This Valentine’s Day, skip the tried-and-true dinner for two at a restaurant and do something a little more adventurous. Make some memories this V-Day with outdoorsy activities, hands-on dinner plans and more.
For the fashionista in your life, get a jump on the Valentine’s Day shopping and drop by Marissa Collections on February 12 through 14 for the Lucifer Vir Honestus Jewelry trunk show. Named for medieval Milanese goldsmith, the wife and husband team of jewelry designers Luna Scamuzzi and Paolo Mandelli specialize in one-of-a-kind jewels built around precious and semiprecious stones. An architect by trade, Luna’s work exemplifies a sculptural aesthetic, where nature and the sea influence the shape, shape and color.
Meet the mind behind the design at Marissa Collections during a special trunk show and personal appearance on February 12-14. Get the story behind the designs, learn about the process and more at this intimate gathering with one of the hautest names in jewelry design today. For more information, click here.
Make this Valentine’s Day count and whip up a delicious dinner for two. Stumped on a menu? Try these recipes, all incorporating ingredients hailed for their purported aphrodisiac qualities. If the food doesn’t set the mood, the thought and effort certainly will. Enjoy.
Looking for an adventure this Valentine’s Day? What’s better than taking a kayak excursion/picnic at Lovers Key State Park? This cluster of barrier islands between Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico was once only accessible by boat—hence the name; the remote locale was a place lovers would seek to escape prying eyes. Now, the state park is now a popular destination for locals and visitors looking to experience the a little slice of paradise in Southwest Florida.
Lover Key State Park at sunset.
Credit: Florida State Parks and Stan Grigski
Comprising of four islands (Lovers Key, Inner Island, Black Island and Long Key) and nestled between Big Carlos Pass to the north and New Pass along the southern reaches, a day at Lovers Key State Park offers a little something for everyone. For those with more active ambitions, kayaking and canoeing the 744 acres of waterways in and surrounding the park are a great way to experience the out-of-the-way reaches of Lovers Key, while the eight-miles of hiking and biking trails makes for a fun way to explore the park and observe wildlife. Both kayaks and bicycles are available for rent at the concessionaire—call 239-765-7788 for more information.
This Valentine’s Day, make a date out of this paddling excursion by packing a picnic lunch (in a watertight container), and seek out a more secluded part of the beach. This is waterfront dining as it was intended.
Create a masterpiece while sipping on some vino at Vino’s Picasso during a painting class taught by seasoned artists. There are no artistic abilities needed—teachers lead students through the process, step-by-step, helping them create their own piece of art. Bringing libations is encouraged, so participants can sip wine as they paint.
This Valentine’s Day, there are two classes to choose from for dates with creative flair:
From 3:30-5:30 p.m., Grayson Stoff will help couples put there date to canvas with “Paint Your Date.” Forget flowers, dinner is not lasting, a painting, however, can last a lifetime. This fun and engaging class will have dates looking at each other closely, perhaps seeing each other truly for the first time, as they paint their unique interpretation of each other. Painters can BYOB (bring your own booze—no liquor), or purchase glasses of wine and craft beer from Vino’s curated bar.
- Admission costs $36 per seat.
- To register, click here.
Artist Mercedes Price Harry will lead the ever-popular “Skully & Sugar” skull painting class from 7-9 p.m. Choose your decorative skull and decorate to your heart’s content—seeing that its Valentine’s Day, trying incorporating accents and colors that represent your date. After your skull is complete, swap with your date and see how they see your inner self.
- Painters can BYOB (bring your own booze—no liquor), or purchase glasses of wine and craft beer from Vino’s curated bar.
- Admission costs $36 per seat.
- To register, click here.
The couple that plays together, stays together. Take whatever double entendre you will from that, but couples that have like hobbies tend to have stronger relationships. So this Valentine’s Day, make an effort to embark on a new hobby with one another. Here, we offer three different activities that will help make a for a stronger, more enjoyable relationship.
Find inner peace and balance, all while strengthen your core and limbering those joints at Bala Vinyasa Yoga. An exercise technique that focuses on mind, body and spirit, a yoga session with your partner will help you both distress while finding support in one another to continue along your fitness journey. Bala Vinyasa’s ABC’s of Yoga is perfect for those just getting started—ABC stands for All Beginners Class after all. What’s more, new students currently get unlimited yoga for a month for $69.
- For more information, visit bvyoga.com.
Few things are as fun as exploring Naples waterways with your partner. Now, making that expedition exercise in disguise, and you have a fitness regimen that everyone can enjoy. Standup paddleboarding is just that: a sport that targets the abdominal and upper body muscles (back, deltoids, triceps, and chest muscles) as well as increasing the paddler’s balance, core stability and stamina, all while allowing you to explore the deep blue and the inner tributaries of our inshore waterways.
A little hesitant of hopping a-board and paddling around on your own? The Naples Kayak Company offers an array of lessons, from beginner to advance paddlers, as well as wide selection of rentals that are perfect for all levels. Once you’ve conquered SUP balance and built-up some paddle stamina, tag along on Naples Kayak Co.’s SUP Gordon River Greenway Tour ($49.50 per person, include SUP rental). The two and a half hour tour takes paddlers into the Gordon River estuary, exploring mangrove trails and tributaries in a truly primordial Florida seascape.
- For more information, call 239-262-6149 or visit napleskayakcompany.com.
Flowers seem to be the go-to Valentine’s Day gift, but what can be more depressing and unfitting, symbolically speaking, than a dozen dying roses, wilting day be day until you are stuck with an oversized vase that does not fit properly in the kitchen cabinet?
This year, buck the trend and buy a tree to plant in the backyard, so that it will grow and mature much as your love for another. I have always been a sucker for oak, strong and sturdy with a canopy second to none. And once it’s large enough, it can house one heck of a tree fort. If you are looking for a gift that keeps on giving, get a fruit tree and literally enjoy its ‘fruits of labor’ for years to come. For native and ornamentals trees and shrubs (all hand-picked!), check out Collier Fruit Growers on Golden Gate Parkway. The nonprofit’s mission of “introducing, propagating and distributing” rare tropical and subtropical fruit trees makes for an interesting collection of fruits to choose from.
- On February 28, Collier Fruit Growers will be hosting a fruit tree sale at Freedom Park from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, visit collierfruit.org.
If you’re green thumb is not so bright, head to Collier County’s Extension office for some tips and training in gardening. Part of the Cooperative Extension System, a nationwide, noncredit educational network tied to each state’s land-grant university (the University of Florida is ours), the Collier County office in Immokalee is the local headquarters where the public can access research-based information from the university. This includes data on all types of studies done at the university focusing on crops, regional adaptability, fertilizers, seed, technique, equipment, and much more, as well as a place where demonstrations, seminars and workshops can take place, all in order to promote gardening and growing in Collier County.
- For a list of what’s growing at the extension office, visit collier.ifas.ufl.edu.