15 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Raleigh

Thoughtful gifts, exquisite dinners, romantic tunes and more for a lovely Raleigh Valentine’s Day this year
By Addie Ladner and Emma Deal

Enjoy a Romantic dinner at Glasshouse Kitchen 

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a visit to Glasshouse Kitchen on Feb. 14 to experience a delicious 6-course Chef’s Tasting Menu. Delight your taste buds with selections including crab, truffle, sweet potato pave with smoked trout, pork shoulder confit and, of course, chocolate for dessert. Curated by executive chef Savannah Miller, this menu comes with optional wine pairings specifically chosen by owner Sara Abernethy to compliment the meal. 

Feb. 14; 5 Laboratory Drive; glasshousekitchennc.com

Experience a Burlesque show & Dinner at Whitaker & Atlantic 

Get ready with your best Valentine’s Day outfit to have a night of fun with your friends or significant other. Visit Whitaker & Atlantic on Feb. 14 for a three-course dinner and live Burlesque show. The night will include music, dancers in beautiful costumes, a fun emcee and a cocktail hour to make your Valentine’s Day fun and entertaining. 

Feb. 14; 1053 E Whitaker Mill Rd STE 111; whitakerandatlantic.com

Gift Your Lover Locally-Made Valentine’s Day Chocolate

Lucky for us in the City of Oaks, there’s no shortage of really good chocolate here. Videri Chocolate Factory (327 W. Davie Street; viderichocolatefactory.com) in the Warehouse District is known for its hand-crafted chocolate bars and decadent soft serve ice cream. Escazu Chocolates (936 N. Blount Street; escazuchocolates.com) offers fine, beautifully decorated truffles with unique flavor combinations. Spring & Mulberry (multiple retailers; springandmulberry.com) was founded by a local woman looking to consume less sugar after a battle with cancer. These chocolates are naturally sweetened with dates, and paired with unexpected ingredients like lavender, bee pollen and mango. 

Make or Buy a Beautiful Bouquet for Your Special Someone

For truly local blooms, visit the North Carolina State Farmers Market (1201 Agriculture Street; ncagr.gov/markets/) and grab a bundle of seasonal stems, wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string. Order a bouquet from Kelly Odom Flowers (102 Glenwood Avenue; kellyodom.com) for something over-the-top or if your sweetheart likes exotic blooms from around the world. Fallon’s Flowers (700 St. Marys Street; fallonsflowers.com) offers a range of bouquets, but if you prefer to make your own, visit on a Friday, when it offers single-cut stems from the cooler for 50% off. 

Send Someone a Creative Local Card

Whether it’s sweet or funny, the perfect card is something to cherish. Visit If It’s Paper (445 Daniels Street; ifitspaper.org) for pretty, painterly stationery. Stationery Decree Company downtown has a small selection of handmade letterpress greetings at its new downtown location (135 E. Martin Street; decreecompany.com). And for funny, edgy cards from both local and national designers, swing by DECO (207 S. Salisbury Street; decoraleigh.com) or Edge of Urge (215 E. Franklin Street, Suite 110; edgeofurge.com) to peruse the offerings.

Toast the Holiday with a Bubbly Beverage

From cava to prosecco to actual champagne, there are lots of effervescent options at local purveyors. Visit a wine shop for guidance on one that’ll please your palate. Raleigh Wine Shop (317 S. Bloodworth Street; theraleighwineshop.com) offers a broad selection and a cozy back room to sit and sip. Wine Authorities has a large range of old-world European options and a knowledgeable staff (211 E. Franklin Street; wineauthorities.com). If you’re up for a drive, Rocks & Acid in Chapel Hill (712 Market Street Chapel Hill; rocksandacidwineshop.com) was recently opened by sommelier Paola de Pano, who brings lively enthusiasm to her recommendations.

Hear Romantic Tunes by Candlelight at Merrimon Wynne

The Merrimon-Wynne House is hosting the traveling event Candlelight for a Valentine’s Day-themed evening of music in The Carriage House. Performed by a string quartet, the show includes classical covers of iconic love songs including “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic, “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and scores from Romeo and Juliet. “The Candlelight concert is a truly serene experience,” says Lindsey Simmons with Merrimon-Wynne. Signature cocktails, wine, beer and candy are available for purchase before and during the hour long concert. 
Feb 9 & 14 | 6:30 & 9 p.m.; $45; 500 N. Blount Street; merrimonwynne.com 

Paint with Your Partner at Artspace

Get two tickets and display your artistic talent at a Valentine’s Day couple’s painting class. Learn from instructor Marriott Sheldon how to use shape and color to create a romantic painting. Get inspired from a Valentine’s Day-themed still life setup and express your love for each other through abstract art. 
Feb 14  | 6-8:30 p.m.; $50; 201 E. Davie Street; eventbrite.com

Take a Love Stories & Broken Hearts Walking Tour

Take some time Feb. 11 to appreciate the history and romance of Raleigh through an immersive guided walking tour hosted by Raleigh Walking Tours. Grab a significant other or a group of friends and listen to local stories of true love and broken hearts before Valentine’s Day. Spend your afternoon viewing the beautiful buildings of Raleigh, such as the Governor’s Mansion, while hearing tales of love and tragically broken hearts. 
Feb 11 | 1:30 – 2:45 p.m.; free with advance registration; 200 N. Blount Street; eventbrite.com

