Ways To Celebrate Valentines Day Across the Country

By: Freelance Contributor
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 14: A man carries a bunch of ballons as he walks down Union Street on Valentine's Day on February 14, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Valentine's Day is actually a Catholic church sanctioned holiday, as Pope Gelasius deemed February 14, St. Valentine's Day, near 498 A.D. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Getty Images / 2011 Getty Images



Pittsburgh offers many places to take your sweetheart to dinner. While this is a lovely and safe option to do on any other day, consider taking your significant other to other events and places to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Below are a few events going on in Pittsburgh during Valentine’s Day weekend.

Celebrate Love with the Animals

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is hosting its Animal Instincts – Valentine’s Dinner either on Friday, February 12 or Saturday, February 13 from 6 to 9 pm. This 21 and over event features an intimate animal presentation by Henry Kapcprzyk along with hor d’oeuvres, dinner, dessert, and a unique animal event. The cost per person is $70 for members and $75 for non-members.

Celebrate Love with a Unique Gift

The Pittsburgh Glass Center is offering several unique opportunities to make your special someone a unique, beautiful, and hand-crafted gift. Choose from Valentine’s Flowers, Fused Valentines or Valentine’s Pendants. Make your reservation for you and your date for this one-of-a-kind experience. The cost ranges from $25 to $35 per person. Pre-registration is suggested, but walk-ins are welcome.

Over at the Union Project in Highland Park consider taking a pottery class with a glass of wine. Instructors will teach students a “variety of hand-building techniques.” The cost of the clay, wine, and firing costs are included in the fee of $65 for a pair or $40 per person.

Celebrate Love with Laughter

Mystery’s Most Wanted has been performing murder mystery dinner theater in the Pittsburgh and surrounding area for nearly 21 years. Join in on the fun at the Blue Flame Restaurant for an evening of food, fun, laughs, and murder for their show One Love to Lose on Friday, February 12. Doors open at 6:30 pm and is reservation only. The cost for this show is $35 and includes the food, show, and gratuity.

Join in on the fun as the Arcade Comedy Theater celebrates its anniversary during the Valentine’s Day weekend. Catch a live show on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday with performances from Player One, Penny Arcade, or Magician Lee Terbosic. Start your weekend with happy hour at Franktuary in Market Square with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Arcade. Tickets are available online.


Celebrate Love with a Party

The Gateway Clipper invites you to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Romantic Pittsburgh Dining Tour. This special cruise has live music, dinner, and a view of Pittsburgh that many do not see often. Choose your cruise from Saturday, February 13, or Sunday, February 14. The cost is $65 per person.

The Filipino American Association of Pittsburgh will be hosting its annual Snow Ball at the Union Project on February 13th starting at 6 pm. All proceeds will benefit the programs of the Young Filipino Americans of Pittsburgh. Admission is $20 for members or $25 for non-members. For more information or questions, please call 724.498.6757 or email alias.quemado@thefaap.org.

Located in Downtown Pittsburgh, the Toonseum is hosting a Guided Art Party on Saturday, February 13 from 7 to 10 pm. This 21 and over event is BYOB. Create your own “Take-Home Masterpiece” for yourself or couples. The cost for this exciting event is $85 for couples or $50 for singles and includes all materials, supplies, and light snacks. Tickets can be purchased here.

Celebrate Love by Helping Others

Community Options, a non-profit supporting people with disabilities, will be hosting its annual Cupid’s Chase 5K on February 13 at PNC Park on the North Side at 8 am. Meanwhile, in the North Park race in either a 5K, 10K, and 15K also on February 13. This annual event is a fundraiser for the RSG1 Foundation, which helps families and patients with malignant brain tumors. For a slightly different event, you and your sweetie can run the Cupid’s Undie Run. Proceeds from this run benefit the Children’s Tumor Foundation. This event starts at McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon on the North Shore.


