Reimagining Valentine’s Day

Yukon ideas for this February 14th
A collage of heart shapes from the natural world
Yukon love, Wild Yukon roses and Snow heart. Photo: Jessica Surber

Whether you feel that Valentine’s Day is overrated, highly commercialized or cheesy (or it’s your favourite holiday of the year), maybe we can all agree that life is short and that perhaps we should take whatever opportunities we have to celebrate love, in whatever form it may present itself. Valentine’s Day, while often marketed as a way to honour the romantic love between two people, is really a chance to recognize love in all its shapes and incarnations, whether it’s self-love, friendship, family or our lives with our romantic partners. Here are some northern ideas of how to mark the day:

With yourself

  • Take yourself out on a date at this year’s Available Light Film Festival (ALFF), which runs from February 9–19, and be transported into a different world through their lineup of amazing features, short films and other events, many of which can also be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home, through ALFF online, if you don’t want to make the trek into town. The Yukon is lucky to have been the home of Canada’s largest film festival North of 60, for over 20 years now.
  • Make an appointment with a talented local massage therapist. Massage has so many benefits for our physical and emotional well-being and is a wonderful way to show yourself some love this Valentine’s Day. Invest in your health and consider making this a part of your self-care routine all year-round. If massage isn’t your thing, you might like to explore acupuncture, naturopathy or a variety of other integrative medicines available here in the Yukon. 
  • Show some love to our four-legged friends: volunteer at Humane Society Yukon and be reminded of how love doesn’t have to be complicated and that the love of an animal truly is one of the purest things in the world. Go to their website and see how you can sign up, or check out their donation wish list for other ideas on how to support their work. If you’re looking to add a furry companion to your life, think about the option of adoption instead of buying.
  • Bring some art into your life. Sign up for an upcoming workshop at Arts Underground, check out some theatre at the Yukon Arts Centre (Stéphanie Morin-Robert’s Blindside plays on February 15) or listen to some live music in town. Art is a wonderful way to remind yourself of your uniqueness as an individual and the value of self-expression in loving who you are.

With your partner

  • Go on a fat-bike ride or head to Mount Sima for some winter fun. If skiing is something new to both of you, check out Sima’s private ski and snowboard lessons (learning something together is a great way to invite some “fresh air” into your relationship).
  • Hunt down a tasty beverage from Yukon Brewing Company, Solstice Ciderworks, Winterlong Brewing Co. or Two Brewers Whisky, and cuddle up in front of a fire. Love can be as simple as listening to your favourite record together on a cozy Yukon winter night.
  • Start seedlings for your garden this year. It might still be a bit early, but if you have grow lights or some big south-facing windows, you should be okay. Dreaming about what you want to plant outside, in a few months, and taking the first steps to make that dream a reality is a lovely way to do something together and be reminded of your love all summer long, as you enjoy the fruits of your labour. It’s also a great alternative to traditional store-bought bouquets of flowers.
  • For some, gifts are the ultimate sign of adoration from their significant other, but for many, acts of service is their preferred love language. That is to say that actions really can speak louder than words (or a box of chocolates). If you know that your partner feels most loved when you do some sort of thoughtful gesture, go out and chop some firewood for your sweetie without being asked, dig out some frozen berries from the freezer and make them their favourite jam for their breakfast or take advantage of Air North’s next sale and plan a vacation. Acts of service can be large or small: if it’s how your loved one feels your affection the most, doing dishes or letting them sleep in can be just as romantic as giving them a big, extravagant gift.

With family and friends

  • Go ice fishing or dig out your snowshoes. It might not feel like it some days but soon enough the snow will be melting and spring will be here. Take advantage of the winter for as long as you can. Pack a thermos of hot chocolate or a coffee from one of our local roasters, such as Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters, and make a day of it with the ones you love.
  • Take a drive to Skagway or Haines, Alaska, or find a place to rent for a “friends weekend.” Sometimes we get so busy in our lives that we forget how important friendships really are. Take some time to reconnect, play and catch up. Go on an outdoor adventure or just have a cozy time inside with board games, good food and an evening of karaoke.
  • While you may have heard of Lumel Studios’ “Hot Date,” did you know that they offer group workshops/events, as well? Arranging an afternoon of glass blowing, with a group of friends or extended family, is a perfect way to stay warm and share a good time together while it’s cold and windy outside.
  • Make plans to hang out at the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival. This year’s Rendezvous runs from February 10–26, with the main events happening from February 24–26. Check out their schedule online and set time aside to go have some Yukon fun with friends and family, especially after the past several months of winter hibernation.

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