Tired of the same old rose petals, overpriced restaurant meals and sickeningly sweet celebrations? Here are some ideas for unique things to do in London this Valentine's Day, whether you're coupled up, or resolutely single.
Come what may
First date? What better way to get acquainted with each other than by belting out the soundtrack of Moulin Rouge? The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square is hosting a sing-along screening of Baz Lurhmann's romance-musical Moulin Rouge — costumes very much encouraged. No date? Go along with friends and fall in love with the characters, the costumes and the music.
Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square, 14 February, 8.30pm. Tickets, £16/£9.50, available here.
The Grant Museum of Zoology's after hours Valentine's themed-late is your chance to explore the museum at night. A biology lesson of sorts, learn the art of animal seduction.
Grant Museum of Zoology, 14 February, 6.30pm-9pm. Tickets, £6, available on the door.
Valentine's weekend with Keats
Tap into your romantic side at Keats House in Hampstead. Visit the museum for a special evening viewing of the house (11 February), make a Regency-inspired card and lose yourself in the home where Keats fell in love with his muse, Fanny Brawne. Alternatively, take a guided tour of the house (12 February) and uncover the tragic love story of Brawne and Keats.
Afternoon Poems: Love is... (12 February) may be more your thing. Sit back and listen to poetry from Keats, Byron and others, read by the Keats House Poetry Ambassadors.
Keats House, 11-12 February. Tickets, various prices, available here.
Magic and love
Enjoy Valentine's Day and give to a good cause by going to the Believe In Magic Valentine's party in Primrose Hill. Climb Primrose Hill to stargaze, or tuck into locally brewed craft beer. There will also be music from a DJ, and a raffle, in case you're feeling lucky. You don't need to be with someone to attend — round up your mates and enjoy a night of feel-good entertainment.
St Mary's Church, Primrose Hill, 14 February, 8pm-11.30pm. Tickets, from £25, available here.
Seduction and Celebrity Special
Celebrate the empowering Lady Emma Hamilton at the National Maritime Museum's Seduction Late. The Georgian Dining Academy brings a special night of love, romance and friendship to Greenwich. Get dressed up in your best ballgown or cravat, enjoy a feast, be mesmerised by magician Laura London, and listen to the love letters exchanged between Lady Hamilton and her lover Horatio Nelson.
National Maritime Museum, 14 February, 6.30pm-10/30pm. Tickets, £15/£12, available here.
Astronomy enthusiasts, unite. Get to know the night sky at the Royal Observatory's Valentine's Evening with the Stars. Look at the moon through the Great Equatorial Telescope, and see the Meridian Line while enjoying a complimentary drink. And if you forget flowers, don't worry — every couple attending gets a classic red rose.
Royal Observatory, Greenwich Park, 14 February, from 5.25pm. Tickets, £30/28, available here.
Fancy meeting someone with an affection for dogs? Canine companions are welcome at this Lady and the Tramp screening at The Book Club in Shoreditch. The basement will be transformed into the back alleyway of Tony’s Townsquare Italian Restaurant. Whether you bring a date as well as your dog is up to you, but either way you get to enjoy a Disney classic while loading up on carbs.
The Book Club, Shoreditch, from 7pm. Tickets, from £6, available here.