Let’s face it: special occasions haven’t been the same since March 2020, but that doesn’t mean you should let lockdown restrictions cancel your Valentine’s Day. By embracing the idea of virtual events, the February 14 soiree that you’ve spent so long organising can be just as exciting and romantic – even while social distancing. With creativity and careful planning, you’ll not only open up a world of possibilities but also allow for more personalised and intimate experiences for people dating during COVID-19.

Whether you own a restaurant or curate bespoke experiences for large groups, take the time to get to know your potential attendees and learn what they want. Once you know your specific target audience, you can reach them directly with tools like Facebook ad targeting. Then, let the fun begin. If you’re still looking for somewhere to start, this list of socially distanced date ideas can help make your virtual Valentine’s Day event one to remember.

1. Become a wine tasting expert

What better way to indulge the senses and stimulate the mind than with a boozy virtual wine tasting? This lively social event will allow your virtual guests to learn, sip, and savour their way through a variety of vino from the comfort of their own homes. It’s a great event for wine enthusiasts who want to chill and chat, or connoisseurs hoping to take their knowledge to the next level. For a romantic twist, consider offering branded kits that let guests pair their drinks with a thoughtful charcuterie board or a decadent chocolate basket. You can send them out before the big day so guests have everything they need to create the perfect evening. But make sure to consider the logistics – leave a healthy cut-off date for bookings and use a reliable courier. If your attendees don’t get their kits on time, they’ve lost out on the event too.

2. Set the mood with a concert

If music is your love language, coordinate a night of live music to stream to your attendees. Whether you book a mellow jazz trio or a sultry songstress, the act will set the mood for an enchanting night in. There are plenty of ways to make this evening extra special for Valentine’s Day too, like song requests, shout-outs, or even declarations of love for guests who feel like going the extra mile. You can keep things interesting between sets by booking a comedian or leading interactive games. Make sure the romance doesn’t skip a beat – be prepared with expert software and equipment to ensure a professional stream. Make every effort to ensure a stable connection too, since a lagging stream takes the idea of a slow jam a little too far. After the event, you can keep the excitement alive by offering a personalised playlist on music streaming services like Spotify.

3. Get messy in the kitchen

Nothing says date night like a romantic dinner for two. When traditional dining isn’t a viable option, bring your guests together virtually over a hearty meal and encourage them to hone their culinary skills with an online cooking class. Online attendees can get step-by-step instructions from a professional chef to make inspired dishes straight from their home kitchen. Mixing things up and getting a little flour on their cheeks will add plenty of laughter and charm to the evening. Focus on couples or take inspiration from A Cut Above Catering’s Singles Mingle event, which lets besties reclaim Valentine’s Day with their own home-cooked meals. Make sure to consider your guests’ requirements – if they’re vegan for example – and provide alternatives wherever you can. Once everyone’s catered to, ignite the fun with a champagne “cheers” before diving in.

4. Shake that groove thing

When venues are closed, a home-bound dance class can be perfect for couples living with lockdown restrictions and singles looking to mingle. Guests can learn sensual routines and snazzy steps from a professional dance instructor without ever leaving their homes. From Dirty Dancing-themed lessons to drag queen death drops, the options here are limited only to which instructor you choose to book. Take a cue from the Daybreaker dance series’ colourful visuals and spot-on sound quality to make sure every little aspect of your evening falls into step. You can ask guests to dress for the theme for a fully immersive event or challenge your power couples to a dance-off.

5. Host a film night with rom-coms and popcorn

Whether Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Titanic is your ultimate couples’ flick, a virtual movie night is a perfect way to bring people together while staying safe on Valentine’s Day. Streaming sites like Teleparty even synchronise video playback and add a group chat feature to thousands of titles on Netflix and Disney. Virtual guests can talk about their favourite cinematic moments, play drinking games, or just get comfortable and enjoy. Before the screening, send your guests event kits full of goodies like microwave popcorn, sweets, and drink mixers for a more personalised experience. Want to add an interactive element? Let your guests preview their dates with a romantic get-to-know-you quiz before they dive into the popcorn.

6. Serve cocktails shaken, not stirred

A cocktail-making class is a fun, friendly way to loosen people up while they learn something new together. Awkwardness melts away in the flirty, bubbly atmosphere of an at-home bar, which is why cocktail parties with a twist are quickly becoming a trend in the world of online date ideas. From classic drinks like margaritas and negronis to specialised recipes like colour-changing cocktails, virtual attendees learn how to make their favourite adult beverages with the help of a pro bartender. Make sure things don’t get muddled by choosing the right video hosting platform. With secure access and chat features, Zoom and Vimeo are both great for this kind of interactive live event. Want to take things to the next level? Complete your V-day experience by coordinating drinks with a virtual dinner menu.

7. Say “cheers” to a different kind of brunch

Do you run a bakery or a popular breakfast spot? Hosting a virtual brunch this Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to offer a sweet alternative to a standard virtual dinner. Load brunch kits with treats like heart-shaped waffles and blueberry bellinis, or let guests complete their meal with a cheese tasting class. Add a splash of romance with a small bouquet of colourful flowers for that extra personal touch. Make sure you stand out from the crowd with your own unique offering – take inspiration from Nikky Feeding Souls’ Romance in Thailand event and explore unexpected brunch options like sweet crispy noodles and chocolatey crepes.

8. Get cultured with an online museum trip

We might think of museums as a strictly in-person experience, but it’s possible to capture the grandeur – and romance – of a night at the museum in an online event. Let virtual attendees stroll the halls alongside a guided livestream, or let them get up close and personal with the displays as they tour at their own pace. Either way, they’ll get unobstructed views of the best artwork and artefacts in the world. Plus, virtual museum tours can spark thoughtful discussion, strengthening the bond between couples long past closing time. For a VIP feel, you could offer champagne or wine drink kits with their tickets. Entice singles with an anti-Valentine’s Day event including fun activities like speed dating, a scavenger hunt, or trivia.

Finding that connection with a virtual Valentine’s event

With a little imagination and ingenuity, there are more ways than you might think to create a successful online Valentine’s Day event. People are searching for a genuine bond during these strange times – perhaps more than ever. So whichever virtual date event you choose, make sure to keep it fun, interesting, and inspired, giving guests opportunities to keep the spark going after the event ends. To get the word out about your romantic event, check out our ultimate event marketing guide.

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