Take your Valentine’s Day from regretful to romantic

By Juniper Oxford, Staff Reporter

Valentine’s Day is coming up and that means celebrating with the one you love the most. There is no wrong way to celebrate Valentine’s Day but there are some ideas that are a cut above the rest. 

A night under the stars

Watching the sunset and having a night under the stars is probably one of the most romantic things one can do with their valentine.


 To up the romantic factor, prepare a picnic with all of your partner’s favorite foods! After all, they say the way to the heart is through the stomach. 

Pack a telescope to get a good view, hike before the sunset, pack a picnic or bring your guitar to serenade your valentine.

Backyards can work but there are also seven parks in Carbondale alone. There are more if you count the surrounding areas, like Giant City State Park and Crab Orchards Wildlife Reserve. Be sure to check the hours of these areas when planning! 

Classic Valentine’s Day 

You can never go wrong with getting your valentine a nice card, bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates. If you are looking for a couple ideas that are just slightly outside the box, you’ve come to the right place. 

Get your valentine a can of Crush soda to show you have a crush on them, give them homemade love coupons that can be used for the power to pick the next movie you two watch together or give them flowers with the roots attached to symbolize that your love together will never die. 

Valentines Day Sock Hop Dance 


The Landings is hosting a Valentine’s Day Sock Hop Dance from 1-2 p.m in the Landing’s dining room. Attendees can dress up in 50’s attire, and party like it’s 1959! 

The sock hop dance will feature a performance by Edwin Linson and admission is free. 

Last minute gift ideas? 

A Valentine’s Day Craft Sale will be happening on Feb. 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Student Center Art Gallery. Stop by for a last minute gift for your valentine! 

These handcrafted gifts will mean more than anything you could go buy that is machine made at a chain store.

Explore Makanda 

Not only is the scenery perfect for a nice drive with your favorite tunes on the radio, the Makanda boardwalk has all the makings of a great date with your valentine. 

Visiting a garden can be quite romantic and the sculpture garden at the boardwalk is sure to impress any visitors. 

Healing Traditions Massage and Yoga is perfect for relaxation, whether it is with a partner or yourself.

Maybe it’s a cup of joe to share with your beau, or an ice cream cone with your love clone. Either way, the Makanda Trading Company would be a cute place to stop to enjoy something together. 

Feeling Fancy? Go to a winery! 

Take your valentine to the Honker Hill Winery, the Monte Alegre Vineyard and Cellars, Kite Hill Vineyards or Walker’s Bluff. While there is no shortage of places to stock up on alcohol, the idea of a winery gives thoughts of Rome, the root of the word romance itself. 

Walkers Bluff is hosting a Valentine’s Day event in their tasting room, with a meal for $25 per person. 

There is also no shame in picking out some generic wine at the grocery store for under 10 bucks! The cheapest bottle of wine at Schnucks in Carbondale is just $5.50. 

Is your lover also your best friend? 

Take them to do something competitive! There is bowling at the SIU Student Center and at S.I. Bowl or head over to Pirate Pete’s in Marion for games, food and laser tag. 

There are two escape rooms in Carbondale: The Panic Room and Carbondale Escape Rooms. Escape rooms give the opportunity to work as a team to problem solve, which can help build on a relationship. 

Scavenger Hunt

Want to see who knows each other better? Create a scavenger hunt for each other about the history of your relationship! It can take you all around Carbondale and beyond or it can turn into a sweet stay at home adventure. 

When creating this scavenger hunt, ask yourself questions like: Where did you two first meet? What is your partner’s favorite store? and When did you first know your partner was the one?

Stay home 

There is always the option to just stay home. You could wear your comfy clothes instead of a suit or a dress, cook your own dinner or order in and pop in that movie that you watched when you and your valentine first held hands in the theater. 

 If you are looking for a romantic movie, the safe bet would be Roman Holiday or The Notebook. However, if you want something with little plot intrigue so you don’t have to keep a close eye, Titanic is your best bet.

Don’t celebrate? There is a solution. 

Lupercalia is on Feb. 13-15, and was a festival of fertility during the pre-Roman times, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. The main colors of Valentine’s Day, red and white, were possibly derived from Lupercalia. 

Atheists, free thinkers, neo-pagans and others who do not believe in organized religion might find Lupercalia to be more appealing than Valentine’s Day, which is a holiday celebrated by the Catholic Church and honors St. Valentine. 

Staff reporter Juniper Oxford can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JuniperOxford.

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