14 un-boring ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in NYC

Posted On Tue, January 28, 2020 By

Posted On Tue, January 28, 2020 By In Events, Features, holidays

Image via Pixabay.

There are more ways to say “Be my Valentine” than we can count, and purveyors of all things romantic will be out in full force trying to win hearts this February 14. If February’s second week has you scrambling for a worthy celebration, it might be the perfect time to try something a little bit different. Below, we’ve rounded up 14 unexpected Valentine-inspired events–from whiskey and chocolate to bugs and sewage.

“Heart Squared.” Image courtesy of Times Square Arts

1. Propose–or renew your vows–in Times Square
Father Duffy Square, Times Square between 47th and 48th Streets
Friday, February 14; see site for events and times

In honor of Valentine’s Day 2020, the heart of Times Square will once again be the site of surprise proposals, weddings, and a group vow renewal ceremony. You can find more information and register for the vow renewal ceremony here. All Valentine’s Day events will take place in front of the 12th Annual Times Square Valentine Heart, “Heart Squared,” which will be on display on Duffy Square (46th Street and Broadway) from January 30 – March 1, 2020.

valentines day, events, holidaysD. Finnin/© AMNH

2. American Museum of Natural History Sleep-Over for Grown-Ups
Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall, American Museum of Natural History
Saturday, February 15, 6pm – Sunday, February 16, 9am

Who doesn’t want to spend the night in a science museum, and, as the always-fascinating American Museum of Natural History asks, “Why should kids have all the fun?”” Start the evening with a champagne and jazz reception in the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall, a buffet dinner, then roam the after-dark world of the museum (yes, you can visit the T. rex exhibit). Check out the newly-opened “Worlds Beyond Earth” at the Planetarium, see a 3D film about sea life, and take in live animal demonstrations. Then unroll your sleeping bag under the iconic 94-foot-long blue whale in the Hall of Ocean Life. We can’t imagine a better date night.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

3. Kings County Distillery Valentines Day Whiskey and Chocolate Pairing Class
Kings County Distillery, 299 Sands Street, Brooklyn

Friday, February 14, 6:30pm

Founded in 2010, Kings County Distillery is making a name for itself with the whiskey and bourbon it distills at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, making it New York City’s oldest operating whiskey distillery, the first since prohibition. For this special edition of their regular whiskey-tasting class, participants will also enjoy a gourmet chocolate pairing, followed by a visit to the barrel aging room; guests are encouraged to stop by the romantic Gatehouse bar after the event.

valentines day, events, holidaysImage courtesy of Pierozek.

4. Say it with pierogis
Pierozek, 592 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn
Friday, February 14, 11am – 10pm

Celebrate the food/love connection with a specialty menu item from the master pierogi-making women at Pierozek: The popular Greenpoint Polish pierogi shop will be offering new heart-shaped and sweet pierogies for one day only this Valentine’s Day. That means you can sample an assortment of chocolate pierogies made with a decadent chocolate filling or a candy-apple red heart version with raspberry, strawberry and Hanusia sweet cheese filling.

Merchant's House Museum
Photo of the Merchant’s House parlor by Denis Vlasov

5. Merchant’s House Museum: “Love in the Parlors–A Valentine in Concert”
29 East 4th Street
Friday, February 14, 7:00pm

The Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society is once again presenting its annual gala concert of lush, romantic vocal music performed in the Merchant’s House, the city’s only preserved and intact 19th-century family home, in the elegant double parlor. Singers Anthony Bellov, Amy Gluck, Jane Elizabeth Rady, and Dayle Vander Sande will offer rare gems by great 19th-century composers like Schumann, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, and others.

6. The New York Historical Society Loved and Lost Tour: Stories of Romance Through History
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West
Friday, February 14, 4:15 – 5:30pm

Experience an intimate, romance-centered journey through the Historical Society’s permanent collection on a docent-led tour and discover sentimental, sad, and funny stories of love and marriage among history’s most legendary couples including George and Martha Washington and Alexander and Eliza Hamilton. Then find out some highlights from the library’s cache of historic love letters for a peek at love in bygone eras.

valentines day, events, holidaysThe library after hours. Photo courtesy of the NYPL.