Listen to the Classics with Romance in the Air

Enjoy the North Carolina Master Chorale’s 80th Anniversary Special: Romance in the Air: Music of the 80s. Beloved romantic songs from classic bands like Journey, Queen, REO Speedwagon and others will be performed by a talented 16-voice chamber choir, piano, bass and drums. Hosted at Transfer Co. Food Hall on Feb. 11, Romance in the Air is sure to get you into the Valentine’s Day spirit. 
Feb 11 | 2 and 4:30 p.m.; $25; Transfer Co. Ballroom; 500 E. Davie Street; ncmasterchorale.square.site

Make Something Sweet for your Sweetie

What better way to show your love for someone than making them a delicious dessert yourself? Have some fun this Valentine’s Day by experimenting with different chocolate recipes to discover your new favorite. From spiked hot cocoa to cookies, pies and more, we have 8 chocolate recipes from Raleigh foodies that are sure to make your holiday even sweeter. 

Head to the Ballet

Watch graceful ballerinas float across the stage at Robert Weiss’ Grieg: Piano Concerto. This performance by Carolina Ballet, to a concerto from one of the main composers of the Romantic era, will have both beautiful dancing and enchanting music. Perfect for both ballet lovers and those looking for a romantic show, this performance will add magic to your Valentine’s Day.
Feb 2 – 19; from $27.15; 2 E. South Street; carolinaballet.com

Order a Table & Twine’s Valentine’s Day Meal Kit

Instead of stressing over preparing a romantic meal for two, have a meal kit delivered that cuts out all the extra prep work. Table & Twine’s expert chefs have curated the perfect selection of Valentine’s Day meals on their website to choose from. With options like Surf & Turf Dinner for Two, Valentine’s Cookie Kit, Cupid’s Arrow Cocktail Mix and Hand Rolled Truffles, you can decide whether to make your date fun and interactive, or a simple elegant dinner for two.
From $11.99 to $127.99; tableandtwine.com

Join Cupid’s Undie Run

This Valentine’s Day, show some love and participate in Cupid’s Undie Run to help raise awareness for neurofibromatosis (NF), a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. As a fundraiser for NF research through the Children’s Tumor Foundation, Cupid’s Undie Run invites hundreds of participants in Raleigh to go on a mile(ish) run in their… underpants. With drinking and dancing before and a dance party after, this fundraiser is a fun opportunity to join the community and support those battling NF. 
Feb 18 | 12 – 4 p.m.; $40; Motorco Music Hall, Durham; my.cupids.org

Take a Class about Italian Wine

Famous for both romance and wine, Italy is home to unique grape varieties that produce numerous styles of wine. Take Vitis House Wine’s class Romantic Reds to to taste Lambrusco, Refosco, Nero Di Avola, Bolgheri, Amarone, Vin Santo. Learn how to describe them properly, understand the labels and taste Chef Doreen Colondres’ Bolognese Pasta (Bologna’s style). Whether you are a new or experienced wine-lover, with this class you will be able to taste rich and bold wines from Piemonte, Tuscany, Emilia Romagna, Sicilia, among others. 
Feb 8, 14 & 24  | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.; $99; 1053 E Whitaker Mill Road, Raleigh; vitishouse.com

Stay at The Durham Hotel

The Durham Hotel has everything you need for a romantic Valentine’s Day retreat. Enjoy the Valentine’s Dinner for a candle-lit three-course dinner with your Valentine in the Restaurant alongside a Valentine’s Room Package to receive a bottle of sparkling wine in your room upon arrival, complimentary valet parking and breakfast for two in the Restaurant the following morning. Then, combine your morning coffee run with shopping for romantic gifts from some favorite local purveyors at the Valentine’s Mini Market in the lobby Coffee Bar to shop for fresh flowers, chocolate, jewelry and candles Feb. 13 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Lastly, curl up with a half-priced bottle of wine and a fleece blanket on the heated and covered Roof, open every Wednesday, 5-10 p.m. to enjoy the sunset six stories above the city. 

Feb. 12-14; (see website for prices); 315 E. Chapel Hill Street, Durham; marketing.revinate.com

Dine Out at Good Day Good Night

Head to The Casso’s Good Day Good Night in the heart of Raleigh’s Warehouse District this Valentine’s Day for a special three-course menu curated by executive chef, Perlyssa DeLeon. Pick your choice of appetizer, entrée and a shared dessert with dishes such as: a strawberry salad with strawberry vinaigrette, a duck breast with sweet potato puree, miso caramel cornbread stuffing and cranberry gastriqué and crème brulee and fresh berries with a Grand Marnier Chantilly. This perfect diner for two, will only be available on February 13-14, so reserve a spot for you and your special someone now. 

Feb. 13-14; 3-10 p.m.; $75 per person; 603 W. Morgan Street, Raleigh; gdgnraleigh.com

This article was originally published on January 18, 2023 on waltermagazine.com