Looking for Valentine's Day plans? Here's a list...

Love is in the air

click to enlarge "Romancing the Stacks" at the Cincinnati Public Library's Main branch - Photo: Ashley Kroninger
Photo: Ashley Kroninger
"Romancing the Stacks" at the Cincinnati Public Library's Main branch


FRIDAY 9

Love is Love Cabaret — If you like musical theater and romance, Love is Love: A Cabaret of Broadway Songs About Love is right up your alley. Featuring a relatively self-explanatory title, the evening includes Broadway classics like “Seasons of Love” from Rent and “Falling Out of Love Can Be Fun” from White Christmas performed by Cincinnati Music Theatre. It’s described as a witty and touching review. 8 p.m. Feb. 9; 5 and 8 p.m. Feb. 10; 8 p.m. Feb. 15-16; 5 and 8 p.m. Feb. 17. $25; includes cheese/fruit plate a one beverage. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org

SATURDAY 10

My Furry Valentine — Have your efforts to score a Valentine’s date proved fruitless? Frustrated by the shallow, ephemeral qualities of modern romance? Fed up with humanity’s shortcomings? This Valentine’s Day, seek out the only form of love proven to withstand any trial or tribulation: the bond between owner and pet. For the seventh year in a row, My Furry Valentine, Cincinnati’s largest animal adoption event, will allow attendees to match with the perfect companion. More 800 prospective pets will visit the Sharonville Convention Center through Valentine’s weekend, joined by a herd of vendors offering treats and information on local animal-advocacy organizations. Visit myfurryvalentine.com to browse a comprehensible list of adoptable dogs and cats, which functions as cuter, less perilous take on online dating. 10 a.m.-noon early bird Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. $5; $25 early bird. Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road, Sharonville, myfurryvalentine.com. 

Valentine’s Dinner at Cincinnati Zoo — Can you feel the love tonight? Hang out at the “sexiest Zoo in America.” Enjoy close-up critter encounters, a buffet dinner and a champagne toast and learn about the “Wild Side of Love,” a night of insight into the love (and lust) lives of animals in the wild kingdom. Fun. 6-9 p.m. Feb. 10 and Feb. 11; 6:30-9:30 p.m. Feb. 14. $175 per couple. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.

Cin City Burlesque Beaus And Eros — Expect class. Expect sass. Expect laughs. It’s burlesque! Cincinnati’s premiere troupe of classical and neoburlesque dancers are coming to Bogart's Saturday night with a little something for everybody (...over 18). From Ballet to Jazz, Go-Go to Latin, the traveling troupe specializes in all styles of dance, especially the steamy. While the ancient art has not abandoned its satirical roots, it developed into more of a striptease in America in response to Prohibition-era laws like Ohio forbidding women from exposing more than two inches of neck. The nerve! Performers include Cinnamon Twist, Tobi L’Rone and Cin City founder Ginger LeSnapps, along with emcee Sweet Biscutt and house band, The G-String. 9 p.m. Saturday. $15-$50. Bogarts, 2621 Vine St., Downtown, bogarts.com

Valentine’s Day Dinner and Carousel Ride — It’s a two-for-one. Eat dinner at Moerlein Lager House and then hop on Carol Ann’s enclosed carousel at Smale Riverfront Park. Each guest who eats at the Lager House will receive a ticket for a free ride, with extended evening operating hours 7-9 p.m. Feb. 10, 4-7 p.m. Feb. 11 and 5-9 p.m. Feb. 13-14. Offer good Feb. 10-14. Dinner prices vary. Moerlein Lager House, 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown, facebook.com/events/532929863755636.

Valentine’s Day Cruise  — Hop on the BB Riverboats for a cozy evening cruise. Feed yourself with a buffet dinner (menu includes lobster mashed potatoes, spinach salad topped with walnuts, Asian glazed salmon and vegetarian primavera) and relax to the sound of the Ohio River lapping against the boat as soft music plays. 7-9:30 p.m. Saturday. $60 adults; $40 children. 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky, bbriverboats.com

Romancing the Stacks at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County — Love and lust are in the air — and on paper — at the Main branch of the Cincinnati library with the Romancing the Stacks exhibit. The library has handpicked a collection of love stories and romance novels from its collection of 12,000 to display — titles like The Undesirable Wife, Night of the Unicorn, Love’s Strange Mysteries and The Scent of Rain. There are fantasy romances, farfetched scenarios and steamy romps in genres ranging from historical and medical (Psychiatric Nurse, anyone?) to the paranormal (Haunting Kiss). The books also feature mostly vintage covers, as the press release says, “from the earlier days of illustrations to the days of models striking a pose in a studio setting.” Think Nancy Drew meets Stormy Daniels. Through March 15. Free. Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Main branch, 800 Vine St., Downtown, cincinnatilibrary.org

