1. Dancing + Dinner
If you’re not in a major hub, say NYC or San Francisco, then you may have a more difficult time finding a fabulous night-spot to dance yourself pink! However our plans in Salt Lake City include dinner at Blue Lemon and then kickin’ up our heels with some fine Western swing at The Westerner. Other fabulous dinner spots in SLC include The Copper Onion, Bambara, Market Street Grill, Rodizio Grill. There are also fabulous dining options in Park City (future post here), as well as our favorite spot in Provo, Communal. I realize that many readers and not situated in the Inter-mountain West, so I’d recommend using that fabulous search engine Google to scare up some good dining options in your area!
2. Picnic + Hike
Here in the good old U.S. of A., we brag on all of the National Parks we’ve carved out and the outdoor recreation space we boast. So instead of sitting down for a calorie packed meal, pack up a lunch or a dinner and go out there and get your legs moving, heart pumping, and let your eyes feast on something beautiful in the great wide wild this Valentine’s Day. And so as not to seem Ameri-centric, I know that there are beautiful places all around the globe! Hit a park, check out a nearby lake, pick a spot by your local river, cruise up a canyon. Breath deep and let it all sink in.
3. Italian + Candlelight
One of my friends doesn’t just make Valentine’s Day special for her husband. She makes a special dinner for the whole family! I thought it might be fun to tack on a movie to this sort of Family Valentine’s Celebration. Like this:
4. Dinner at Home
I realize this is similar to the above, but maybe you’re able to drop the kiddos off at Grandma’s, or send them to a sitter, or eat together after they are snoozing. What about a romantic dinner at home? Last weekend we had friends over for dinner and I made this delicious Slow Roasted Salmon with Cucumber Yogurt and Quick Preserved Lemons. I’ll be sharing the recipe Friday, and I recommend pairing it with a decadent desert.
I made this cheesecake for the Super Bowl and it would be the perfect compliment to your salmon dinner, here! P made the most delicious blueberry reduction to drizzle over the top and down the crevasse (I have yet to make a cheesecake that doesn’t have at least one huge fissure through the center!), and then he scattered fresh blueberries over the reduction. It was so rich and delicious, I am drooling again just thinking about it! Warning: you might want to plan to have friends over on the 15th for desert because the recipe is for a 10.5 inch spring-form pan, and the cake itself is ENORMOUS!!! 5. Horse Back Riding
We live in an area that is rife with Equestrian Parks and Horse-back riding lessons. Your neck of the woods may not offer the same opportunities as my rural mountain home, but it’s worth a look! Take your love for a private lesson, here, or schedule a group ride here!
We saw The Theory of Everything over the Holidays, but if you haven’t had the chance Valentine’s might be the perfect time to plan a little date to the theater to catch this flick.
7. Opera + Ballet
Speaking of the theater, what about getting tickets to something even more upscale than a movie? A friend of mine has season tickets to the Opera with her partner, and it is fun to see little snippets of their dates (admission: there aren’t any shows running February 14th in my area). My guy is not really into opera, but maybe the two of you could hit the ballet? One Valentine’s Eve show? Pretty please? 🙂 Again, you may have to search this out on Google for your geographic locale. Here in Utah you can catch a performance of Swan Lake, performed by Ballet West. (You know this ballet company is for real when they are invited to perform at the Kennedy Center!) OR hit an afternoon performance of Plan-B Theater Company’s production of Mama with your girlfriends. OR catch the production of The Crucible at Pioneer Theater Company. I’m not saying it’s romantic, but it’s certainly a break from the ordinary!
8. Dancing at Home
We covered this one at the beginning, but if you aren’t up for dancing out on the town it might be fun to make a little playlist and shake it with your honey at home! Listen, this is totally up to you. Do you want to rock out to Pink and Iggy Azalea? Or sashay and waltz to some Frank Sinatra or Miles Davis. Your music, your groove, your thing! (Kids can easily be included here, as well) 🙂
9. Piano Bar
Maybe you’re not up for the opera either, but you’d like a more casual listening experience. We hit up Keys on Main in downtown Salt Lake sometime last year and really enjoyed the experience. Check out some of your local concert venues. If you’re looking for something even more low-key my recommendation is to check out your local newspaper, newsletter, or post office cork board. Sometimes the fun stuff is right under your nose, and we don’t find it because we’re so consumed with this beast called social media. For instance, when we lived in Alexandria, Va, a local jazz band played every Thursday and Saturday at the St. Elmo’s Coffee Shop just down the street. I sure hope they’re still there jamming. These kids were the genuine article, jiving and scatting to their own happy beat! Enjoy!
Pick a hotel, bed and breakfast, or other lodging or accommodation you’ve been dying to get away to and do it! Enough said.
Now I recognize that when the word bowling is dropped some of you think of this:
Or this: But your bowling date need not be… how shall I say this, retro? Here is an upscale option in Park City. And I have a feeling that you might find a suitable, refined?, bowling alley near you!
12. Skiing OR Surfing
Skiing is possible for us due to our proximity to Park City, UT. P has an Epic Pass, but there are plenty of opportunities to take your skis on tour and the warmer weather might be just the impetus you need. I KNOW all of you in the North East have gotten DUMPED on during this last round of storms, you too should take advantage of the snow pack and hit the slopes! OR if your climate doesn’t offer ski opportunities, what about surfing? National Geographic did a write-up on the World’s Best Surf Towns. Check it out, and see if any are near you! Most shops offer full-rentals and lessons if you’re not a pro. Or I hear there are indoor surf options in some cities, flow rider, anyone?.
Ha! Some of you might think I am reaching to the bottom of the barrel on this one. Maybe I am. Some of you might think that laser-tag is best suited for brace-faced prom dates and LARP inspired clubs. Maybe you’re right. I haven’t ever been laser-tagging, but sometimes its fun to get out of your comfort zone and do something you would NEVER normally do. Maybe Valentine’s Day doesn’t seem the ideal day to go and zap your love in a dark room, but then again, maybe it is. Let me know!
14.Skype a Loved One
It’s sure that not everyone will be with or near their loved ones on Valentine’s Day. So take advantage of the technologically advanced world we live in and Skype, Face Time, G-chat a special friend or loved on this V-Day. Here’s to Wednesday! Make it a good one!