Alternative ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air, and Valentine’s Day is upon us. Many agree with Sophomore Taryn Shank who said, “I think that everyone is used to doing the same thing on Valentines Day. Couples go to dinner and a movie, and singles either ignore the day completely or get together with friends to do something generic such watching a movie and eating ice cream at home. It’s better to keep changing it up, and do something memorable, whether you’re solo or together.”

New Yorkers looking to break these mundane traditions are in luck. NYC offers its habitants something new to explore on every other day of the year, so Valentine’s Day is no exception.

For individuals looking to have some fun, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate and share a laugh with some friends or significant others.

Begin your Valentine’s Day journey at Union Hall in Brooklyn, where they have scheduled Love Bites: The Power Ballads Sing- Along.

“What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by singing and pumping your fist in the air to a soul shaking collection of both prolove and love sucks power ballad music video hits from the 80’s and 90’s including Journey, Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Seal, The Bangles, Def Leppard, Night Ranger, R. Kelly, Meatloaf, Bonnie Tyler, Poison, Cyndi Lauper, Guns N’ Roses, and lots more!” The show is on Thursday, February 14 at 10 P.M., with tickets selling for $8. Also being held at Union Hall is “The Muppet Vault: Valentine’s Day.” For just $8, the creators of Muppet fan website ToughPigs. com are holding a screening of Muppet moments related to love and relationships.

This quirky event will include selections from the classic TV special “The Muppets Valentine Show” in addition to many romance-themed clips and songs from other classic Jim Henson productions. There will also be audience participation with trivia questions, prizes, and more. For those looking to connect with others through unique relationship stories, the 92YTribeca will be hosting an intriguing story-telling event: “It’s Like My Heart Has Sciatica” SMITH Mag’s Annual Love & Heartbreak Story Show. The show will focus on love and heartbreak, and will be held on February 14 at 7 pm. 92YTribeca will also be holding a comic excavation entitled Mortified.

As described on their website, the show will feature “teen angst artifacts, journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories and more, as shared by their original authors before total strangers.”

Set to begin at 9 pm, it is perfect for both singles and couples to break the Valentine’s Day routine by exploring the humor and honesty in a one of a kind exhibit.

For both a memorable and enlightening Valentine’s experience, it is a great idea to skip the cliché cheesy movie, and check out a groundbreaking exhibit instead.

The Gravity and Grace exhibit at The Brooklyn Museum is a perfect example. In this exhibit, innovative artist El Anatsui has transformed seemingly insignificant found objects like bottle caps, into stunning sculptures of monumental beauty.

Other groundbreaking exhibits include the Museum of Modern Art’s new installation of Wolfgang Laib’s Pollen from Hazelnut.

Laib has coated an entire atrium in a brilliant display of yellow pollen, giving the room a warm glow and a rather intimate ambience.

If art does not spark your interest, try taking a trip to The Butterfly Conservatory at the Museum of Natural History.

The Butterfly Conservatory is a re-creation of a tropical forest environment filled with over 500 live butterflies. With individuals strolling along a winding pathway surrounded by the varied leaves of tropical plants, this is a Valentine’s Day experience one could never forget.

If you want to enjoy the city and Valentine’s Day together, take a trip to Duffy Square at Broadway Between 46th and 47th Street.

Using boardwalk boards salvaged during hurricane Sandy’s aftermath—from Long Beach, New York; Sea Girt, New Jersey; and Atlantic City, New Jersey— the exhibit ”Heartwalk” begins as two ribbons of wooden planks that gracefully rise from the ground to form a heart shaped enclosure in the middle of Duffy Square.

The slatted construction, illuminated from within, provides wide-ranging views of the interior as visitors move around the perimeter of the installation.

Visitors can also enter the installation itself and quite literally stand in the heart of the world’s greatest city.

Finally, if these alternative Valentine’s Day plans are not enough, or your holiday simply does not go as expected, redeem yourself at The Bell House’s event Party Like It’s 1999: The Late Night Post-Valentine’s Edition.

Promising a great mix of pop, rock, R&B and hip-hop from the 1990s, this free event is a perfect way to wrap up the holiday in a creative and unforgettable way.

Regardless of how Valentine’s Day is celebrated any break from the norm will be a welcomed event. Spend some time brainstorming ideas and save some money in the process.