Valentine’s Day 2016 is right around the corner. For some it’s not a great day to celebrate, but we’re not going to focus on that. For many, it’s a day to celebrate love and friendship. And St. Louis loves to celebrate any occasion, so lucky for us there are tons of great options.
We’ll start with dinner. Did you know that St. Louis is ranked as one of Open Table’s Top 25 Most Romantic Cities in the U.S. list? And Dominic’s on The Hill made the list for 2015’s Most Romantic Restaurants in America. All that being said, I can’t possibly list all of the amazing places to dine out in St. Louis for Valentine’s Day. However, besides Dominic’s and The Melting Pot (on the 2016 list of Most Romantic Restaurants), I can give you some interesting options. You should also visit Open Table for the extensive list.
Untamed Hearts at the St. Louis Zoo: This sounds like a fantastic evening. Romantic yet kind of wild. First, you enjoy appetizers and a cash bar, then you sit down for a romantic 3-course meal in Lakeside Cafe. After dinner, they say you’ll have a “fascinating and entertaining look at some of the secrets of animal attraction.” Sounds to me like you get an after-hours sneak peek at the animals. Then there’s music and dancing. It’s way better than just dinner. And you can choose from Friday or Saturday night.
Dinner at The Ritz-Carlton: The Ritz-Carlton’s restaurant, The Grill, is a well established neighborhood restaurant serving premium meats and fresh, top quality seafood. The award winning chefs have put together Soirée d’Amour – a romantic evening of fabulous French cuisine prepared and hosted by the celebrated married couple, which will take place at the hotel on Sunday, February 14 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Melting Pot: I know it seems so cheesy (pun intended), but I took advantage of their Valentine’s Day event last year and it really is nice. You get a 4-course meal of delicious fondue. They seat you in booths with sheer curtains providing you privacy from other tables. It makes you feel like it’s just the 2 of you. They also take your photo and put it in a frame to give you at the end of dinner. It’s really a great experience.
Lemp Mansion: The Lemp is typically known for haunts, ghosts, mystery theatres…you get the idea. But they also host fantastic dinners for New Year’s Eve, Easter, and of course…Valentine’s Day. They are offering a special menu with appetizer, salad, entrée, dessert, and even champagne for 2. You can enjoy this special dinner on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. Call for reservations.
Valentine Bistro at Innsbrook Resort: Dine on duck confit, sea bass, or beef filet with lobster tail while enjoying romantic live music from a pianist. After dinner, warm up by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate or a cocktail. The Valentine’s Overnight Package includes a night stay in a Villa Suite, complete with fireplace, champagne, and chocolate covered strawberries.
In It For Love Dinner and Ballet: If you love the ballet, you will love this performance by the St. Louis Ballet at Touhill Performing Arts Center. In addition, they are offering a pre-show Love is in the Air Dinner for their Saturday show for an additional $25. Dinner and a show all in one location – a perfect romantic Valentine’s date event.
Champagne Lovers Valentines Dinner: A Demonstration Class at Dierberg’s School of Cooking. They have date night cooking classes, but this special event allows you to sit back and relax and enjoy a fabulously prepared dinner of shrimp & Scallop scampi, seared pork chops, chocolate fudge soufflé, and more. Each course will be paired with a wine. $100 per couple at the Des Peres location on Saturday from 7-9pm. Here is a recommendation from a blogger who’s attended a date night class and loved it.
Valentine’s Dinner at Chase Park Plaza’s The Preston: The new restaurant at The Chase is hosting a Valentine’s Day dinner, complete with a champagne toast for two and red rose. Call 314-633-3056 to make a reservation.
Then of course, there’s White Castle. WC has been promoting their Valentine’s Day Dinner for a few years now and it’s a big success. Don’t have $100+ for dinner and a movie? Or maybe you just really love those little onion drenched sliders. Either way, you can make a reservation for a Valentine’s Dinner at White Castle.
