Updated: Jan 30
With Valentine’s Day taking place in the middle of a pandemic, I imagine the ideas for celebrating it will look a bit...different. This year, those celebrating might have to think outside of the box just a wee bit. No need to fret because I got you!
Again, I solicited the help of my Instagram followers to provide ideas on how to creatively spend Valentine’s Day. They came through, as per usual, and together we made a list of ideas on how to spend your 2021 Valentine’s Day.
Commission a Portrait
A super creative and personalized gift can seriously go a long way. Why not have a portrait drawn for a special person in your life. The Tiny Portrait Project is a local artist, Christy, who draws unique cartoony portraits of people (even pets!) on Adobe Sketch.
The price is very reasonable and the process is straightforward and contactless. First, you send her a photo of who/what you want drawn. Then you’ll review the drawing once she’s finished and then you can suggest additional edits or approve it. Finally, once complete, she sends you the file so you can print it out at a nearby printing store at the size you desire on the paper of your choice. The whole process takes about 2 weeks.
Side note: she currently has samples of her art hanging in Some Crust Bakery.
Plan a Creative Picnic
I know what you’re thinking, “Picnic in the park? It’s so cliché!” but Valentine's day does fall on a Sunday and you know it’s going to be perfect picnic weather in sunny SoCal (Just saying!).
@zerokahn suggests having a picnic in the living room. Lay out a nice blanket with pillows, candles, flower petals, wine, cheese, then take a selfie to capture the moment 😉.
@kyletgatlin suggests having a picnic in a fun location like the back of a pickup truck or on your balcony. Better yet, set up your backyard like a wonderland with stringed lights, decorations, plants, and a firepit to give it that outdoor restaurant feel.
My own suggestion is to make a hike out of it and take your picnic at the top of Potato Mountain! That summit view is my favorite all the nearby hikes because on clear days you'll see the LA skyline and Catalina Island.
Paint & Wine Night
@justjessvibes suggests having your own paint and wine night for Valentine’s Day. 100% yes and this is what I probably will be doing on Valentine's Day!
There is no shortage of places to buy a wine bottle or two in Claremont. Plume Ridge Bottle Shop is run by Claremont Residents who offer a curated selection to ship out or deliver locally. Other options for wine in Claremont are We Olive & Wine Bar, Cheese Cave, Packing House Wines, Magnolia Wine Bar, VomFass, and Trader Joes.
For art supplies, check out Studio Claremont’s website. Studio Claremont is offering Valentine's Day virtual art workshops as well.
If you’re like me and need extra assistance artistically, paint-by-numbers is a great option! Just like how you did it when you were a kid. Check out these paint by number for adults on Amazon and have it shipped in time for Valentine's Day.
Spa Day at Home
@kyletgatlin suggests to put the phones away and create your own spa day at home. Excellent idea⎯especially the no phones part!
Spa and self care supplies are in abundance in Claremont. The Treatment Facial Bar in Claremont sells products on their website like masks, body scrubs, oils, creams, and sprays.
Jasmine boutique shop sells a plethora of bath accessories including salts, plush robes, PJs, and slippers to uplevel your spa wear game. Aromatique carries skincare products like SkinCeuticals, Dermalogica, and Eminence Organics.
What’s a spa day without relaxing scents to soothe your mind and body? Eye of Buddha in the Claremont Village carries a full lineup that will meet all your incense needs. This family owned business carries unique items from around the world like statues, fountains, gems, various incense, fountains, singing bowls, gift items, and so much more!
Valentine’s Day Gift Box
Pick up a Claremont Valentine’s Day Gift Box while supplies last. These gift boxes include 1 bottle of Champagne, 1 bottle of wine, sweets, and a candle for $75. They are available for pick up at Amelie and Studio C Gallery in Claremont Village beginning February 9, 2021. Proceeds go to the Claremont Village Marketing group.
VomFass will be offering specially wrapped Valentine’s Day gift baskets containing wine, spices, or craft olive oil. You can always forgo the basket and pick out a wine from their curated selection including red, white, sparkling, dessert wine, or sake.
