Unique Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Don’t be cliché this Valentine’s Day. Give the gifts no one will see coming.

Tired of the stereotypical chocolates, flowers and pop-up cards? Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a couples-only holiday. Whether you’re spending it with a special someone, a group of friends or just going solo, be unique and give a gift to remember. Here is the universal guide to Valentine’s gift-giving that will make anyone gush.

For a Special Someone

“The best kind of Valentine’s Day gift is going somewhere,” sophomore Lidia Kim said. “Why would I want a gift when I could get an experience?”

This Valentine’s Day, stay away from the bouquet of roses and heart-shaped candy boxes. Instead, give the person you care about an experience that they’ll remember.

Tickets: When every restaurant in town is booked solid, seeing a show is a great choice. If popular Broadway plays are out of your price range, try going to a small music performance to check out an independent artist. And while movie tickets are always a viable option, why not try something a little different and go to an old-school cinema downtown? It’ll be less crowded and more intimate, so your focus will be on the person you’re with and no one else.

Classes: Is there one thing you’ve been saying you’d learn for so long but never got around to? Taking a class with your beau is an easy and fun way to learn something neither of you have tried before. If you mess up, so what? Laughing together is the best way to spend a holiday. Try ballroom dancing or cooking if you want to stay warm. Or take advantage of the snow and try ski lessons.

Camera: Yes, it’s not an experience, but it’s a way to capture them. There’s no better way to remember how you spent Valentine’s Day than flipping through the pictures on your camera. Take silly ones for a good laugh later, or ones you can put in the scrapbook at a quaint, picturesque location.

For Friends

“I think if you’re going solo on Valentine’s Day, you should spend the day with friends or family,” sophomore Heather Landfield said. “It doesn’t have to be romantic, because it can still be a good way to show your love and appreciation.”

Make V-Day an excuse to spend time with the people you love most: your friends! If you decide to do a gift exchange, make it things you can all enjoy together.

Board games: These truly are gifts that keep on giving. Games are a great way to include everyone and stay entertained for hours. If you’re on a tight budget, Head to Toys “R” Us and pick up some Game Night Classic games for $9.99. If you’re not feeling the love, you’ll sure feel the nostalgia.

Crafts: Crafts are an inexpensive way to show your friends you’re thinking about them. You can buy some supplies and make little gifts for everyone. Better yet, make it an activity. Run to Michaels, grab some craft kits and spend the day clipping and gluing away with your pals. You can even make some dorm decorations or things you can use like jewelry, paintable containers and/or T-shirts.

Groupons: If you and your friends are working on broke college student budgets, give them the gift of savings. Everyone wants to spend time together, but not for $35 a person. This Valentine’s Day, make plans for a group trip and print out some coupons for later.

For Yourself

“You don’t necessarily have to do anything, but for myself I dress really nicely on Valentine’s Day,” sophomore Mike Samlall said.

There’s no need to find something crazy to do on Valentine’s Day. Single or otherwise, you can make a simple day a great day. So don’t sweat the small stuff and find easy ways to treat yourself right.

Spa set: There’s no better person to pamper than you. Spa sets are inexpensive and something you can do all by yourself, or with others if you’d like. If you just want to relax this Valentine’s Day, do it with a manicure, pedicure and a mini facial. Waking up feeling less stressed the next morning is just an added bonus.

Netflix account: This is less of a gift and more of an investment. Why spend Valentine’s Day alone when you could spend it with the cast of your favorite movie or TV show? Netflix is free for the first month, but definitely worth the monthly subscription. With all the pressure from school, it’s a great way to unwind alone or for a movie night with a group of friends.

Starbucks and a book: Head over to the nearest Barnes & Noble and treat yourself to a sweet latte and a good read from the Bestseller’s List. Valentine’s Day or not, this is a great way to get some quality alone time while still feeling productive. An added bonus? All the Valentine’s Day candy is on sale in bookstores.