5 Less Conventional Valentine's Day Activities

Valentine’s Day can be a hassle. Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of my favorite holidays, but whether you’re single or in a relationship, celebrating, at least in a traditional way (dinner, flowers, etc.), becomes complicated if you don’t plan ahead—way aheadand even a tad cliché. So here’s what I propose: pick something from this listthere are options for singles, couples and familiesand celebrate the day in a less conventional, but equally as fun or romantic way.

Stillwater: Main Street is hosting its annual Paint the Town Red event, with shops, restaurants, and lodging properties offering specials all weekend, including free carriage rides along the St. Croix (1-4 p.m.).

Brave New Workshop: Instead, or in addition to, a screening of Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend, see the theater’s newest sketch comedy revue, Fifty Shades of Gravy, a satirical take on the film.

The Pourhouse: Take part in Cupid’s Undie Run, a 1.5 mile run in your bedroom finest to raise money for The Children’s Tumor Foundation. Run and dance during the main event in the streets, then head back to The Pourhouse for festivities and awards.

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory: What’s more filled with love than a baby Orangutan? Attend the zoo’s newest resident’s baby shower, find out what its name is, and then partake in family-friendly activities, crafts, games, and zoo keeper talks before meeting some of the zoo’s furry inhabitants.

Minnesota Zoo: It’s going to be cold this Valentine’s Day, so why not pretend you’re getting away by joining the zoo for its Tropical Beach Party? The event takes place in the Tropics Trail, where the whole family can enjoy a large sandbox, scavenger hunt, educational activity, face painting, keeper talks, animal photo opportunities and encounters, and more.