It's that time of year again! Heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are showing up in shops, couples are walking hand-in-hand, and love is in the air. Denver is a wonderfully romantic city in which to spend this lovers' holiday.
COUPLES MASSAGE AT THE RITZ-CARLTON DENVER
1881 Curtis St.
Unwind together! The Ritz-Carlton's Reconnection Falls treatment offers relaxation with your partner in a luxurious couples suite.
DOWNTOWN HORSE & CARRIAGE RIDE
16th Street Mall
Take a quintessential romantic ride through downtown Denver. Sit up high, snuggled under a blanket, in a Cinderella carriage drawn by magnificent draft horses. As you slowly clip-clop along the streets, you'll get a different perspective of the sights and lights of downtown Denver. There are various pick-up points along the 16th Street Mall.
COOKING WITH CUPID AT COOK STREET SCHOOL OF CULINARY ARTS
1937 Market St.
WHEN: Feb. 9, 2017 (from 6 to 9:30 p.m.)
Spice up your love life with an evening at the Cook Street School of Culinary Arts that's guaranteed to stir up more than just delicious dishes! Take date night to new heights by joining the Cooking With Cupid class. "This deluxe class includes a bottle of bubbly and sumptuous dishes guaranteed to spoil your palate," according to the school.
DOWNTOWN DENVER RINK AT SKYLINE PARK
On the corner of Arapahoe and 16th Sts.
Take a whirl on the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park with your sweetheart, right in the heart of downtown Denver. It's a cheap date, too; if you bring your own skates, the rink is free (and skate rentals are just $6-$8).
PAINT AND SIP
You'll laugh at your artistic abilities (or lack thereof), loosen your conversation with wine and come away with two memorable pieces of art after a paint-and-sip evening. Several spots are available around town, including Whimsy Paint and Sip Art Studio (8246 Northfield Blvd. #1425), Sipping n Painting Highland (2563 15th St., #102) and Canvas and Cocktails (248 Clayton St.).
VALENTINE'S DAY RELATED EVENTS
Orchid Showcase at Denver Botanic Gardens
1007 York St.
WHEN: Through Feb. 20, 2017
Surround yourselves in blooms and tropical warmth in the Orangery and Marnie's Pavilion at the Denver Botantic Gardens. Stroll through the annual Orchid Showcase to see hundreds of exotic blooms that are part of the gardens’ living collection.
THEATER AT DENVER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts has four evening shows to choose from on Valentine's Day: "The Book of Will" (the story of two friends determined to preserve Shakespeare's first folio), "Two Degrees" (the story of a climate-change scientist whose career is at a critical juncture), "The Christians" (a play about the mystery of faith) and "An Act of God" (a hilarious production in which God takes human form and wants to set the record straight).
LACHLAN PATTERSON AT DENVER IMPROV
Denver Improv, 8246 Northfield Blvd., Unit 1400
A special Valentine's Day package includes a ticket to see stand-up comedian Lachlan Patterson, a glass of champagne, a Denver Improv souvenir and a special Valentine's Day dessert.
DAVID WILCOX AT SWALLOW HILL MUSIC
71 E. Yale Ave.
WHEN: Feb. 10, 2017 (8 p.m.) or Feb. 12, 2017 (7 p.m.)
A single guitar and heartrending vocals from endearing folk singer/songwriter David Wilcox are sure to have you snuggling closer together at the intimate Swallow Hill Music hall.
VALENTINE'S DAY 5K
Washington Park, 1000 S. Downing St.
WHEN: Feb. 12, 207 (10 a.m. to noon)
Come run your heart out at Denver's Valentine's Day 5K and Kids Fun Run. Meet Cupid and maybe find a sweetheart (or run with your sweetheart). Participants are encouraged to come dressed up as their favorite couple from a TV, movie or book — or dressed ready for a fancy date night.
GET MARRIED! DENVER CLERK AND RECORDER'S VALENTINE'S DAY CELEBRATION
201 W. Colfax Ave., Suite 101
WHEN: Feb. 14, 2017 (8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)
Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson will be hosting the 10th annual Valentine's Day celebration at her office. Judges and clergy will be on hand to perform free marriage ceremonies for couples! Food and beverages will be available for the couples. Drawings will be held for gifts donated from local businesses,elected officials and other city agencies. Register in advance on Eventbrite.
