Instead Of Roses, Two Dozen Dates For You And Your Valentine

Valentines, be of heavy heart no longer. Here are two dozen dates for you to surprise your sweetie with, from the weekend before Feb. 14, which falls on a Wednesday this year, through the following weekend. (And you’ll find our list of restaurants with special Valentine’s menus, meals prepared for at-home romance and of course, plenty of sweets here.)

Exploding Hearts

The b Restaurant (Plan B West Hartford), 138 Park Road., hosts an Exploding Hearts party Feb. 14 starting at 11:30 a.m., with three lines of Thomas Hooker beer available throughout the day, free tickets to brewery happy hours and tours and music by Drop City starting at 9 p.m. Valentine’s food specials run all week. 860-231-1199, burgersbeerbourbon.com/west-hartford.

Sugar For Your Sugar

Sugar Factory at Foxwoods Resort Casino is a sweet tooth’s paradise with indulgent, over-the-top desserts and treats, and a confectionery shop, with floor-to-ceiling walls featuring more than 500 types of candy. A special $79 prix-fixe Valentine’s menu includes a choice of Valentine’s themed cocktail, starter, entree and dessert selection of red velvet fondue or chocolate covered strawberries. foxwoods.com/valentinesday.

Love Me Tender

Angelico’s Lake House, 81 N. Main St., East Hampton, offers a special Valentine’s menu on Feb. 14, along with a performance by Elvis Presley tribute artist Keith Lewis. 860-267-1276, angelicoslakehouse.com.

Onesie & Only

Elm City Social, 266 College St., New Haven, hosts a “You’re The Onesie For Me” Valentine’s party Feb. 14 from 3 p.m. to close, featuring cocktail specials, food and fun. Guests are encouraged to rock a onesie. Free admission. 475-212-0096, elmcitysocial.com.

Wine And Dine Your Honey

Sunset Meadow Vineyards, 599 Old Middle St., Goshen, hosts its annual Valentine’s dinner at the winery on Feb. 9 and 10, beginning each night at 6:30 p.m. (doors open at

6 p.m.) Complimentary sparkling wine, hors d’oeuvres, plated salad, entree and dessert. (See full menu at facebook.com/sunsetmeadowvineyards.) Cost is $145 per couple. Reservations: 860-201-4654, sunsetmeadowsvineyard@yahoo.com.

And Max Restaurant Group partners with Crystal Ridge Winery (257 Belltown Road, South Glastonbury) for a special wine dinner Feb. 14 at 6:30 p.m. Four-course menu with wine pairings; $248 per couple. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Celebration Of Love

Hartford Flavor Company, 30 Arbor St., Hartford, hosts a Celebration of Love party Feb. 10 starting at 6 p.m., featuring appetizers, sweets and Wild Moon Liqueurs cocktails. Tickets, available on Eventbrite, are $20 apiece or $35 for two. 860-338-1642, hartfordflavor.com.

Dance Your Heart Out

Saint Clement’s Castle, 1931 Portland-Cobalt Road, Portland, hosts its annual Valentine’s dinner dance Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. Premium brand open bar, butlered hors d’ouevres and harvest display, pasta station, choice of entree and dessert. Cost is $99. stclementsevents.com.

A Villa Louisa, 60 Villa Louisa Road, Bolton, hosts a Valentine’s dinner dance party Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. Cocktail hour is followed by three courses and a dessert trio, with music, dancing, games and giveaways. $40 per person. 860-646-3161, avillalouisa.com.

Scream For Ice Cream

Treat your Valentine to an elaborate ice cream treat at Milkcraft in West Hartford and Fairfield, with gourmet nitrogen-churned flavors bedazzled with sprinkles and colorful bits of cereal and drizzled with caramel and Nutella. Milkcraft’s unique bubble-textured waffle cones are available in a red velvet variety through February. milkcraftca.com.

Love Sushi

Red Lantern Restaurant & Lounge at Foxwoods Resort Casino offers a couples' hands-on sushi-making class Feb. 14 at 6 p.m., featuring signature sushi rolls paired with a selection of sake. Tickets are $149 per couple. Information: redlanternfoxwoods.com or 860-312-8480.

‘Your Brain In Love’

CT Science Center, 250 Columbus Blvd., in Hartford, presents “Science Straight Up: Your Brain in Love” on Feb. 9 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The happy hour will feature the comedy troupe Sea Tea Improv in a discussion about the emotional brain and “love chemicals” that cause heart palpitations and butterflies in the stomach. Also: free beer tastings from Stony Creek Brewery, Latin dance sessions, access to the Butterfly Encounter and Valentines with Artpeace Studio. Students and faculty from the Trinity neuroscience program will guide activities such as making neurons from pipe cleaners or beads, a demonstration of a human brain, and an audio-visual presentation of brain electrical activity recorded while thinking about love. 21-plus only. $10 in advance, $12 at door; members and students $5. ctsciencecenter.org/sciencestraightup

Valentine Soirée

Valentine Soirée is at Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main St. in Hartford, on Feb. 14 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Admission is $130 per person and includes hors d’oeuvres; a dinner of amuse bouche, arugula-strawberry-white chocolate salad, a surf & turf main course and a Viennese dessert table; an open bar; DJ music; dancing; a photobooth; and all taxes and gratuities. thewadsworth.org.