7. Library After Hours #LoveReading
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street
Friday, February 14, 7 – 10:30pm

If the one you love or you are a bookworm, burrow into this NYPL after-hours event with fellow book lovers for dramatic readings of a selection of multi-lingual love poetry, a rousing round or two of literary trivia, drinks, dancing and more.

8. Greenpointers’ Valentine’s Market
The Greenpoint Loft, 67 West Street, Fifth Floor, Brooklyn
Sunday, February 9, 1 – 7pm

This year’s theme is setting down roots, literary love, Brooklyn classics and trees, and this year’s market has the whole spectrum covered. Find something special for your special someone from over 60 of the finest indie crafters in the borough, from colorful coaster sets and custom-cut shades to artisanal chocolates and spicy hot sauces.

9. The New York Pops: “I’m Every Woman: Divas On Stage”
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
Friday, February 14, 8pm

The New York Pops is paying tribute to female icons like Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Adele, Joni Mitchell and Ella Fitzgerald in “I’m Every Woman: Divas On Stage.” The orchestra is joined by Mandy Gonzalez (Hamilton), Carrie Manolakos (The Greatest Showman) and Alex Newell (Once On This Island, NBC’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) for completely love-able hits like “Both Sides Now,” “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” and more.

10. Tinder Live! with Lane Moore ft. Jamilah Lemieux, Dylan Marron, Ada Calhoun
Littlefield, 635 Sackett Street, Brooklyn NY
Friday, February 14, Doors 8:00pm/Show 8:30pm.

Brooklyn’s Littlefield has always provided a (fun) haven for cynics on Valentine’s Day, and this year is no exception as Comedian Lane Moore fires up dating app Tinder, projects Tinder profiles up larger-than-life, then lets audience and panelists speak their mind before swiping left or right. The New York Times described it as “truly addictive entertainment,” which is may really be the best way to look at dating apps.

valentines day, events, holidaysImage courtesy of Tatiana Eva Marie and the Avalon Jazz Band

11. French Gypsy jazz at Kingsborough’s Lighthouse
Kingsborough’s Lighthouse on the campus of Kingsborough Community College, 2001 Oriental Boulevard, Brooklyn
Friday, February 14, 7pm

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Kingsborough’s Lighthouse at the very tip of Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn with romantic French Gypsy jazz tunes from Tatiana Eva-Marie & The Avalon Jazz Band. Expect songs inspired by the Parisian jazz scene of the 1930s like “La Vie en Rose” and “Autumn Leaves,” made famous jazz greats Édith Piaf, Yves Montand, and Charles Trenet. The Jazz at the Lighthouse series presents intimate jazz performances in a modern lighthouse, with wine and cheese and floor-to-ceiling sea views all around.


Photo: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

12. Name a roach for your Valentine (or your ex)
Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx
After hours event: Friday, February 14, 6:00 – 7:30pm

“Seal it with a hiss:” Name a Bronx Zoo Madagascar hissing cockroach for your loved one. The original name-a-roach gift, complete with a digital certificate, is back by popular demand and can be found here. And if you’re looking for a unique way to spend Valentine’s Day, the zoo is offering an exclusive after-hours event where you’ll meet critters up close and learn all about the laws of attraction in the wild–wine and chocolate included.

valentines day, events, holidaysPhoto by ephemeralmuse via Flickr cc 

13. Valentine’s Day Digester Egg Tour
Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, 329 Greenpoint Avenue
Saturday, February 8; 12:30- 7:30pm

If sewage treatment makes your heart go pitter pat, this event is for you. The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant’s wildly popular (and free!) Valentine’s Day Digester Egg Tour will teach you all about how these eight stainless steel-clad vessels process up to 1.5 million gallons of sludge every day, turning the organic material removed from sewage into an organic compound that can be used as fertilizer. Extra bonus: visitors will be treated to a romantic view of the Manhattan skyline from the top of the eggs. Register here for the tour.

valentines day, events, holidays

Image via Wikimedia Commons

14. F.W. Murnau’s “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans,” (1927) with live score
Threes Brewing, 333 Douglass Street, Brooklyn
Friday, February 14, 7:30 – 9:30pm

Released in 1927, “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans” is a gorgeous, romantic German Expressionist silent film, here with live accompaniment on violin and piano by Tenth Intervention for a one-night-only treat.

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