First, my husband and I are no Valentine diehards, but Cupid is circling the neighborhood, serving as a good reminder to GET OUT! Without the kid(s)! This is oh-so-healthy to do every now and then, and I’ve noticed that the mere anticipation of a fun outing puts a pep in my step days in advance. “Valentine’s” celebrations lose no authenticity if they are on a date other than the 14th or at a time earlier than 6:00 p.m.; the important part is to enjoy some quality time with your main squeeze whenever you can snag it.
Second, if you’re going to arrange/pay for a babysitter, you might as well choose an activity you are not likely to do with your kids, right? Adult-minded dates do not necessarily mean fancy or expensive — but something set apart from the daily grind. Here are some ideas you might consider.
Get out and EXPERIENCE for Valentine’s Day
We are so lucky! Birmingham tears it up in the culture and entertainment departments year round so, as always, be sure to check out what’s current at our awesome concert and theater venues like WorkPlay, Iron City, Alys Stevens Performing Arts Center, Virginia Samford Theater, and Red Mountain Theater. Maybe Jim Brickman at the Lyric or Widespread Panic at the BJCC is music to your ear. Or maybe the idea of Top Golf tickles your fancy. This Bloody Valentine Haunted House could be a really original way to say “I Love You,” and I’ve been dying to try out Breakout Birmingham or Locked In. The Alabama Symphony Orchestra’s show at Samford University’s Wright Center, Broadway does Birmingham, sounds fun to me, and don’t miss that Casablanca is playing at The Alabama Theater . . . now THAT is a cute idea!
Get out and INDULGE for Valentine’s Day
Again, we are so lucky! We all know Birmingham grows in its foodie reputation daily, and my own Restaurant Bucket List is out of control. So far my favorites in the ambiance category have been Roots & Revelry, Ovenbird, and Gianmarco’s Wine Bar. You will surely enjoy the opportunity to eat ANYWHERE that does not involve cutting up small bites and rounding up kiddos, but for goodness’ sake, choose a place this time that does NOT have coloring sheets!
If you are looking to really get bang for your buck with that babysitter, what about a progressive dinner? For instance, kids are not allowed at Parkside Cafe in Avondale, so enjoy dinner there and then head next door to The Marble Ring speakeasy for a fun treat. In the Mountain Brook area, I might do drinks at Dram Whiskey Bar, dinner at Dyron’s Low Country, and dessert at Chez Lulu. My husband and I once tried to take our baby to Bamboo on 2nd downtown, and we promptly left when we realized they did not own a high chair. I am determined to get us back there for a date night sometime, accompanied by a drink at The Collins Bar across the street.
If you want to keep the purse strings tight, skip right to the good stuff and just go out for drinks or dessert! A toast at the Elyton Hotel rooftop bar or Grand Bohemian fire pit will certainly hold its own.
Or . . . have your cake and eat it too! Have your experience and dinner too! I haven’t heard much about this Murder Mystery Dinner at Redmont Hotel, but it sure sounds intriguing! And guess what? Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday this year — that’s TRIVIA NIGHT at Otey’s Tavern!
Get out and ENGAGE for Valentine’s Day
Once again, focused time with your significant other does not have to come with a high price tag. Our first year of marriage, my husband and I played sooooo much tennis, and I don’t think we’ve played once since we became parents. Similarly, we enjoy “junking” at antique stores, and junking these days just has me paranoid that my daughter will break something. We also love to hike, but stuffing our less-than-thrilled toddler into a hiking backpack for an hour or two has taken the zest away. An afternoon date of tennis, junking, or hiking sounds dreamy!
How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day 2018? Happy Valentines (and/or Galentines!), and here’s wishing you much local FUN this month — complete with at least a non-animated movie in your near future.