SUNDAY 11

Valentine’s Day Sweet Stroll — Head to Findlay Market for a super sweet sampling stroll. There will be tasting stations at different vendors’ stalls, including a wine pairing courtesy of Market Wines and a tea pairing from Churchill’s. Stations include baklava from Areti’s Gyros, mini cannoli from Bouchard’s, petite tarts from Cake Rack Bakery, truffles from Maverick Chocolate Co. and many more. Get five samples, wine and tea pairings and a wine glass with each ticket. Noon-4 p.m. Sunday. $23.16. Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, findlay-market-sweet-stroll.eventbrite.com.

The Native One + Northern Market Valentine’s Day Pop-Up — Head to new indie homegoods/clothing/accessories/etc. shop The Native One and Northern Market for a special pop-up Valentine’s Day sale. There will be manicures from Spruce Natural Nail Shop, flowers from Gia and the Blooms, jewelry from Rock Salt Vintage and Ellebrux, cards and goodies from design shop Handzy, bags from Baqette, ceramics from Amanda Bialk, indigo from Eliza Dot Design and more, including Felix Coffee. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission. 1301 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/thenorthernmarket. 

TUESDAY 13

Galentine’s Day at The Rhined — Ladies night! Bring your gals for an evening of wine, cheese and female friendship. There will be bubbly alcoholic beverages, soft cheese and truffles from Velveteen Chocolate. No crafts. No weird activities. Just ladies hanging with ladies, eating dairy and drinking booze. The next night, on Wednesday’s weekly Raclette Night, things get sexy with An Aphrodisiac Raclette Night, featuring melted raclette cheese scraped over ham and potatoes, dim lights, chocolate from Velveteen Chocolate and Ween’s Chocolate and Cheese. Galentine’s Day: 4-8 p.m. Tuesday; Raclette Night: 5- 8 p.m. Wednesday. Free admission. The Rhined, 1737 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/therhined

Galentine's Day at The Rook — Celebrate lady friends (or just pals in general) Valentine’s Eve, a day declared “Galentine’s Day” by Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation fame. The Rook will celebrate with board games, snacks and a short session of Magical Girl RPG designed by Emily Reinhard. Plus, whip up some cool crafts for your friends. Ticket price includes snacks. Plus, $10 will go toward Super Heroines, Etc., a nonprofit that seeks to empower women to embrace their inner nerd. Chicks are the raddest. 7-10 p.m. $25. 1115 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/therookotr.

WEDNESDAY 14

Speed Dating with Pure Romance — Head to Queen City Radio for an evening of singles speed dating. If you’re ready to mingle, sign up on Facebook by sending QCR your name. After sexy trivia at 7 p.m., the upstairs turns in to speed dating central. 8:30-11:30 p.m. Free admission. Queen City Radio, 222 W. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/queencityradiobar.

Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner at Vinoklet — Vinoklet offers a special dinner for two with your choice of NY strip, swordfish, chicken, salmon or shrimp, plus a wine tasting, a half bottle of wine per person, sides and special dessert. Reservations 5-8 p.m.; open until 11 p.m. Vinoklet Winery, 11069 Colerain Ave., Colerain, facebook.com/vinoklet.

Valentine’s Day at Marty’s Hops & Vines — Valentine’s falls on Ash Wednesday, taco night and pint night at Marty’s. Get the best of all worlds with a dinner special for two featuring two entrées, a bottle of bubbly and a special triple mousse cake for $50. There will also be blackened shrimp tacos available (for Lent) and pints of Rhinegeist poured by the brewery’s Madalena Thomas. 6-9 p.m. $50 dinner for two. Marty’s Hops & Vines, 6110 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, facebook.com/martyshopsandvines.

Valentine’s Day at the Memo — Enjoy a progressive four-course meal with that special someone as you make your way through Memorial Hall, sampling cuisine prepared by Bhumin Desai of Maplewood, Elias Leisring of Eli’s BBQ and the Thunderdome Restaurant Group while listening to the sounds of strolling musicians. Menu includes hors d’oeuvres, salad, entrée, dessert and two paired wines. Vegetarian options available. 6-8 p.m.; 8:15-10 p.m. $65. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/events/1784559638230047.

