Enjoy the Second Saturday Arts Walk on February 12, and spend the afternoon strolling between galleries, restaurants and homes to experience local art, music and food at 16 participating locations. For more information, visit secondsaturdaystatenisland.com.
Turn your day trip into a romantic evening at the Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island during its Eat, Love, Stay special, running from February 11 to 14. With overnight accommodations, in-room champagne and a buffet breakfast for $179; for an additional $99, couples can enjoy a romantic dinner at Lorenzo’s Italian restaurant. To find out more, visit hiltongardeninn.hilton.com or lorenzosdining.com.
Reserve a romantic three-course prix-fixe meal for $85 at the Long Island City restaurant Water’s Edge. A quick trip from Midtown Manhattan, Water’s Edge offers a fantastic view of the East River and the Manhattan skyline.
Head to the Queens Botanical Garden on Sunday, February 13, for the I Heart Worms: Heart-Shaped Compost Cookies Workshop. Learn to create heart-shaped compost cookies and receive step-by-step instructions on how to start and maintain outdoor and indoor worm compost bins. Registration is required for the $5 workshop, and be prepared to get your hands dirty. For more information, visit queensbotanical.org.
Instead of dining out for Valentine’s Day, visit Wave Hill on the afternoon of Saturday, February 12, for Life, Love, and Lemons, a cooking demonstration you can take back to your own kitchen. A guest chef from Great Performances caterers will demonstrate how to prepare Moroccan dishes with fresh and preserved lemons. The demonstration starts at 2pm; additional details can be found at nycgovparks.org/events.
For some after-work sweets, head to the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center in Central Park on Thursday, February 10 for Social Hour: Valentine’s Day Sweets. Norma Jean Darden, chef and proprietor of Spoonbread Restaurants, will demonstrate how to make three of her family recipes: nut brittle, fresh fruit popsicles and chocolate fudge, followed by a tasting. She’ll also share the recipes so you can whip up these treats at home. The event is free and runs from 6:30 to 8pm; for more information, visit nycgovparks.org.
To further indulge your sweet tooth, stop in at Lily O’Brien’s Chocolate Café, whose 4-foot-high chocolate fountain will be flowing with more than 26 pounds of bright-red chocolate, special for Valentine’s Day. With the purchase of a box of chocolates, you’ll receive a free treat (strawberry, pretzel, marshmallow or cookie) to dip in the fountain.
For an unprecedented chocolate experience, visit Godiva’s Fifth Avenue flagship location, which is being transformed into a special pop-up boutique through February 14. To encourage customers to express their love in writing, Godiva will stamp and mail its customer’s love letters for free.
If you’ve never been to NYC, a trip there would make a mighty fine Valentine’s Day gift. There are some seasonal hotel packages that make it more affordable:
Apple Core Hotels welcomes guests to enjoy its Roses and Rosé package from February 1 to 28 at its Five budget-friendly properties-Nyma, the Comfort Inn Times Square, The Hotel @ Times Square, La Quinta Manhattan and the Ramada Eastside. Along with accommodations for the evening, guests receive a bottle of sparkling rosé wine and a dozen red roses, all the necessary supplies for a romantic evening for two. Packages begin at $204.99. For additional details, visit applecorehotels.com/promotions/roses.
Create a custom dessert for your valentine with the Confection Perfection package at the South Gate restaurant at Jumeirah Essex House. Design a personalized dessert with executive pastry chef Deden Putra before February 7, and then on Valentine’s Day, after a three-course meal and champagne, surprise your loved one with his or her unique sweet treat. The entire package costs $400 for two people; dinner and champagne alone can be enjoyed for $85 a person. For additional information, visit 154southgate.com.