15 Ways to Make Valentine’s Day in Cincinnati Red-Hot
If you’re part of a couple or a swinging single, you’re sure to find numerous activities for Valentine’s Day fun throughout the city, ranging from fancy dinners to fun runs.
While it may not be considered the most romantic city in the world, or even the United States, Cincinnati still has a lot to offer those wanting to make Valentine’s Day extra special. So, whether you’re a couple looking for romance or a single looking to just survive the day, you’ll find plenty to see, eat, and do on February 14 in the Queen City.
Restaurants to Visit
Washington Platform Saloon and Restaurant
Located in downtown Cincinnati, the Washington Platform Saloon and Restaurant serves up American classics, as well as seafood and Cajun dishes. It’s also the place to go to hear some of Cincinnati’s best jazz performers, offering live every Friday and Saturday night from 9 p.m. to midnight. Valentine’s Day entertainment includes the Faux Frenchman on Friday night and Andrea Cefalo on Saturday night.
For Valentine’s Day, treat your sweetie or just yourself to a delicious special meal. Available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the special not only includes food but also a horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown Cincinnati. The menu for that night includes a dozen fresh-shucked oysters, soup or salad, two entrees, and a bottle of wine to share. You’ll also get chocolate-covered strawberries to eat for dessert. If romantic horse-drawn rides aren’t your thing, you can still get the dinner special without the carriage ride.
1000 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 4 to 8 p.m.
Price: $115 per couple with carriage ride; $85 per couple without carriage ride
Forno Osteria and Bar
A new restaurant on the Cincinnati dining scene, Forno Osteria and Bar features a menu full of Italian classics like tagliatelle, pappardelle, gnocchi, and risotto. The restaurant sits in the popular and prestigious Hyde Park area, just off Erie Avenue. It’s open for dinner, as well as Sunday morning for a full brunch. The restaurant’s full bar and extensive wine list provide numerous options for drinks to complement your meal.
On Saturday and Sunday of Valentine’s Day weekend, the restaurant offers two-hour seatings at 5, 7, or 9 p.m. You can make reservations online at the restaurant’s website or by calling the restaurant directly. While the chefs haven’t released the pre-fixe menu yet, you can be sure it will include Italian favorites from the menu. The pre-fixe menu for $50 a person also has the option of adding on a $15 a person wine pairing.
3514 Erie Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45208
Hours: Closed Mondays, Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m., Friday, 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday, 4 to 11 p.m., and Sunday, 4 to 9 p.m.
Price: $50 a person, $15 a person wine pairing
Metropole on Walnut
Part of the 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Cincinnati, the Metropole on Walnut boasts a menu full of farm-to-table breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes. On Saturday and Sunday, the restaurant has a brunch spread served till mid-afternoon. Chef Jared Bennett, cooks many of the menu choices on the restaurant’s custom wood-burning fireplace. He also focuses on using the freshest ingredients possible, utilizing locally-grown produce and meats.
Come in on Valentine’s Day for a four-course fixed menu that includes an appetizer, first course, entrée, and dessert. The price of the menu varies depending on what entrée you choose; options include seared scallops, salmon, spaccatelli, roasted chicken, or New York strip. Ask the bartender to recommend a yummy cocktail, cold glass of beer, or quality bourbon to go with your romantic meal.
609 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Hours: Breakfast, Monday through Friday, 7 to 10 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 7 to 9:30 a.m.; Lunch, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Dinner, Sunday through Thursday, 5:30 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 5:30 to 11 p.m.
Attire: Smart casual
Price: $56 to $73
With 456 guest rooms that each feature Westin’s signature Heavenly Beds, the Westin Cincinnati provides a romantic backdrop for a Valentine’s weekend away. The hotel sits in the heart of Fountain Square in downtown and offers easy access to restaurants, retailers, and popular attractions. The modern and contemporary rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with large marble bathrooms. Check out the hotel’s indoor heated pool or enjoy spa services right in your room.
The Valentine’s Day package from the Westin includes overnight accommodations with views of downtown or the historic Fountain Square and a full breakfast for two in the morning. You also get champagne and fruit upon check in and late checkout till 4 p.m., so you can enjoy more time with your date. The package deal is good from February 12 to 15, so reserve your room for one night or the whole weekend. Reserve your room online at the hotel’s website or call the hotel directly.
21 East 5th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Price: Rates start at $189 a night
The Cincinnatian Hotel
A classic Cincinnati landmark, the Cincinnatian Hotel is a boutique hotel that has 146 rooms, including seven suites. Room amenities include fireplaces, balconies, and luxurious Roman tubs and terrycloth robes in the bathrooms. The elegant rooms are decorated with custom upholstered pieces and high-end bedding and feature views of the downtown area. Some of the rooms have balconies so you can enjoy your views even more, while others have whirlpool tubs, perfect for upping the romance factor.
