Valentine’s Day in NJ might look a little different this year thanks to COVID, but that doesn’t mean this romantic holiday has to be the usual “have a nice dinner” date. Make this 2021 V-Day one to remember with a unique celebration— whether it’s going out and feasting on a gourmet meal in an igloo or staying in and creating a masterpiece during a virtual sip and paint. Scroll down to find romantic things you can do to make the weekend special out (just be sure to check COVID-19 restrictions before you go) and at home.
13 ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in NJ 2021
Dine-in an igloo
With outdoor dining a thing, it’s only natural restaurants are thinking up creative ways to stay warm and safe. But one of the best (and most romantic) ideas we’ve seen are the mini igloo structures and framed tents that are popping up at restaurants all over the state. For a special and private V-Day dinner, check out the igloos at Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, Fig and Lily Garden in Morristown, and Marcus at NoHu Rooftop in Weehawken. For a fancier experience, toast each other in a champagne chalet at Crystal Springs Resort—they have a Valentine’s Day tapas menu with specialty cocktails and interactive game experiences.
Take a spa daycation
Unwind and unpack that 2020 stress by taking a breather at a day spa (all are adhering to COVID-19 guidelines like extra sanitizing, increased ventilation, mask rules, and minimizing capacities). Spend the day lounging in the Korean baths and feasting on Korean specialties and sushi at Island Spa in Edison. Or head to Montclair to experience Bangz Golden Ritual For Two—it includes a gold sugar scrub, scalp and foot massage, and Swedish massage. If you want to have beach views, head to Long Branch to The Spa at Ocean Place with a couple’s massage, couple’s facial, or couple’s retreat day package. And if you can’t do it for Valentine’s Day, make a plan to visit one of these 9 relaxing NJ spas in the coming months.
Visit a vineyard
Who says you can’t travel? Take a trip to wine country in the Garden State at an NJ winery. Wine and chocolate is a Valentine’s Day treat, and a few local wineries are highlighting this pairing over the weekend, like Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery (they’ll also deliver tasting packages if you want to stay in), White Horse Winery (complete with food trucks and live music) and Jessie Creek Winery. For something decadent, head to Tomasello Winery’s Cranford or Mount Holly location for truffle and sweetheart tastings. And lastly, Auburn Road Vineyard will have a Valentine’s Day “Movie Nite in the Vines” on February 13. For other V-day winery events, check out our full list of NJ wineries here.
Create a sweet memento
You know the saying—the couple that creates together stays together, so why not make a keepsake you’ll treasure for years to come. Re-enact your best Ghost scene at The Clay Pot’s Valentine’s Day Event in Spotswood, where you’ll each get a chance at the pottery wheel to create a vase or vessel for all those V-Day flowers. Or head to AR Workshop in Red Bank or West Windsor for a DIY wood project with a V-Day theme, like a framed sign, lazy Susan, centerpiece box, photo frame, or door hanger.
Practice your poses together
Whether you regularly practice or have wanted to try it, a couples yoga class is a great way to mark the occasion. Pure Toms River Yoga is offering a Connect Partner Workshop where you’ll learn partner poses and postures. If you’re newbies, check out this beginner-friendly couple’s yoga class from Above Art Studios in New Brunswick—they’ll also have beverages and light refreshments. And if you’d rather stay at home, Shree Yoga Studios has a virtual Valentine’s Day Restorative Practice, which will focus on restorative yoga and meditation from your laptop.
Get up and away from it all
Few things are more romantic than a hot air balloon ride—you’re floating high up in the air in a basket with your loved one, enjoying the beautiful sights down below. Reserve a private Dinner Flight for the two of you through In Flight Balloon Adventures, where you’ll soar high above the skies in a one-hour ride and then celebrate with an elegant dinner at the nearby restaurant. Note: Indoor dining is operating at a limited capacity.
