10 NJ Valentine’s Day ideas that aren’t special restaurant menus
Whether you and your partner take Valentine's Day totally seriously or view it as a "Hallmark holiday," New Jersey has plenty of options if you are looking for a romantic meal or setting on or around Feb. 14.
Memorable dates can be more than just food, though, and there is no shortage of unique and interesting ideas to warm up your winter with something special.
One such attraction is the "Night Forms: dreamloop by Klip Collective" projection and light show at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, Mercer County, which is not usually open on Mondays but is making an exception this Valentine's Day.
To go along with that, here are nine other events that couples, and in some cases even teens and younger kids, can check out this February in the Garden State.
Know of anything else Cupid's arrow is pointing at? Feel free to tell us.
"Laser Love" and "Romancing the Stars"
Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium, Branchburg
"Laser Love," on Saturdays, Feb. 5 and 12 and Monday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m., is set to some classic romantic hits, while "Romancing the Stars," on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m., includes more of a storytelling angle according to RVCC. The Feb. 14 Laser Love show is for adult couples only; Romancing the Stars is open to couples age 16 and up.
Sweet Heart Valentine's Children's Tea Party
The Mathis House at 600 Main, Toms River
Kids celebrate Valentine's Day too! This event on Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m. promises tea, chocolate chip scones, and desserts, accompanied by live piano music, plus the opportunity for children to make their own holiday cards. (Free for age 5 and under.)
Tomasello Winery, Cranford
A term coined by a 2010 "Parks and Recreation" episode, Galentine's Day is just for the girls, and Tomasello Winery is celebrating all day on Friday, Feb. 11 with a tasting of five wine samples and two chocolate truffles.
Valentine's Day Sweetheart's Getaway
The Grand Hotel, Cape May
An oceanfront view from a Cape May bed & breakfast is one of New Jersey's most romantic offerings, and the luxe Grand Hotel is packaging a three-day, two-night stay with dinner, dancing, and alcohol specials.
Get out in the elements for a good cause at this event which returns to Manasquan in 2022, a fundraiser for the Joan Dancy & PALS (People with ALS) Foundation that starts at 12 noon on Saturday, Feb. 12, with on-site registration available Friday night and Saturday morning.
Casablanca in Concert
State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick
"Here's looking at you, kid." The Humphrey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman film is still an acclaimed classic eight decades after its 1942 release, and this screening on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. will be accompanied by a live performance from the New Jersey Symphony.
Nutley Public Library, Ocean County Library Waretown Branch
At least two libraries in the Garden State are making an attempt to cheer up tweens and teens whose love might be unrequited this year. Both the "Anti-Valentine's Day" event at 3:15 p.m. on the 14th in Nutley and "Heartbreakers Unite!" at 7 p.m. that night in Waretown promise crude candy hearts, non-traditional rose bouquets, and black, not red, as the dominant color.
Couples Cook Together
Passion for Spices, Summit
Here's one offering that is centered around food, but it's food couples will learn to make, then share, together. The five-course meal, plus a complimentary cocktail base (BYOB), gets cooking on the evening of the 14th, at 6 p.m.
Valentine Full Moon Hike
State Tree Farm, Jackson
If it's not too chilly, how about a nighttime hike? Those are being offered, but only to those who pre-register, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 14. State park COVID protocols will be observed, and the hike will be canceled in the event of rain or ice.
Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.