Valentine’s Day has long been celebrated as a romantic holiday in which lovers honor their connection. The origins of the holiday are unclear, tracing back to St. Valentine. The date, which falls in the middle of February, was once believed to be the start of mating season for birds, adding a level of intimacy and romance.
Old folklore says that a woman can know what kind of marriage she’ll have if she looks to nature on Valentine’s Day. If she sees a sparrow, she’ll marry a poor man. A bluebird promises a happy man, while a crossbill forebodes an argumentative mate. If she sees an owl, she’ll remain a spinster.
For those lucky enough to spend the day with a loved one, add these fun local events and eateries to your list of possible wooing spots.
Shakespeare & St. Valentine
Spend the evening with the master of love poems at Chaddsford Winery. The Delaware Shakespeare Festival’s finest celebrate Shakespeare’s famous lovers while sipping on wine and eating chocolate. There will be two seatings, at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and tickets range from $25 to $80.
632 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford. (610) 268-2543. Visit www.chaddsford.com.
Dance the night away…and the morning too
Make your day of love a weekend with 30 Main. Enjoy dinner followed by the Wildflower Dance Band on Feb. 13 and return for a Jazz Brunch on Valentine’s morning, with a $10 Bloody Mary Bar and $20 Bottomless Mimosas.
660 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn. (610) 220-2367. Visit www.30mainberwyn.com.
Love in the Animal Kingdom
Discover which animals mate for life and which are just fair-weather friends at the Philadelphia Zoo’s Wild at Heart event. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Feb. 15 and 16, enjoy this special exhibit and tour, included with admission.
3400 W Girard Ave., Philadelphia. Visit www.philadelphiazoo.org.
Up, Up, and Away!
Sweep your sweetheart off their feet – literally – with a helicopter ride at the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center. If you’re planning to pop the question, they’ve got you covered. A proposal package is $250 and includes three passengers, a fresh rose and a bottle of champagne. If you’d prefer to return to Earth without a betrothed, regular rides are $60 per guest. Admission to the museum is also available.
1220 American Blvd., West Chester. (610) 436-9600. Visit www.americanhelicopter.museum.
Hearts & Hops Beer Tasting
Grace the Gilded Age this Valentine’s Day at the Cairnwood Estate in Bryn Athyn. Enjoy music, a stroll through the mansion and a sample of Philadelphia’s finest brews, from 8-11 p.m. Admission is $40 for individuals and $70 for couples.
1001 Cathedral Road, Bryn Athyn. (215) 947-2004. Visit www.valleyforge.org.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Enjoy the passion and scandal of love and betrayal from the comfort of the theater. The Bryn Mawr Film Institute will be showing Christopher Hampton’s film adaptation of Dangerous Liaisons, performed at the Donmar Warehouse in London. The showing will take place at 1 p.m., and admission is $20 for general admission.
824 West Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr. (610) 527-9898. Visit www.brynmawrfilm.org.
Penn’s Landing Blue Cross RiverRink
Have some wintery fun at the Sweetheart Skate, from 6–9 p.m. Admission is $20 and includes skate rentals, ice time, a complimentary flower for ladies and a sweetheart photo keepsake.
121 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia. (215) 922-2FUN. Visit www.delawareriverwaterfront.com.
The Love Lowdown
54.8…percent of consumers will celebrate Valentine’s Day
$146.84…will be spent, on average, on gifts
$19.7 billion…total spending by Americans for Valentine’s Day
40…percent of those celebrating plan to go out to a restaurant, show or other experience
6 million…people planned Valentine’s Day proposals in 2013