Not Your Average Valentine’s Day: Celebrating Love in L.A.
Source: LA Weekly
Valentine’s Day is upon us, and whether you’re in a solid relationship, a questionable coupling or flying solo, the city is packed with things to do. From rocking out at the Rainbow to solving a murder mystery to getting creative making cakes and crafts to catching movies and music for lovers (and haters), the City of Angels offers countless ways to either celebrate or escape the Hallmark holiday. There are so many fun options, you just might fall in love — if not with a partner, then with our city all over again.
Disney’s classic doggy love story Lady and the Tramp set the standard for romance. Revisit the classic cartoon with this special screening at the iconic El Capitan in Hollywood. Share a meatball with a loved one and add on a Valentine’s Day spaghetti dinner at the nearby Italian restaurant Miceli’s for that perfect final touch. El Capitan Theatre, 6838 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; thru Mon., Feb. 18, 5:30 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. screening; $10 screening only, $40 with dinner. elcapitantheatre.com/film-info/lady-the-tramp.
Valentine’s Eve with a Romance Icon
Warm up for the big day with a night of music at Largo. The pre-Valentine’s event is hosted by Ben Lee and his wife, Ione Skye (who, of course, co-starred with John Cusack in the classic Say Anything), and includes special guests Josh Radnor, Susanna Hoffs, Jenny O, Rachel Ramras, Pete Yorn, Jill Sobule and more making beautiful music. No word on if anyone will be doing Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Wed., Feb. 13, 8 p.m.; $30. largo-la.com.
Remember that handmade valentine you got in fifth grade? Well, it’s like that, but with booze!
Hosted by CraftNight! and Akbar, the CraftNight Love-In has attendees create and distribute their own Valentines to other patrons in the bar with hopes of making a love connection. Or just to say hi! Other activities include games, contests, dancing, and possibly a few drinks. All set among the welcoming dim of Silver Lake’s best gay bar. Akbar, 4356 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; Wed., Feb. 13, 9 p.m.; free. crafthead.com/.
A Killer Romance
Become a dinner detective as you and your partner solve a whodunit while feasting on rib-eye at a Night of Valentine’s Mystery & Murder. This fun take on dinner theater will have guests guessing the culprit and solving mysteries by the time dessert and coffee are served. Tickets are $100 per person, which includes dinner for two, two alcoholic beverages, tax and service. Maggiano’s Little Italy at the Grove, 189 The Grove Drive, Fairfax; Wed., Feb. 13, 7:30-10:30 p.m. eventbrite.com/e/maggianos-valentines-murder-mystery-tickets-54623889524.
Celebrate the late, great Burt Reynolds as the New Beverly spends the better part of February honoring the celluloid icon. On Valentine’s Day, you can enjoy a double dose of Burt with Deliverance and Boogie Nights.
But if scary rednecks and a deep dive into the ’70s porn industry doesn’t scream Valentine’s Day to you, there are alternative Burt screenings throughout the month, including Smokey and the Bandit, White Lightning, The Longest Yard and Hooper. New Beverly Cinema, 7165 Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; various dates/times in February; $10. thenewbev.com/schedule/.
Add a little spice to your Valentine’s Day with the hottest luchadores on the planet. Enjoy a night of burlesque, wrestling and comedy with Los Angeles’ premiere Mexican masked wrestling troupe, Lucha VaVOOM. Tickets available for two shows, with a special Valentine’s Day performance hosted by Drew Carey. But act fast! This one is bound to sell out. 21+. The Mayan, 1038 S. Hill St., downtown; Feb. 13-14, 8:15 pm. luchavavoom.com/.
Wheel Love: Couples Ceramics Class
Channel your inner Demi Moore at Match Stonewear’s Valentine’s Day event. In addition to re-creating the best scene from Ghost, couples will get the chance to tour the showroom, snack on wine and cheese, and enjoy a special discount on select items. Match Stonewear, 3605 Hayden Ave.. Culver City; Thu., Feb. 14, 5-9 p.m.; $200 per couple. matchstoneware.com.
Don’t Laugh Alone
Make a date with the Upright Citizens Brigade as they tackle the funny and sometimes brutal side of love in First Dates, Worst Dates. Funny folks poke fun at embarrassing crushes and teenage heartbreak while they improv a comedy routine based on your terrible, terrible dating experiences. The perfect pick-me-up for the lovelorn. UCB Sunset, 5419 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood; Thu., Feb. 14, 9:30 p.m.; $7. franklin.ucbtheatre.com/performance/51725.
For Your Sweetie
Enjoy an evening of sugary confections with your cupcake at the Valentine’s Decorating Date Night. Located in several spots throughout Los Angeles, Duff’s Cakemix offers couples the chance to explore the creative part of their sweet tooth by crafting edible masterpieces. Tickets are $60 (plus fees) per couple, which includes materials, yummy snacks, games and a raffle. Open to all ages if accompanied by an adult. Duff’s Cakemix, West Hollywood, Pasadena and Tarzana locations; Thu., Feb. 14, 7-9 p.m. eventbrite.com/o/duffs-cakemix-7496364785.
For Heavy Hearts
Enjoy the night at the historic Rainbow Bar & Grill on Sunset, where bands and turntablists have lined up to bring you the best in rock and metal. Featuring The BombSquad, Brittney’s Rage and DJ Katon W. De Pena, the ’Bow is perfect for couples who prefer headbanging to the usual quiet night out. Rainbow Bar & Grill, 9015 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Thu., Feb. 14, 9 p.m.-1 a.m.; free with 2-drink minimum. rainbowbarandgrill.com/.