The Ballsy Ones

Adventurous couples might want to think about getting outside. Take a hike in Percy Warner Park, or rent a canoe and go out on Harpeth Lake. Or, if you want something a little crazy, try The Escape Game. Just make sure your partner doesn’t think you’re trying to send a subliminal message.

The Musicians

If you’re in Nashville, you probably like music, so head over to The Bluebird for their famous Writers Night. Make sure to get there early — as always, it’s first come, first served. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more casual, head over to the Bluegrass Jam at Station Inn. Don’t forget to bring your strings to that one so you can jam along.


The Nerds

Do you like to know what makes things tick? Take a tour of a local brewery, or keep things extra-sweet with a tour of Olive and Sinclair (Saturdays only). You can also head to the Sudekum Planetarium at Adventure Science Center to see how the universe is faring.

The Winos

Take a trip out to Arrington Vineyards for Valentine’s Day music and wine on Saturday or Sunday. Bring your blankets, chairs, and food, and enjoy a beautiful night out with your favorite type of vine. Or, you can BYOB to Pinot’s Palette in Brentwood. That way, you can paint your love while you drink to it.

The Romantics

If you want to have the best Valentine’s Day story ever, you’ll get married at the ridiculously beautiful Belmont Mansion. Each year, they offer elopement packages for ceremonies in the morning and evening on Valentine’s Day. Already married? No problem – they renew vows, too. Call 615-305-2021 to make your reservation. I’m very excited for you.

Not ready to take the plunge? Keep it casual with a romantic pretty sunset picnic at Love Circle. Or get really creative with a special Valentine dinner at Salud Cooking School. Their multi-course dinner is limited to 6 couples, and each course has its own wine selection. You’ll get to take home recipes, and you can even get in on the cooking action if you want.

Make it Count

Valentine’s Day means different things to everyone, but Nashville has something for you no matter what you’re looking for. And don’t be afraid to stay home and watch Amélie or Moonrise Kingdom on Netflix. That can be just as romantic as a wedding in a mansion. OK, maybe not, but it’s what I’ll be doing. Whatever you decide, have fun and be safe!

Phoenix AZ

Afraid your Valentine will break Cupid’s arrow off in your you-know-what if you take her out to another overpriced, overcrowded, overdone dinner date for Valentine’s Day? Have no fear. The Phoenix area offers plenty of alternatives. Whether you want to get physical or get hitched, here’s a roundup of unique Valentine’s Day date ideas in the Phoenix area.


Pedego Scottsdale and Chocolade van Brugge

Pedego Scottsdale and Chocolade van Brugge are teaming up to offer an active and romantic Valentine’s Day date special, offering packages for two-hour or full-day bike rentals for two. The packages also include a four-piece box of Belgian chocolates and two coffees from Chocolade van Brugge and a single red rose. Call Pedego Scottsdale for reservations at 480-994-4447.

Sami’s Love in the Hills

What better way to tell your lover she’s still the one than to renew your wedding vows along with hundreds of other couples? For the fourth year in a row, Sami’s Fine Jewelry is hosting a mass vow renewal ceremony in front of the “World Famous Fountain” at Fountain Park. The ceremony will be officiated by non-denominational minister Larry James. Festivities run from 2 PM to 6:30 PM and include food trucks, live music from local band The Kniffin Project, giveaways, and photos. The vow ceremony starts at 4:15 PM and will be followed by a dance party with SKM Entertainment.

Valentine’s Day Moonlight Hike at Cave Creek Regional Park

The Rangers at Cave Creek Regional Park are hosting a moonlight hike for lovebirds along the Military Trail. Bring water, your partner, and a camera for sunset photos. The 6-7 mile hike will cover the scenic Sonoran Desert uplands and the Ranger will tell the history of the name “Military” Trail. Wear sturdy shoes and meet at the Nature Center at 5 PM. The park charges a $6 entry fee per vehicle. Adults only.