Treat you and your honey to the Celebration package at the Cincinnatian for a super-romantic Valentine’s Day. The package includes chocolate-covered strawberries in your room, overnight valet parking, and a $40 voucher to enjoy breakfast in the hotel’s Palace Restaurant. The concierge can help you arrange dinner reservations, secure movie or theater tickets, and provide advice on what to do in the area to complete your Valentine’s Day getaway.
601 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Price: Rates start at $219 a night
Radisson Hotel Cincinnati Riverfront
Located just across the river from downtown Cincinnati in Covington, Kentucky, the Radisson Hotel Cincinnati Riverfront offers guests a wide arrange of amenities. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, complementary parking, fitness center, swimming pool, and two on-site restaurants, the 360 Restaurant and Kelly’s Public House. Many of the rooms have fantastic views of the Cincinnati skyline and riverfront. The hotel itself is hard to miss with its unusual honeycomb shape and it has a convenient location close to Interstate 75.
The Romance at the Radisson package is a great way to treat your special someone to an amazing Valentine’s Day giveaway. Along with room accommodations, you get a chilled bottle of champagne to share, breakfast in the morning at Kelly’s Public House, and a $50 gift certificate to use in the 360 Restaurant for a romantic dinner. The 360 Restaurant offers a unique experience with its revolving floor and expansive views of Cincinnati and northern Kentucky.
668 West Fifth Street, Covington, KY 41011
Price: Rates start at $194 a night
Special Themed Events
Cincinnati Observatory Center Valentine’s Night
Spend your Valentine’s Day night looking up at the stars at the Cincinnati Observatory Center. Sitting atop scenic Mount Lookout, the center gets you close to the heavens and is the perfect setting for romantic star-gazing. The night of February 14, the center is hosting a Valentine’s Night event where couples can enjoy amazing views of space and the moon from the center’s telescopes. Woo your date even more with drinks, chocolates, flowers, and romantic music that comes as part of the package.
If you like what you see, come back throughout the year for other special events the center hosts like Late Night Date Nights. You can also take astronomy classes, attend seminars, and just come in and gaze into the stars. Members of the Cincinnati Observatory Center get discounts to all the special events and also receive reduced general admission.
3489 Observatory Place, Mount Lookout, OH 45208
Date and Time: Sunday, February 14, 2016 from 8 to 10 p.m.
Price: $60 per couple, $50 for members
Krohn by Candlelight
Hosted by the Krohn Conservatory in beautiful Eden Park, the Krohn by Candlelight event offers romance in an educational setting. The adult-only evening includes craft time where you can make a homemade goodie for your honey. There’s also an educational hour where you’ll learn all about chocolate, one of the best aphrodisiacs. You’ll get to check out the conservatory’s spring flower shower as well. The event requires reservations, so visit the Cincinnati Park’s website or call to make sure you get a spot.
Throughout the rest of the year, the conservatory is home to over 3,500 amazing plant species and includes foliage in desert and rainforest settings. It also plays hosts to tropical, palm, and orchid houses. Check out the annual butterfly event, where thousands of butterflies flutter about the pretty flowers and plants.
1501 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Date and Time: Saturday, February 13, 2016 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Price: $12 per person
Cincinnati Dinner Train
On Valentine’s Day weekend, the Cincinnati Dinner Train sponsors a special dinner where you not only get to enjoy an old-fashioned train ride, but also a high-quality dinner. The ride takes three hours and during that time you’ll indulge in a four-course dinner. Entrée choices include hickory prime rib, hoisin-glazed salmon, or chicken breast in a white wine sauce. For dessert, choose between New York-style cheesecake or chocolate pecan pie. Gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan dishes are also available.
The train has a bar car as well, so you can enjoy an alcoholic beverage with your meal and ride. You can choose to dine in the Milwaukee Road, Silver Sword, or New York Central dining car. Reservations fill up quickly, so visit the Cincinnati Dinner Train website to claim your spot. You can also get put on a waiting list if all the reservations are full. If you miss the special Valentine’s Day event, check out the train’s normal weekend dinners and other events held throughout the year.
Cincinnati Dinner Train
2172 Seymour Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45237
Date and Time: Saturday, February 13, 2016
Prices: $84.95 per person
Just for Fun
Cupid’s Undie Run
Part fundraiser, part party, and all fun, the Cupid’s Undie Run in Cincinnati is sure to make your Valentine’s Day an exciting one. Part of a nationwide event, the race takes place on Saturday, February 13 and leads runners on a one-mile adventure in their skivvies. Don’t worry if you’re not feeling very brave or extra confident; wearing clothing is allowed! The event is open to participants 21 and over only and the earlier you register, the lower the registration fee.
Along with providing you with a fun and chilly way to spend your Valentine’s Day weekend, the race gives you an opportunity to give back, raising money for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. It starts and ends at Newport on the Levee, heading into and then out of the city, going over two of Cincinnati’s bridges. After the race, enjoy food, drinks, and music with your friends and fellow racers.
