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A deflated ballon that says "I Love You" lays in the snow by the shores of Lake Michigan.

A deflated ballon that says “I Love You” lays in the snow by the shores of Lake Michigan. Even without love there are plenty of ways to have fun and show yourself some love on Valentine’s Day.

Nam Y. Huh/AP Photo

Uncoupled? 13 ways to treat yourself (and your friends) on Valentine's Day

Whether you love or hate Valentine’s Day, you have to admit: It’s hard to ignore.

If you’re turned off by the campiness and grand gestures, consider reclaiming it for yourself.

WBEZ has compiled a list of places to go and things to do for those who are looking for something interesting to do that doesn’t revolve around Cupid and his bows and arrows. If you want to take back Feb. 14, or maybe just be Valentine’s Day adjacent, take yourself (and maybe a pal) out for one of these anti-Valentine’s Day outings.

Treat yourself to a day of self-care

Valentine’s Day is all about showing someone how much you care about them — why not use the day to care for yourself? Treat yourself to a dip in the warm thermal baths at AIRE Ancient Baths in River West, where the mood lighting and no-cameras-allowed policy allow you to fully relax and rejuvenate.



AIRE Ancient Baths thermal bath

The thermal baths and baths at AIRE Ancient Baths are the perfect place to practice self care.

Courtesy of AIRE Ancient Baths

AIRE offers multiple Valentine’s Day packages that can include a simple soak ($185) or a full body massage featuring warm basalt stones ($300). You can book an experience for one — or sign up for two and bring a friend. 800 W. Superior St., Chicago.

For those not interested in thermal baths, the newly opened The NOW massage spas may be the perfect option. Inspired by Los Angeles wellness culture, The NOW spas have opened a few locations across Chicago, including Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, South Loop and others. Their signature Swedish massage ($50 and up) may be just the trick needed to release stress and anxiety.

The mask bar at Scratch Goods in the West Loop is a perfect way to get in some self-care. Guests can create their own facial experience using food-grade products made in Chicago. Guests can book a solo seat (starting at $65) or a table for friends for a class led by Scratch Good’s skincare specialists. 847 W. Randolph St., Chicago.

Bring home a furry bundle of joy

If adopting a dog or cat is something you’ve been considering, the Anti-Cruelty Society is offering $14 adoption fees on all animals (a regular adoption fee for a dog is $175). Not quite ready to commit to loving and caring for an animal just yet? Volunteer to spend the day helping out. Chicago Anti Cruelty Society, 510 N. La Salle St., Chicago.

Tap into your creative energy

You’re never too old for arts and crafts. Plus, it’s something you can get into solo or with a friend. For those who enjoy a challenge, try booking a ceramics course at ViaClay in Oak Park, where you can get your hands dirty throwing some clay and glazing your custom ceramic mug or bowl (from $80). 208 S. Marion St., Oak Park.

If clay is a bit too messy, try your hand at the art of rug making (also known as tufting). Freestyle Ceramics in Bridgeport offers beginner-friendly tufting classes (from $78) where you’ll leave with your very own handcrafted rug. 2927 S. Archer Ave., Chicago.

Looking for a smaller project? Add a candle making class to your list with the candle pouring sessions (from $36) at Aura Candle Bar in Lake View. Aura provides all the wax, essential oils and positive vibes needed to help you blend and pour your own signature scent to fill your home. Grab a pal or go alone and make some new friends. 3338 N. Southport Ave., Chicago.

Enjoy a night on the town

If you’re in your feels this year, let them out at the Taylor Swift-inspired Bad Blood Heartbreak Bar at Electric Garden. Their Taylor-themed cocktails (like Anti-Hero and Bitter About It, from $22) will have you feeling warm and fuzzy inside even if you’re not totally over your ex yet. 324 S. Racine Ave., Chicago.



Get Lit at The American Writers Museum

The Get Lit: Down With Love event at The American Writers Museum will have music, cocktails, and readings of rejection letters to famous literary greats.

Courtesy of the American Writers Museum

Take a more literary approach to love, and heartbreak, at the Get Lit: Down with Love event (starting at $5) at The American Writers Museum in the Loop. The museum will be exploring famous rejection letters of literary greats and will also hold space for attendees to share their own rejection stories during an anti-romance open mic. 180 N. Michigan Avenue, 2nd Fl. Chicago.

For a more passive yet permanent approach to being love’s anti-hero, the Anti-Valentines Day Tattoo Party at Broken Shaker in River North provides an opportunity to get a tattoo that will lift your spirits. A live DJ will help keep the mood bright. 19 E. Ohio St., Chicago.

In the need of something a bit more low pressure? Check out a showing of The Princess Bride ($13) at Music Box Theater. 3733 N. Southport Ave., Chicago.

An Ode to Love Jones: A Live Musical Experience at The Promontory in Hyde Park offers an opportunity to hear music from the cult-classic movie soundtrack performed live by The New Black Renaissance (starting at $30). The performance will include sounds of jazz and soul along with the vocal stylings of Meagan McNeal. 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. W., Chicago.

Dimo's Heart Shaped Pizza

This heart shaped pizza can put the pep back into your Valentine’s Day.

Courtesy of Dimo’s

Treat yourself to a nice meal

Food is always a nice comfort to the soul, and it’s something you can do alone or with a friend.

If cooking is the last thing you want to do, pick up a heart-shaped pizza (starting at $18) at Dimos. 1615 N. Damen Ave.. Lou Malnati’s will also be offering heart-shaped pizzas and desserts at their various locations across the city. Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to get a little cheesy.

Samantha Callender is a digital reporting fellow for WBEZ. Follow her across socials @OnYourCallender.

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