8 apps to help plan your best Valentine’s Day

It’s hard to ignore Valentine’s Day whether you’re excited about it or absolutely loathe it. The supermarket aisles are full of pink and red things. Cupids dangle from unexpected places. Shelves buckle under heaps of heart-shaped candy.

Whether this is your first or your fiftieth Valentines Day with your sweetie, or if you plan to spend the evening with your pals, these apps can turn it into a fun time.

Get the food right

If you’re confident in your cooking abilities and want to impress your date, check out BigOven (download for iOS or Android). The app has more than 350,000 recipes and seasonal collections that are sure to impress.

Mark and organize your recipes under Favorite or Try and create folders and categories. BigOven can also create grocery lists, take pantry inventory, and sort items by store department or recipe. As you shop, you can check the items off or remove them from your list.

If you’d rather not play chef, you can book a reservation at a restaurant through the OpenTable app (download for iOS or Android). The app lets you pick a section in the restaurant when you make your reservation. As of last year, more than 46,000 restaurants had joined the service.

For a more casual Valentine’s day, a food delivery app like Uber Eats (download for Android or iOS), Postmates (download for Android or iOS) or DoorDash (download for Android or iOS) would be perfect.

Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Stream the perfect show

Whether your night is romantic or platonic, relaxing with a good movie or binge-watching a TV show is an easy win.

You can pick from great titles on Netflix (download for iOS or Android) like the new psychological thriller You, or an old favorite like The Office.

Don’t miss: Best Valentine’s Day movies on Netflix for 2019

If you’re not subscribed to a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu (download for iOS or Android) or Amazon Prime Video (download for iOS or Android), you can check out Elizabeth Olsen’s Sorry for Your Loss on Facebook Watch for free.

You can always snuggle up and watch together on your phone or tablet, or use Google Chromecast or Apple AirPlay to stream from your phone to your TV screen.

Netflix
Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Order movie tickets from your phone

If you’re not in the mood for a movie on the couch, getting out and going to the movie theater is a long-standing Valentine’s Day tradition. If you don’t mind fighting the crowds, many of today’s movie theaters offer a better experience than ever with reclining seats, a variety of food and often a bar.

Instead of calling the movie theater or Googling what’s playing, check out Fandango (download for iOS or Android) or one of these apps for booking your seats. The apps often show user ratings for each movie and let you watch trailers. Some even offer free snacks for registering.

Fandango provides movie information and filters films based on genre, rating, film formats and more. You can watch trailers, browse ratings and pick the theater with the best amenities.

Tickets for most major movie theater chains can be purchased in the apps. Pick your film, showtime, seats and more. Payment, splitting the bill and exchanging tickets is easy as well.

Fandango
Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Hold a vote on Google Maps

Don’t get trapped in an endless cycle of, “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” Use Google Maps’ (download for iOS or Android) Explore feature to find the perfect activity.

Your significant other or your friend group can find restaurants, events or other locations with the Explore tab. Any potential activity can be added to a short list for the group to vote on.

Apps like Yelp (download for iOS or Android) and Gravy (download for iOS or Android) are also helpful in planning an evening.

Google Maps
Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Find a unique gift on Etsy

A unique or personalized gift is a great touch for Valentine’s Day. If you’re not much of an artist, check out Etsy (download for iOS or Android) for beautiful, handmade gifts.

You can specify your searches to gifts for him, for her, for spouses, for kids, decorations, cards and more.

Since Etsy sells handmade goods, you’re also supporting artists. Keep in mind that because items are custom-made, they might be a bit more expensive in some cases. And make sure you give yourself enough time to have them delivered.

Etsy
Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Order flowers from an app

Getting an arrangement of flowers is always a nice surprise. If you’re planning to surprise a loved one, send some to yourself or want to drop a hint to your significant other, try the ProFlowers app (download for iOS or Android).

You can order and quickly send a flower arrangement or a plant. Pick out your gift, add the recipient’s address, add a personalized message, select a delivery date and press Send.

ProFlowers ships its arrangements in a free vase or pot and guarantees freshness, so they can be enjoyed longer.

Proflower
Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Take a relationship quiz

Communication is a big factor in a healthy relationship. The Happy Couple quiz app (download for iOS or Android) can help you learn more about a new relationship or strengthen an older one.

After linking the apps, partners can tap Play Quiz to start. Happy Couple adds 10 new questions daily, like “Who picked up the check the first time you ate together?” You can choose from “I did,”http://www.cnet.com/”He did,”http://www.cnet.com/”We split it” or “We argued about it.”

You can compare your answers afterward and discuss where you agree or disagree.

Happy couple
Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Tinder, Bumble or Pickable

There’s nothing wrong with being single on Valentine’s Day. If you’re hoping to find your true love or a simple date to a party, a dating app is as good a place to start as any.

Tinder (download for iOS or Android), and its famous swipe right interface, probably comes to mind first for most. Swipe right if you like someone, swipe left if you don’t. If you both swiped right, you match.

If Tinder isn’t for you, there are plenty of other dating apps to choose from.

Bumble (download for iOS or Android) lets women make the first move. Vibes (download for iOS) focuses on matching personalities and combats the negativity often found in dating apps. Pickable (download for iOS or Android) empowers women by letting them remain anonymous while browsing for dates.

Tinder
Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

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