By Liz Johnson

COVID continues to impact holiday get-togethers which means Valentine’s Day will be celebrated a little differently this year. Many restaurants are still open, but operating in a limited capacity to comply with state rules, so reservations are a must. That doesn’t mean romance is off the table this year. With a little ingenuity, there are still plenty of ways to declare your love for your partner. Here are a few options in in Montgomery County:

(Hint: Many of these are past Happening List Winner, so you KNOW they’re favorites in the community. To vote for your favorites in the 2021 Happening List, click here.)

Dine in a Romantic Setting

Indulge in style at the Blue Bell Inn, Montco 2020 Happening List Winner for Most Romantic Setting which blends American heritage with a vibrant atmosphere and modern American menu. Reservations are a must this year.

(Photo by Arden Hawes from The Ardent Cook.)

Create an At-Home Date Night

If you’re not comfortable going out for the holiday, make it a special evening at home! Order takeout from a favorite spot (and/or one of the restaurants listed above), or try a new recipe together!

Take a look at THIS article featuring Arden Hawes from The Ardent Cook, where she shared ideas to make at at-home date feel special as well as a recipe for “Takeout” Chinese Beef and Mushroom Noodles.

Paint a Masterpiece

Just about everyone has attended a canvas or wood painting party these days for a “Girls Night,” but what about for a date? Getting creative together is fun way to unwind while you show your artistic side. Painting with a Twist in Skippack is a repeat Winner/Finalist in several categories in the Happening List, including Best Date Night and Group Outing. The BYO painting venue offers several date night opportunities with special nights featuring “couple” paintings that you put together to form one larger painting. They even offer At-Home Paint Kits!

Romance on the Rails

Take a train ride while dining in an historic rail car as you ride through the Secret Valley in Edwardian splendor on the Colebrookdale Railroad. This year, the railroad is offering a noon brunch and a 5 p.m. dinner seating. Reservations are a must. Colebrookdale Railroad was a 2018 Happening List Finalist.

Relax and Unwind

In a world where almost everyone is busy, busy, busy, taking time to relax and pamper yourselves can be a wonderful way to spend a day with your special someone. Maybe try a a yoga class together or get a massage. Eden Day Spa and Salon in Collegeville is a 2019 Happening List Finalist that offers couple massages in their designated Couples’ Suite for a memorable experience.

Go to the Movies

Dinner and a movie is taking on a new look during COVID with theaters such as 2019 Montco Happenings List Finalist for Best Date Night the Ambler Theater offering virtual screenings. Check out the website for listings and details.

Plus, The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville is open for both public and private screenings! (There are a number of health protocols in place.) When Harry Met Sally and Casablanca HERE are both playing Valentine’s Day Weekend. Find out more .

Visit a Winery or Brewery

Montgomery County has several great wineries (as well as breweries and distilleries) where you can taste, make or learn how to pair your favorite drinks with any food. Take a tour, sign up for a tasting session or take a brewing or wine-making class together. Cardinal Hollow Winery, a 2020  Happening List Finalist, is hosting a Valentine’s Day comedy show. Check out the website for details.

Plan a Staycation

There’s really something special about getting away from the daily routines of home life, even if you’re staying somewhere nearby. Treat yourself and your loved one to a night at a local bed and breakfast such as 2020 Montco Happening List Winner for Most Romantic Escape the Joseph Ambler Inn. The restaurant reopens for indoor dining on February 10, just in time for Valentine’s Day. And in honor of the holiday, they’re offering a “Sleep In Package” from February 12 through the 14th, complete with continental breakfast and mimosas delivered to your room and extended checkout until noon.

Indulge in Chocolate Decadence

A little bit of sweetness can drown out a whole lot of bitterness, which might be how giving a box of chocolates to your true love came into vogue. Try 2020 Montco Happening List Winner Chocolatier Sweet Ashley’s Chocolate in Royersford for a treat that’s sure to melt your lover’s heart.

Get Cozy with Cooking

Learn your way around both the kitchen and your paramour by taking a cooking class. Check out classes hosted by The Kitchen Workshop in Paoli or Really Cooking with Robin in East Norriton.

And if you’re looking for something special to gift for the holiday, HERE’s our 2021 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide! 

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