Valentine’s Day is a week from Saturday. Are you ready? There’s certainly nothing wrong with flowers and a lovely dinner out, but there are other options. Note: reservations are recommended for most of these, so call ahead.
The Warner Nature Center has a family friendly Valentine’s planned with its Winter Blizzard Blast. Try a guided snowshoe hike or kicksled ride, or use an underwater camera to see what’s going on under the lake’s frozen surface, and stop for hot chocolate and s’mores by a campfire.
Head over to St. Paul on Valentine’s evening for the annual Victorian Poetry Slam, taking place at the James J. Hill House. 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).
Over in Eden Prairie, the Ice Castles installation could arguably be a very romantic spot, especially at night, when the castle’s walls are lit up with multicolored lights (pictured above).
Three Rivers Park District has a couple of Valentine’s-themed events next week. On Valentine’s Day, The Landing in Shakopee has a special Valentine’s Day Family Fun event. Make a Victorian’s Valentine’s card, try snowshoeing or kicksledding, tour the village and assemble kid-sized log cabins. Eastman Nature Center in Dayton still has (at this time) seats available for its Valentine’s Day Dinner, Dessert and Lights — a dinner in a luminary-lit area with live music.
Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan offers Trails by Candlelight, a romantic outdoor event with more than 1,500 luminaries lit along two miles of hiking and snowshoeing trails and four miles of cross-country ski trails. There will also be sledding and ice skating.
Stillwater does Valentine’s Day up right by offering Paint the Town Red sleigh rides. Enjoy the scenic river front, which is lovely in the winter, and visit Stillwater’s shops and eateries.
St. Paul’s Alexander Ramsey House has a Valentine’s version of its ongoing series, History Chef! Kids can come in on Valentine’s Day for Valentine’s Day Cookies for Kids and learn how to bake and decorate cookies in the mansion’s historic kitchen, followed by a kid-friendly tour.
Do you need a high-class aphrodisiac in your Valentine’s plans? The American Swedish Institute has you covered with the Black Hearts Ball. It’s a black-and-white ball celebrating fashion and opera, themed around the current Nobel Creations exhibit.
The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts has Institute of Hearts. Visitors to the museum on Feb. 13 and 14 will be given a paper heart Valentine to place before your favorite work of art.
Eelpout may be ugly (or beautiful to the right beholder), but you can also get in on fish fries, mechanical bull rides, watch auto racing on the lake, enjoy some dancing and even try your hand at catching your own eelpout during Walker’s International Eelpout Festival.
What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out WCCO 4 News At 10 on Sunday nights, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.