Valentine's Day in Denver
It's that time of year again! Heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are showing up in shops, couples are walking hand-in-hand, and love is in the air. Denver is a wonderfully romantic city in which to spend this lovers' holiday.
ARMANDO: A SHOW FOR LOVERS
WHERE: Bovine Metropolis Theater, 1527 Champa St.
WHEN: Feb. 12-14
Two couples, in different stages of their love lives, will be welcomed on stage at the Bovine Metropolis Theater and interviewed by the cast of talented improvisers. Then the fun begins as the cast brings all the joys and hilarity of their relationship to life on stage through improvisation.
DOWNTOWN HORSE & CARRIAGE RIDE
16th Street Mall
Take a quintessential romantic ride through downtown Denver. Sit up high snuggled under a blanket in a Cinderella carriage drawn by magnificent draft horses. As you slowly clip-clop along the streets, you'll get a different perspective of the sights and lights of downtown Denver. There are various pick-up points along the 16th Street Mall.
CULINARY DATE NIGHT AT COOK STREET SCHOOL OF CULINARY ARTS
1937 Market St.
WHEN: Feb. 14 (from 6 to 9 p.m.)
Spice up your love life with an evening at the Cook Street School of Culinary Arts that's guaranteed to stir up more than just delicious dishes! Take date night to new heights with a cooking class that's perfect for pairs. Two glasses of wine (one white and one red) are included with the meal. The Valentine's Day session is presently full but a wait list is available.
SOUTHWEST RINK AT SKYLINE PARK
On the corner of Arapahoe and 16th Sts.
Take a whirl on the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park with your sweetheart, right in the heart of downtown Denver. It's a cheap date, too - if you bring your own skates, the rink is free (and skate rentals are just $2).
FAMILY EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
CHOCOLATE: THE EXHIBITION
WHERE: Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd.
WHEN: Feb. 12-May 8
The word chocolate conjures up visions of candy bars, hot fudge sundaes and rich brownies, yet its rustic origins extend back thousands of years. Chocolate: The Exhibition at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science will engage all six senses as it traces the story of the "food of the gods," from its earliest cultivation among the ancient peoples of the rain forest to its status today as the world's favorite sweet. Immersive exhibits, fun interactives, and detailed replicas and objects place chocolate under the lenses of science, history and popular culture.
ZOO LOVE: KIDS-ONLY BUNK WITH THE BEASTS
WHERE: Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St.
WHEN: Feb. 13 (from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m.)
Children are invited to celebrate Valentine's Day with a sleepover at a Denver Zoo "Bunk with the Beasts" adventure. Participants will visit some of the zoo's most beloved animals while their parents enjoy a night out. Kids will make a special valentine for a zoo critter, and sleep over in Denver Zoo's onsite Gates Education Center. The evening includes pizza dinner, an evening snack and full breakfast. The cost is $75.
SIERRA BOGGESS IN CONCERT
WHERE: Boettcher Concert Hall, 1400 Curtis St.
WHEN: Feb. 13 (7:30 p.m.) Feb. 14 (1 p.m.)
Broadway superstar and Denver native Sierra Boggess will perform at two concerts over Valentine's Day weekend at Boettcher Concert Hall. She'll sing hits from various musicals and be accompanied by the orchestra as well as the Colorado Children's Chorale.
ROMANTIC LOCATIONS IN DENVER
TRADITIONAL TEA BROWN PALACE HOTEL & SPA
321 17th St.
Experience a touch of elegant, Old World charm at the historic Brown Palace Hotel & Spa. The Traditional Afternoon Tea takes place between noon and 4 p.m. in the hotel's gorgeous atrium lobby, and includes freshly made scones, pastries and sandwiches and a wide variety of teas.
1422 Larimer St.
Steal away to a speakeasy in Denver's posh Larimer Square. Located behind the "front" of a pie shop, Green Russell offers handcrafted, artisanal cocktails in an intimate, 1920s-inspired space.
PEAKS LOUNGE AT HYATT REGENCY
650 15th St.
Located on the 27th floor of the Hyatt Regency Denver, the Peaks Lounge offers swoon-inducing views of the Rocky Mountains and downtown, along with 40 wines by the glass and a menu of appetizers and desserts.
494 E. 19th Ave.
Does your sweetie have a sweet tooth? The upscale D-Bar Desserts, owned by Keegan Gerhard, one of the nation's top pastry chefs, is just the ticket, with a menu filled with sinful treats like Cake and Shake (3-layer chocolate cake, manjari frosting, and a vanilla or chocolate milk shake or malt) or a Chocolate & Hazelnut Sitting in a Tree (chocolate soufflé, chocolate sauce, Nutella beignets, and praline ice cream). Need we say more?
DIVE LOUNGE AT THE DOWNTOWN AQUARIUM
700 Water St.
It's not 20,000 leagues under the sea, but it'll do. A posh getaway in a truly unique setting, the Dive Lounge is located on the first floor of Denver's Downtown Aquarium, offering the chance to sip cocktails with your sweetheart while surrounded by beautiful marine life.
CRUISE ROOM AT THE OXFORD HOTEL
1600 17th St.
One of the most hidden and romantic downtown Denver bars, the art deco-style Cruise Roomin the Oxford Hotel was modeled after one of the lounges on the legendary Queen Mary, with original chrome and neon creating an unparalleled atmosphere. Order a drink from the classic cocktail menu or enjoy a handmade martini.
TIPS FOR VALENTINE'S DAY IN DENVER
No Denver Valentine's Day is complete without fresh flowers - just trust us on this one. Clueless about which bouquet to buy? Don't worry; Denver's expert florists have got you covered. Also in the Highlands is the flagship location of Lehrer's Flowers (3191 W. 38th Ave.), with a wide selection and a knowledgeable staff. You can also place your order through Lehrer's Web site and have flowers delivered to your sweetheart's office or house. Visit Bouquets in Lower Downtown - they were named one of America's top 10 florists by Bon Appetit Magazine. Downtown's world-famous historic hotel, The Brown Palace & Spa (321 17th St.) has its own flower shop, featuring exquisite designs and arrangements using flowers from around the world.
Perhaps you don't want to stop at flowers this Valentine's Day? You've got plenty of gift options. Sound of the Rockies will deliver a Singing Valentine to serenade your love by quartets formed from an award-winning chorus in the Denver area. Explore The Mile High City's vibrant art districts, which are filled with galleries, boutiques and craft stores. For the trendiest, most glamorous fashions, head to Larimer Square in Lower Downtown or to the nearby Denver Pavilions on the famed 16th Street Mall. Still on the hunt for that perfect gift? Cherry Creek North is Denver's premier shopping and dining neighborhood, boasting 320 independently owned shops, boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and spas. Add to that the upscale Cherry Creek Shopping Center, with an additional 160 brand-name stores and together they create the largest, most diverse shopping district between Chicago and San Francisco.
AN ENCHANTED (AND DELICIOUS) EVENING
Valentine's Day is a perfect excuse for an intimate, candlelit dinner for two. And in Denver you've got dining options galore. Almost every type of cuisine is featured here; choose from traditional steak houses, tres chic French bistros, adventurous fusion menus and much, much more. Lower Downtown (LoDo) boasts countless great restaurants, but you might also want to check out the offerings in some of Denver's other neighborhoods, including the buzzing Highlands and the cozy Old South Gaylord district near Washington Park.