Valentine’s Day at Henke Winery — A four-course meal for two with a bottle of Henke wine. 5-10 p.m. $119 per couple. Henke Winery, 3077 Harrison Ave., Westwood, facebook.com/henkewinery.

Valentine’s Day at Bistro Grace — Bistro Grace prepares a five-course dinner (with vegetarian options) that includes fried oysters, red potato chowder, seared red snappers, duck breast and an assortment of chocolate truffles. RSVP. 4-9:30 p.m. $50. Bistro Grace, 4034 Hamilton Ave., Northside, facebook.com/bistrograce.

Une’ Soiree’ D’Amour: Valentine’s Day Dinner — Head to Grand Central Deli for a date night featuring a three-course prix fixe dinner (with vegetarian options) plus drink pairings. Menu includes white chocolate mousse with raspberries and a Blushing Valentine champagne cocktail for dessert. 6-10 p.m. $70 per person. Grand Central Deli, 6085 Montgomery Road, Pleasant Ridge, facebook.com/gcdeli.

Valentine’s Day Dinner at Restaurant L — Bring your sweetie for a four-course meal with optional wine pairing. Add a bouquet to take home for $50. Seatings at 5:30-6 p.m. and 8:30-9 p.m. $125 per person; $55 for wine pairings. Restaurant L, 301 E. Fourth St., Downtown, facebook.com/restaurantlcincinnati.

Valentine’s Day Dinner Party at The Point — Head to the romantic and intimate Schwartz’s Point for an evening of jazzy love songs and lullabies sung by Reilly Comisar (with Evan Uveges on guitar and Sam Reuscher on bass), with a dinner buffet featuring a charcuterie board, veggie plate, pasta, chocolate cake and more. 6:30-10:30 p.m. $25 pre-order; $30 Feb. 13 and day-of. Schwartz’s Point, 1901 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, eventbrite.com/e/valentines-day-dinner-party-at-the-point-2018-tickets-42193169907.

Candlelit dinner at White Castle — Chow on some classy burgers at a slightly more classed-up White Castle, which started accepting reservations for this dinner as early as Jan. 4. A yearly tradition, the decadent experience is the fabric of dreams: Sliders, dripping with American cheese and grease, fried shrimp and strawberry milkshakes. Imagine: the White Castle logo reflected in your lover’s gaze soundtracked by sound of slurping. Truly, what you crave is a powerful thing. 4-9 p.m. Feb. 14. Prices vary. Multiple locations, whitecastle.com.

Valetine’s Day Dinner at Brown Dog Café — Harpist Rachel Miller joins the café for a romantic evening. There will be a five-course prix fix menu curated by Shawn McCoy. Seatings 4-5:30 p.m. and after 5:30 p.m. $55.95 for 4-5:30 p.m. seatings; $67.95 for later seatings. Brown Dog Café, 1000 Summit Park, Blue Ash, facebook.com/events/245892422617139. 

Raviolis and Romance Cooking Class — Russo’s Raviolis and The Jaded Fork combine forces for this class where guests will learn to make custom ravioli. Everyone will prepare their own appetizer and pasta entrée with a special dessert from Jaded Fork. A champagne toast kicks off the night and local beer and wine will be available for purchase throughout the class. 6-8 p.m. $60. Findlay Kitchen, 1719 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, webapps2.uc.edu/ce/Communiversity/Workshops/Details/10366.

Valentine's Dinner at Baüer — Drawing inspiration from Baüer’s culinary roots, Chef Rouse cues from the European immigrants that migrated to the Queen City after both world wars. From pickled cabbage and spätzle to ratatouille roulade, Chef’s menu celebrates the romanticized cultural importance of Cincinnati’s vast heritage. Dinners start at $45, per person, for a four-course meal with select red and white wine specials. RSVP to 513-621-8555. $45 per person. Baüer Farm Kitchen, 435 Elm St., Downtown, bauercincinnati.com.

Valentine's Dinner at Nada — A dinner for two featuring an order of guacamole or the salsa trio, followed by your choice of the el jefe salad or butternut squash soup and an entree like chicken al carbon tacos, hongos tacos, Baja fish tacos, carnitas or fried egg tamal. The evening meal ends with Riz Au Lait (rice pudding) or chocolate torte. $50 per couple. Nada, 600 Walnut St., Downtown, eatdrinknada.com.

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