THE GHOST WRITER

Things to do on Valentine's Day in Maryland!

Mike Carter - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Yup, it's Valentine's Day! It's that time of the year again! Awash in a sea of reds, pinks, lace, flowers, hearts and cute little angels with bow and arrow in hand! And, like many people, as much as we pretend we hate it all, we are still searching for ideas to make the day perfect for that special someone in our lives.

Dinner out has become difficult with the crowds, limited reservations, and the often exorbitant fixed price (prix fixe) menus which can make a huge dent in the wallet! What seemed like a good idea, can easily become a night of frustration, punctuated by "not as good as usual" food with matching service and which ends up far from the perfect romantic evening you had in mind.

So, what's a soul to do? Take a step back and rethink the concept! The point of the day is to celebrate love and caring. Not a bad excuse for a holiday if you really think about it...So, rather than trying to find the perfect restaurant or the perfect gift, what you should be thinking is "what truly shows this person I love and/or care about them?" What makes them happy? How do I make them smile? And then start there. While we don't have all the answers, here are a few thoughts! Whether setting up a first date, a first Valentine's Day together or celebrating another successful and happy year of loving and caring for each other, here are some outside of the box ideas to truly make the day and evening special!

 

  1. Flowers: We know this seems cliché, but is also a very necessary component for many people on Valentine's Day. But, why stick with convention? Try something different! Bypass the roses and the pink carnations and do something memorable! Make them the flowers she'll always remember and blast out pics of across social media! Consider something tropical, it's winter after all and your choice of vibrant tropical flowers not only show you took time to think about her, but it also helps to take the mind someplace warm and fun, with people drinking colorful cocktails! Sets the stage for a fun Valentine's! And, tropical flowers are surprisingly cost effective if you find a good florist! Consider bright flowers like Hibiscus, Anthurium, Birds or Paradise, Heliconia or something else you'd find on a tropical island! Really want to break the mold and be memorable? How about a beautiful orchid! Unlike cut flowers, an orchid should stay in bloom for several months of enjoyment and will bloom again and again! Hopefully, just like your love!
    Suggested Florists: Annapolis (Studio H Floral Design), Baltimore (Flowers & Fancies)


  2. Candy & Chocolates: There's always something special and possibly sexy about sweets on Valentine's Day! Much like with the flowers, take a pass on the everyday! Say "NO" to the Whitman's Sampler or Heart Shaped Box of Russell Stover Chocolates! There are so many great chocolatiers, and readily available premium confections out there these days, that finding something unique and special is just a gourmet grocer or Google search away! Try a crazy combo chocolate, like Bacon Chocolate or Jalapeno Chocolate! Or if you really want to make an impression, head to Godiva or a local chocolatier for chocolate-dipped fresh strawberries or for some unique hand-crafted truffles, yum! Which brings us to the sexy part. Want to win over your lady's heart, feed her one of those strawberries...with a side of whipped cream for dipping first (pssst, chicks LOVE this)! Who knows where that chocolate and whipped cream might lead? You can thank us later!
    Suggested Chocolatiers/Confectioners: Annapolis (Annapolis Chocolate Bar), Baltimore (Wockenfuss Candies)


  3. Skating at the Inner Harbor Ice Rink (Baltimore, MD): What's more romantic than ice skating in the city, under the stars, next to the waterfront with that someone special? Not much. How about recreating the ice rink scenes from the movie "Serendipity" ? Never saw it? Trust us, she has...many times! So watch it first! Tips: Don't forget to bring along a thermos of hot cocoa or coffee and a cozy blanket to snuggle under during those skating breaks. Create a night to remember! Located at McKeldin Square – 101 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD, 21202 – directly across from Harborplace at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the Inner Harbor Ice Rink is open until February 16th, so you're covered for Valentine's weekend! Situated along the Baltimore waterfront, with a breathtaking view of the city's skyline, the Inner Harbor Ice Rink offers family-fun or the perfect setting for a romantic holiday date! And, it's a bargain at only $9 for adults and $7 for children, with a $3 skate rental for those in need!


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  5. Haunted Pub Crawl or Walking Ghost Tour (Annapolis and Baltimore, MD): Looking for something fun and different to do on either a first date or your 50th date? Then consider a haunted pub crawl or a walking ghost tour. While some people are thinking "that's for Halloween", what you should be thinking is "scary and romantic!"...Something to make your date pull you close and keep you there all night! We happen to know of several couples who met on first dates on haunted pub crawls and who are now married! Tours & Crawls of Annapolis and Baltimore offer some of the highest-rated walking tours and pub crawls in the country! Even changing up their tours for Valentine's Day, adding in some tales of romance spanning centuries and love which transcends even death! So head to Fells Point or Historic Annapolis for a fun and memorable night on the town! Tips: On a pub crawl, be a gentleman and always order something special for your date without her having to ask. Spring for glasses of champagne along the way and toast to love or to the characters in the tales you'll hear! She'll appreciate the effort and you'll look like a hero. For a walking ghost tour, consider bringing along a cozy blanket to wrap around the both of you and to snuggle under while walking around these historic towns at night!


  6. Dinner & Movie: Yes, but not out! At home with a delicious, well- thought out menu of romantic cuisine. Roll out the dough and make your own pizza! Or maybe a nice pasta, for that "Lady and the Tramp" moment! Why fight the crowds when a nice dinner with either fun cocktails, tasty beers or a nice bottle or two of wine can be just as romantic. Make the meal together. Give your evening a theme and pair your food, drink and movie to that. Light some candles and enjoy (and if you're like me, bribe your kids to stay upstairs or send them to Grandma's). After dinner, a nice scary movie or something romantic under a blanket together.

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  8. Tastings (Throughout MD):    

    Here's a Valentine's fact that lots of people seem to forget....it's Valentine's DAY, not just Valentine's Night! That means you have the entire day to do something special or romantic to show someone you care for them! Which brings us to tastings. Saturday is a great day to go out and taste some local wines, beers or distilled spirits. And, it still leaves your evening open for something else. Here in Maryland, we are blessed to have so many wineries, breweries and distilleries where you can taste local spirits fresh at the source! It's a really fun way to spend and afternoon and most are located in scenic areas of our beautiful state. So take a daytrip together! Here are a few options in each category... 

    • Winery Tastings:
    Linganore, Boordy, Elk Run, St. Michael's Winery, Great Frog, and more...
    • Brewery Tastings:  Heavy Seas, Union CraftJail BreakEvolution Craft Brewing and more...
    • Distillery Tastings: Lyon Distilling (Rum), Blackwater Distillery (Sloop Betty Vodka), Twin Valley Distillery (Vodka & Rum)
    • Meadery Tastings: Charm City Meadworks


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