Chattanooga Now Think outside the (candy) box: Ideas for a memorable Valentine's Day

Chattanooga Now Think outside the (candy) box: Ideas for a memorable Valentine's Day

February 7th, 2018 by Staff Report in Chattnow Outabout

Why not think outside the (candy) box and try something different for Valentine's Day this year? (Photo Illustration: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Photo by Getty Images/iStockphoto

Americans spent $1 billion on cards, $2 billion on roses and $1.7 billion on candy for Valentine's Day last year, according to the National Retail Federation. It's the day for hearts and flowers — and more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of candy sold for the 2017 holiday proved that fact.

Those tried-and-true expressions of love are fail-safe gifts, but why not think outside the (candy) box and try something different this year? Make a date to celebrate Valentine's Day at Lover's Leap, try a couples massage, or have dinner in a diner on a romantic train ride. Or do your best impression of Cupid at a Valentine's Day archery class led by Outdoor Chattanooga.


Leave a Love Note on I-24

» Where: The Barn Nursery, 1801 E. 24th St. Place

» When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 8-14

» Fee: Free

» For more information:

Love is in the air — literally, on The Barn's billboard beside Interstate 24. Write a love note (45 characters or less) to your sweetie, submit it to and watch for it to appear on the sign. Participants will be notified by email the day before their note appears.


Valentine's Day at Lover's Leap

» Where: Rock City Gardens, 1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain

» When: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 14-18

» Fee: $49, includes two tickets to Rock City

» For more information: 706-820-2531

Fudge, two glasses of wine (or sparkling cider) and a souvenir photo to remember your date are included in this Valentine's package. A photographer will be on-site from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily to snap you and your sweetheart in front of Lover's Leap.


Bessie's Big 9 Revue Valentine's Show

» Where: Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. M.L. King Blvd

» When: 8-10:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10

» Fee: $15 per person

» For more information: 423-266-8658.

Bessie's Big 9 Revue features the Eric Essix Move Trio with Courtney Reid opening. Each ticket includes a complimentary dessert and a glass of Bessie's Signature Sangria. Seating is general admission, but reserved tables of eight can be purchased by calling the center.


Valentine's Day Couple's Massage Workshop

» Where: Studio 59 Aveda Salon & Spa, 2309 Hickory Valley Road

» When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14

» Fee: $60

» For more information: 423-894-1175

Learn how to pamper your significant other with a massage in this class taught by massage therapist Megan Stone. A wine and chocolate reception sets a mellow mood at 5:30 p.m. before the class at 6. The reservation fee can be applied toward a future massage scheduled during the event.


Romance at Ruby

» Where: Ruby Falls, 1720 S. Scenic Highway

» When: 9-11 p.m. Feb. 9-10, 14, 16-17; check in 30 minutes prior to tour

» Fee: $69.95 per couple

» For more information: 423-821-2544

Romance at Ruby offers an intimate, lantern-lit tour of the cave and waterfall as guests hear the love story of Leo Lambert, who discovered the waterfall and named it after his wife, Ruby. Everyone leaves with a souvenir photo and gift.


Why not think outside the (candy) box and try something different for Valentine's Day this year? (Photo Illustration: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Almaje)

Why not think outside the (candy) box and...

Photo by Getty Images/iStockphoto/Almaje

Valentine's Masquerade Dance

» Where: Brainerd United Methodist Church, 4315 Brainerd Road

» When: 7:30 p.m. tango lesson, 8:30-10:30 p.m. dance

» Fee: $5 first-time guests and USA dance members, $10 nonmembers

» For more information:

So maybe you don't have the moves of "Dancing With the Stars" fan favorites Maks Chmerkovskiy and Peta Murgatroyd, but learning a few sexy tango steps is a start.


'Love Letters'

» Where: Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St.

» When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10

» Fee: $50 or $75 for VIP ticket that includes after-party with champagne and dessert

» For more information: 423-267-8534

In a highly anticipated collaboration, CSO Music Director Emeritus Bob Bernhardt and award-winning actress Mimi Kennedy ("Mom" and "Dharma & Greg") will star in a one-night-only performance of A.R. Gurney's "Love Letters."

A reception with live music, specialty cocktail by Easy Bistro's Nathan Rocha and nibbles from Snack Attack's Molly Follett gets the party started at 7 p.m. Curtain is at 8.


Valentine's Contra Dance

» Where: Brainerd United Methodist Church, 4315 Brainerd Road

» When: 7:30-11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10

» Fee: $8, $5 for students and senior adults

» For more information: 423-629-0333

If you don't have a valentine this year, no problem — contra dancing doesn't require a partner. Chattanooga Traditional Dance Society's monthly dance includes a lesson for newcomers at 7:30 p.m. followed by dancing until 11 o'clock. Wear comfortable clothes, soft-sole shoes and get down to the music of Girl Time and the Do Right Daddies band.


Robin Grant and The Standard

» Where: Songbirds Guitar Museum, 35 Station St.

» When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14

» Fee: $20

» For more information:

Remember when you could understand the lyrics to a song and they meant something? Then catch Robin Grant's Valentine's Day show at Songbirds on Wednesday. Her sophisticated, sultry voice always wows her audience, and you can purchase one of her new CDs as a souvenir keepsake of the night.


Valentine Dinner Train

» Where: Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, 4119 Cromwell Road

» When: 5:30 or 8 p.m. Feb. 9-11, 13-14

» Fee: $170 per couple, purchase in advance

» For more information:

TVRM revives romance on the rails with this four-course dining experience on board a restored 1924 dining car. Guests may select their entree from choices of beef, chicken, fish or vegetarian dishes. The two-hour excursion travels seven miles through urban Chattanooga.


Cupid, Draw Back Your Bow

» Where: Outdoor Chattanooga, 200 River St.

» When: 3:30-6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14

» Fee: Free

» For more information: 423-643-6888

Here's a different Valentine's Day date that will go straight to his heart: Take an archery class together. Outdoor Chattanooga offers a free, hands-on archery class for beginners to learn the sport of archery with all equipment and instruction provided. Just show up and take aim.


Valentine's Day at the Zoo

» Where: Chattanooga Zoo, 301 N. Holtzclaw Ave.

» When: 9 a.m-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10

» Fee: $9.95 adults, $7.95 senior adults, $6.95 children ages 3-12

» For more information: 423-697-1322

Show some love for the animals — and make memories with your kids — by supporting Valentine's Day at the Zoo. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., there will be animal enrichment activities featured on the half-hour until 2:30 p.m.

— Compiled by staff writer Susan Pierce