With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching (where is this year going?!), it’s worth mentioning things to do to celebrate the occasion. I’ll admit that Valentine’s Day gets a bad rap. It’s not for everyone. It’s a hallmark holiday. Yadda, yadda, yadda. With that said, I’ve loved Valentine’s Day for years. I’ve always embraced it as a day to celebrate love in all its forms, whether it’s friendships, relationships, or celebrating love for oneself. If you’re looking for something to celebrate this year, the least you can do is celebrate your love for our great city.
It may be too late to make a reservation at an area “date spot,” so here is a list of things to do whether with a significant other, yourself, your furry friend(s), or any of your friends or loved ones. And you don’t have to make a reservation or break the bank to do any of them.
1) I have never been shy about how much I love the American Sign Museum. Sign up for a tour and be sure to eat at Cincinnati institution Camp Washington Chili before or after your visit.
2) Have a delicious meal at Taste of Belgium at The Banks, then take in the sights while walking across the Roebling Bridge. Heck, rent a Red Bike from the Smale Riverfront Park station to ride along the river. You never know when it’s going to be 60 degrees this month!
3) Enjoy a day with your four-legged friend(s) by playing at Washington Park Dog Park, then heading just uptown to Argos All-Natural Pet Food & Supply and pet-friendly drinkeries The Woodburn Brewery and Taproom and The Growler House. Hungry? The Woodburn serves light bites from Mazunte (hours and more info here), or you can order in O Pie O or Fireside Pizza right to The Growler House.
4) Hop on the Cincinnati Bell Connector and improvise how you spend your time in the urban core. Drink a beer at Rhinegeist, peruse Findlay Market, walk around Washington Park, have a bite at BRU Burger Bar, ride the elevator up 49 flights to the Carew Tower Observation Deck, or visit a museum (Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the Contemporary Arts Center are just a few). The possibilities are endless! $2 gets you an all-day streetcar pass.
5) Visit an area museum, institution, or park, and follow it with a meal at one of many wonderful eateries. More specific ideas (not including Central, which a couple of ideas are already listed above):
West: Catch a show at the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater and grab a meal and a beer from Incline Public House, or check out Mt. Airy Forest or Mt. Echo Park and have a bite at Price Hill Chili.
North: Jungle Jim’s International Market followed by a meal from Sabor Peruano. If you’re feeling froggy, head a little further north to try a beer from FigLeaf (please do not drink and drive).
Northeast: Eat at the historical Golden Lamb in Lebanon, then have a wine tasting at Valley Vineyards Winery (Note: Cellar Dweller Brewery is located onsite, too).
East: Enjoy pizza from The Works, dessert from Cocoa Bites, and a beer at Narrow Path Brewing. If you’d like to take some beer to go, stop by Cappy’s Wine and Spirits, one of the area’s best beer retailers.
NKY: Start at The Party Source then stroll historic Fairfield Avenue, stopping for food at Elusive Cow Cafe, a beer from Darkness Brewing, plus various shops along the way. Not feeling Bellevue? Take in the panoramic views from Devou Park before walking through and finding a place to eat in MainStrasse — my personal favorite is Bouquet, but there are plenty of other options.
Have any other ideas? Please share! There are so many wonderful things to do and see and eat in the area, and I hope that you make the most of your day, on Valentine’s Day and always.
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day celebrating your love for our city and each other!
Featured image photos, from left to right, top to bottom: beer at Rhinegeist, Mazunte at The Woodburn Brewery, Jungle Jim’s International Market, Carew Tower, Findlay Market, Cincinnati Bell Connector, Washington Park, The Works in Loveland, John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, Taste of Belgium at The Banks, American Sign Museum, and Darkness Brewing