Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and restaurant reservations are filling up fast. Still scrambling to make your Valentine’s Day special and memorable? We’ve compiled some of the most fun, romantic and unique plans and events happening in the Greater Mankato area!
1. Classic Romance: Dinner and a show. Head over to Chankaska Creek Ranch and Winery for a Sweet & Salty Wine Pairing. Each of the five courses will feature a local wine, something sweet from Lush Cakes, and something salty. Indian Island Winery is also hosting a Valentine’s Dinner package that includes a 3 course meal, wine with take home glasses, wine tasting tickets, and other couples’ gifts. Wine is not your thing? Get tickets to dinner and a show at the Mankato Playhouse. Alternately, visit any one of Mankato’s fine dining establishments before catching a show on the big screen at one of Mankato’s movie theaters.
2. A Selfie Valentine’s Day. Enjoy flying solo on this day of self love! Grab a yummy bite and a drink to dance the night away at the WineCafé’s Lizzo style dance party. For the less social, have Drummers Floral deliver a fragrant bouquet to your door. Stay in and enjoy a candle lit dinner at home without having to compromise on cuisine. Order your favorite and have the Food Dudes deliver. Enjoy a guilt free TV binge. Looking for more relaxation? Spoil yourself at any one of Mankato’s spa destinations. Go ahead, you deserve it!
3. Get Crafty Together. Create something special together for your shared space. You and your mate could inspire your domestic creativity by spending some time at the Home & Lifestyle Show at the River Hills Mall. Then carry your inspiration to Mankato’s Makerspace to check out their Leather Projects Club for a chance to create a special leather gift for each other. Or flash your creativity at Artifact and take home some hand painted pottery to remind you of your special date.
4. Get Fit Together. Make it a day together on the slopes skiing or snowboarding at Mount Kato. Descending while upright isn’t your thing, you say? Don’t underestimate the calories spent getting in and out of an inflatable tube! Even with the magic carpet you’ll still get a workout from a day tubing with your date. Restore from your time on the hill with a heart chakra power yoga class at Sun Moon Yoga. Then re-hydrate with a fresh beverage from WYSIWYG. Alternately, spend a couple of hours wooing your date with your skills on one of the many ice rinks around town. Plan ahead for a couples massage afterwards to relax away the workout.
5. Gamer’s Delight. Take your special someone to Friday Night Magic at Double Play or The Dork Den to show off your gaming skills. Both establishments are open until 10pm and are food friendly for take out or delivery from your favorite restaurant. If you’re looking for a more interactive experience, try Kato Escape Room and a late night meal at one of the many eat spots on Front Street. Don’t forget to call ahead if you want a go at Kato Escape Room.
6. Party People! Celebrate with someone special (or meet that someone special) at any number of 21+ events in town. Head for food and live music with Buffalo Alice at Mully’s on Madison or for dinner and an Acoustic Showcase at Buster’s Sports Bar. Go with a group to any downtown eatery before heading to The What’s Up Lounge for a Triple Falls Production of EDM Mankato. More dancing can be had as DJ Kessel hosts a Valentine’s Day Party at the City Center Hotel. Don’t forget your party shoes!
7. Connect through Art. After a romantic dinner, explore the exhibits at Carnegie Art Center. Attend an art lecture and reception at Bethany Lutheran College on Thursday, February 13. View community artwork at the 410 Project’s Annual Juried Exhibition. For an outdoor art experience, throw on some layers and make a progressive stroll through the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour. Impress your date by planning ahead with mini stops at local restaurants between sculptures. Perhaps start with a drink at Flask or Pub500, move for an appetizer at Olives or No.4, grab a coffee at Neutral Groundz, and end your tour at Dino’s or NaKato to replenish your calories. Plan your tour to suit your taste buds!
8. Family Loving. Does your Valentine’s Day include fun-sized guests? We’ve got you covered. Take the family for an outing to Sibley or Spring Lake Park for a sledding adventure. Follow up with pizza and a sweet treat at any one of Mankato’s delicious pizzerias. Later enjoy bowling, games, and live music by the Hootenanny Annies at the Wow!Zone. Or give your family the opportunity to share their love of Maverick sports by attending the MSU Women’s hockey game vs Duluth or MSU Wrestling vs Augustana.
9. A Homemade Valentine. Treat your sweetie to a Valentine’s Dinner Cooking Class hosted by Happy Thyme. Bring your favorite wine or beer to the class to enjoy with your dinner. This event takes place on Thursday, February 13th. This class has limited space so register early! Alternately, plan a romantic meal at home. Start at Hilltop HyVee or Cub Riverfront for your favorite ingredients. Stop by a local flower shop on your way home from the grocer for a little fragrant love to add to your dinner setting. Its true what they say: the best way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. Chocolate covered strawberries, anyone?
10. Nature Lovers Unite. Pack a winter picnic and take your love on a brisk Minnesota outdoor adventure. Check out Chankaska Creek Ranch and Winery or Minneopa State Park for snowshoeing trails. Snowshoes can be rented from MSU Campus Rec Department (adult sizes only) or from Bent River Outfitters (child and adult sizes). If its rigor you’re after, check out the snow bike trails at Seven Mile Creek. Nicollet Bike Shop can set you up with a sweet set of fat tires for the adventure. Or take it slow in your boots on the footpaths at Rasmussen Park.
See details and more events below.
