Although Valentine's Day is still a week away, that isn't keeping romance at bay.

Romantic dinners, a masquerade ball and music begin this weekend to set the mood leading up to the big day for hearts and flowers. Here's a roundup of a dozen events happening Thursday through Feb. 12.



* Where: Back Inn Cafe, 412 E. Second St.

* When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6

* Tickets: $50 per person

* Reservations: 423-265-5033, ext. 4

At this sweet escape, learn how to identify sweetness levels and varieties of grapes in an educational event that pairs gourmet food with several varieties of sparkling wine.

Reserved seating; reservations required. Must be 21 or older with valid ID to attend.



* Where: Memories, 607 Tunnel Blvd.

* When: 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7

* Tickets: $20 per person

* Reservations:

What's love got to do with it? Everything at this poetic prelude to Valentine's Day.

Rhyme N Chatt hosts an open-mic night for guests to share poetry, sing or play an instrument in the name of love. There will be a live band, dancing and door prizes.

Food and nonalcoholic drinks will be available for purchase. Parking lot security and parking attendants will be on duty.



* Where: Chattanooga Brewing Co., 1804 Chestnut St.

* When: Noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8

* Tickets: Free, art additional expense

* Reservations: 423-702-9958

Six artists will bring numerous pieces to showcase and leave up for sale at the brewery. A portion of the day's sales will benefit Splash, a local nonprofit that mentors children of low-income families through art, along with proceeds of the afternoon's silent auction. Some of the children's artwork will also be for sale.



* Where: Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St.

* When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8

* Tickets: $40 per person

* Reservations: 423-267-8534

This romantic fundraiser for the community theater is a musical revue of love songs that have made generations of theatergoers swoon. The songs will be performed by favorite actors from the CTC stage.

Performing will be MaKenzie Ballard, Greer Caldwell, Normand Cassie, Rhonda Catanzaro, Scott Dunlap, Greg Glover, Joshua Harrell, Garrett Henson-Hinck, Judy LaMance, Joanna Lewis, Beth McClary-Wolford, Deb Meeks, Alexis Newson, Arden Oglesby, Mark Oglesby, Genna Raborn, Jason Russell, Christian Smith, Ian Taylor, Thaddeus Taylor and Rodney Van Valkenburg.

The ticket includes complimentary champagne and a chocolate dessert reception in the theater lobby, where guests can bid in a silent auction. A cash bar will also be available.



* Where: Ruby Falls, 1720 S. Scenic Highway, Lookout Mountain

* When: 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. Feb. 8, 14-16

* Tickets: $69.95, includes keepsake photo, gift and sweet surprise

* Reservations:

Discover the legendary love story of Leo Lambert and his wife, Ruby, on a special after-hours date 1,120 feet below the summit of Lookout Mountain.

This guided walking tour of the cavern, lit only by hand-held lanterns, takes place while your guide tells stories of legendary romances, including the Lamberts. Each group is limited to 12 couples to ensure everyone can see the waterfalls and stone formations on this relaxed walk.



* Where: The Spot Venue, 1341 Brainerd Road

* When: 5-10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8

* Tickets: $50 per couple

* Reservations:

"A Camelot Affair" is the theme of this masquerade that will benefit students attending the Southern Cooking School.

Come dressed as lords and ladies of Camelot (with mask) and dance to music of 2 Deep Within Band. A cash bar will be available.



* Where: 1100 Holly Ave., South Pittsburg, Tennessee

* When: 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, to 2 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 9 CST

* Tickets: $65 per person

* Reservations:

Spending time in an infamously haunted hospital will make you cuddle up to your sweetie for protection! Guides will lead visitors around the building to point out its haunted hot spots. Their state-of-the-art equipment will "allow the spirits to communicate with you."

Dinner will be served before you lose your appetite from fright.



* Where: Public House Restaurant, 1110 Market St.

* When: 6 p.m. seating, 6:30 dinner Monday, Feb. 10

* Tickets: $65 per person, includes wine, dinner and gratuity

* Reservations:

Why fight for a reservation Valentine's Day night when you and your someone special can enjoy the same ambiance on Monday?

This four-course dinner will be paired with new wines from Australia, curated by Matt Callahan.

Parking will be available in the garage behind Warehouse Row. Just bring in your parking stub for validation.



* Where: Collegedale Commons, 4950 Swinyar Drive

* When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11

* Tickets: Free

* For more information: 423-580-4999

Enjoy the music of the East Tennessee Symphony Orchestra in a concert that opens with a sweet performance of Pagnini's "Rhapsody on a Theme," featuring guest artist Matthew Kimbley. Then the musicians lay down a salty big band set featuring guest singers Michael Smith and India Galyean.

Guests can enjoy a selection of hot drinks, desserts and roses, all provided free of charge. Seating is first-come, first-served.



* Where: Paris Winery, 6940 Lee Highway

* When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12

* Tickets: $30

* For more information: 423-541-7378

* Reservations:

Bring your boo or your bestie for this Valentine's Day paint party.

Mix and mingle with other novice painters, taste some treats and sip Tennessee wine while creating a tres chic painting to take home. A lasting memento of your date night.



* Where: Big River Grille, 222 Broad St.

* When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12

* Tickets: $65 per person

* Reservations:

Executive chef Erick Wood will tantalize your taste buds with four courses of delicious food, each with its own beer pairing.

The meal opens with Sequatchie Valley charcuterie board paired with Winter's Nip Bock, followed by Beer Can Chicken Empanadas paired with Big River Kolsch.

The entree of Blackened South Carolina Red Snapper will be served with the restaurant's Seven States Pilsner followed by cranberry/white chocolate bread and butter pudding for dessert with Cherry Porter.



* Where: Jewish Cultural Center, 5461 North Terrace

* When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12

* Tickets: $30 per person

* Reservations:

Humor can help resolve any argument, but this couples communication class takes it to a higher level.

The Speech & Hearing Center is sponsoring this couples night out with comedian Moody Molavi to laugh together about how hearing loss can cause miscommunication.

Molavi, originally from Chattanooga, experiences this daily with his wife, who received her first pair of hearing aids from the Chattanooga agency.

Participants will learn ways to express themselves with their partners and hearing health tips. For more information: email

Contact Susan Pierce at or 423-757-6284.


ChattanoogaNow Sections