Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. Sure, romantic love is cool and all, but why not show your friends some love this season?
The following is a list of a few ideas to get you started on thinking about how to celebrate V-Day with the real besties and homies in your life.
For crafty companions
You could go to any home decor store and buy a candle, but have you ever made one yourself? The Candle Lab in Over-the-Rhine has over 100 different scents to choose from, which you then narrow down to a few and combine into a jar. Consider making one for your bud and letting them make one for you (so long as you trust their nose).
If making your own skincare or home decor is more up your alley, check out the DIY bar at Queen City Alchemy and The Evergreen Designs. The duo establishment is also in Over-the-Rhine.
Feeling floral? Surprise your friend with a bouquet! 'Tis the season, after all. Katie's Blooms in Newtown is a great florist that has a bloom bar open during shop hours where you can assemble your own bouquet by the stem. Blush and Bubbly in Oakley is a clothing boutique that offers a flower bar to pick out and create bouquets, as well.
If you want something that'll challenge you artistically while staying on a budget, take your friend(s) to Indigo Hippo on Main Street, pick up some art supplies on the cheap, and work on making memorable Valentine's Day cards you can hand out to others the next day. It'll inevitably brighten someone's day, you'll get to spend the evening with people you care about while doing a chill activity, and your heart will (probably) grow ten sizes as a result.
For fans of food
Morning people: Catch up over coffee at BlaCk Coffee Lounge, Wyoming Community Coffee, Redtree Art Gallery and Coffee Shop, or any of the million other tasty spots around town. If you have the means to do so, tip your barista extra (they deserve it) and maybe take care of the person in line behind you while you're at it.
V-Day only comes once a year; why not go all out for a night? Consider grabbing a bite to eat somewhere stylish like Coppin's Restaurant and Bar in Hotel Covington, or share upscale Mediterranean small plates at Abigail Street. And, if you want suggestions on something else, we have an entire Eat & Drink section with years of content on the site to help you and your pals find a place that suits the evening.
Conversely, if you don't want to mess with finding something savory, just skip straight to sweets at one of these nine bakeries.
For shop-crazy compadres
The Tri-state is packed with fantastic, locally owned places to shop. Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine, for example, is lined with home goods and clothing stores like MiCA 12/V, HOMAGE, Sloane Boutique, and Elm & Iron. Or maybe you and your crew would rather shop with beer in hand? Pay a visit to Bellevue's Entertainment District and pop into all the shops along Fairfield Avenue. Continue boozing at Darkness Brewing when you've finished your retail charge.
Do you and your friends love music? Cincinnati has a ton of great record shops. Go to one (or several) local stores, each of you buy an album you think the other will like, and exchange. Major bonus points if you end up finding their new favorite.
Maybe you and your pal are more the second-hand shopping types? Go to one of the many antique shops around town, split up, and spend an allotted amount of time searching for one thing you think the other person will love. There's absolutely no way to predict what you'll get them or what they'll get you, making the hunt and reveal all the more enjoyable.
For pampered pals
Perhaps the concept of crafting, shopping, or finding food is too tiring. Maybe you and your friend(s) just want to relax for the afternoon. Treat yo' selves to a day at Woodhouse Day Spa for a relaxing massage, or if some quick skincare love is what you're looking for, consider stopping by Oasis Face Bar in Over-the-Rhine. They offer 30-minute customizable facials to keep those BFF faces glowing.