Bentleyville Tour of Lights

Valentine’s Day is only three weeks away, and it falls on a Friday this year, which means it will likely spill into the weekend. Restaurants are sure to be busy. But eating out isn’t the only way to celebrate romance. Here are some ideas for unique outings to enjoy with someone special.

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On Feb. 6, the Science Museum offers one of its occasional Social Science events, an evening when the Museum is only open to adults 21 and older. The apropos topic for Valentine’s month? Chemistry of Love and the Science of Sex. Grab a drink, wander the Museum, and explore the topic—or just general science—with hands-on experiments. Note: you can buy tickets that night, but this is a popular event—consider pre-ordering tickets so you can bypass the long line.

On Valentine’s Day itself, check out the James J. Hill House in St. Paul which presents its annual Victorian Poetry Slam. Costumed actors will be on hand to recite poems by Poe, Dickinson, and Browning. There will be refreshments and a house tour as well (worth the visit all by itself). Reservations recommended.

Three Rivers Park District has several Valentine’s-themed dinner events. On Feb. 8, Baker Park Reserve offers a Valentine’s Dinner and Candlelit Cross-Country Ski. Valentine’s night itself, there’s a Valentine’s Dinner and Candlelight Walk at Lowry Nature Center, also for 21 and older. You’d rather have a sleigh ride after dinner? Book the dinner at Gale Woods Farm and you’re set. After dinner, take a candlelit snowshoe hike to a campfire. Or if dancing is your activity of choice, head over to Eastman Nature Center for their Valentine’s Dinner and Dancing event. Reservations required for all dinner events; open only to adults 21 and over, and you’re allowed to bring beer or wine.

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In Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts gives you the chance to show your favorite artwork some love on Feb. 13-14 with the Institute of Hearts event. Share your love not just for another human, but for a work of art.

Dine out—at the Como Park Conservatory, surrounded by the lush flowers while enjoying live music. Feb. 14 and 15, limited seating, call soon.

Stillwater has a couple of fun events. Feb. 13 is the Foodies on Foot, Foods of Love progressive dinner that focuses on foods of love for Valentine’s Day. Feb. 14-16, it’s time to Paint the Town Red—free horse-drawn carriage rides through the historic river town from 4-8 p.m.

Feb. 15, take a short road trip to the Franconia Sculpture Park for the Valentine’s Hot Hot Hot Iron Pour. Some very brave artists will work—outdoors—on sculptures using ovens that can get up to 2,700 degrees. If that’s too hot for you, there will be a more temperate bonfire as well.

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What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Tuesday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.