10 creative ways to spend Valentine’s Day in Madison

If you’d rather avoid what many in the restaurant industry call “amateur night,” spend this Valentine’s Day at home or at an outdoor event. Here are 10 creative ideas for sharpening Cupid’s arrow without having to make dinner reservations.

Be smart with your partner
Grab yourself and your beautiful DIY kits from Reveal Madison. With a large selection of customizable kits and mini kits, you’ll end the evening with something new for your home. Create and customize a picture frame, doorknob tassels, ropes or etched glasses. $14-40. In line. Click here for more information

Browse art from the couch
Cozy up under a blanket and spend a night at the museum with a virtual tour of
Madison Museum of Contemporary Arts Online Collection. Covering both local and global works, these exhibitions bring decades of vibrant, absurd and realistic paintings by Chicago imagists and the famous Frida Kahlo right into your home. To free. In line. Click here for more information

Make dumplings with your dumpling
As the saying goes, the way to a lover’s heart is through his stomach. Put your teamwork to the test with a virtual cooking class featuring farm-to-table charcuterie Pasture and abundance. Log on over Valentine’s Day weekend and learn the ropes of dumpling making with cooking instructor Monique Lu. With omnivorous and vegetarian options for a four-course kit that includes everything you’ll need need, you are ready for a tantalizing evening. $25-75. In line. 6 p.m., Saturday, February 12. Click here for more information

Get off the beaten track with a home-cooked meal
For the more adventurous cooks who like to follow their own recipe, create a unique dinner using homemade chili paste from Mrs Chu.
The sauce company owned by Josey Chu specializes in Southeast Asian delicacies. Use Sambal Nyonya, Ginger Garlic or Peanut Nyonya Satay to create an unforgettable Valentine’s Day meal. Chu has a few recipes on their website if you need a starting point. $14. In line. Click here for more information

Check out this outdoor art installation
Brave the Wisconsin cold and take a romantic stroll through How beautiful are your branches, the art installation currently at Olbrich Park Beach. The 89-foot-diameter maze created by local artist Lillian Sizemore breathes new life into last year’s Christmas trees that were donated by members of the local community. Spend the evening getting lost in the eyes while trying not to get lost among the trees. To free. Click here for more information

Skate in a figure of eight with your darling
Show off your best ice skating moves at one of the city’s many rinks. If you’re in the mood to be a little funky, join other lovebirds at Elver Park for a
Groove & glide event taking place on Valentine’s Day weekend. A lively night under the stars with your loved one is sure to make your heart skip a beat. To free. Friday February 11. 6-8 p.m. Click here for more information

Host a Couples Spa Night at Home
After a day of work, relax with a massage or a bubble bath with your partner. Get products for your home spa party at Repairing Soap & Body Carewho offers handmade and cruelty-free products, including bath salts, body polishes and creams. Shop online or stop by the Allen Street boutique to pick up a treat for a night of romance and self-care. $6-28. Online and in-store. Click here for more information

Find your center with a yoga class
If you’re looking for a way to refocus after a long day apart, consider taking a virtual yoga class with your sweetie. Put on your best workout gear and turn the sweat into a bonding activity for a night of muscle-building and Sun Salutations. Both
Dragonfly Yoga and inner yoga are offering 60-minute virtual classes on Valentine’s Day evening that will get your blood flowing and your faces glowing just in time for a romantic dinner. $15-45. In line. Tuesday February 14. 5:30 p.m. Click here to book your inner yoga class, and click here to view Dragonfly’s 60-minute classes

Create your own flight of wines and accompany it with a charcuterie board
Bring the rich flavors of Wisconsin, New York and California home with your favorite bottles of red and white from Cambridge Wine Estate. Test your connoisseur instincts and create your own flight for you and your loved one. For something to snack on while you sip, a local deli business Delicate foods sells special Valentine’s Day spreads that will make your night even more cheesy. Wine: $18-49. Deli box: $45-150.

Become your own bartender
Choose one of
State Line Distillery numerous cocktail kits, all of which include spirits made in Madison from Wisconsin beans. Get that downtown bar feel without having to pack yourself into a tight space. Choose a concoction made with vodka, rum or gin and serve your love on the rocks. $24-45. Click here for more information


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