Sweet H’arts

NBMAA Sweet H’arts is at New Britain Museum of American Art, 56 Lexington St., on Feb. 14 from 1 to 2 p.m. The event, free with museum admission, includes a lunch in the café and a guided tour that includes love stories found in the works in the galleries. nbmaa.org.

Valentine's Day Massacre

Your Valentine is sure to stay close at this Valentine's Day Massacre, a holiday-themed haunted house, at Fright Haven in Stratford Square Shopping Plaza at 411 Barnum Ave., from Feb. 9 to 11 from 7 to 10 p.m. Not recommended for 13 and younger. Admission is $25, $45 for couples, $65 for three people, $80 for four, extra for VIP tickets. frighthaven.com.

Smooch In The Dark

The annual Valentine’s week screening of “Casablanca” runs from Feb. 11 to 14 at Cinestudio, at Trinity College in Hartford every day at 7:30 p.m., with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Cinestudio also will show “The Princess Bride” on Feb. 16 at 10 p.m. cinestudio.org. “Casablanca” also will be shown on Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. at the Bradley Playhouse, 30 Front St. in Putnam. Admission is $10. thebradleyplayhouse.org.

The 1987 romantic comedy “Moonstruck” is shown at the Warner Theatre, 68 Main St. in Torrington, on Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. Admission is $5. warnertheatre.org.

“Once,” the movie, made Dublin the romantic backdrop for a sweet romance between an Irish songwriter and a Czech immigrant known only as “Guy” and “Girl.” The stage musical version of the film takes place on a single Irish-pub set, with the actors doubling as musicians. The Warner Stage Company is doing its rendition of “Once” through Feb. 11 at the Warner Theatre, 68 Main St., Torrington. $19-$27. 860-489-7180, warnertheatre.org.

Fire & Ice

Fire & Ice Winter Valentine's Festival will be Feb. 10 from noon to 9 p.m. in downtown Putnam. Activities include ice block carving, fire dancers, ice bar, ice table, ice chairs, a chocolate sculpting contest. Admission is free. discoverputnam.com.

The Feeling Of Intimacy

“Intimate Apparel” opens on Valentine’s Day and runs through March 4 at Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, West Hartford. Pulitzer-Prize winning playwritght Lynn Nottage’s historical African-American drama has love letters and a wedding in it, but be warned that it doesn’t end happily. $20-$40. 860-523-5900, playhouseonpark.org.

Train Ride

Love is not one of the motivating forces in a new stage version of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” Feb. 15 through March 18 at Hartford Stage, 50 Church St., Hartford. But this fresh comic take on the ever-popular mystery novel, adapted by Ken Ludwig, is an ideal date show. $25 to $90. 860-527-5151, hartfordstage.org.

The Keys To Romance

Carolyn Kuan and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra get cuddly with Mascagni (the “Intermezzo” from Cavalleria rusticana), Haydn (Symphony No. 104 in D Major, “London”), Poulenc (“Allegro ma non troppo” from Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor) and pianists Anderson & Roe, who’ll perform their Fantasy on Bizet’s Carmen for Two Pianos and Orchestra. Kuan gives a pre-concert talk an hour before the concert. Feb. 16 to 18, 8 p.m. and 3 p.m., $38 to $72. Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, Hartford. 860-987-5900, hartfordsymphony.org.

She Loves You, Yeah Yeah Yeah

Nobody wrote love songs like The Beatles. One of the top Beatles tribute acts, “Rain,” is at the Palace Theater, 100 East Main St., Waterbury, 8 p.m. Feb. 16. $48 to $78. 203-346-2000, palacetheaterct.org.

An Evening Of Romance

“Jim Brickman: An Evening of Romance,” a concert of love songs by the singer-pianist, is at Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, 166 Capitol Ave. in Hartford, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. Admission ranges from $35 to $65. thebushnell.org.

Hot Chocolate Soul

Author June Archer (Eleven28 Entertainment), Karl Browne’s Smooth Improvisation and special guests return to the Bushnell for a blend of music, comedy and poetry on Feb. 9 at 9 p.m. at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, Hartford. $30. bushnell.org.

An Evening Of Love

Seasoned R&B artists Brian McKnight (“Back at One”), K-Ci & JoJo (of Jodeci), Christopher Williams (“I’m Dreamin’”) and Al B. Sure (“Nite and Day”) rendezvous at Foxwoods for a night of slow jams and new jack swing on Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. at Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket. $68 to $178. 800-369-9663, foxwoods.com.

Romance De La Guitarra

Spanish classical guitarist Daniel Salazar and a talented bunch of musicians, singers and dancers return to Bruyette Athenaeum, Hoffman Auditorium, at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford for a night of international romance. Feb. 14 at 8 p.m., $25 to $30. usj.edu.

V-Day Jazz Lounge

Cafe Nine in New Haven hosts its annual V-Day cocktail jazz lounge, with music by Kevin Saint James, Steve Donovan and special guests on Feb. 14 at 8:30 p.m. at Cafe Nine in New Haven. No cover. cafenine.com

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