Butterfly Wonderland

Enjoy the beauty of Butterfly Wonderland with your sweetie or the whole family as an array of red butterflies flutter and love songs play in the Conservatory. Couples will receive homemade heart-shaped cookies courtesy of Triple Delight Bakery.

Fundraiser Benefit for Lucky Dog Rescue

Dog lovers will appreciate a chance to love on some adoptable dogs at this event from 3 PM to 6 PM at The Rhythm Room. The benefit will be emceed by local comedian Travis Thurman and feature live performances by several bands including The Booze Bombs, Slik Fifty, and Pat Roberts and the Heymakers. A vintage car show will be hosted by Sinner’s Car Club. Several rescue dogs will be at the event and available for adoption. The cover is $10 and all proceeds go to Lucky Dog Rescue.


Rhode Island

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is coming. And whether or not you’re single or attached, a V-day worshipper or hater, or giving presents or getting them, there are a few off-the-beaten-path events to suit anyone’s interests.

Thankfully, Rhode Island’s got you covered.

For the Romantic

XO Café, Providence

Housed in the historic 1799 John Updike House, this Providence, RI-based café was named the most romantic restaurant in Rhode Island by Town & Country magazine in 2016. Maybe it’s because this eatery’s farm-to-table philosophy yields delicious and creative dishes or because its cozy dining atmosphere offers the chance to sit a little closer to your sweetie. Whatever the reason, Valentine’s Day dinner at XO is the perfect excuse for a romantic night out.

For the Choco-holic

Garrison Confections, Providence

Looking to put the sweet in sweetheart this Valentine’s Day? Ditch the conversation hearts and head over to Garrison’s. Their 15th annual Legendary Lovers Collection is 12 to 24 pieces of chocolate honoring some of the greatest lovers in history, art, music, and literature: Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, a grand mariner concoction, the Bill and Monica, a spicy Tahitian vanilla, or the Lucy and Ricky, a pear-infused sweet treat. $24 for 12 pc.; $45 for 24 pc.

For the Animal Lover

Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence

Beat cabin fever by taking a winter stroll through the Zoo (Bonus: enjoy half-priced admission in February). Bundle up with your loved one and see the snow leopards, moon bears, and other cold-hardy animals in a wintry setting.

For the Culturally Inclined

Blithewold Mansion and Gardens, Bristol

Old and new come together at the 45-room English-style manor on Narragansett Bay just in time for Valentine’s Day. Showcasing a mix of Van Wickle family traditions (the family purchased the home in 1895) and luxurious dessert-and-wine pairings, Blithewold Mansion will also play host to performers from the Opera Providence who will perform romantic arias and duets from beloved operas.


For the Child (and the Child at Heart)

Providence Children’s Museum, Providence

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, it’s all about the heart. Celebrate the holiday of love with activities that include learning about the anatomy of a heart and testing your own heart rate. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

New York

Valentine’s Day can be a controversial topic in many households. It’s either commercial exploitation straight out of the machinations of Lucifer or a patriarchic symbol of lustful desperation. Singles and couples alike have reasons to be wary when noble Eros comes calling every February 14th. Though for others, it’s just a day – a chance to slow down and switch gears from the myriad stresses of life and focus on what’s arguably most important: your relationships. Whether you’re happily married, entrenched in the dating pool, or single, Valentine’s Day offers you the chance to reevaluate your priorities. And if you’re lucky enough to live in New York City, there are plenty of things to help you do just that. Here are some of the more unique Valentine’s Day date ideas in New York City:

Rent a Private Theater at the Producers’ Club

Starting at $225 for a two-hour block, you and your friends can rent a private theater at the Producers’ Club west of Times Square. Get your single pals together for a buddy film, or shell out for a whole day of movies for $425. Or grab your date and set up the ultimate double/triple/dodecahedral date experience: a Hugh Grant marathon that starts with Love Actually and ends with About a Boy.