Village of Love
Alt-scene supercouple Kathleen Hanna and Adam Horovitz host a night of tunes to benefit Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles. The perfect opportunity to rock out with a loved one while helping society, Panache’s Valentine’s Day event offers special guests including Ty Segall, Amen Dunes, Bane’s World, Julie Byrne, Rodrigo Amarante, Melanie Faye, Mikal Cronin, Dent May and Shannon Lay rocking love songs and more. Teragram Ballroom, 1234 W. Seventh St., downtown; Thu., Feb. 14, 7 p.m. (doors 6 p.m.); $35-$40. teragramballroom.com/event/1807735-panache-39-s-valentine-39-s-los-angeles/.
Lovers Rock in Grand Park
A free event featuring a night of reggae music and a romantic setting, perfect for a late-night picnic for two. Snuggle under the stars with the live music of DJs Danny Holloway and Phersone while enjoying eats from nearby food trucks and mugging for the photo booth. Did we mention that this is free? Grand Park’s Olive Court, 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown; Thu., Feb. 14, 6-10 p.m.; free. grandparkla.org/event/valentines-day-2018/.
My Funny Valentine
The third installment of the comedy cavalcade featuring lesbian stand-up comedians offers belly laughs to lovers and loners alike. The night includes a full roster of funny folks, raffles, giveaways and the chance to participate in the “Queer Dating Game.” Food and drink available for purchase. Kimpton La Peer Hotel, 627 N. La Peer Drive, West Hollywood; Thu., Feb. 14, 7:30-11:30 p.m.; $15-$30.
Hang with the Queen of (Pink) Hearts
Spend a night of love with the Goddess of Love, aka the Billboard Queen of Los Angeles, aka Angelyne. The music video premiere party promises to be memorable, as the Pink One herself graces us mere mortals with her presence. Tickets are free for the 21+ event. Zebulon, 2478 Fletcher Drive, Elysian Valley; Thu., Feb. 14, 9 p.m. ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1822619.
Union Station Dance Party
This Valentine’s Day, you and your main squeeze can hoof it among the art deco settings of Union Station with a free dance party. A collaboration between Metro Art Presents and the Floor Improv, Union Station Kind of Love will feature doo-wop and soul music from the ’50s and ’60s. Participants — “all ages, genders and orientations are welcome” — are encouraged to dress the part with cocktail attire from yesteryear. Union Station Ticketing Hall, 800 N. Alameda St., downtown. Thu., Feb. 14, 8-10 p.m. unionstationla.com/happenings/metro-art-presents-valentine-s-day.
The fine folks who made cemetery screenings an annual summer event in Los Angeles are playing Cupid this Valentine’s Day. Cinespia offers a special screening of Tony Scott’s beloved True Romance at the iconic Los Angeles Theater. Watch the adrenaline-fueled antics of Clarence and Alabama as you take in the historic location and a few cocktails from the bar. Stay after the screening for photo ops, a dance party and live music. Los Angeles Theatre, 615 S. Broadway, downtown; Thu., Feb. 14, 9 p.m.; $30-$80. All ages (but still an R-rated movie). 21+ w/valid ID for cocktails. cinespia.org/event/true-romance-2/.
And for those who have to wait for the weekend to celebrate:
If you and your partner have to wait to celebrate your love, no worries. There are still a few offbeat adventures to have in the naked city. Literally. If you love art and enjoy the occasional scintillating activity, this adults-only scavenger hunt might be your bag. Watson Adventures’ “Naked at the Getty Scavenger Hunt” offers couples the chance to expand their horizons with a museum-wide search for cheeky art that bares all. Sorry, but you’ll have to keep your clothes on till later! Getty Museum, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; Sat., Feb. 16, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; $29.50 (includes museum admission). watsonadventures.com/location/los-angeles/getty-center/.
Does Valentine’s Day get you stressed? Don’t worry. Anne and Nathaniel Hodder-Shipp offer a detox breathwork workshop that will help you find your happy place again. Perfect for unwinding after the pressures of the holiday, this “Un-Valentine’s Day for Lovers (and Haters)” will help you sweat out all those conflicted feelings, at least for a little while. SoulPlay Yoga, 9711 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Fri., Feb. 15, 7 p.m.; $40. unvalentinesday.splashthat.com/.
Romance of Hollywood Experience
Offer the gift of bliss with this decadent massage experience for two at the uber-fancy Ritz-Carlton. This tandem couples massage offers the chance for you and your partner to unwind from the week while enjoying a moment of luxury. Massage concludes with a bubble bath with a glass of bubbly for two. 900 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown. ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/los-angeles/spa.
Rock & Roll Bouquets
Just because your loved one tips a toe into the dark side doesn’t mean flowers are off the table. Ace of Vase in Burbank provides the perfect bouquet for that special metalhead, goth or rocker in your life. With assortments that can include zombie candles, creepy ceramics and its signature “T-shirt vases,” Ace of Vase creates a unique Valentine’s gift that says, “I love you, you adorable weirdo.” 1928 W. Olive Ave., Burbank. (818) 940-6109. aceofvase.com/.
For more Valentine’s Day ideas, see: