Attention, Atlantans: You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to spend time with the one you love. As a matter of fact, sparks should fly every day when you’re with your sweetheart. No time to plan the perfect date? Don’t worry. We’ve curated five separate itineraries for couples perfectly attuned to their needs or wants. Those who like being one with nature will like our outdoorsy setup, those who savor fine dining will go the foodie route, and so on. And, if perhaps you were in need of a few ideas connected to a special occasion (rhymes with Shmalentine’s Way), feel free to borrow from this article — we won’t tell anyone.
Atlanta Date Night For … The Outdoorsy Type
On February 13, dance the night away under the stars at Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Valentines in the Garden. The event, which is themed The King and Queen of Hearts, offers guests an opportunity to renew their vows in the Rose Garden at one of two renewal ceremonies. From there, lovebirds can ogle popular sweet-smelling flowers inside the Garden’s annual Orchid Daze exhibit. Afterward, enjoy cocktails and savory bites before stopping by the Kiss Me Arch photo booth to capture the evening’s memories. Cost: nonmembers, $35; members, $30. Learn more at atlantabg.org.
End the night with a 30-minute helicopter ride over Buckhead and downtown Atlanta with North Atlanta Executive Air Service. You and your sweetie will see landmarks including Phipps Plaza, Centennial Olympic Park, Turner Field and the Georgia Dome while flying high in a VIP four-seater Bell Long Ranger helicopter. See your city sparkle at night while sitting next to the love of your life. Cost: $700 total for four people. Learn more at atlantaheli.com.
Atlanta Date Night For … The Foodie Type
Let your beau wine and dine you at Ford Fry’s No. 246 in downtown Decatur, now serving up its new spring menu. We’re head over heels for Chef de Cuisine Justin Gottselig’s asparagus agnolotti. “I usually like to rotate some sort of stuffed pasta that highlights the season,” Justin says. “So for springtime, something that screams at me would be this beautiful, green asparagus.” The dish, which is stuffed with sorrel, ramps, peppercorn and pecorino, is light and fresh, and it pairs well with a glass of Moscato d’Asti. Other menu must-haves include the No. 246 meatball, baked ricotta with grilled bread and the salmon with caramelized fennel, celery root and pomegranate.” Our food is really elegant with a lot of character and technique in it, but it’s also very straightforward, with easy combinations that make sense and are really delicious,” the chef says. Learn more at no246.com.
Head home after dinner and let Atlanta Chef Nikki Rowland coach you and your honey in a hands-on Southern dessert cooking class. Nikki, owner of She Cooks … U Eat!, offers her personal chef services to couples right in the comfort of their own kitchen. “This is an awesome date idea because it encourages the couple to interact as a team,” the chef says. “So many times, our roles in relationships get a bit too defined and make the relationship a bit complacent. This changes things up. Even if one person doesn’t cook, this is a great way for the couple to learn something new together and, as a team, communicate with each other,” she says. Working together to assemble banana pudding — one person lining the pan with the vanilla wafers while the other thinly slices the bananas — is a swell way to sweeten each other up. Cost: $125 for two hours, plus the cost of ingredients. Learn more at shecooksueat.com.
Atlanta Date Night For … The Athletic Type
Don’t restrict your date to only food-loving activities. Sign up for a private aerial silks class with Persephone Phoenix at Play Hard Gym. The hour-long session is not only fun, it also helps to strengthen your core plus empowering your relationship. “It’s pretty intimate, because a lot of the stuff you’re doing is learning body consciousness, which I think is really important for a physical relationship with somebody,” Persephone says. “You’re getting a chance to see somebody move in a different way than you might normally see them.” Perfect your star pose on the silks, which are made of a nylon tricot fabric and can hold up to 1,300 pounds of weight. “The star pose is the very first upside down pose that you’ll do. It requires a substantial amount of ab control, but it also requires you to understand your body pretty well,” she says. Created to challenge your body’s flexibility, endurance and much more, this class could be just the catalyst you need for cuddling at night. Cost: $100. Learn more at playhardgym.com/silks.html.
Keep the momentum going and break a sweat with your date at Old Fourth Ward Park. Here, Gauge Fitness owner and instructor Lawrence Palmer offers a Valentine’s Day package for couples worth trying out. It includes 10 outdoor group fitness classes and a lot of partner push-ups, sit-ups, squats and running in tandem. Gain muscle while pushing your teammate to be the best he or she can be. Cost: $90 per couple. Learn more at gaugefitness.com.
Atlanta Date Night For … The Cultured Type
Tell your lover to book the Decadent Romance package at Mandarin Oriental for a night in Buckhead that you both won’t soon forget. Expect to be greeted with a rose petal turndown, a bottle of Champagne and a box of sweet and spicy heart-shaped chocolates from Cacao Atlanta. After you’ve settled into your room, get ready for a night on the town with the Atlanta Ballet’s performance of “Moulin Rouge” at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. And once you return to your cozy digs to rest, you’ll be happy to wake up to breakfast in bed the next morning. Eggs, bacon and cheese grits, anyone? Cost: from $575 per night, valid from February 5 to 13, 2016. Learn more at mandarinoriental.com/atlanta.
Don’t let the lovin’ end in February! Surprise your admirer with tickets to see The Sound of Music at The Fox Theatre. You’ll be singing along to the Von Trapp family’s famous tunes, like “Do-Re-Mi” and “My Favorite Things,” during the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. We promise, you will fall in love all over again while watching Maria and Captain Von Trapp’s love story unfold. Prices vary and the show runs March 1 to 6, 2016. .
Atlanta Date Night For … The Storytelling Type
Who doesn’t crave a sappy love story? Take your mate on the 60-minute Love Stories of Oakland tour inside the Oakland Cemetery. It is here, on this docent-led journey, that you’ll learn about the lives of some memorable Atlantans (including King Plow Company’s own Clyde and Clara Belle King), and you’ll get the scoop behind meaningful words found on monuments, mausoleums and headstones. The 25-stop trek, which starts at Oakland’s Bell Tower, comes complete with a tasty treat from No Big Whoop! Bakery. The event runs Valentine’s Day weekend, February 13 to 14, 2016. Cost: adults, $16; seniors/students, $10; Oakland Foundation Members, $6. Learn more at oaklandcemetery.com.
Spend Saturday, February 13, with your honey at Dad’s Garage Theatre for its Valentine’s Day improv show. The 90-minute show consists of the good, the bad and the ugly love stories from guests in the audience. Grab a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy watching one of your happiest affairs or most brutal heartbreaks play out onstage. Cost: $22 at the door. Learn more at dadsgarage.com/shows.
Whether you spend your date night with a tight-knit group of gal pals or snuggled up close with your bae, we hope you feel the love everywhere you go in Atlanta this month!