10 NJ Valentine’s Day Ideas That Aren’t Special Restaurant Menus

by Patrick Lavery

Young romantic couple showing heart shape on valentines day
Flavio Lissi

Whether you and your partner take Valentine’s Day very seriously or consider it a “significant holiday,” New Jersey offers plenty of options if you’re looking for a romantic meal or setting on or around February 14.

Memorable dates can be more than food, however, and there’s no shortage of unique and interesting ideas for warming up your winter with something special.

One such attraction is the “Night Forms: dreamloop by Klip Collective” projection and light show at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, Mercer County, which is not usually open on Mondays but makes an exception in this Valentine’s Day.

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To go along with that, here are nine other events that couples, and in some cases even teens and young children, can check out in February in the Garden State.

How nice! Enter to win decadent chocolates and a romantic night in Atlantic City

Do you know anything else where Cupid’s arrow is pointing? Do not hesitate to tell us.

“Laser Love” and “Romancing the Stars”

Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium, Branchburg

Watercolor night sky background with stars.

“Laser Love,” Saturday, Feb. 5 and 12 and Monday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m., features classic romantic hits, while “Romancing the Stars,” Feb. 14 at 7 p.m., includes more than one storytelling angle according to RVCC. The February 14 Laser Love show is for adult couples only; Romancing the Stars is open to couples 16 and older.

Sweet Heart Valentine’s Children’s Snack

The Mathis House at 600 Main, Toms River

Get ready for tea
Michele Jackson

Children also celebrate Valentine’s Day! This Tuesday, Feb. 8, 6:30 p.m. event promises tea, chocolate chip scones, and desserts, accompanied by live piano music, plus the chance for kids to create their own greeting cards. (Free for ages 5 and under.)

Galentine’s Day

Tomasello Vineyard, Cranford

Friends celebrating

A term coined by a 2010 episode “Parks and Recreation”, Galentine’s Day is just for the girls, and Tomasello Winery celebrates all day Friday, February 11 with a tasting of five wine samples and two chocolate truffles.

Romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day

The Grand Hotel, Cape May

Sunset Beach, Cape May Point
Sunset Beach, Cape May Point (Bud McCormick)

An ocean view from a Cape May bed & breakfast is one of New Jersey’s most romantic offerings, and the luxurious Grand Hotel offers a three-day, two-night stay with dinner, dancing and hotel specials. alcohol.

Valentine’s Day Dive

Manasquan Beach

(Manasquan's Facebook page)
(Manasquan’s Facebook page)

Step out in the elements for a good cause at this event returning to Manasquan in 2022, a fundraiser for the Joan Dancy & PALS Foundation (People with ALS) starting at noon on Saturday, February 12, with on-site registration available Friday evening and Saturday morning.

casablanca in concert

State Theater of New Jersey, New Brunswick

Humphrey Bogart
Getty Images

“Here’s looking at you, kid.” The Humphrey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman film is still an acclaimed classic eight decades after its 1942 release, and this screening on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. will be accompanied by a live performance by the New Jersey Symphony.

Anti-Valentine’s Day

Nutley Public Library, Waretown Branch of Ocean County Library

Broken Heart
grafvision, Getty Stock / Think Stock

At least two Garden State libraries are trying to lift the spirits of tweens and teens whose love might be unrequited this year. The “Anti-Valentine’s Day” event at 3:15 p.m. on the 14th in Nutley and “Heartbreakers Unite!” at 7 p.m. that night in Waretown, the promise of raw candy hearts, untraditional rose bouquets and black, not red, as the dominant color.

Couples cooking together

Passion for spices, Summit

Happy couple preparing dinner together

Here’s a food-centric offering, but these are dishes that couples will learn to make and then share together. The five-course meal, plus a free cocktail base (BYOB), comes together on the evening of the 2, at 6 p.m.

Valentine’s Day Full Moon Hike

State Tree Farm, Jackson

Full moon through the spruce trees in the magical and mysterious night forest.  Halloween backdrop.

If it’s not too cold, how about a night hike? These are available, but only to those who pre-register, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on February 14. State Park COVID protocols will be followed and the hike will be canceled in the event of rain or ice.

Patrick Lavery is the New Jersey 101.5 afternoon news anchor. follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email [email protected].

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