The divisive day descends upon us once again. Whether you love it or hate it, you just can’t avoid the fact: Valentine’s Day is here. And each year, it grows. Grocery stores appear occupied by Cupid himself- cluttered with red and pink hearts, oversized teddy bears, and mounds of chocolate-filled boxes. It can feel overwhelming, and a little exhausting, but here is some help. Check out our top 10 picks to feel the love with your hunny, your pals, your family, or even just your sweet, sweet self.
For the foodie
Valentine’s Day dinner remains a classic go-to. Each year restaurants fill up for Valentine’s Day weeks in advance, but, still, your dinner date might feel like any old dinner date. Freshen it up this year by visiting one of these places aiming to make Valentine’s Day dinner a little more special
Brim House: 50 Shades of Rouge
Let Brim House do the work for you this year. All you have to do is show up and enjoy course upon delicious course of food and wine. The menu consists of eight red inspired dishes paired with eight red, rose, and blush wines.
6:30-9:30pm Thursday, February 14. $85/guest. Brim House, 444 N Summit St., 419-243-7664. brimhousetoledo.com. Buy tickets here.
Plat8: Valentine’s Day Candlelight Dinner
Head to Plat8 for a romantic dinner where candles and live acoustic music will help set the mood. Choose something from the regular menu or enjoy one of the nights features along with specially made drinks for the evening.
5-9pm Thursday, February 14. Plat8, 4330 Central Ave., 419-214-0370. plat8toledo.com.
Adams Street Cafe: Friday Night Dinner
The Adams Street cafes transforms from a fast-paced, casual eatery to a fine-dining, intimate affair on Friday nights. Treat your loved ones and yourself to a delectable meal featuring beef and seafood, polished off with a chocolatey dessert. With the menu already set, all you need to do is show up, order a cocktail and enjoy.
6-9pm, Friday, February 15. $25/guest. The Adams Street Cafe, 608 Adams St., 419-214-1819. facebook.com/theadamsstcafe.com
Fangboner Farms: Don’t Need No Man Valentine’s Day
Sip Fangboner Farms tea, wine, and snacks for a Happy Galentine’s Day at this charming farm market store. With a fire making the space cozy and inviting, you can enjoy visiting (and shopping) with your fellow sassy singletons. Couples don’t get to have all the fun on Valentine’s Day, right? Of course not. RSVP on their Facebook page today as space is limited. $10. 6pm-9pm. Thursday, February 14. Fangboner Farms. 1179 Crissey Rd., Holland. 419-350-2980. fangbonerfarms.com.
Dolce Vita: Valentine’s Day Dinner
Chef Rob Campbell, formerly of Revolution Grille, now heads this Monroe, MI Italian restaurant. Enjoy bruschetta, dolce dinner salad, roasted yukon potatoes, a 24 oz horseradish crusted prime rib to share, plus a bottle of wine and dessert to share, for $75.
11:30am-10pm. Thursday, February 14. 734-241-6100. Monroedolcevita.com
Secor Ballroom: Champagne Bar, Strolling Desserts and Dancing
Enjoy an elegant evening in the Secor Ballroom. Make a toast with champagne, enjoy sweet desserts prepared by Chef Erika of Registry Bistro, and enjoy a ballroom dance lesson and performance from The Modern Dance Company. $70 plus tax per person. $125 plus tax per couple.
7-9pm. Thursday, February 14. The Secor Ballroom, 425 Jefferson Ave., RSVP online at themoderndancecompany.com
For the music lover
Maybe thoughts of your valentine roll through your mind like a song you just can’t stop humming. If so, commemorate your love with a little music this year.
The Ottawa Tavern: My Funky Valentine
Red and pink might be associated Valentines day, but the Ottawa Tavern will be decked out in purple as you celebrate by honoring Prince at this dance party. Purple beer and Prince-inspired cocktails will flow as you get your funk on.
7pm-12am Thursday, February 14. $5. The Ottawa Tavern, 1815 Adams St., 419- 725-5483. facebook.com/ot.toledo/
Toledo Rep Fundraiser: Love is in the Air
Share the love this Valentine’s Day not just with your special someone, but also by supporting the Toledo Repertoire Theatre at the “Love is in the Air” fundraiser. The event will feature a cabaret performance of the most popular love songs from stage and film, food, cocktails, a silent auction and raffle prizes.
7:30-10:30pm Friday, February 8 and 9. $19.75. The Toledo Repertoire Theatre, 16 10 St., 419-243-9277. toledorep.org.
Rasa: After Dark Live Music Series
Rasa joins with Toledo Spirits offering a night of tunes and cocktails. Head to the restaurant for a relaxing evening of music provided by musician Aaron Jones.
8:30-11pm Thursday, February 14. Rasa Restaurant and Bar, 2633 W Bancroft St., 419- 725-0525. rasarestaurantandbar.com. free.
For the creative
If you’re sick of the same-old dinner date night, you might enjoy a more hands-on experience for Valentine’s Day. We’ve got you covered with these unique, alternative ways to celebrate.
Glass Art Workshop: Hearts
Love takes work, so what better way to memorialize yours than to get to work creating your own glass heart? Under the guide of a TMA instructor and an hour-long workshop you’ll leave the museum proud of a memento you’ll keep forever.
6-7pm Friday, February 15. $30/members, $40/non-members. The Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St., 419-255-8000. toledomuseum.org.
Valentine’s Day Partner Paint: Uncork the Artist
You don’t need to be Picasso to turn your love into art. At Uncork the Artist, you have the option to paint a heart on a single canvas or work with your special someone to create a heart spanning two canvases during this instructor-led class.
6:30pm Friday, February 15. $65/person. Uncork The Artist, 5380 Monroe St., 419-283-2484. uncorktheartist.com.
For the experience-junky
If you fancy yourself more of an experience person, then you’ll enjoy an unforgettable night doing something a little less conventional this year.
Flashlight Tours for Adults: The Look of Love
Combine your love for art and significant other by exploring the Toledo Museum of Art after hours and in the dark. As the guides usher you through, you’ll learn about love stories through the ages. As if that’s not enough to spark your interest, consider, also, that a the night includes a free drink to toast the evening.
9-10pm Thursday, February 14. $20/members, $25/non-members. The Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St., 419-255-8000. toledomuseum.org.
Will Zoo Be Mine Overnight: Toledo Zoo
Whether you walk on two legs or four, love is in the air. Spend the night with your special someone and your local furry friends at the Toledo Zoo. The overnight includes dinner, breakfast, a guided experience with Zoo professionals, and a behind the scenes look at the aquarium.
7pm-10am Saturday, February 16 and Saturday, February 22. $225/couple for members. $250/couple for non-members. The Toledo Zoo, 2 Hippo Way, 419-385-5721. toledozoo.org.
Valentine’s day doesn’t have to be feared as long as you find something that fits your niche. Follow our guide and you’ll create a day worth remembering this year.