For some, the way to a person's heart is through their stomach; for others, it's making memories together and sharing special moments. From concerts and quiet dinners for two to museum tours and comedy clubs, Cleveland and northeast Ohio offer a wealth of romantic activities for Valentine's Day lovebirds.
Chocolates have become almost synonymous with Valentine's Day, and you can get up close and personal with the chocolate-making process at the Harry London Chocolate Factory in Canton. You can stop by the front shop to buy your true love some tasty treats and then on a tour of the factory and sample chocolates together afterward.
Although Canton is about a one-hour drive south of Cleveland, there are also plenty of other chocolate shops right in the city if you can't make the trip.
If you're looking to make your Valentine's Day celebration extra special this year, you might consider booking a room at a romantic getaway destination near Cleveland.
The quaint Lakehouse Inn and Winery in Geneva-on-the-Lake, located one hour outside of Cleveland, offers a number of romantic packages and specials which include things like spa services, chocolates, flowers, restaurant vouchers, and wine tastings. While there, you and your loved one can enjoy intimate meals, lively social events, and all the peace of getting away from the city for a weekend of being pampered.
Nothing says a romantic dinner like candlelight service and a nice, fresh wine pairing from a local vineyard. Fortunately, northeast Ohio is home to many wineries, many of which offer Valentine's Day services for two at their on-site restaurants.
Located about 45 minutes east of Cleveland in Madison, Ohio, Debonne Vineyards is the largest estate winery in Ohio with over 175 acres of vineyards. At the winery, you can also order from the food menu, which includes a wide variety of specialty sandwiches, fresh appetizers, and wood-fired pizzas on winter weekends and holidays—including Valentine's Day.
If you're looking for an opportunity to enjoy the winter scenery of Cleveland this Valentine's Day while bonding with your loved one, you can head to the ice rink at Wade Oval in University Circle. Admission is just two dollars and skate rentals are just three, making this a cheap way to spend the afternoon on Valentine's Day.
Afterward, you can explore nearby attractions in University Circle, which include the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Museum of Natural History, and the Cleveland Botanical Garden. For dinner, you can stop by L'Albatros, a nearby French brasserie, or the Michelson and Morely Restaurant on the Case Western Reserve University campus.
After you finish up at the rink and before you head to dinner, you and your loved one can peruse the fine works in the galleries at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Current exhibits include the Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern gallery, the Charles Burchfield: The Ohio Landscapes, 1915 - 1920 gallery, and the Who RU2 Day: Mass Media and the Fine Art Print gallery.
If you want to take your sweetheart out to dinner on Valentine's Day, you'll want to make a reservation at one of Cleveland's special occasion restaurants well in advance, as this holiday is one of the busiest for the city's many fine dining establishments.
Eateries such as Mallorca in the Warehouse District offer excellent cuisine in a quiet, romantic setting. Meanwhile, one of the first restaurants in the area to feature locally-grown and organic produce, The Flying Fig, is a great destination in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood for an intimate dinner featuring healthy, tasty food. Also, for a fantastic view of the Cuyahoga River and elegantly-plated dishes, consider heading out to Lockkeeper's Restaurant in Valley View.
Perhaps nothing is more romantic than getting married on Valentine's Day; for that reason, Cuyahoga County municipal judges have been presiding over the marriage ceremonies on the steps of Tower City on Valentine's Day for years.
During the ceremonies, the Tower City concourse—including its grand staircase, marble floors and pillars, gurgling fountains, and soaring arched glass ceiling—is transformed into a romantic place where couples exchange wedding vows.
If you want to get married on Valentine's Day, you must have your marriage certificate beforehand and will have to pay a fee for the services and register in advance. The deadline for Valentine's Day wedding registrations for 2019 is February 13; the ceremonies will take place on February 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
One way to show your love for humanity is to drop trou for charity and run a one-mile course in your underwear (or long-johns) on Saturday, February 16, 2019, in the Cupid Undie Run. This annual event, which is held in cities across the country throughout the month, benefits the Children's Tumor Fund, which helps provide support for research into the cure for neurofibromatosis.
Taking place at the South Side (2207 West 11th Street) from noon to 4 p.m., this charity event requires advanced registration and a donation to attend. After the fun run, participants can enjoy a party for several hours as they try to bring feeling back to their extremities.
The Beachland Ballroom, a music venue in Cleveland's Waterloo arts district, is a great spot to catch a show and grab a few cocktails, and the Beachland Tavern nearby also features some great acts alongside food service. The schedule changes frequently with a variety of acts in different genres and mediums, which means you'll likely find something both you and your partner can enjoy. The lineup for February 2019 includes:
- February 9 and 10: Beachland Tavern Rockin' Brunch
- February 10: Davina & The Vagabonds with the Alyssa Boyd Quartet at the Ballroom
- February 10: Holden Laurence's Shadows of Old Love Single Release at the Tavern
- February 12: Corrosion of Conformity with Crowbar, Weedeater, and Mothership at the Ballroom
- February 14: The Steel Woods with Josh Card at the Ballroom
- February 14: A Piano Valentine with Rachel Brown & Mark Freeman and anitakeys & Ryan Guitar Anderson at the Tavern
- February 15: Nah Nah with The Robin Blake Sound Experiment and Church of Starry Wisdom at the Tavern
- February 15: Into the Blue: Grateful Dead Revival at the Ballroom