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Valentine’s Dinner Cooking Class
When: Thursday, Feb. 13 at 6:00 pm
Where: DeGroods Home Store, Mankato
What: Grab your sweetheart (or friend) and enjoy a very special meal prepared by Molly Loe with Happy Thyme Cooking. You will learn tips and tricks you can use in your own kitchen. Then enjoy the delicious dinner prepared before you. Feel free to bring your favorite wine or beer to enjoy with your dinner. On the menu: Spinach and Quinoa Salad with Apples & Cranberries, Chicken Milanese with Sage & Lemon Butter Sauce, Creamy Risotto, Strawberry Basil Mousse. $45/per person You must pre register for this event online. LIMITED SPACE…Register Early!
Sweet & Salty Wine Pairing
When: Friday, Feb. 14 at 6:30 pm
Where: Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery, Kasota
What: Get a little sweet and a little salty this Valentine’s Day with a delicious 5 course wine pairing! Tickets are $40 for general admission or $35 for Wine Circle members (maximum of 2 tickets). Whether your idea of Valentine’s day is sweet or salty we’ve got the perfect pairing event for you! Grab your sweetheart or be salty with your friends and enjoy this 5-course paring that includes a sample of wine, something sweet from Lush Cakes and something salty.
3 Course Valentine’s Dinner
When: Friday, Feb. 14 at 6:00 pm
Where: Indian Island Winery, Janesville
What: Join us at Indian Island Winery on Valentine’s Day for a romantic evening out with your better half. The cost is $100 per couple which includes a 3 course meal for two, complete with desserts, two glasses of wine, 2 wine glasses to keep, 6 total tickets for wine tasting (each good for one taste), a rose and a small gift to bring home, plus music for listening to and dancing. Music will be provided by Amy Manette from 6-9 pm. Doors will open at 5:30. Seating will be assigned ahead of time on a first come first serve basis. You can either choose to sit in the event room with the music or in the tasting room. Please let us know if you would like to be seated with any other couples so that we can prepare your tables accordingly. The meal will be catered by Infinty Catering.
Annual Juried Exhibition
When: Friday, Feb. 14 at 7:00pm to 9:00 pm
Where: 410 Project, Mankato
What: Opening Reception and Awards. 2020 Juror is Russ White, an artist based in the Casket Arts Building in Northeast Minneapolis. Working primarily in large scale colored pencil drawings and sculptural installations, White’s work uses a kind of cartoonish realism to explore social and political issues.
Self Love Dance Party
When: Friday, Feb. 14 at 9:00 pm
Where: WineCafé Bar, Mankato
What: Love yourself Lizzo style. Show yourself a little love on Valentine’s Day. Dance the night away and feel ‘good as hell.’
Heart Chakra Power Hour
When: Friday, Feb. 14 at 5:30 pm
Where: Sun Moon Yoga, Mankato
What: Join Carly Hopper for a 60-minute power yoga class that will be inspired by the heart chakra (anahata). Practice will include sun salutations, heart opening sequence, affirmations, and a metta (loving kindness) meditation. Class is a $5 drop in fee.
Happy Galentine’s Day
When: Thursday, Feb. 13 at 5:00 pm
Where: Vivian Rose Boutique, Mankato
What: Presented by Vivian Rose Boutique and Baubles and Bobbies. We’re back for our 3rd annual Galentine’s Day party! Every year we take one night to celebrate our gal pals and just have FUN! This is our most popular event every year, and we can’t wait to see you! Come shop our fashion and a special trunk show from Baubles and Bobbies. Celebrate with female friendships, fashion, unique baubles, special offers, sips, and treats.
February Whimsy Weekend
When: Thursday, Feb. 13 at 10:00am to Sunday, Feb. 16 at 4:00 pm
Where: Whimsy & Weathered, Mankato
What: Join us for our February Whimsy Weekend as we continue to roll out new 2020 home decor & our beautiful hand-painted furniture. Warm your heart with Valentine Decor for the home and gift giving and inspire yourself with our beautiful home decor displays.
When: Friday, Feb. 14 at 5:00 pm
Where: The Loose Moose Saloon and Conference Center, Mankato
What: Make plans now to impress your sweetie with a great dinner with live music from Dan Duffy & His Orchestra for Valentines Day. Swing, jazz, oldies and all goodies! You’ll be the apple of their eye as you delight to the sweet sounds of Dan and the gang. Sit back and relax or get up and dance – we’re all friends here!
VFW Pork Chop Night
When: Friday, Feb. 14 at 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Where: VFW, Mankato
What: Come enjoy some pork chops!
Valentine’s Comedy Night!
When: Friday, Feb. 14 at 6:00pm to 11:30 pm
Where: Terrace View Golf Course, Mankato
What: Stunt Monkey will be our fantastic emcee for the night introducing our comedian line up starting with our opener Dan Hinnenkamp, followed by our headlining comedian Michael Thorne who will bring his hilarious insights on life, marriage, parenthood and the evolution of humanity. Dinner will be Pork Tenderloin, Chicken in a white cream sauce, Baby Red potatoes, Broccoli with optional cheese sauce, Dinner roll, salad with deserts on the table.
Spend Valentine’s Day with The Murphy Brothers
When: Friday, Feb. 14 at 8:00pm to 12:00 am
Where: Circle Inn Bar, North Mankato
What: Join us for our Valentine’s Sweetheart/Lonely Hearts Club Party this Valentine’s at The Circle Inn!!! We will have drinks to get you in the mood and music to serenade you all night!!