MALAS & MIMOSAS AT PLUM CONSIGNMENT
2373 Central Park Blvd., #106
WHEN: Feb. 12, 2017 (1-4 p.m.)
Bring a date, or just bring yourself, and experience the creative and fulfilling process of making your own mala, or beaded meditation necklace. Ticketed event.
ROMANTIC LOCATIONS IN DENVER
TRADITIONAL TEA BROWN PALACE HOTEL & SPA
321 17th St.
Experience a touch of elegant, Old World charm at the historic Brown Palace Hotel & Spa. The Traditional Afternoon Tea takes place between noon and 4 p.m. in the hotel's gorgeous atrium lobby and includes freshly made scones, pastries, sandwiches and a wide variety of teas.
1422 Larimer St.
Steal away to a speakeasy in Denver's posh Larimer Square. Hidden behind the "front" of a pie shop, Green Russell offers handcrafted, artisanal cocktails in an intimate, 1920s-inspired space.
PEAKS LOUNGE AT HYATT REGENCY
650 15th St.
Located on the 27th floor of the Hyatt Regency Denver, the Peaks Lounge offers swoon-inducing views of the Rocky Mountains and downtown, along with 40 wines by the glass and a menu of appetizers and desserts.
494 E. 19th Ave.
Does your sweetie have a sweet tooth? The upscale D-Bar Desserts, owned by Keegan Gerhard, one of the nation's top pastry chefs, is just the ticket, with a menu filled with sinful treats like Cake and Shake (3-layer chocolate cake, manjari frosting, and a vanilla or chocolate milk shake or malt) or a Chocolate & Hazelnut Sitting in a Tree (chocolate soufflé, chocolate sauce, Nutella beignets, and praline ice cream). Need we say more?
DIVE LOUNGE AT THE DOWNTOWN AQUARIUM
700 Water St.
It's not 20,000 leagues under the sea, but it'll do. An upscale getaway in a truly unique setting, the Dive Lounge is located on the first floor of Denver's Downtown Aquarium, offering the chance to sip cocktails with your sweetheart while surrounded by beautiful marine life.
CRUISE ROOM AT THE OXFORD HOTEL
1600 17th St.
One of the most hidden and romantic downtown Denver bars, the art deco-style Cruise Room in the Oxford Hotel was modeled after one of the lounges on the legendary Queen Mary, with original chrome and neon creating an unparalleled atmosphere. Order a drink from the classic cocktail menu or enjoy a handmade martini.
TIPS FOR VALENTINE'S DAY IN DENVER
No Denver Valentine's Day is complete without fresh flowers. Clueless about which bouquet to buy? Don't worry; Denver's expert florists have got you covered. The Highlands neighborhood is home to the flagship location of the trusted Lehrer's Flowers (3191 W. 38th Ave.), with a wide selection and a knowledgeable staff. You can also place your order through Lehrer's website and have flowers delivered. Visit Bouquets in Lower Downtown — they were named one of America's top 10 florists by Bon Appetit Magazine. Downtown's world-famous historic hotel, The Brown Palace & Spa (321 17th St.) has its own flower shop, featuring exquisite designs and arrangements using flowers from around the world.
Perhaps you don't want to stop at flowers this Valentine's Day? You've got plenty of gift options. Sound of the Rockies will deliver a Singing Valentine to serenade your love by quartets formed from an award-winning chorus in the Denver area. Explore The Mile High City's vibrant art districts, which are filled with galleries, boutiques and craft stores. For stylish boutiques head to Larimer Square in Lower Downtown or to the nearby Denver Pavilions on the 16th Street Mall. Still on the hunt for that perfect gift? Cherry Creek North is Denver's premier shopping and dining neighborhood, boasting hundreds of independently owned shops, boutiques, galleries, restaurants and spas. Add to that the upscale Cherry Creek Shopping Center, with an additional 160 brand-name stores and together they create the largest, most diverse shopping district between Chicago and San Francisco.
DINNER FOR TWO
Valentine's Day is a perfect excuse for an intimate, candlelit dinner. And in Denver you've got dining options galore. In fact, here's a list of particularly romantic restaurants in Denver. Almost every type of cuisine is available in the city; choose from traditional steak houses, tres chic French bistros, adventurous fusion menus and much, much more. Lower Downtown (LoDo) boasts countless great restaurants, but you might also want to check out the offerings in some of Denver's other neighborhoods, including the buzzing Highlands and the cozy Old South Gaylord district near Washington Park.