By Christine Green
Cuddling up with your partner on the couch in front of the TV is all well and good, but when Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) comes around it just might be time to mix things up a bit. This year check out one of the many classes, events, and exhibits the Rochester area has to offer. Here’s 55 Plus’s Top 10 Valentine’s Day picks for 2019:
1. Do you have the day off or are you retired? Head on over to the George Eastman Museum at 900 East Ave. in the Neighborhood of the Arts. Tours include access to the Eastman mansion as well as the oldest photography museum in the world. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday Feb. 14. Adult tickets are $15 and seniors over 65 pay only $13. While you’re there, grab dessert and coffee at the Eastman Museum Cafe and Store. Further details can be found at eastman.org
2. Another fun daytime excursion is a visit to the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) of the University of Rochester at 500 University Ave. In addition to the permanent art exhibits, make sure to experience the multi-screen film and video installation by Isaac Julien. “Lessons of the Hour” is inspired by the life of Rochester’s own Frederick Douglass. Doors open at 11 a.m. and admission is $15 for adults and $12 for people over 62. Don’t have the day off? You’re in luck since the MAG is open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays with half-price admission after 5 p.m. Check out details about other exhibits at mag.rochester.edu.
3. Rochestarians know that February can be brutally cold. Take the chill off with your valentine at the Lamberton Conservatory in Highland Park, 180 Reservoir Ave.. First built in 1911 the conservatory has extensive displays of everything from cacti to banana trees. It’s a lovely oasis on a cold winter day. The Lamberton Conservatory is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission for adults is only $3 and people over 62 get in for $2. Call 585-753-7270 for more information.
4. Want to warm up with a little low-key exercise? Take your sweetie ice skating at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park at Manhattan Square, 353 Court St.. The “Sweetheart Skate Celebration” event boasts music and fun for couples who want to celebrate their love on ice from 6 to 8 p.m. Cost is $4 per couple dressed in red. Skate rental is $3 per person. Call for more details, 585-428-7541.
Catch a Show
5. Enjoy a night at the theater right in your own backyard. Blackfriars Theater, 795 E. Main St., presents “Ordinary Days”, a musical about four New Yorkers who cross paths as they “search for fulfillment, happiness, love and cabs.” The Feb. 14 showing begins at 7:30 p.m. Buy tickets at blackfriars.org.
6. Spend a little time gazing at the stars with your date at The Rochester Museum & Science Center’s Strasenburgh Planetarium. The planetarium will be reopened in time for Valentine’s Day after extensive renovations to its Star Theater and lobby. Renovations include all new seating in the theater as well as a new Digistar 6 full-dome projection system. The planetarium is located at 657 East Ave.. Visit rmsc.org for full detail about current prices and showtimes.
7. Perhaps a movie is more your speed. Check out the showtimes for the best in independent film at the Little Theater located at 240 East Ave. In addition to movies, The Little has a full-service cafe serving meals, desserts, wine, beer and specialty drinks. You can also catch live music five nights a week. Last but not least, they offer fresh popcorn and other movie treats at the concession stand. You can check movie times and prices online at the little.org.
Food & Drink
8. What says “Valentine’s Day” more than chocolate? Add some wine and you take romance to the next level. Chocolate and Vines at 757 University Ave. offers gourmet artisan truffles. On Valentine’s Day they’ll be offering Valentine wine and beer flights as well as special truffle collections from chocolatier Norman Love. They don’t take reservations on Feb. 14 so just drop in between 4 and 11 p.m. Give them a call at 585-340-6362 for further details.
9. If you are looking for nice casual evening out with a cold glass of beer, visit Rochester’s own Genesee Brewery at 25 Cataract St. overlooking High Falls. The restaurant offers 16 beers on tap and a full menu of American pub fare. After dinner, tour the brew house and sample different beers at the tasting bar. Check their website at geneseebeer.com for full details about the menu, hours and tour schedule.
10. Take a Valentine’s Day-themed cooking class at New York Kitchen at 880 S. Main St. in Canandaigua. Special Feb. 14 classes include a class on wine and chocolate pairing, a chef’s table class that includes instruction on appetizers, side dishes and an entree, and a “Sip and Sizzle” wine and food pairing class. To sign up and learn more visit nykitchen.com.