Valentine’s Day in Yarmouth

You have no excuses.

Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, creating the perfect date night. And you’ve been amply warned about the convenient calendar alignment right here in this blog space – a full two weeks ahead of time.

There’s also no shortage of gift ideas. We did some pre-Valentine’s Day exploration and came up with a quiver of quality suggestions – all in Yarmouth. We found dining and dancing, a Bon Jovi tribute band concert, a crafty Valentine workshop, and a ladies’ choice Valentine’s Day dance for pre-teens. We even dug up something warm and snuggly for your fuzzy friend (consumer surveys tell us that Millennials are especially fond of buying holiday gifts for their pets).

Nationwide, Valentine’s Day shoppers set a new record for spending last year, adding some $20.7 billion to the U.S. economy, according to the National Retail Federation.

Those celebrating the holiday said they plan to spend an average $196.31, up 21 percent over last year’s previous record of $161.96. Spending is expected to total $27.4 billion, up 32 percent from last year’s record $20.7 billion.

And what’s so special about this Valentine’s Day in Yarmouth? We’re glad we asked.

Shot through the heart?

If you like to Raise Your Hands (and kick up your heels), check out the Bon Jovi tribute band Living on a Bad Name, which brings its high-energy act to the Aiden by Best Western in Yarmouth on Feb. 14. The five-man cover band boasts a repertoire of more than 40 Bon Jovi tunes, along with music by Van Halen, Whitesnake, and more.

Friday night’s show is part of an overnight package that includes a buffet dinner, accommodations, and a breakfast buffet the following morning. The price is $250 per couple. A second package includes concert tickets, accommodations and breakfast the next morning for $150 per couple. Tickets to the concert alone won’t go on sale until Feb. 7. Contact Aiden by Best Western at Cape Point, 476 Route 28 in West Yarmouth, (508) 778-1500 for more information. You can also find more details about the concert on the resort’s Facebook page.

Lofty Plans

Another great choice for Valentine’s Day dinner, along with dancing and drinks – can be found by looking up. As in looking up to the Loft Restaurant and Bar on the second floor at the Cove Resort, 183 Main St., West Yarmouth.

The popular restaurant is offering a special Valentine’s Day dinner for two, which includes a bottle of Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon; a shared appetizer; entrées like prime rib, almond-crusted salmon, stuffed Statler chicken, or baked stuffed shrimp; and a shared dessert (chocolate-covered strawberries, raspberry crème brulee, or triple-layer chocolate cake).

The food is always superb says Kevin Richards, who co-owns The Loft with Kathy Gianno, his partner in business and in life. But a trip to The Loft is about more than the meal, he says. It’s the total experience. The Loft has a real stage and dance floor for live entertainment, so it’s a great place for the 40-something crowd to spend an entire evening. Plus, everyone on staff works under the assumption that each night at The Loft is like a party for their closest friends, Richards said.

On Valentine’s Night, when guests finish dinner, they can enjoy a drink or two and move their feet to music by the Moonlighters, one of Cape Cod’s most popular dance bands. When the evening is over, there’s also an option to stay overnight at The Cove. Rooms are $99 per night on Valentine’s weekend. Call 774-552-2177 for dinner reservations and find out more at The Loft Restaurant and Bar website.

Now that’s amore!

Nothing says “love” like painstakingly prepared Italian food, which is the specialty at Gerardi’s Café in South Yarmouth. For Valentine’s Day, Gerardi’s has put aside its regular menu in favor of a special, four-course gourmet dinner at $60 per person.

Entrée choices include grilled filet mignon, vegetable risotto, chicken or veal Parmigiano, swordfish piccata, chicken Milanese, or seafood scampi rossa. Salads, appetizers and desserts are equally enticing, but don’t trust us … see for yourself. You can check out all the Valentine’s Day menu choices at Gerardi’s Café website. And if you’re intrigued, call 508-394-3111 to make a reservation.

Create your own valentine!

For the creative romantic, the Cultural Center of Cape Cod is hosting a workshop on making your own quilted Valentine. The class will be led by craft coach Avis Kaeselau and is $35 ($30 for members), which includes all the materials. It runs from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 8, which leaves you plenty of time to present the finished Valentine to your loved one.

Find more information at the Cultural Center’s event’s page.

Young at heart

What about those who are young in years as well as young at heart? The Yarmouth Parks and Recreation Department has got you covered with a Valentine’s Day dance on Feb. 8. It’s a “girl’s choice night”, which means any young lady in grades K-5 can ask the adult male of her choice to go to the dance (we’re assuming Dad will say yes.)

The price of admission is $20 per couple (pre-registered), with an additional $5 for an extra partner. It’s $30 per couple at the door. Find out more at the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce events calendar.

For the love of dog

What about the four-legged friends you love so deeply? You know, pets have hearts, too.

Linda Rogers, owner of PETiculars boarding, walking and pet services, suggests a coat to keep your pooch warm during those still-chilly February walks. The South Yarmouth business currently has a half-price sale on its coats. Check the pet supplies page at PETicular’s website for more information and other ideas.

Flowers to jewelry to your choice

We also found the traditional Valentine’s Day gift of flowers at Petal and Stem Florist, 45 Commercial St., in South Yarmouth, or Lily’s Flowers and Gifts, 1049 Route 28 South Yarmouth. And there’s jewelry at Adrene Jewelers, 1198 Route 28 in South Yarmouth, The Silver Unicorn, 941 Route 28 in South Yarmouth, and Yarmouth Jewelers, 1086 Route 28 in South Yarmouth.

If you’re not inspired by our suggestions, you’ll find even more options at the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce Events Page and Membership Directory, where you can search for your own ideas.

Andy Tomolonis is a nonfiction author, travel writer and multimedia journalist.