Prepping for Valentine’s Day in a week

Media Credit: Photo Illustration by Sophia Goedert | Staff Photographer

Whether you’re looking to make plans for a significant other or just spend quality time with a friend, there are a variety of options to plan a fun day.

If Valentine’s Day has snuck up on you, you’re not alone, and with just one week left until the big day, it’s time to put some plans into action.

Whether you are looking to treat yourself to a night in, wanting to do something special for a significant other or celebrating with friends, we’ve got you covered. Enjoy this guide to Valentine’s Day in the District, including where to shop, what to eat and what to do with whoever you’re celebrating with.

Ironing out dinner plans
Reservations at District restaurants fill up fast, but if you can’t plan ahead, you can always swing by your restaurant of choice and put your name in for a table about an hour before your date. Purple Patch and Daikaya are also romantic spots that don’t take reservations to begin with.

Casual spots like Kramers, Duke’s Grocery and Founding Farmers may still take reservations late in the game. If you prefer to keep dates fun and casual, try stopping by your favorite to-go taco spot like, Surfside Taco Stand, and take a stroll with your date while munching on tacos. For a late night dessert spot, hit up Ted’s Bulletin for one-of-a-kind boozy milkshakes or Dolcezza for gelato.

If finding a reservation is too stressful, you can always ditch going out and make your own Valentine’s meal with some groceries from Whole Foods. Cook with your partner for a romantic night in or prep a picnic together for an outdoor date if the weather allows.

Finding a last-minute gift in D.C.
It can definitely be tempting to order a last-minute gift with expedited shipping, but there are plenty of locally owned shops in D.C. that need your business. Check out D.C. Shop Small for a list of small businesses split into categories like art, clothing, candles and jewelry. Be sure to check out the Black-owned businesses section.

Shop Made in D.C. has locations in Georgetown, the Wharf and in Union Market that feature a variety of gifts all crafted here in the District. They also offer national shipping so you can send a D.C.-themed gift to a long-distance partner. You can also take a stroll down M Street in Georgetown and shop stores like Gorjana jewelry store, Free People, Paper Source or even the Apple store.

Easy online gifts
Ordering online can be helpful to creating a memorable Valentine’s Day, if you can’t celebrate in person. Send a bouquet of flowers their way and include a personal message, or opt for edible arrangements or chocolate delivery.

Edible Arrangements is offering special Valentine’s Day deals that include pink and red chocolate-covered strawberries and balloons. Flowers are a timeless gift, so check out Urbanstems for all your flower-related needs, and use the code VDAY for 15 percent off. Delivering a romantic dessert is a sure way to elevate your night, so check out Milk Bar, Levain or Goldbelly delivery services. You can also send a loved one a last-minute meal or gift, maybe their favorite dish or something they have been wanting for a while, using Uber Eats or Amazon Prime.

Planning a date activity
Keep in mind that dates don’t have to involve eating and drinking. Spend an hour or two painting pottery at All Fired Up, Paint This! or Kiln&Co. Painting pottery is a unique idea for a first date if you don’t want to commit to a dinner but still want to do something fun, and it gives you an excuse to see your date again when you go to pick up your pottery.

A museum date is always an artsy idea – grab some boba at ShareTea in Chinatown and then stroll through the National Portrait Gallery for a mid-day activity. Or, stopping by Landmark’s E Street Cinema or AMC Georgetown 14 for a movie and snacks is always a safe bet.

Celebrating with friends
If you and all your single friends are looking to get together to celebrate the holiday, we can help with that too. A cute way to spice up your gathering is to dress for the theme. Plan outfits clad with pink, red and hearts to make for Instagram-worthy photos. Hit up Party City for colorful Valentine’s Day-themed glasses, scarfs and hats. You can also find some festive holiday decor there to serve as a nice backdrop.

Order a Valentine’s Day ice cream kit from D.C. ’s own Ice Cream Jubilee to complete your night. Since Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love, romantically or platonically, feel free to grab a friend and go on a date with each other. Valentine’s Day is about love in all forms.

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