Ok, let’s be real for a second. In many ways, Valentine’s Day has become a bit of a “Hallmark” holiday. Some might even argue that there shouldn’t be one designated day, but that you should celebrate the one you love every day. We like to look at it as an excuse to spend some quality time with each other. Whether you’re parents juggling school, sports and homework; single and loving life with your friends; or newly-wed, living that Valentine’s vibe on the daily, chances are, a change in routine will be welcome.

Here are a few out-of-the-box ideas of how to enjoy the day. For us, a luxury would be to ski or board down the mountain and not have to battle a four hour traffic jam only to be followed by lugging all three kids’ gear to stand in long lift lines. So with this in mind, a Tuesday Valentine’s Day is genius! Call in sick, and hit the slopes on a weekday. There’s nothing better than to sneak out of town and have the mountain all to yourselves. Take the time on the lift to catch up on uninterrupted conversation. Done.

Don’t want to fight for a reservation at the latest hot spot? No problem, keep it comfortable and cook together at home! Mix things up by trying a new recipe, put on a record (we’re fans of Nina Simone) and don’t forget to get out of your yoga pants. Just because you’re not seated at Beatrice and Woodsley doesn’t mean you can’t dress up a little. Top it all off with a favorite movie. My personal favorite, and I can’t believe I’m admitting this in print, is Moonstruck. Yeah it’s old, but there is just something about that NY vibe that makes everything romantic. Not into Cher? Really any John Hughes or Cameron Crowe movie will do. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t freak out during Lloyd Dobler’s famous boombox scene. Or maybe that’s just me.

Go way outside of the box and visit Syntax Physic Opera. Every Tuesday night is Songwriter’s Open Mic. There’s no cover and sign up begins at 7:30pm. What a perfect time to brave the stage and serenade your loved one. If you actually choose to do this, we want to see it. Record it and send it to us. Seriously.

Single? Dude, this is your chance, ask someone on a date. Or treat yourself or your best friend to a night out. February 14th is your last chance to take advantage of Skyline park ice skating in downtown Denver. They’re open till 7pm. Top it off with dinner at Carmine’s on Penn, a personal favorite.

Basically, what we’re trying to say is, don’t hide from the day, embrace it! Use it as an excuse to do something out of the ordinary.