For singles, February 14 can feel more like D-Day than V-Day, particularly if your choice of plans and plus-ones seem limited. But by pushing past all that’s red or rosy, it’s possible to find awesome activities sans the sappiness. From educational to entertaining to downright fun, consider signing up for the following Valentine’s themed events where no plus-one is required.
New York City
The Big Apple is full of lonely hearts, so there’s no excuse for staying cooped up if not coupled. Treat yourself to flowers in the Bronx by attending New York Botanical Garden’s Valentine’s Day Weekend (February 11-12). Explore the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, learn about plants being aphrodisiacs, and sit down to a reservation-only pre-fixe brunch. On Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the Tenement Museum’s “Love @ The Tenement” event (February 10) talks about matters of the heart with true stories involving this building’s former tenants. Or take one of the museum’s tours about the immigrant families who lived here that will touch your heart. And instead of icing couples, watch frosty sculptures get constructed at the outdoor Central Park Ice Festival (February 11).
The Windy City will be breezing through Valentine’s Day with ease—and so should you. For starters, pizza lovers will swoon over the Chicago Pizza Party (February 11), a festival devoted to the beloved food staple, at the Ravenswood Event Center. Laugh about the awkwardness of online dating with the ongoing “#DateMe: An OKCupid Experiment” at the UP Comedy Club (part of the famed Second City). Some lovebirds go as far as tattooing the names of their sig other on their bodies, but the “Tattoo” exhibit (now through April 30) at the Field Museum is for observation only. This fascinating showing explores this ink-related subject and features weekend presentations where local artists apply their craft. Orchids can be particular but still lovely, so go admire them at Chicago’s Botanic Garden’s “The Orchid Show” opening February 11.
Go deep in the heart of this Texan town with fun festivities that don’t require a plus-one. At Texas Discovery Gardens, nothing will put you off romance like insect reproduction. At the museum’s “Love is in the Air” program (February 11), hear more about winged love, while strolling through a butterfly house, sampling interesting hors d’oeuvres, and sending ladybugs on their way. Or just stick with tried and true chocolate at the Dallas Farmers Market (also on February 11) by signing up for the “Valentine’s Chocolate without Wine” cooking class with Dude, Sweet Chocolate, a beloved Dallas shop. Next, get intrigued with Keith & Margo’s 27th Annual Valentine’s Day Massacre, a dinner and murder mystery party at the Omni Dallas Hotel (February 11).
In Albuquerque, love is in the air—literally. At the Friends & Lovers Balloon Rally (February 11-12), an all-welcoming event where these colorful flights of fancy will lift off from Balloon Fiesta Park, making for a cool viewing party. Other events take on more of a natural setting. At the Aquarium at ABQ BioPark, the adult-only “That’s A Moray” guided tour (February 14) goes into the curious and peculiar courtships of aquatic life. While at the Botanic Garden at ABQ BioPark, the adults-only “Love Bugs” event (February 11) features bug encounters.
Throughout Georgia’s capital city, love will be looked at in various ways. The Center for Puppetry Arts’ “Valentine’s Night Out” (February 11) introduces history’s puppet couples within its collection, along with other themed activities and a cash bar. Meanwhile, Cynics will be down with the skewering of love at Whole World Improv Theatre’s “Bitter, Lonely Valentine’s Puke Fest” (also February 11), while the optimistic can join “U Up! Valentine’s Day Show” in exploring the oohs, huhs, and ahhs of romance at Dad’s Garage Theatre (February 14).
In June 2016, the art-centered Museum of Broken Relationships opened in the City of Angels as a shrine of donated objects from the forlorn, and this February 14 it’s holding its Anti-Valentine’s Day Party. Meanwhile, the retro celebration, a St. Valentine’s Day Speakeasy Party & Pie Fight (February 12), encourages dapper gents and flapper dames to dance through the night at LA River Studios.
Throughout various dates in February, Cupid’s Undie Run, a mile-long charity dash happens nationwide—from Atlanta to Los Angeles—and raises funds for The Children’s Tumor Foundation and neurofibromatosis research. Festivities usually kick off at noon, and participating runners run in their skivvies for a reason (Hint: It’s done in solidarity with patients.).