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10 Ideas for Celebrating Valentine's Day Locally

By Rebecca Koblin | February 10, 2022

With the pandemic being what it is and the continued threat of the new COVID-19 variant, you may be wondering how to show your love this Valentine's Day. Don't worry, we have 10 great ideas to help you observe the holiday in a safe and comfortable way — all while staying within a 10-mile radius of Montgomery.

Visit a sculpture garden

Immerse yourself in the Grounds for Sculpture exhibition “Night Forms: Dreamloop” by Klip Collective.

The Grounds for Sculpture is an outdoor museum—a sculpture garden and arboretum where nature and art interact to create beautiful pieces. If you enjoy the grounds during the daytime then you will love them after dark. Check out the new Grounds for Sculpture exhibition “Night Forms: Dreamloop.” This interactive art show combines light and sound to create a colorful experience that delights the senses. The exhibition is open Thursday through Sunday from 5 pm to 9:30 pm. Make sure to book your tickets in advance.

Elizabeth Strong-Cuevas, 'Arch II, Set II', 1995, aluminum, 144 x 132 x 156 inches, Unique, Grounds For Sculpture, Gift of The Seward Johnson Atelier, © Artist or Artist's Estate, photo: David Michael Howarth Photography.

Take a walk through one of Montgomery Township's parks

I know what you’re thinking, “But it’s cold outside!” In Norway, they have a saying “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” There is something to be said about bundling up and taking a nice walk through the park, even if it is cold outside. Each season in Montgomery boasts new natural beauty and it can be romantic to admire the icicles, frozen ponds, and clear skies of the winter. Pick up some cups of hot cocoa for you and your loved one for some extra warmth before heading out.

Skillman Road Pathway
View from the new walking path on Skillman Road. The path links to Skillman park. (Photograph by Barbara A. Preston)

Plan a lunch date

A lunch date is a great way to spend quality time with our loved ones, without the crowds that a Valentine's Day dinner date usually attract. Lunch dates also more casual and can be as simple as grabbing coffee and a snack at one of the many small businesses that Montgomery and Rocky Hill have to offer. If you need some suggestions of where to go, try heading over to the Blawenburg Bistro, the Rocky Hill Inn, the Tiger's Tale, or Beniaminos Cucina. For a coffee or ice cream date, try CafeMerica, PlayaBowls, or Thomas Sweet's Cafe.

Blawenburg Bistro
Blawenburg Bistro at the corner of Route 518 and The Great Road. (Photograph by Barbara A. Preston)

Visit a vineyard

If you think wine and chocolate are the perfect match (kind of like you and your significant other) then Terhune’s Orchard is hosting the perfect event for you. Check out their Wine and Chocolate Weekend taking place on February 12 and 13, where you can learn all about the pairing of locally made chocolate and Terhune’s wine. If brunch is more your speed then head on over to Hopewell Valley Vineyards. They are hosting a Valentine’s Day brunch on February 13 at 11 am. Also, Unionville Vineyards will host an extended wine and chocolate weekend, February 11 through 14.

Attend a hockey game?

So this is not for everybody, but, the Princeton University Men’s Hockey Team will be taking on Dartmouth College on February 14 at 5 pm at Baker Rink. Why not attend a Princeton University hockey match! If dinner and a movie aren’t cutting it for you anymore, then don’t be afraid to try something new! This is the perfect way to add some excitement to your date night. Cheering crowds, lots of action, and the opportunity to snuggle close to the one you love. Sounds like a blast to me!

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Create a valentine’s day picnic in your own home

This is a great option for anyone who loves a quiet night in (or for anybody who waited a little too long to book that dinner reservation). This idea is simple and can be really fun. Buy takeout from your favorite restaurant, set up some blankets and pillows on the floor, grab your favorite desserts and your beverage of choice, and voilà, you have a lovely indoor picnic. Extra points for anyone who decorates with a vase of flowers. Order takeout from New World Pizza, Mooyah, or go upscale with Lucy's Gourmet Kitchen.

Spend your date night at the Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium

The RVCC Planetarium in Branchburg is hosting two valentine’s day shows this year. “Romancing the Stars” begins at 7 pm and includes a look at the universe, stars, constellations. The second show, “Laser Love,” begins at 8 pm and is a laser concert set to the soundtrack of some of your favorite love songs. Both shows are for ages 16 and older and face masks are required.

Browse an art exhibition

Are you and your date art buffs? Then this is the perfect option for you! Although the Princeton Art Museum’s main building is currently closed, the museum owns two different Princeton-based galleries with art exhibitions taking place throughout the month of February. The Art on Hullfish gallery is presenting “Native America: In Translation,” a look at works by indigenous artists exploring the history of colonialism. This gallery is open every day and has free entry. The Art@Bainbridge gallery is hosting “Between Heartlands” by Kelly Wang which explores cultural identity and American and Asian traditions. This gallery is closed on Mondays. Masks and proof of vaccination are required for entry to both galleries.

Jazz up your typical Zoom date

Spending time with your partner in person isn’t always an option. If this is the case for you then Zoom dates are a great way to connect online. Registering for a zoom account is free and the application is easy to use. Just download the service to your phone or computer and then begin a video call with your loved one. If you want to add some extra fun to the date try having a game night! You can play an online game together like checkers, chess, or connect 4. I-phones even have a feature called GamePigeon that allows you to play games such as pool, scrabble, Mancala, and more.

Take an online cooking class

Whether you are a master chef or just a beginner, a zoom cooking class is a great way to bond with your partner while learning how to cook a new meal. There are many options when it comes to online cooking classes so just do a simple google search and pick whatever looks good to you. If you don’t want to spend the extra money, follow along with a youtube video or television cooking host. The best part of this option… you get to eat what you make.

Valentine’s Day presents an opportunity to connect with your partner and spend time with those you love. We hope you enjoy this list of possible date night activities and stay safe and warm during this time.


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