Guide to Valentine's Day in Milwaukee: Festivals, Events, Things to Do

Heart Shaped Box of Chocolates
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Although the city will likely be covered in a layer of snow, there are plenty of ways to warm up in Milwaukee this Valentine's Day with your special someone. Whether you're looking for a cozy night indoors—perhaps catching a French film at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee—or you'd rather brave the cold to go on a candlelit hike through snow-covered mountains, there are plenty of romantic activities and events you and your date can enjoy.

Shop for a Valentine's Day Gift

Before you head out for your date night with your Valentine, consider swinging by one of Milwaukee's many artisanal shops to pick up a gift for your special someone. There are a number of great florists and chocolatiers around the city including Red Elephant Chocolate in the Third Ward and Indulgence Chocolatiers shops in Walker's Point, Wauwatosa, and Shorewood. 

Eat at a Romantic Restaurant

Milwaukee may not be well-known for its culinary scene, but the city has several options when it comes to romantic places to have Valentine's Day dinner. For great views of the city and Lake Michigan, you can head out to the Harbor House for a seafood dinner then go to the nearby Milwaukee Art Museum for a casual stroll through the exhibits. Alternatively, if you can score a table a La Merenda in Walker's Point—one of the most popular restaurants in the city—you'll be treated to a small plate menu served in a comfortable, warm atmosphere.

UW-Milwaukee Festival of Films in French

If you're looking for a way to celebrate Valentine's a little later in the week this year, you can take your date to see a French film for free at the Union Cinema on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus. Presented by the UWM French Program, this special showcase includes the latest films tackling topics like modern feminist movements, marijuana decriminalization, and the judicial system. Screenings for the 22nd Annual Festival of FIlms in French will take place from February 15 to 24, 2019.

Romancing the Stars

You can tour the cosmos with a special Valentine's Day star show at the Daniel M. Soref Planetarium at the Milwaukee Public Museum this year as part of its annual Romancing the Stars event. Each couple will receive a complimentary rose and box of chocolate as well as their choice of a guided tour of the museum, a show in the planetarium, or both. The 45-minute Love and Heartbreak Tour features stories about the animal kingdom while the planetarium show will feature an up-close look at the universe's most "romantic" constellations and astrological tales. The museum will offer the show and tours on February 14 and 15, 2019.

Valentine's Weekend Laugh-A-Thon

If you're looking for something outside the ordinary to truly delight your date this year, consider buying tickets to the annual Valentine's Weekend Laugh-A-Thon at the Miller High Life Theatre in Milwaukee. The 14th annual event, which takes place on Saturday, February 16, 2019, will feature headliners Corey Holcomb, Don "DC Curry," Kountry Wayne, Comedian JJ, and T-Dot along with a variety of other local acts.

Attend a Special Concert

Milwaukee is home to a variety of music venues, many of which will be hosting a variety of performances throughout the month of February. However, if you want to take your sweetheart out to a special holiday performance, the Reagan High School Music Department in Milwaukee will present an intimate concert by Gaelynn Lea, the winner of the 2016 NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert contest, at the Bay View United Methodist Church on Thursday, February 14, 2019, at 7 p.m.

Take a Candlelit Hike

For those feeling adventurous this Valentine's Day, Interstate Park in nearby St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, is hosting its annual Valentine's Candlelight Night on February 9, 2019, from 6 to 9 p.m. Starting at the MacKenzie Center, the snowshoeing and hiking tour features hundreds of candles illuminating a snow-covered trail through the park. After completing your hike, you and your loved one can stop by the lodge to warm up by the fire with some complimentary hot chocolate.

Go Ice Skating Downtown

If you don't want to head outside of the city but want to enjoy another classic outdoor winter activity with your Valentine's date, you can grab your skates and take your date to downtown Milwaukee's outdoor ice rink at Red Arrow Park. Known as Slice of Ice, this outdoor rink is free to use when you bring your own skates and is open starting at 11 a.m. daily throughout the winter season.

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