Dance like no one is watching
Learning a few new dance steps (to use during all those future post-pandemic parties) is a perfect way to mark this V-Day. Sign up for a private lesson and practice your moves with classic dances like ballroom, swing, waltz, or tango at Ballroom Dream in South River, Starlight Dance Center in Nutley, Dance With Me in Fort Lee and Glen Rock, or Simply Social Dancing in Hackensack. Or check out Dance A Lot Ballroom Studio in Fair Lawn for virtual private lessons if you’d prefer to learn from the comfort of your living room.
Why not set aside some time on Valentine’s weekend to give back to your community together? Help build homes with Gloucester County’s Habitat for Humanity, create displays and sort donations for a thrift shop through Hightstown’s Caring Closet, or sort and organize emergency boxes for Marketplace in Hillside. If you want to get out in nature, try a cleanup at Essex County’s Branch Brook Park or Billy Johnson Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve.
Take a chocolate walk
Instead of giving each other the usual box of chocolates, sample the sweet stuff at this annual Chocolate Walk sponsored by Mullica Hill’s Historic District on February 13th. After you check-in and get your passports, take a walk through town and stop at the different shops offering sales—and a sweet treat. When you finish, turn your passports in for a chance to win a raffle basket filled with more of the same goodies. Tickets are $10.
Feel decadent with a virtual wine and chocolate tasting
Snuggle up with your sweetie for this virtual Chocolate and Wine Tasting from Terhune Orchards. Pick up your package—filled with homemade chocolate cookies, chocolate truffles, two bottles of wine, and two Terhune Orchards wine glasses— and then chill the bottles and click on the Zoom link. Once in, you’ll enjoy a guided wine tasting led by the winemakers, as well as a virtual tour of Terhune Orchards’ vineyard and winery.
Cook together with a chef virtually
Even if your S.O. doesn’t know a whisk from a whip, it can still be fun to cook together with one of these virtual classes or DIY kits. Tony Boloney offers kits with all the ingredients to make beloved Italian comfort foods like meatballs, mutz (mozzarella), and pizza, along with virtual class links to follow along. Hudson Table offers two virtual cooking classes on Valentine’s Day for brunch or dinner, or you can learn how to make an elegant beef Wellington in Little Fox Kitchen’s Virtual Valentine’s Couples class. Taste & Technique Cooking Studio offers a Couples Be My Valentine class, where the showstopper is a red wine chocolate cake—yum.
Bring out your inner artist
If you’ve never done a sip and paint class together, why not try it this V-Day weekend? Set up a virtual painting class in your den, complete with your favorite wine, materials (you pick up ahead of time), and a Zoom link for a class with other couples (invite your friends to do it too). Now all you need to do is pick your subject matter: Pinot’s Palette is offering a sunset beach (East Brunswick, Montclair, and Nutley locations), a starry Valentine kiss (Montclair and Nutley studios), or northern love lights (Montclair, Morristown, Nutley, and Ridgewood places). Or learn how to paint heart-shaped tree branches from ArteVino Studio or Valentine balloons with Roxbury Public Library’s Virtual Paint and Sip. After, hang your masterpieces side by side.
Watch a virtual performance
Just because you want to stay on your couch doesn’t mean you can’t catch a live performance. Cozy up with some adult bevs and popcorn and listen to pop pianist Jim Brickman in NJPAC’s Share the Love event; go for throwback love songs from the 60s and 70s with UCPAC’s A Groovy Kinda Love Show; or enjoy an evening of love songs that range from pop to Broadway with the Valentine’s Day Cabaret: Kindred Spirits performance from Dreamcatcher Repertory Theater. For an event that’s a little different—but guaranteed to be hilarious—join drag comedian and singer Pissi Myles for Be My Crazy Valentine Online Trivia Night. And if you miss going to the theater, watch MPAC’s A Jazzy Love Affair—a romantic story told through jazz love songs—streamed live from their Morristown mainstage (you can also attend the socially-distanced performance).