By Hannah Lester
Feb. 14 draws near and will serve as the first Valentine’s Day under the COVID-19 pandemic. Although couples normally spend their evenings in crowded restaurants, plans may need to be adjusted this year.
There are still activities and deals offered in the Auburn and Opelika area for 2021, however.
Couples Paint Night At The Art Studio:
The Art Studio is hosting a paint night on Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m. for $80. The cost includes the supplies necessary for both participants to paint.
Each couple will be painting a scene in Paris, and the evening is for those 18+. If the participants are 21 or older, they may bring wine or beer, the Art Studio said.
The Art Studio is located at 118 N. Ross St.
Valentine’s Wine And Charcuterie Pairing Event:
The Collegiate Hotel is hosting a charcuterie and wine pairing event on Feb. 13 for couples. Couples can check into the hotel for the night and enjoy the tasting for $230 or register for tickets for the tasting only.
Guests will pair wine and food under the guidance of Josh Nagel, a local sommelier.
There is the option to register for tasting tickets, without booking a room, for $60. See The Collegiate’s website for more information: https://staycoho.com.
Kreher Preserve And Nature Center:
Check out the Kreher Preserve and Nature Center for two Valentine’s Day-themed events.
On Feb. 13, Heather Jackson will host an art workshop that teaches participants to create nature-themed Valentine’s Day cards.
The event will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the preserve (2222 N. College St.)
On Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, the preserve is hosting a self-led hike that you can take at any point during the day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“This self-led hike takes you through our trails with several ‘lovely’ stops along the way. Celebrate Valentine’s with your one true love this year: nature,” the description of the hike said.
Dinner At Southern Oak:
Take your date out for a four-course meal at Southern Oak on either Saturday, Feb. 13, or Sunday, Feb. 14.
The meal will include an appetizer, salad, entree and dessert for $59 a person or with wine for $94.
To book a reservation, go to www.opentable.com/r/southern-oak-opelika?fbclid=IwAR17AF3uujXU5sA2Y8ie8-y5pil1PWlaqpwyGtYNYTlP0dNFgtmX1MVKyVU.
The Chocolate Crawl:
Valentine’s Day is arguably the holiday most devoted to chocolate. Opelika is hosting a chocolate crawl the week before Valentine’s Day from Feb. 8 through Feb. 15.
To participate, visit any of these businesses during the week:
– Butcher Paper BBQ
– Gigi’s Cupcakes
– La Cantina
– Niffers at the Tracks
– Ware Jewelers
– Heritage Gifts and Gourmet
– Panera Bread
– Resting Pulse Brewing Co.
– State Farm — Kathy Powell
– Taylor Made Designs
– John Emerald Distilling Co.
– Twice Baked
“February just got a little sweeter,” said the Opelika Chamber website. “From February 8th to February 15th, stop by these participating businesses for a delicious chocolaty treat during Valentine’s week. Indulge in this sweet confection while you shop and support your friends and neighbors.”
Before eating a lot of chocolate, spend some time dancing with the Zumbathon 2021-Valentine’s Day Party at the Boykin Community Center.
Zumba will take place on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Each session is 90 minutes, so attend from 8 to 9 a.m. or 9 to 10:30 a.m.
“Awesome instructors who can get you dancing and will take turns leading in various styles and levels of Zumba moves — check,” the Zumba Facebook post said. “A Valentine’s Day-themed costume contest — check.”
The post encouraged participants to come dressed in red, pink or white.
Due to COVID-19, the groups are limited to 15 participants. Register at the Harris Center by Feb. 12.
Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort and Spa at Grand National:
The Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort and Spa at Grand National is offering a Valentine Package this February. On Feb. 13 and Feb. 14, book a room and receive chocolate-covered strawberries, champaign, dinner and breakfast with the package.
To book, visit: www.marriotgrandnational.com