The thing with Valentine's parties and young adults is that more often than not they're single, and the whole thing actually just bums them out. Add that to the overall cringe-y nature of Valentine's Day on a whole, and you've almost created the most anti-teenager holiday ever. I mean, they don't even get out of school for it! What a waste of a perfectly good holiday.
We decided to embrace the overall terribleness of Valentine's Day this year, and threw an "Unfortunate Valentine's Day Party."
To get the party started with a "bang" (or more of a foamy overflow) we played with chemicals and candy hearts. Our initial goal was to see which one would dissolve the fastest.
When that turned out to be a slow and boring process (we should say "watching a candy heart dissolve" instead of "watching paint dry") we decided to mix stuff up and see which had the best reactions. A bit off topic, but always worth it.
When we were satisfied with our experiments we turned our attention to the cringe-iest of all of the cringe-y Valentine's traditions: the Valentine's card. We told them this was their chance to use their best/worst pick up lines, and as much feathers, pom poms, glue and stickers as they could. The one that made us groan the most would be the winner. They all kind of came out looking like something a mom would hang on her fridge, which makes it all the more awesome. We weren't going for professional work here, we were going for speed and tackiness. It was great to see them try to outdo each other, and I learned a few new pick up lines to try out on my husband.
After we'd had enough of the cheesiness it was game time! We made up this small game that I've lovingly refered to as "CrackShip" in my head. You basically draw two cards from the deck then defend why you think they'd make a good couple. For example: Dracula and Bella Swan would work because she totally had a thing for old vampires. Ironman and Mary Poppins could work because he kinda needs someone to mother him. To keep it library themed I used all book characters (don't forget comic books). I'd also encourage the kids to use humor as part of their arguments. A few laughs go a long way!
If you are re-creating this game, go into with the mind set of the craziest couples that could be made. I personally thought Amelia Bedilia and Captain Underpants would have made a great pair!
Another game we had on standby but didn't have time to use was Celebrity: Couple Edition. We picked out a few famous book couples (Romeo/Juliet, Clary/Jace, Agustus/Hazel, etc.) and wrote them on separate pieces of paper. You pick a couple, tape it to the backs of two participants, and then they have to as yes/no questions to figure out who they are and find their partners. The kids have always loved celebrity, so I'm sure this game would have been a hit, too, if we had had the time!
For snacks we poured red punch into a glass that had food coloring in the bottom, which usually turned the drink into some gross brown color. Perfectly unfortunate, we thought. We also had heart cookies, but told the participants to break them before they ate them. I'm pretty sure they worked out some of their own broken heart aggression on those cookies... but a broken cookie is still good!
All in all, our Valentines Party turned out to be a success. It was nice to give the kids a chance to make fun of something that usually is taken so seriously.