People have wide ranging opinions on Valentine’s Day. Maybe you love a reason to celebrate love, in all forms. Maybe the day brings up bad feelings. Maybe you’d rather not contribute to the whole capitalistic vibe of the holiday. If you have any sort of inkling to offer a gift of love today, either for a significant other, a close friend, or yourself, why not do something a little different this year? Here are some not so ordinary ways to do that in a last minute sort of way, with limited effort required to make them happen.

Of course you don't need to spend any money to show your love to someone. With a fresh layer of snow, you can revisit some of Tom's ideas for Snowlentine's snowtivities. 


Miller Park Zoo adopt an animal

If your special person is an animal lover, this is the perfect gift. There’s no uncertainty of springing a new pet onto a person if they aren’t ready, and you get to know that you’re contributing to the health and well-being of a critter under the care of the Miller Park zookeepers. Adoptions start at $50, with added perks at every donation level. Every adoption includes a certificate, animal fact sheet and photo, personalized thank you from the zoo director, two passes for zoo entry (so you can go visit your new friend of course), and a listing in the zoo newsletter. What sorts of animals are available? They range from a Galapagos Tortoise, to a North American River Otter, to Sumatran Tiger, to a Reticulated Python. What’s more romantic than a python?? Just fill out the form, and a package will be sent to your loved one.

C-U Adventures Solve Our Shirts

What’s better than having to work together with the person you love to solve a difficult puzzle? Surely nothing could go wrong. Seriously though, Solve Our Shirts - a t-shirt based puzzle game created by the folks at C-U Adventures in Time and Space - is the perfect Valentine’s activity if you’d rather not go out. There are two different puzzles available, and both can be purchased in a couple’s pack. The Treasure Trove of Pirate Cove and Escape from the Maze of the Minotaur come with two shirts and one set of other components needed to complete the game. Prices range from $60-95. Order online, then you can arrange to pick them up at C-U Adventures.

A bouquet of beers from Triptych

Instead of a dozen roses, how about a dozen beers? Triptych has a Triptych is for Lovers variety pack, 12 beers for $44.95, which is a 10% discount from what they would usually cost. If your person is all about the hops, then they will love this. It is definitely heavy on the IPAs. But, there are some seltzers and other varieties thrown in as well. You could certainly purchase this for yourself, though I wouldn’t recommend drinking all of them on Valentine’s Day. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend two people drink all of these on Valentine’s Day. This is a gift that you can make last for a bit, unlike a dozen roses. Order online or purchase in the taproom at 1703 Woodfield in Savoy. It opens at 3 p.m.

Defy Gravity unlimited pass

You could certainly purchase this for someone else, but it might be perfect for a little self-love. I’m operating with some bias here, as I’ve been a student at Defy Gravity for the past few years. However, that gives me the ability to legitimately talk about how great it is. It's a place of love and universal acceptance. This is the last day you can take advantage of a two week unlimited pass for just $70. There are tons of beginning and open level classes every week: pole, silks, hammock, lyra, trapeze, and burlesque, as well as yoga, conditioning, and flexibility classes. All genders and all types of bodies are welcome, and it doesn’t matter what level of athletic or dance ability you have. You will amaze yourself with all of the things you can learn to do.

If you really want to maintain a bit of the traditional and buy some flowers for someone else or yourself, it's hard to beat Fleurish. They are ready for walk-ins today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and every single bouquet I've purchased from them has been stunning and unique. Plus they always have interesting little extras around the shop that you pick up as well. Don't try to call and order something, just pop in and see the selection for yourself.

Top photo from Fleurish Facebook page.