Inviting friends over to celebrate Valentine's Day is a perfect way to beat the winter blues and strengthen the warm bonds of love and friendship. Valentine's Day also provides a good excuse to party it up with family, in the classroom, or at a kid's open house.
DIY Valentine's Day party invitations
Plan your Valentine's Day party a few weeks ahead to leave time for sending out invitations.
Buy Valentine's Day invitations online, at your favorite card store, or make them yourself using Valentine's Day clip art for the cover. Write clever headlines like "Dress red and be ready to party!", or "Roses are red, violets are blue....Valentine's Day won't be the same without you!" to set a fun and festive mood.
If you're good with graphics programs (or know someone who is) try an even more personal touch with a photo of yourself in an alluring or comic pose with the headline "YOU'RE INVITED".
On the inside, be sure to include date, time, location, and RSVP details!
Valentine's Day party decorating
Decorating for your Valentine's Day party is simplicity itself.
Just be sure to include shades of reds and pinks for your party table, as well as festive red and pink balloons and party streamers, Add an arrangement of votive candles or a large candle centerpiece to set the mood.
If you have extra cash on hand on at the party store, also look for trendy "X" and "O" mylar balloons or a large party banner for an extra festive touch.
For a casual get-together, be sure to include lots of finger foods so people can be free to mingle. Or how about an easy to make heart-shaped pizza?
For formal sit-downs, think red and pinks such as lobster tails, pink salmon, Italian dishes with red sauces, and don't forget the strawberry cheesecake and the chocolate-covered strawberries!
Then again, who doesn't love homemade cupcakes? Also consider baking up a batch of homemade fortune cookies with handwritten fortunes inside ("You will meet a tall, dark stranger...") to serve up as a dessert and a fun party activity.
Popping champagne is a natural for Valentine's Day toasting, but be sure to have other drinks on hand for non-imbibers or kids in attendance.
For young kids, try a do-it-yourself variation of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey with Pin the Heart on Cupid's Arrow.
Guessing games are also fun for any age: Simply fill a jar with hershey kiddes, chocolate-covered cherries, or red jellybeans and ask party-goers to guess how many are actually in the jar. The one who comes closest to the number wins the jar as a door prize!
As the party winds down, send all your Valentine's Day party guests home happy with red goodie bags filled with small votives, candy hearts, chocolate kisses, and other treats from the local dollar store.