949 Pavilion Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Date and Time: Saturday, February 13, 2016 from noon to 4 p.m.
Price: Registration is $45 until February 5 and $55 from February 6 until race day
Skate with Your Date
In downtown Cincinnati sits the historic Fountain Square area, a newly revitalized neighborhood that welcomes visitors of all ages to enjoy shopping, dining, and other entertainment options. Part of the entertainment options available, the ice skating rink sponsors a special Valentine’s Day Skate with Your Date night. The night includes two-for-one skating, so you can spend more money on a thoughtful gift or dinner out. You’ll also get to enjoy special music and games with prizes. The skating rink has numerous amenities including skate rental, lockers, and benches for taking a break between laps.
If you want to grab a quick snack or a bite to eat, check out nearby restaurants that offer everything from ice cream to casual dining to fine dining. Options include Graeter’s, Servatii’s, Starbucks, Chipolte, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Palomino, Via Vite, Ingredients, McCormick and Schmick’s, Morton’s, and Rock Bottom Brewery. You can also view the Tyler Davidson Fountain, the centerpiece of the Fountain Square area.
US Bank Ice Rink, 525 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Date and Time: Sunday, February 14, 2016 from noon to 9 p.m.
Price: $6 per person, $4 per person for skate rentals
My Furry Valentine
If your sweetheart has been hinting at a furry friend as a Valentine’s Day gift, be sure to visit the My Furry Valentine event held at the Sharonville Convention Center. The event features over 500 adoptable pets from shelters located all over the city. While there, you’ll see all kinds of critters including dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens, so you can be sure to find the perfect pet to bring home and call your own. The event also takes place concurrently at other shelters around the tri-state area, so you can see even more pets available.
If you end up adopting, you’ll not only get to take home a new friend, you’ll get lots of fun swag like food, treats, and toys. If you want a sneak preview of the pets, you can purchase advance tickets that get you into the event an hour early. The adoption fees and process vary depending on the shelter you adopt from.
Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road, Cincinnati, OH 45246
Dates and Time: Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: $3 per person or free with a voucher from United Dairy Farmers; parking is free
Campbell County Public Library Valentine’s Events
Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples; you can also celebrate with your family at the Campbell County Public Library’s events. On Saturday, February 13, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Carrico Fort Thomas Branch sponsors a Family Valentine’s Day Party with themed crafts and games, as well as snacks. The event is open to kids of all ages.
On Saturday as well, from 10 to 11 a.m., the Cold Spring branch hosts a Valentine’s Day with Princess Belle. At this event, the kids can enjoy celebrating with Disney’s Belle, including experiencing story time and a chance to take pictures with the princess. Both events are free to the public and a great way to treat your kids to some Valentine’s Day fun.
Carrico/Fort Thomas Branch
1000 Highland Avenue, Fort Thomas, KY 41075
Cold Spring Branch
3920 Alexandria Pike, Cold Spring, KY 41076
BB Holiday Cruises Valentine’s Day Cruise
With its location right on the Ohio River, Cincinnati is home to several river boats that you can board and enjoy romantic cruises. The Valentine’s Day Cruise takes place on Saturday and Sunday of Valentine’s Day weekend, with two-and-a-half hour sailings. During the cruise, you and your date indulge in a yummy buffet dinner and enjoy live music. The buffet includes spinach and spring mix salad with walnuts, goat cheese, grilled pears, and blueberries; chocolate short ribs; baked chicken breast; and grilled salmon filets. You’ll also dine on polenta, sweet potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and a yummy chocolate dessert.
During the cruise, enjoy views of the Cincinnati and northern Kentucky skylines, twinkling at dusk. Reservations can fill up fast, so visit the BB Holiday website to reserve your table, or you can also call the company directly. The cruise is also open to families, so you can spend Valentine’s Day with your little sweethearts as well.
101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Kentucky 41071
Date and Time: Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14, 2016, boarding starts at 6 p.m. with sailing from 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Price: $55 for adults and $38 for children
Contemporary Arts Center Valentine’s Bash
On the Thursday before Valentine’s Day, take the kids and head out to the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center and party down at its Valentine’s Bash. The event is open to kids ages four and five and includes crafts like Valentine’s Day necklaces and lacing hearts with yarn that they can give to their Valentine. The kiddos will also enjoy fun games and music to make their day extra special.
Even when it’s not Valentine’s Day, the Contemporary Arts Center is a great place to visit to check out modern day artists and their works. Along with permanent exhibits, the museum brings in special shows throughout the year.
44 East 6th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Date and Time: Thursday, February 11, 2016 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
From yummy restaurants to swanky hotels to fun events, Cincinnati offers plenty for couples, singles, and families to enjoy an amazing Valentine's Day. As you start planning your date, check out these suggestions to make your day extra special.
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