In the series “Valentine’s Day for All,” learn how to celebrate the holiday with everyone important to you. In this story, Erika Kotite offers inspiring entertaining tips to create a memorable celebration with a focus on connectivity and fun.

Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be just about romantic love. It’s a day to celebrate the love you have for everyone in your life, whether it’s a friend, a co-worker, a parent, or a sibling. Valentine’s for all is an opportunity to connect with your family and friends, express your feelings, and celebrate all the important people in your life.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day for all takes inspiration from Galentine’s Day, Palentine’s Day, and other retakes on Valentine’s Day. But nobody is left out.

“In today’s push to be all-inclusive, Valentine’s Day for all is an opportunity to include the whole family,” notes Jackie Lacy, past president of the American Institute of Floral Designers and director of education and industry relations at Floriology, powered by BloomNet.

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“Use it as a teaching moment for your children about caring for others and that it is OK to love someone without being romantically in love with them,” he says. “The more love, respect, and kindness we can show each other, the happier we can all be.”

It’s time to celebrate love in a whole new way, with a festive gathering for those special people in your life. Here are some fun and creative ways to host a Valentine’s Day party for all. It’s a great way to show how much you care for your family and friends; everyone needs a day that offers love, fun, and hope to all.

Celebrating love without limit

Why not start a new tradition for a Valentine’s Day party? Planning an event in honor of all your treasured people is a great way to have fun and make memories. Be open to inspiration from the classic holiday of love but feel free to add your own special tweaks and traditions.

A take on the classic Valentine’s Day party

We’ll start with a true-blue traditional celebration with plenty of good food, hearts, and flowers. Think of everything you love about Valentine’s Day: red and pink decorations, sparkling hearts, loving messages, and tempting sweets. These are all on the table for showing love in all its varieties.

Invite everyone over for a festive evening of dinnergames, and music. Twister is a game that brings everyone closer together. Another game idea: Ask everyone to write down something they love about someone else at the party in a pretty card. Make sure everyone has something, or else fill in the blanks yourself. Offer each person the card(s) with a sparkling heart attached when the party is over.

Everyone loves charades – fill a box with slips of paper naming movies, books, and TV shows that depict friendship, family love, and even pet love. If you like, keep score and give out fun prizes for “best dramatization,” “least likely to keep mouth shut.” and “most outrageous guesses.”

For the feast, you might consider asking everyone to bring the dish they love best and spread them on a long table set with a pretty spring tablecloth. You may wish to choose the main course to make yourself; consider lobster mac and cheese or zesty chicken parmesan as options.

A cozy movie night

February is the perfect month for movies. Why not screen one with your favorite people in the world? Make it a double feature, with the kids’ animated favorite shown during the appetizers and the second film (preferably appropriate for all ages) showing after dessert.

Host this party for extended family or make it a gathering of favorite neighbors. Ask everyone to come in their most cozy PJs and to bring a pillow or favorite stuffed animal.

This is an inside event, preferably with a large flat-screen TV handy. Create a drive-in movie feel with blankets, sleeping bags, and plenty of sitting cushions.

For the food, consider easy treats that people can eat with their hands. Small quesadilla triangles with guacamole, spring rolls, and savory meatballs make a good entree trio. Then, add strawberry and pineapple fruit chunks and a raw vegetable platter with dips. A fun add-on would be fresh popcorn served in red-and-white striped bags. Serve iced heart-shaped cakes for dessert.

The ultimate “all you need is love” party

How about a trip back in time to the Summer of Love, with the era’s incredible music and a kaleidoscope of colors? The grownups can groove to the Beatles while the kids try their hand at painting their very own rock band poster or coloring pages with hippy designs. Since this was the era of the flower children, go crazy with flower crowns and flower fairy lights.

1. The guest list

Select a group of people you hope to spend more time with. For your first All-in-tine’s Day, start with your family and close friends. Make sure everyone knows that kids are welcome! Have fun with the invitations: Make your own, using PhotoShop or a design site like Canva. Use colorful imagery that evokes the message of love: flowers, peace signs, and rainbows. Fonts such as Peace and Love and Flashback are great choices for the text.

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2. The venue

If the weather is mild, your backyard can be turned into a Woodstock festival setting complete with picnic tables and colorful tablecloths. Colder climates may require an indoor setting so be prepared and turn your living room or family room into a beatnik paradise. Use props such as strings of beads to make curtains and lava lamps placed on tables.

3. The decorations

Fill the walls with posters of rock and folk bands like The Beatles, Buffalo Springfield, the Mamas & the Papas, and The Doors. Use tie-died or other colored tablecloths and create groovy centerpieces with classic flowers — daisies and carnations are great choices.

4. The activities

Offer a karaoke set up and list of suggested songs that all celebrate love. Create a “stage” festooned with colored streamers and a large painted background with the words “All You Need Is Love.” The audience can watch comfortably from beanbag chairs or cozy throw pillows. When you’re not playing karaoke make sure the playlist continues with all the great tunes from the era. Set up a small dance floor or a designated area in the house if you have the room.

5. The menu

Serve fun, retro items that recall relaxed music festivals or maybe the classic backyard family barbecue. Start with fun finger foods like Chex Mix and dough-wrapped hot dogs (“pigs in blankets”). Shape hamburger meat into hearts, make a heart-healthy salad with tons of vegetables, sunflower seeds and, you guessed it, hearts of palm, alomg with a dessert charcuterie board that has something for everyone, just like our broadening of the holiday. For those who prefer to avoid cooking on holidays, there are always food delivery options for your premade favorites.

Other flower ideas for a Valentine’s Day party

Saying it with flowers is pure fun. There are no rules and you can even take inspiration from Valentine’s Day, with a new twist. “Plantshand-tied bouquets of mixed flowers in the traditional red, white and pink colors of the holiday are great but today’s market loves purple, which happens to be the color of the year,” notes Jackie Lacy.

  • Buy a big bouquet of Gerbera daisies, separate them, cut 8″ by 8″ squares of craft paper and wrap it around a flower with some green leaves to hand out throughout the day.
  • Tie a flower to a small box of chocolates for a special treat to say Happy Valentine’s Day!
  • Snap a picture of your flowers and share them with all your social media friends.

Celebrating a day where everyone in our circle feels the love? We’re all in!

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Author

Erika Kotite is a she shed expert and the author of three books: She Sheds: A Room of Your Own; She Sheds Style: Make Your Space Your Own; and She Sheds: A DIY Guide. She co-founded She Shed Living to help women celebrate their lives in the backyard and natural world.

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