10 Ideas for Celebrating Valentine’s Day (and Beyond)

February 10, 2021

I know Valentine’s Day is this week, and many feel the pressure to do the standard chocolate and flowers. But I wanted to offer up a few more ideas to celebrate the day, or really any time you’re spending with that special someone.

Mikey’s/Hot Chicken Takeover Virtual Pizza Party 

This Sunday Mikey’s and HCT bring back their popular Hot Mikey’s Takeover collaboration pizza. They’re kicking it off with a virtual pizza party – just order your tickets by Thursday, Feb. 11. Then you pick up your pizza ingredients at Mikey’s downtown, and tune in for a party with Mike and Joe DeLoss this weekend: latenightslice.com/store/vdayhmt

Chihuly Nights at Franklin Park Conservatory

One advantage of earlier sundowns is night-time events like the Conservatory’s Chihuly Nights, where you can experience the glass sculptures in illuminated form. They’re doing special select nights throughout the year. fpconservatory.org/exhibitions/chihuly-collection

Carryout Cocktail Hour

Order bottled cocktails from a local shop and schedule a cocktail hour at home! Spots like Lawbird, The Light of Seven Matchsticks, The Bottle Shop, and many other bars and restaurants are bottling some incredible creations. The Light of Seven Matchsticks, for instance, just released a new travel-themed series.

Order Up a Home Beer Tasting

Many breweries have adapted by offering beer delivery. So order up some interesting beers from a local brewery (or two or three), then put together a tasting! Try rounding up a collection of beers from one brewery, or comparing similar styles across a variety of breweries. Wolf’s Ridge, Platform, Seventh Son, and many, many others have been doing deliveries.

Try a New Restaurant

Now’s the time to venture out and try a new spot together. Even in COVID-times, there are still new restaurants opening. You could go casual like sandwiches and spuds from Wario’s or burgers and fried chicken from Preston’s, or a little more upscale like Chapman’s Eat Market, The Royce, Novella Osteria, Ghostwriter Public House.

Support a Black-owned Restaurant

Yes, it’s Black History History Month, but you should get in the practice of throwing your financial support behind Black-owned businesses. A few months ago I rounded up a collection of Black-Owned Brunch, Breakfast, & Coffee shops, but there are obviously many, many more examples: the new Adella’s on Oak, The Pit BBQ Grille (which opens its third location this week), Addis Restaurant, B&K Smokehouse, Hoyo’s Kitchen, Way Down Yonder.

Take a Hike

Ignore the chilly temperatures and get outside. Select a Columbus Metro Park and plan a hike through one of their scenic areas, like the Tall Pines section of Walnut Woods Metro Park. Better yet: pair a hike with a stop for coffee, a beer, or carryout lunch at a nearby restaurant. metroparks.net

Give the Gift of Donuts

You KNOW I’m going to advocate for donuts. Many bakeries are doing fun donut shapes, flavors, and decoration for Valentine’s Day. And don’t forget that Mardi Gras is right around the corner, which means paczki! (If you need ideas, consult my Complete Guide to Columbus Donuts.)

Catch Some Jazz Online

Many organizations and venues have converted their offerings online, which means you can still enjoy concerts, theatre, dance, and exhibitions from your home. Jazz Arts Group launched a new online platform called JAG.TV to host their concerts, and they have multiple shows on the horizon. jazzartsgroup.org

Book a Stay in a Treehouse or Yurt

I feel like there are more and more great little cabins, treehouses, and yurts popping up all over Ohio. Take advantage of one of these, like a treehouse at The Mohicans or a yurt at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, to escape for a relaxing night or two, immersed in Ohio’s natural beauty.

Schedule a Playdate at Play: CBUS

Play: CBUS is a new indoor facility that, at 52,000 square feet, has the designation of being the world’s largest indoor ropes course. It includes ninja courses, multiple climbing walls, ropes courses of varying difficulties, a kid’s play area, and even a full-service restaurant and bar. And because of its size, it’s ideal for socially distanced indoor play. playadventureparks.com/location/columbus/

Spread the Word!

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I go by Dr. Breakfast, but in addition to restaurants and recipes, I write about family travel, breweries and distilleries, the arts, outdoor fun, and so much more.

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