Year after year, Valentine’s Day gets the usual treatment of chocolates, flowers and a candlelit dinner at a swanky restaurant. But why not spice things up this year with some of the more non-traditional offerings in Indy. Replace the obligatory box of chocolates with some “I Love You” donuts from one of the city’s local donut shops, or forgo the candle lit dinner at that fancy new restaurant for some beer and ballet at the theater. There are a ton of interesting, unique ways to celebrate this holiday of love. Find below a list of the top 10 most unique ways to spend Valentine’s Day in Indy.
Beer & Ballet
For its sixth annual showcase, Sun King Brewing Co. and the Ballet Theatre of Indiana have teamed up for Beer & Ballet IV. For an affordable $25 a ticket, couples can enjoy an evening at the Basile Theatre in the Athenaeum full of, you guessed it, Sun King brews and ballet troupes. This year’s theme is pop concerts and will feature music from artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elvis and Queen. Beer & Ballet IV will take place over two nights, Feb. 16-17.
What started off as a fictional holiday in an episode of NBC’s Parks & Recreation has now flourished into an awesome new way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Even more awesome, Parks & Rec was set in Indiana so we have all the more right to claim it as our very own Hoosier holiday! Leslie Knope described Galentine’s Day like this, “Every February 13, my ladyfriends and I leave our boyfriends…and just come and kick it, breakfast-style.” Take Leslie’s notes and grab a table at one of Indy’s hottest brunch spots (The Garden Table, Café Patachou or Milktooth), order up some mimosas and celebrate the power of female friendship.
Romeo & Juliet
A tale as old as time, two young lovers caught in a forbidden affair. We all know the story, but the Indiana Repertory Theatre would like to kick things up a notch by hosting a special Valentine’s Day version on Feb. 14. With tickets starting at only $20, couples can indulge in Shakespeare’s historical journey of love and survival. Take advantage of the Indiana Repertory Theatre’s downtown location and hop across the street to Tastings for some post-show wine and dessert.
If you can hold off on your Valentine’s Day festivities until Friday evening, you can check out the newly added public skating event at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Here, you can skate on the very same rink that our beloved Indy Fuel play on. For only $12 each, you and your partner will receive a pair of skates and hours on the ice.
Everything Chocolate Cooking Class
Ok, I guess it’s okay to inject a little bit of romantic cheesiness in your Valentine’s Day plans this year. For that, the charming Nestle Inn near Mass Ave has just the thing. They’ve been hosting cooking classes for some time, but their special Valentine’s Day class is one for the books. They’re not kidding when they say “Everything Chocolate”, either. Here, you and your partner will learn how to craft delectable, and yes, even romantic, chocolate desserts from scratch. Tickets sell for $85 each.
Run for Love (and Charity)
Fun runs are always a great way to celebrate an event, and raise some money for a good cause while you’re at it. Cupid’s Undie Run will take place on Feb. 10 and support a rare genetic disorder known as Neurofibromatosis. As you can probably tell based on the name of the race, yes, you will be running in your underwear…in February…in Indiana. But remember, not only are you running alongside your beloved, but you’re helping a good cause as well. There’s also the Be My Valentine Cupcake 5K which will take place on the same day and set off from the Athenaeum on Mass Ave. This race is a little different in that, yes, you are encouraged to dress warmly and yes, cupcakes will be provided by Noblesville’s Pat A Cakes & Cookies Too.
Forget cheap chocolates in a store-bought paper heart, go local this Valentine’s Day and scoop up a box of homemade donuts from Indy’s own General American Donut Co. Inside your specialized box will be a dozen assorted donuts, including the pink heart-shaped variety, a decorative handmade cement heart and personalized note – you’ll send them the text when ordering – and they’ll deliver the gift anywhere in the downtown area.
Helicopter Ride Over the City
Indianapolis Helicopters is a local business offering flights over our fair city. There really couldn’t be a more perfect way to kick off Valentine’s Day than taking your partner on a sunset flight over the city you call home. There are three different flight offers including a daytime tour, evening tour – their most popular and most romantic – and finally the open door tour which is great for photographers and thrill seekers.
As the saying goes, those who sweat together, stay together. With the surge of couples yoga classes popping up all around Indy’s yoga studios, it’s no surprise that many of them offer Valentine’s Day classes. In previous years, City Yoga, Invoke Wellness Center and Dragonfly 360 have all offered special couples classes for Valentine’s Day. City Yoga even hosted a romantic candlelit class which included Thai massage. Keep an eye out on their respective social media accounts for this special upcoming event.
Whether you’re a long-standing couple or even heading off on a Valentine’s Day Tinder date, a comedy show is a great way to keep things interesting. Crackers Comedy Club downtown will be hosting John Heffron on Feb. 14 for a night of love-related comedy. After all, John is a married man, and a father to boot. One can only imagine the stories he has.