A movie is always a great go-to date after a romantic dinner. This is proven by the fact that every year a romantic movie or two are heavily promoted around Valentine’s Day. This year there’s The Choice, another one of Nicholas Sparks’ books turned into a movie. I’ve read the book and if the movie is anything like it, bring your make-up for touch-ups because you’ll be bawling by the end.
While not exactly of the romantic variety, How To Be Single, starring Fifty Shades’ Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, and Leslie Mann, should be a good time for a girls night or a couple looking for a laugh, and hopefully not how to be single.
If you want to check out a movie on Valentine’s Day, the best way to see it is to take advantage of the Valentine’s Package being offered at the 5-Star Lounge at Chesterfield Galaxy 14, Des Peres 14, and St. Charles 18 Cinema, complete with dinner, adult beverage, and on-call wait staff.
Pets: Stray Rescue of St. Louis is hosting a Valentines Event: StrayHarmony. Now I don’t recommend just getting a puppy because it’s the best gift ever. They’re a lot of work and should be adopted only if you are certain you have the ability to take responsibility for them. That being said, from Feb 8-14, SRSTL will help find your your perfect 4-legged companion match and the adoption fee is only $25! Last year, their special included spay/neuter, microchip, and vaccinations, so check to see if that still applies.
Chocolate: Take a free tour at Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate on The Hill. Sample a delicious freshly made chocolate. Then pick from a variety of chocolates and candies to give one another as your gift.
Jewelry: Not your typical jewelry; Craft Alliance teacher Kelly Draper’s romantic and edgy jewelry collection, of which she incorporates cast rose thorns, garnets and etched patterns in mixed metals. Enjoy some tea and art together and let your gal pick her favorite piece from the collection.
Flowers: No, not a dozen roses…Orchids. At the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show. Their annual Orchid Show offers visitors a once-a-year opportunity to see a rotating display of hundreds of orchids from the Garden’s expansive permanent living collection amid a tropical oasis inside the Orthwein Floral Display Hall. Tickets are only $5.
St. Louis Valentine’s Day Music Festival: Dance the night away with favorites Fantasia, Doug E. Fresh, Maze ft Frankie Beverly, and Joe at the Chafeitz Arena for one night only. The show is Saturday night at 7pm; tickets start at $46 and the show is at 8pm; plenty of time to grab dinner at Pappy’s, The Fountain at Locust, or Triumph Grill before the show.
Heartin’ St. Louis Hard: The perfect way to spend Valentine’s eve. A romantic stroll under the stars learning about Stl’s architectural gems and historical claims-to-fame, including: the Eads Bridge, the Old Courthouse, where statues of Mr. and Mrs. Dred Scott stand in testament to love and equality, and the Arch. $20 ticket gets you a spot on the tour. $35 tickets gets you a spot, plus a canvas tote from StL-Style filled with fun merchandise and a few love-themed surprises.
Run For The Chocolate: Get your heart healthy for Valentines Day and run or shuffle for chocolate. This exciting and fun 5K mile run/walk is a run from the Bissingers headquarters to the Mississippi Riverfront Trail and back. Great for couples and singles alike, there are Off the Market, On the Market, Happy Couples, and It’s Complicated categories. No matter what your relationship status is, the one thing everyone will have in common is indulging in copious amounts of outstanding chocolate from St. Louis’ premier chocolatier: Bissingers.
Cupid’s Undie Run: Another way to stay healthy and maybe find a new companion. A 1 mile fun run in your Undies! Although you don’t have to wear your undies, but it’s a great cause – NF research – benefiting the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Wear your favorite Valentine’s undies and run with your significant other or find a date for Sunday.
There’s no reason to be a bitter holiday hater this year. Whether you’re celebrating with your significant other, friends, family, or the city, there’s something for everyone to love. Check other fun Valentine and non-Valentine’s Day related events happening this weekend.
And for some Valentine’s Day on a budget tips, check here.