Valentine’s Day is around the corner, but since the actual holiday falls on a Tuesday, last-minute lovers have a little extra time to plan a surprise for their sweethearts. Where should you start? We can help.
Start with the basics — a card — but one that is anything but “basic.” Delight your darling with a Heart Decoder Card or Gamer Scratch-Off Valentine from Memo. You can also pick up a mix tape USB that you can fill with your favorite love songs. We also are seeing stars over the classic Kit Kat Klock — but in a vibrant red — at Memo’s sister shop, River City Coffee & Goods.
For the reading inclined, purchase a copy of the Elissa Sussman novel “Funny You Should Ask,” about a journalist and her celebrity crush who connect for a second interview 10 years after their memorable first meeting and set sparks flying again, at Bluestocking Social. Your Brother’s Bookstore encourages shoppers to photograph their loved ones’ bookshelves so the booksellers can help them find the perfect gift. Whether a romance or a thriller, pair it with a 64-ounce growler of limited-edition red velvet cold brew from Joe Brewski.
Perhaps your honey would like flowers — consider snagging a custom bouquet at Emerald Design or Zeidler’s, or order from It Takes a Village No-Kill Rescue during its Petals for Paws fundraiser (bonus: a rescue dog can deliver the gift to your loved one). Or give your crush an unforgettable experience with a Cuddlegram benefiting the Vanderburgh Humane Society. If you place an order by Feb. 10, they can snuggle a puppy, kitten, or bunny for 30 minutes. Cue the Instagram post flush with heart-eye emojis. If you need longer than 30 mins, complete an application soon to spend a weekend with a pup from the Warrick Humane Society for its Doggie Date Weekend or stop by Columbia Title on Feb. 14 for some puppy snuggles and doggie treats for sale.
If you need more time to shop, spend some time in Downtown Henderson, Kentucky, for the Cupid Shuffle. Shop at participating stores between Feb. 9 and 14 and spend more than $25 for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate.
Chocolates and candy may seem a cliché Valentine’s Day gift, but they’re popular for a reason. If your loved one has a sweet tooth, consider pre-ordering chocolate-covered cherries, cheesecake bites, or strawberries from GaylaCake, or splitting a slice of a limited-edition Oreo red velvet cheesecake at Café Arazu in Newburgh, Indiana. Take your sweetheart to breakfast at Parlor Doughnuts and pair a seasonal carnival doughnut or chocolate-covered strawberry doughnuts with a honey rose latte. Just Rennie’s also is offering Valentine’s pre-orders of heart-shaped cakes in strawberry, chocolate, and red velvet; chocolate cupcakes filled with chocolate mousse; and cookie boxes and dessert platters. You can also find heart-shaped cookies, cakes, and long johns from Donut Bank or an “I <3 You” sugar cookie box or a heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie cake from Be Happy Pie Company.
If you prefer a night out with your sweetheart, you have several options to choose from. If you like the outdoors, opt for a mile-long Sweetheart Hike on Feb. 11 at John James Audubon State Park just over the U.S. Hwy. 41 bridge in Henderson, Kentucky, and learn more about love in nature.
For a low-key date night, register for the Latte & Art guided painting party on Feb. 11 at Mission Grounds. A $20 donation will be collected for the Evansville Rescue Mission’s coffee shop outreach initiative. Go a little bigger with Dinner for Two on Feb. 14 at NoCo Park. This pop-up dining experience is $150 per couple and includes a three-course meal and beverage service. Perhaps go dancing — specifically, waltzing — on Feb. 11 with the Metro Ballroom Dance Club for its February Dance. Afterward, take a sweet selfie in from of the Downtown heart light display on the 200 block of Main Street, and then stroll through Downtown while snacking on vegan red velvet cookies from Insomnia Cookies.
Another date idea could be to go to Bokeh Lounge, to hear the Evansville-based dance party band, The PITS at its pre-Valentine’s dance party. The band will churn out nostalgic throwbacks to the best dance, rock, and party sounds of the 1960s through the 2000s.
You also could attend the Orchid Escape Preview Party at the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden on Feb. 11. Taste South American food and drinks, participate in art demonstrations and a silent auction, and learn about the plants and animals of the Amazonia Rainforest ahead of the Mesker Park Zoo’s new exhibit, “Orchid Escape,” which runs from Feb. 12 to March 18. Tickets to the preview are $75 to get in but order them soon because zoo officials expect the event to sell out.
On Valentine’s Day itself, enjoy a themed dinner at Cosmos Bistro, which will serve guests grilled shrimp cocktail, house-grown bibb salad, choice of entree, and red velvet cake with a specialty drink. Reservations are recommended.
For the ultimate romantic evening, book a table for two, four, or six at Old National Events Plaza’s Valentine’s Day on the Bridge — the Sky Bridge over Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, not the Ohio River bridge. Guests will enjoy a five-course meal with wine pairings hand-selected to enhance each dish, served under the alluring tones of live music.