A few ideas for Valentine's Day

still from The Notebook

A little romantic melodrama has its place now and then.

We got an email recently from Gabby asking for some Valentine's Day ideas that didn't involve spending a lot of money.

So, Gabby, here is a list.

And if anyone would like to share other ideas, we'd love to hear them...

Ice skating and something warm
The ice skating rink at the Empire State Plaza is open Saturday from 11 am-8 pm, and it's free (skate rental is $4 for adults). Yep, it's going to be cold that day -- all the more reason to hold that special someone close.

If you're skating in the early evening, afterward you could head over to the nearby Speakeasy for a warming post-skate drink.

"It wasn't over. It still isn't over."
The Madison Theater in Albany is screening The Notebook on Saturday. Tickets are just $5. That's a lot of romantic melodrama for just a few bucks. And you can stop into the Tierra Farm store next door for snacks during the movie.

Gems and channeled desire
Thoughts on Valentine's Day so often turn to gems. (At least, that's the impression we get from all those commercials.) Well, you're in luck -- the State Museum is hosting its annual Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show on Saturday (and Sunday) from 10 am-5 pm. Admission is $5 (cash only).

And while you're there, make sure to check the big, (relatively) new exhibit on the Shakers, who were know for their excellent craftsmanship and... not having sex. Desire can manifest itself in all sorts of ways.

Love and art
Art museums can be an interesting day together because prompt conversation. (One of our favorite topics while sitting in a gallery: If you could take one of these works home, which one would it be and why?) So you might think about visiting The Clark in Williamstown, which looks great after a major makeover. On Saturday, the museum is also hosting 20-minute love-themed talks in its permanent collection galleries. (And if you're looking to save on admission, check with your library to see it has passes that you can take out.)

South Pacific
Schenectady Light Opera Company continues its production of the classic musical South Pacific Saturday (it's gotten strong reviews). And tickets, which start at $18, are buy one, get one half off on Valentine's Day.

The stars
The Hirsch Observatory at RPI is open to the public Saturday from 8-10 pm, and it's free. (This depends on clear skies.)

A special dinner -- at home
If you're someone who likes to go out to eat on Valentine's Day, great -- you should totally do what makes you happy. But like many "event" days in restaurants, the experience can sometimes be something less than great.

So have dinner at home. And do something special. A pricy steak from the butcher counter will set you back, but it's still not that much for two people, especially if you compare it to a restaurant meal. (Use the reverse sear method, it's easy and works great.) Or spring for some really nice cheese. Or do something a bit unusual with a flourish, like roasting a whole head of cauliflower (who says vegetables can't be the main course).

And, of course, finish the meal off with something chocolatey.

AOA is a media sponsor of the ESP ice rink. And, for the sake of disclosure, Mary's husband is director of the SLOC production.


To follow up on this:
I am on a budget & would like to bring home the misses some Valentines take out. Does anyone know of any places like the heart shaped pizza place or other food Valentine themed takeout ideas?

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