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Valentine's Day: How To Enjoy February 14th For What It Is - A Friday Night

14/08/2014 16:39 | Updated 20 May 2015

You're better than Valentine's Day. We all are. So just as we sacked off dry January, we're ignoring the adverts for cheap bouquets, chocolate box discounts and sodding red hearts tacked on to every shop window on our local high street. Instead, we're making plans to enjoy February 14th for exactly what it is – a Friday night. Victoria Joy shares her round-up of awesome UK events.

Big Lebowski Fest, Bristol

Little sister of the infamous – and awesome – 1950s-inspired Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes in London town, Bristol Lanes are paying tribute to the 1998 cult film Big Lebowski (and by default, the recently departed Philip Seymour Hoffman). Watch the film, bowl a coupla' balls, get your chow on in the hot dog eating competition – do whatever it takes to make you feel like The Dude.

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Natural History Museum's Night Safari: The Beautiful Tour & The Ugly Tour, London

You don't need Ben Stiller to show you a good night at a museum, you know. Once Kensington's NHM closes the door on its daytime visitors, the fun begins – kick off the evening with a drink under Dippy in the famous Central Hall, then follow one of the two tours, depending on whether you're feeling particularly cheery or hateful. We'd go with the Ugly Tour, where an expert leads you through an exhibition of some of the gross creatures ever, as a confidence booster if nothing else.

night-safari

'My Bloody Valentine' murder mystery, Manchester

Well and truly turn your back on a candlelit dinner for two and come over all Cagney and/or Lacey by solving a murder case while sipping your favourite cocktail. Manchester Murder Mysteries promise intrigue and suspicion, so not worlds away from a first date, but at least here you definitely have the upper hand in that there's no way you're going to be the one getting stabbed in the back. Plus, there are snacks. Winner.

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The Oliver Goldsmith Spectacles Collection at the National Glass Centre, Sunderland

A room full of specs might not seem like a cracking Friday night at first glance but what if we told you that you'll be ogling sunglass and spectacle designs balanced on the noses of Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Michael Caine. This family company has basically been the go-to brand for any movie star or fashion house after something to adorn their peepers for the last half a century. It's a veritable feast of potential Instagram snaps.

audrey-hepburn-wearing-sunglasses

Common People at The Flying Duck, Glasgow

Free before 11pm, flyingduckclub.com

A club night of 90s classics (think Jarvis Cocker, The Spice Girls and Fresh Prince of Bel Air) is not to be sniffed at but it's the 90s musical bingo before the DJ kicks off which sets Common People apart from a standard Friday night of cheese. Of course, with themed prizes ranging from VHS tapes and shell suits up for grabs, there will obviously be a not-so-subtle smell of Brie throughout the place.

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Bruce Munro's Field of Light at St Andrew Square, Edinburgh

Want to enjoy the February fresh air rather than sit in a packed-out restaurant or cinema? Head to St Andrew Square after picking up a hot chocolate or can of pre-mixed G&T (we're not here to judge) and take a look at one of the city's most iconic gardens transformed into a field of eye-catching light globes. There's nearly 9,000 swaying glass orbs, constantly changing colour, to stroll through and it looks nothing less than epic.

bruce-munroe-exhibition

V&A's Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s, London

It's one of your last chances to catch this style exhibition as it's scheduled to pack up shop on the Sunday following V-Day, and you'll kick yourself if you miss it. Take your sartorial appreciation for The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink to new heights by witnessing the real style moments of 80s fashion, courtesy of designer outfits, paparazzi snaps from outside the hottest clubs and the most iconic mag covers of the period.

club-to-catwalk-exhibition

Some Girl I Used To Know, Hull New Theatre

Fancy a spot of modern theatre? Or a night of celeb watching? Spend your Friday evening with Denise Van Outen, as her one-woman show is currently doing the rounds nationwide and lands in Hull for February 14. While we initially brushed this off as a Viva Forever situation (our eyes and ears will never recover), we've actually heard really good things about the show and its set list includes some of the best 80s tunes.

denise-van-outen

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Ireland, Dublin

If you have never owned a feather boa or fishnet tights, not even during your fancy dress Uni years, you may as well stop reading now. However, if you're game for depravity and filth dressed up as musical entertainment, cancel your Saturday morning brunch, round up your mates and give the Rocky Horror Picture Show your undivided participation. You can't get much further away from a traditional Valentine's celebration than dry humping a cross dresser, right?

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