Events, features and things to do for families in New Hampshire
14 ways to make this Valentine’s Day the best one yet
By Susan Nye
Valentines’ Day will soon be here. From dropping off the kids with Nana to making reservations, it’s time to get your plans in order. Whether you want to share a special evening, enjoy an entire day together or spend a few days at a romantic inn, here are a few suggestions to make this Valentine’s Day special.
1. Start the day right. Help your Valentine ease into the day. Gently wake your sweetheart with a steaming cup of coffee and a single red rose. While you’re at it, why not add a bountiful breakfast in bed, complete with a sparkling glass of mimosa?
2. Enjoy a bit of art and culture together and take a stroll through New Hampshire's largest art museum, the Currier Museum of Art. This winter the Currier is hosting the New Hampshire Art Association's 63rd juried exhibition as part of its continuing commitment to local artists. www.currier.org
3. Share the stars with your true love. Hold hands and look up at the night sky at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium. It’s one of the amazing programs and exhibits at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord. www.starhop.com
4. Take a walking tour of Portsmouth, Hanover or Nashua. Or try Keene, Concord, or any one of the little towns around Franconia Notch. Even if you live here, it’s fun to spend the day like a tourist in one of New Hampshire’s unique cities or towns. You can enjoy a leisurely afternoon browsing in little shops and lunching in a quaint café.
5. Spend the day on the slopes. Waterville Valley Ski Resort will be offering a two-for-one lift ticket on Valentine’s Day. For added romance, Schendi Hutte serves a special Fondue-for-Two and chocolates along with the panoramic view from the 4,000 foot summit. Or join the heart hunt at Mount Sunapee. Hearts are hidden all over the mountain, find a heart and received a great prize. www.visitwatervillevalley.com and www.mountsunapee.com
6. Glide through the woods. If downhill skiing is not your thing, enjoy the peace and quiet of cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Mount Washington Ski Touring and Snowshoe Foundation in Intervale has 65 kilometers of groomed trails waiting for you. Bring along a picnic of gourmet delicacies to complete your romantic getaway in the woods. www.crosscountryskinh.com
7. Snuggle up in a sled and enjoy some of New Hampshire’s breathtaking scenery. You and your Valentine can cuddle up while a team of sled dogs pull you through the woods and snow. The Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel in Jefferson offers both short rides and all-day excursions. What could be more romantic than the call of the wild? www.dogslednh.com
8. Enjoy a sleigh ride. Perched on the banks of the Ellis River in Jackson, Nestlenook Farm offers romantic Austrian sleigh rides as well as ice skating and snowshoeing. Explore the Victorian estate and surrounding forest in a horse drawn sleigh and then warm up and relax in front of the fire with a hot chocolate. www.nestlenookfarm.com
9. A date night classic…why not a dinner and a movie? Red River Theatres in downtown Concord shows first-run art and independent films as well as documentaries and foreign films. Red River has teamed up with several local restaurants to offer a dinner and a movie package.
Red River recently made the news with a very unusual marriage proposal. Using two muppets as the stars, Sid Ceaser created a three-minute film to proclaim his love for longtime girlfriend Sara Prindiville. Red River Theatres’ staff gave Sid’s film a spot in the opening trailers. The film ends with the boy muppet pulling out a ring and asking the girl to marry him. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including the bride to be. You can get in the mood for your own romantic movie night by watching the clip on YouTube. www.redrivertheatres.org
10. Toast your love with champagne. Valentine’s Day falls right in the middle of the 8th annual Winter Wine Festival at Wentworth by the Sea. On Valentine’s Night join them for a 4-course dinnerprepare an exquisite four course dinner for you and your sweetheart. Each course will be served with Veuve Clicquot Champagne. A favorite of champagne connoisseurs around the world, lovers have been toasting each other with Veuve Clicquot since 1772. www.wentworth.com and www.winterwinefestival.com
11. Cook together. There is no better way for two foodies to celebrate the holiday than creating a sumptuous feast together. Indulge in lobster from the Gulf of Maine or a delicious filet of beef. And don’t forget your favorite wine or champagne. Complete the meal with a delicious chocolate treat with a little French flair.
Pot de Crème
1/3 c. heavy cream
3 oz. good quality milk or bitter sweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
Pinch cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tsp. Grand Marnier
Put the cream, chocolate and cinnamon in a small microwave-safe bowl. Zap on high for 10 seconds; stir and repeat until chocolate is almost melted. Let sit for a minute or two and whisk to combine.
Whisk in the vanilla and Grand Marnier. Pour into small cups or glasses. Refrigerate for at least two hours and enjoy.
12. Spend a few days at a romantic inn. If you can, take a few days to celebrate with your Valentine. The 1785 Inn in North Conway has a special Romance Package for you and your sweetheart. You will be welcomed with champagne and flowers and enjoy breakfast and dinner in the Inn’s charming restaurant. With cross-country ski and snowshoe trails right outside the door, the romantic inn offers some of the most spectacular views in the country. www.the1785inn.com
13. Unwind together. Enjoy the ultimate in relaxation and rejuvenation with a couple’s massage at the Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield. Located on the New Hampshire-Vermont border, the inn is an ideal base for couples wishing to unplug from the daily routine, spend some time alone, hike and ski. The Inn has a package that includes two nights lodging at the Inn with full country breakfast and two, 60-minute full body massages in the comfort and privacy of your room. www.chesterfieldinn.com
14. End the day right. If you started the day with a rose and a cup of coffee, why not end it with a luxurious chocolate truffle? You can find glorious, artisanal chocolates throughout New Hampshire. You’ll find some of the best are at L.A. Burdick Homemade Chocolates, Ava Marie Chocolates and Byrne and Carlson. www.burdickchocolate.com, www.avamariechocolates.com and www.byrneandcarlson.com
Susan Nye lives in New Hampshire and is a regular contributor to several New England magazines and newspapers. She writes about family, friendship and food and shares many of her favorite recipes on her weekly blog at www.susannye.wordpress.com.
Last updated by Parenting NH Administrator Jan 16.