Valentine’s Day falls on a very unromantic Wednesday in 2018. That just means you have to try a little harder than a dinner reservation to get in the celebratory mood. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to have a truly special Feb. 14.
Party in the bath house
Have a Steamy Valentine’s Night at the Russian baths, where you’ll be steaming (in your swimsuit) with a bunch of other fun-loving couples (you’ll have the place to yourselves). The open vodka bar should loosen things up, as will rocking to Balkan gypsy music courtesy of the Veveritse Brass Band and DJ Joro Boro, plus a hookah lounge, plunge rooms and Russian food. $40-$100, 7 p.m.-2 a.m., Brooklyn Banya, 602 Coney Island Ave.
Explore the dark side
Burlesque dancers, aerialists, a drag queen, a theremin player and more all make up We Want It Darker, a show about “what is in the midst of the darkness.” Whether that’s a metaphor or not, find out as they paint a “dreamy portrait of the surreal” at The Slipper Room. Doors 7 p.m., $20-$30, 167 Orchard St.
Drink all the bubbles
Love bubbles? The Institute of Culinary Education will take you around the world of sparkling wines at its Valentine’s Day Champagne Gala. Led by sommelier Richard Vayda, you’ll get the 101 on bubbly from vintage to rosé as you taste paired wines and hors d’oeuvres. After the learning is done, there’s a full buffet and, of course, more sparkling wine. $150, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 225 Liberty St.
Eat all the Jewish desserts
If the way to the heart is through the belly, then this Valentine’s dessert tasting should do the job. From Here to Halvah is a full night of sampling delicious treats (and egg creams!) from the likes of Shelsky’s and Gefelteria, accompanied by bakers who’ll highlight the role of various foods within Jewish traditions. $35, 7-9 p.m., Shelsky’s of Brooklyn, 141 Court St.
Love on Broadway
If you like to love out loud, then A Very Broadway Valentine’s Day is for you. Feinstein’s/54 Below hosts showbiz couples from some of the biggest shows in the Theater District, like Book of Mormon and Wicked, who’ll share their love stories between singing Broadway’s most romantic showstoppers. $35-$85, 7 and 9:30 p.m., 254 W. 54th St.
Marvel at a sexy circus
You must be 21+ to attend the Dirty Circus, where 10 performers will showcase the theme of love in three raunchy, messy acts featuring everything from aerial stunts to the moments of hilarity that define a great circus act. $20-$75, doors at 7 p.m., House of Yes, 2 Wyckoff Ave.
Make your own dessert
Step into the studio kitchen of Atelier Sucre for a course in the delicate art of French macarons. Over the 2.5-hour class, you’ll learn everything from whipping meringue to cooking ganache from chef Simon Herfray. $170 per couple, 451B E. 116th St.
Visit a Valentine’s themed bar
Murray Hill’s Barlovento is flipping to a Valentine-themed bar from Feb. 8-18, decked out in floor-to-ceiling red and pink hearts, balloons and more, and serving love-named cocktails like the Hot Stuff (spicy margarita) and “love bites” like red tortilla chips with guac. Cupid will be in attendance, as well as a Tator reader, plus music and movies. 430 Third Ave., reserve at xoxo-valentine.com
Do night cheese right
Murray’s Cheese promises The Most Decadent Valentine’s Day Ever with their spread of Champagnes (the real stuff from actual France) paired with the appropriately high-end delicacies: foie gras, caviar, truffles and, of course, many cheeses. $150pp, 6:30-8 p.m., 254 Bleecker St.
Get on the same scent wavelength
Still searching for a perfume or cologne you love that gets your partner hot and bothered, too? Whether you’re looking for floral, spicy, fresh or musky fragrances, Sue Phillips of Tribeca’s Scentarium will help you create a custom scent for just $150 (prices normally start at $275). Take a personality quiz, and she’ll take it from there! 85 Franklin St.
Learn to love yourself
The best gift you can give your partner is learning how to love yourself. No, that’s not a euphemism — feeling like you are worthy of love allows you to better receive it. In an hour-long workshop, guru and meditation teacher Devi Sawh will use various techniques to guide you on the path to self-love. $30, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Modrn Sanctuary, 12 W. 27th St., Ninth Floor
The Garment District’s new speakeasy piano lounge Bo Peep at The Rag Trader is hosting an intimate night of cabaret, with Skip Brevis on the keys and jazz crooner Morgan Scott for a night of love songs old and new. $25, 7:30 and 9 p.m., 70 W. 36th St.
By your love combined
At this special couples session of Paint Tipsy, you’ll be invited to draw each half of a heart during a two-hour step-by-step class (led by a professional) with tips on everything Bob Ross makes look so simple. Everything from the easel to apron and supplies is included; stick around for the afterparty at Le Grand Lounge around the corner. Must be 21+, $37.50, Social Bar, Grill & Lounge, 795 Eighth Ave.
Take a romantic staycation
Splurge for a night at Chelsea’s luxury Kimpton Hotel Eventi, and they’ll make it really special. The Cupid’s Getaway welcomes you with a bottle of sparkling wine and chocolate in your room, plus an “intimacy kit” for later. You’ll get a $100 credit to dine on the property, or a Cupid Concierge can help plan your evening (just one highlight: a discounted body painting class at Denart). And, of course, there’s late check-out. Available Feb. 8-19, $369 per night, hoteleventi.com