Red construction paper hearts litter storefront windows. Decadent chocolate bars beckon shoppers at checkout counters. It's pretty tough to ignore: Cupid is at it again. Inevitably, Valentine's Day 2012 has arrived. Sure, it may be a Hallmark fauxliday in the eyes of many, but why not embrace an excuse for some overindulgent fun? Whether you're in love, lust, or are destined to end up a spinster, Charleston always has something special for you. We've put together a list of Valentine's Day happenings guaranteed to beat your February blues.
For those with a valentine, wining and dining is always a choice option, and boy do we have options for you. Keep in mind for these, you're probably going to need reservations.
Circa 1886's Marc Collins is preparing a six-course prix-fixe for $100 per person. But if you had something less extravagant in mind, more reasonable prix-fixes will be available at Eli's Table, Laura Alberts Tasteful Options, Grill on the Edge, Social Restaurant & Wine Bar, The Glass Onion, and 17 North Roadside Kitchen.
Feeling frisky? Swing by Heart Woodfire Kitchen on James Island for a Valentine's Day dinner dance where you can rock your heart out with casual, professional swing dance instruction and live music from the V-tones.
Eurasia is heating up with an extravagant five-course exploration of all things spicy, saucy, and smoky for $65. Prix fixe seating is at 6 pm with a regular menu available. They'll have bubbly specials, too.
Gather the group for a Butcher and Bee pop-up dinner featuring (always fresh) vegan fare. Or treat your vegan sweetie to a menu just for her/him. BYOB. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
For a somewhat different dining destination, head to the S.C. Aquarium for their second annual Love Under the Sea Valentine's Day Dinner. Enjoy a three-course meal with wine pairing plus aquatic views in the company of lovable marine creatures.
If you prefer beer to wine, you'll probably like what Ted's Butcherblock is offering. Their Valentine's Day menu will feature a unique selection of craft beers paired with four decadent, French-inspired courses for $48. On a similar track, Westbrook Brewing Co. and Christophe Artisan Chocolatier are teaming up for a five-course chocolate and beer pairing from 7-9 p.m. at the brewery.
What could be better than a good chick flick to celebrate — or mourn — this day of love? Head to the Hippodrome where they're screening When Harry Met Sally at 7 p.m. and The Princess Bride at 9:30 p.m. ($5 for one feature, $8 for double feature).
Looking for a last minute sitter for the kids (if you have them)? Children's Museum of the Lowcountry is celebrating the day with fun crafts, activities, story time, and dinner from 5-9 p.m. Ages 3-10 are welcome (as long as everyone is potty trained) and each child will be placed in an appropriate age group. It's $15-$18 an hour.
Not so into the ooey-goey, lovey-dovey stuff? Join Mellow Mushroom for their annual Anti-Valentine's Day Party. Celebrate that “screw love” attitude with fellow haters as DJ Natty spins and drink specials flow all night. Or head to the Cocktail Club where jilted lovers unite. Five dollar trios of drinks will accompany live music and guests with the best scorned lover story (submitted on comment cards) will win a dinner for two at Oak Steakhouse. And Boone's is having a Valentine's Day Massacre, which doesn't sound too romantic either, with visual DJ Keybo and free cover. Plus Market Street Saloon, Mercury Lounge, and the Brick have similar parties, and Suede has a masquerade ball.
If music is your thing, catch a special Valentine's Day concert by Jay Clifford & Friends at the Circular Congregational Church.
And if you're a day late, or need to recover from all that love stuff, on Wednesday, indie pop singer and songwriter Steven Fiore will put on a Valentine's Day Hangover show for those who couldn't get enough the day before.