Whether you truly “heart” Valentine’s Day, shun the celebration, or are simply ambivalent to arrow-slinging amoretti, if you’re looking for heartfelt gifts, awesome dinner specials, or great local music, downtown Dayton has you covered. Choose your own adventure in today’s post to create the best weekend experience plopped in the middle of a frigid February.
Find out why Amazon.com rated Dayton in its top 20 list of most romantic U.S. cities. If you need gifts and activities for you and your sweetie, here are a few suggestions to squeeze every last drop of romance out of your city:
- Sweetheart Skate, Feb 13-14, MetroParks Ice Rink: Spend Valentine’s weekend at RiverScape MetroParks Ice Rink! During regular ice rink hours Friday through Sunday, you can purchase the “Sweetheart Deal” and get two rink admissions, two ice skate rentals, two cups of hot chocolate and a Parker the Penguin plush for only $20.
- February Fantasy, Feb 13-14, Victoria Theatre: The Dayton Ballet presents a powerful ballet program with four diverse works, including two world-premiere ballets. A pre-performance talk will take place 45 minutes prior to each performance. Visit com for details. Don’t forget to bring your receipt from your recent purchase at a downtown Dayton business for discount tickets to this performance!
- Valentine’s Day Gift-Making, Feb 13-14, Proto BuildBar: Nothing says “love” like 3D printing your own customized Proto Heart and filling it with gifts. Proto also offers pre-stuffed hearts, full of sweets and a piece of locally made, handcrafted jewelry by Brooke Medlin!
- Super Saturday Family Days, Feb 13, Dayton Art Institute: Maybe your special someone is a little on the short side. Take the kids to create your own beautiful valentines using classic and vintage valentines as your inspiration. Enjoy a gallery hunt featuring some of the most romantic paintings at The Dayton Art Institute.
- Salsa Saturday Valentine’s Celebration, Feb 13, Therapy Café: DJ Danny D plays a mixture of Latin dance music consisting of salsa, merengue, bachata, cumbia, dembow, line dance, reggaeton, soca, punta, and vallenato, music that will definitely heat up the dance floor. Learn the basics of this sexy, sultry dance with a free lesson at 9:45pm.
- Annual Valentine’s Show with Touch, Feb 13, Gilly’s Jazz: Dayton-based Touch, a five-member, “old school” rhythm-and-blues band, covers baby-makin’ hits by the Temptations, the Stylistics, the Delfonics, and more at Gilly’s during the annual Valentine Party Saturday night.
Who Needs Cupid?
Does that chubby cherub even have a license for his amorous arrows? If you’d rather avoid the slings and arrows of outrageous corporate holidays, here are a few ways you can still have a great time without a heart-shaped box.
- February Specials, Feb 13-14, Salon J Ladner: You can go and love yourself with special pricing on relaxation massages, 30-min facials, and Brazilian wax.
- The Glass Menagerie, Feb 13-14, The Loft Theatre: Not into all this lovey-dovey business? Take in a little Tennessee Williams, courtesy The Human Race Theatre Co. Dreams meet reality and love becomes desperate in a shimmering drama of a family on the edge. Tom struggles in a modern day world while his mother holds tight to a fantasy of Southern gentility and his sister hides amongst the glistening crystalline creatures she collects.
- Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Feb 13-14, Schuster Center: Wishing for your own Prince Charming to sweep you off your feet? Escape to magical, musical enchantment where your destiny can change with the right pair of shoes.
- TechFest 2016, Feb 13-14, Sinclair Community College: Forget roses; pick STEM instead! TechFest motivates kids to love science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and study science subjects in their normal school environment. This two-day program creates an atmosphere of excitement and fun for K-12 youth, their parents, and grandparents.
- The Red Party Valentines Celebration, Feb 13, MJ’s on Jefferson: Valentine’s feeling like a drag? Hit up MJ’s to see Mr and Miss Continental 2016 Mykul Jay Valentine and Tiffany T Hunter. Also starring Scarlett Fever, aka Cameron Dye, with the sexy Jake M. Decardeza, and one of MJ’s favorite divas, Jamie Lee Devereaux. Win a prize for your best “Valentine’s wear.”
- V-Day Improved Musical, Feb 13, The Black Box Improv Theater: Black Box improv stars’ “most favoritestest show” is here for V-Day: an improvised musical with pianist Trey Stone, a stage full of hairy men, and not-so-hairy women. BOYB and laughs for all.
- Detox to Retox, Feb 14, Toxic Brewing Co: Get a little flexible with an instructor-led yoga session (detox) followed by a pint of Toxic-brewed suds (retox).
Eat Your Heart Out
Coupled or not, everyone’s gotta eat! Here are a few drool-worthy dining specials this weekend:
- Valentine’s Day Aphrodisiac Chef’s Experience for Two, Feb 13-14, Salar Restaurant & Lounge: Enjoy a special food-and-wine pairing dinner featuring menu items rumored to work up l’amore along with an appetite!
- Valentine’s Weekend at Lily’s Bistro, Feb 13-14, Lily’s Bistro: Lily’s is serving a special Valentine’s prix fixe menu Friday and Saturday, and Sunday’s Valentine’s dinner menu includes the “lovebird dinner for two,” which features a choice of appetizer; half of a local, free-range, fried chicken; choice of two sides; and a dessert to share.
- Valentine’s Weekend Beer and Chocolate Pairing, Feb 13-14, Fifth Street Brewpub: Who needs romance when you’ve got beer and chocolate? Sip your way through five flights of beers paired with local creations from Winan’s Chocolates, Peace on Fifth, Esther Price, and Angel’s Food Cakes.
- Valentine’s Day at De’Lish, Feb 13, De’Lish: Dinner is paired with romantic entertainment with Friday Nights Unplugged featuring Roxie the Soul Butterfly and the Liquid Crystal Project. Saturday, enjoy an evening of soul and R&B from Cincinnati’s own Vince Stroud.
- Valentine’s Day Dinner, Feb 14, Roost Modern Italian: Book at table for two for an intimate evening with your significant other, or schedule a party with friends in the Dough Room. Call the restaurant at (937) 222-3100, or make reservations online at roostdayton.com.