Sail Around Manhattan on a Four-Course Dinner Cruise

There’s nothing more atmospheric than a romantic dinner cruise. Starting at $125 per person, Hornblower cruises leave from a pier just off of Houston street and offer a four-course meal and three hours of scenic cruising. The route includes iconic Manhattan landmarks and sails directly under the Brooklyn Bridge. World Yacht features a similar package, with complimentary roses and champagne.

Jazz Your Way to Love

Jazz fans rejoice! Here comes the only holiday where it’s socially acceptable to blast the supple tones of sax arpeggios into the night sky. And that’s just what several venues plan to do this year on Valentine’s Day. Smooth Jazz New York is holding three concerts over Valentine’s weekend this year, all at the Beacon TheatreJazz at Lincoln Center is also getting us in the mood with Freddy Cole: Songs for Lovers. Tickets are $45 and can be upgraded to include a four-course prix fixe with wine pairing for $140.


Bonus: Tour the Museum of Sex

Possibly not a first date scenario and definitely not a family-friendly outing, a stroll through the Museum of Sex on 5th avenue will delight and thrill curious lovers from all walks of life. The museum is holding a special Valentine’s Day package that includes a fruit-infused vodka shot referred to as “aphrodisiac treatment,” along with admission to Bompas and Parr’s Jump for Joy: Bouncy Castle of Breasts.

Springfield, MO

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that people have a love/hate relationship with. Some people like to spend the holiday with loved ones over dinner and dessert while others would rather spend it solo with a pizza and a bottle of cheap wine. However you like to get down on February 14th, there’s a little something for everyone in Springfield this Valentine’s Day.

1. A Valentine’s Shing-A-Ling

– Calling all the lovers and the lovelorn! Head over to Lindberg’s Tavern on historic Commercial Street on February 13th for a night of original Motown, soul, and funk records with DJ Valence and Nick G. Special guest DJ P of the legendary Rock Steady Crew will also be spinning. The cover is just $5 and don’t forget that Lindberg’s now offers excellent Ozark fare with menu items like their Cashew Chicken Poutine.

2. Q Enoteca’s Valentine’s Event

– Springfield’s favorite wine bar will host a special Valentine’s Day event on February 13th featuring dessert, live music, and more! Tickets are $40 for couples and you’ll enjoy local live band, The Adam Johnston Band, dessert, a bottle of wine, a rose, and a photo together to commemorate the special night. There are a limited number of spaces available.

3. Lover’s Lane Weekend at Martha’s Vineyard

– Celebrate Valentine’s Day all weekend long with Martha’s Vineyard. Join them on Friday, February 12th for their “Valentine’s, Girl’s of Martha’s” show then come back again Saturday night for their “Lover’s Lane – Dinner, Drinks, and Drag” event. The cast of the drag show will serve an extra special dinner in Martha’s VIP lounge followed by a private VIP show! There are a limited number of spaces available.


4. Lilly Bee and the Trio of Pros: A Benefit for Heart and Home for Children, Inc.

– Head over to The Flea on February 13th to give back this Valentine’s Day! Lilly Bee and the Pollinators make their hometown return joined by Jimmy Rea, Brandon Moore, and Mike Henderson along with some surprise special guests. This is the kickoff fundraiser for Heart and Home for Children, Inc. All proceeds from the event will go toward the charity’s initial project, The Greenhouse, an emergency therapeutic foster home for children.

5. Wicked

– The Second National Tour of the musical that has been hailed by the New York Times as “the defining musical of the decade” has finally made its way to Springfield. Wicked will be at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts through February 14th. Grab your someone special and settle in for a look at what happened in the Land of Oz….but from a different angle.

6. The Love Show

– Join Comedy, Inc. – Springfield Improv on February 13th for a night of live improv comedy where your suggestions and ideas help build the show! The show features an excellent cast that combines short and long improvisation to create a one-of-a-kind comedy show.