off with an adorable pancake breakfast. Press X- and O-shape cookie cutters into round pancakes after they’ve cooked. Garnish with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. For added sweetness, drizzle on this two-ingredient raspberry sauce.

Sweeten Your Day

Ease into the lovely holiday by sweetening your daily routine. Request charming heart-shaped latte art in your morning brew, or turn up a mushy Spotify playlist on your commute. We’re loving the pop melodies and lovey-dovey lyrics of Valentine’s Day Mixtape, a playlist by Warner Bros. Records.

Smell the Roses

Or in St. Louis’s case, the orchids. The Missouri Botanical Garden kicks off its annual Orchid Show on February 2. The dreamy display boasts more than 6,000 orchid plants in its collection, which originated in 1876 and is recognized as one of the largest in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of MIssouri Botanical Garden

Bake with the Kiddos

Start a lovely tradition with the little ones. They’ll have so much fun rolling out the dough and pressing cookie-cuter shapes. Once the Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies have baked and cooled, position icing, sprinkles and peppermint crumbs in the center of the table. Have fun decorating, and worry about the mess later—there are memories to be made.

Stream a Movie

Pause your regularly streaming Netflix series for a romantic flick. If you’re in the mood for something poetic, the 2001 rom-com Serendipity, starring John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, will have you starry-eyed. For a less romantic, refreshingly platonic option, go with Begin Again, featuring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo. And don’t forget to upgrade your movie snacks for the holiday. Just like the movies, our Valentine’s Day Trail Mix is sure to be a hit.

Say it With Chocolate

Wine tasting gets evern sweeter along the Chocolate Wine Trail, when seven vineyards in the Hermann, Missouri, area offer cocoa-themed pairings. Sampling might include rich reds paired with dark chocolate tortes, or crisp whites with whipped mousses, in the rolling hills of Missouri's eastern wine trail. Feb. 16-17, 2019. Buy tickets early; this event usually sells out!

Plan a Handmade Gift Swap

Give your single friends a reason to enjoy the holiday, too. Celebrate your friendship and creative passions with a homemade gift swap. Whether it’s making food, a personalized playlist, a craft or something else, every gift will have sentimental value. Need ideas? Here’s a jar-full.

The Perfect Pair

There’s no better way to celebrate Galentine’s Day than with a GNO—girl’s night over, that is. A craft and a cocktail are a foolproof combination for a fun night in. These easy-to-make watercolor cards (crayons, paint, done!) and a pitcher of Rosy Stone Fruit Sangria make the cutest couple.

Great Date Night

Chicago Theatre Week (February 7-17) coincides with Valentine’s Day. Included in the 100-plus performance roster are The Producers, Mamma Mia! and Million Dollar Quartet.  

A Novel Idea

Request a love-themed read for your next book club pick. Roald Dahl may be known for his classic children’s novels, but his top-rated short story collection titled Kiss Kiss caters to a more mature audience. Don’t expect any Nicholas Sparks motifs here. The collection’s chilling narratives depict the unsettling behaviors that can result from romance. If you need to lighten the mood post-reading, gift these heartfelt bookmarks

More Valentine's Day ideas:

Easy Valentine's Day Decorations and Gifts

25 Best Valentine's Day Dessert Recipes

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