VomFass also sells spirits including bourbon and rye whiskey, scotch, gin, cognac, tequila, and absinthe. They also sell liqueurs, bitters, vinegars, and a plethora of olive oils. Tell them it's a gift and they will put it in a nicely wrapped bag. It’s a can’t miss with VomFass and the owner, Kim, is so knowledgeable and friendly.
Create your own Valentine's Day Gift box containing an assortment of scrumptious mini pies! I Like Pie Bake Shop sells individually-sized pies (sweet and savory) all made from scratch and baked on premise. Sweet pies include Dutch Apple, Pineapple Upside Down, Cherry Crumble, Turtle Brownie, and more. Savory pies include Chicken Pot Pie, Shepherd’s Pie, and Onion Potato Quiche.
Don’t Forget the Flowers
What’s Valentine’s Day without flowers, right? 5683 Blooms Claremont is a mother-daughter team who founded this business “out of a desire to love others well” and the numbers “5683” represent L-O-V-E on a keypad (I’m not crying, you are!). They’re currently taking Valentine’s Day pre-orders on their website so get them in while you can.
Delia Haro is an incredibly talented florist and you can read her story here. Although her storefront is no longer in Claremont Village, you can message her on Facebook or Instagram for custom orders to pick up in time for Valentine’s Day.
Sherwood Florist carries stunning flowers including orchid, tropical, and elegant arrangements sure to melt anyone’s heart. They offer delivery including the same day for your convenience.
For all your succulent needs, visit Noren’s Nursery. They sell gorgeous succulent arrangements, potted cacti, air plants, and accessories to go in them.
For indoor plants, I would most certainly recommend Node Plant House. They have a kiosk in the Claremont Packing House to take a gander but you’ll have to order online for pick up or local delivery.
Last, for all your potted plant desires head over to Armstrong Garden on Foothill Blvd, they have an overwhelming amount of plants and trees including posted arrangements, orchids, indoor plants, bulbs, accessories, and so much more.
Order Your Dinner Locally
@lexivlahakis suggests choosing your favorite restaurant and having your dinner either delivered or picked up. Classic suggestion, Lexi, I’m with you on this!
In Claremont there are excellent options to order in. The Meat Cellar offers “Stay at Home Date Night” package options starting at $95 that is oh so worth it. A new thing they're doing this year is a Valentine's Day package where they provide you all the food, drinks, and dessert to cook at home.
Viva Madrid offers Spanish tapas and they also make phenomenal Paella not to mention their house special sangria.
Buy A Unique Gift
Claremont is home to many stores and boutiques that will fill your shopping and gifting needs.
A Shop Called Quest is perfect for your action figure and comic book needs. They carry shirts, prints, pins, stickers and books related to video games, cartoons, anime, and comics. If your special someone is a POP! Toy collector then this is your place.
Heirloom is my favorite boutique and will sadly be closing its doors in March 2021 so be sure to head over before then for cutesy gifts like jewelry, candles, books, music coasters, drinking accessories, posters, cards, books, and so much more!
Jasmine boutique on First Avenue carries what I call “luxury PJ’s” by P.J. Salvage, intricate jewelry, and wonderfully scented soaps, lotions, and other bath accessories. Their collection of loungewear and pajamas are rotating around the seasons and right now they have the cutest Valentine's Day PJs! They will also wrap your gift free of charge and they do an impeccable at it, too. The owner, Barbara, is very welcoming and attentive to patrons and is quick to help or answer questions.
Check out Master the Art of Unique Gift Giving for more gift ideas.
Did someone say dance party?
Ok, so this one is my personal suggestion. Have a dance party of one or two at home!
Put on your favorite Spotify playlist, Pandora station, CD, record or movie soundtrack. Dim the lights, bust out the disco ball or strobe light and have a dance party in your living room or backyard! I do it all the time 😉
You can even go the nostalgic route and take a trip to Rhino Records in Claremont Village. Pick out an album together of one of your favorite bands from "back in the day".
The options are endless on how to creatively spend your Valentine’s Day even if it’s by yourself, with a partner, a group of friends, or the whole family!
Please comment below for more suggestions on how to spend Valentine’s Day this year.
Thanks for reading friends. Until next time!