Valentine’s Day is only a little more than two weeks away. Are you ready?

There’s certainly nothing wrong with flowers and a lovely dinner out, but there are other options, including some events on the weekend prior. Note: reservations are recommended for most of these, so call ahead.

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).

Down the street on the same night is Land of 10,000 Loves at the Minnesota History Center. Historian Stewart Van Cleve will use oral history, archival narrative, newspaper accounts and illustrations to trace Minnesota’s queer history.

Over in Stillwater, 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. (Be sure to check closer to Valentine’s Day — if we have an extended melting period, plans here may change.)

Stillwater also offers Paint the Town Red sleigh rides on Saturday night. Enjoy the scenic river front, lovely in the winter, and visit Stillwater’s shops and eateries. Maybe combining Ice Castles with a carriage ride would be a good idea…

Three Rivers Park District has a couple of Valentine’s-themed events next week. On Saturday, 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. That same evening, Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista still has (at this time) seats available for its Lovebird’s Local Foods Dinner Sleigh Rides. Available for 21 and older, make reservations soon.

Saturday night, travel to William O’Brien State Park for a Candlelight Walk Along the St. Croix. Look for owls and other wildlife, enjoy the unfettered night sky, and end the 2.5-mile walk with hot cider and a marshmallow roast.

Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan offers Trails by Candlelight on Saturday night, 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.

On Friday, Feb. 10, St. Paul’s Alexander Ramsey House has a Valentine’s version of its ongoing series, Ramsey After Dark. Enjoy Victorian treats while learning about Victorian courtship traditions and parlor games. For ages 18-plus.

In Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts has Institute of Hearts. Visitors to the museum on Feb. 14 will be given a paper heart Valentine to place before your favorite work of art.

Valentine’s evening at Theodore Wirth Park, bring your beloved Snowshoeing Class. Learn how to snowshoe (snowshoes provided), explore the park and end at the Pavilion for hot chocolate.

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.

  1. Mike Danpe says:

    Hey! Throwing an idea around here for Valentine’s day, but one thing that is overlooked every year as a gift of value is a cleaning service/gift certificate for a service. I’d LOVE if someone paid to have my house cleaned! In the past I have purchased from and ever since then I purchase from them every year for people 🙂