We know, we know. For purists, Valentine’s Day is all about romantic dinners, sweet treats, and flower bouquets. And we’re all for it if that’s how you’re looking to celebrate. (Check out our roundup of local restaurant specials for 2022, here.) But if you want to break with tradition and feel the love in other ways—say, shopping local makers, embarking on a Galentine’s Day hike, or making a date with our beloved Pope of Trash John Waters—there are plenty of unconventional events going on this week. Check out a few of them below:
2/11: Singles Mingle at The Mill
If you’re ringing in the holiday alone, fear not. The folks at Whitehall Mill are here to help you find (and flirt with) fellow singles. As you spark up conversations, a cocktail from Wight Tea & Co. is sure to come in handy when it’s time to shoot your shot.
2/12: Cross Street’s Valentines Day Makers Market
At this Federal Hill haunt, find everything needed to woo both your human and four-legged loves, thanks to vendors like Blissed Candles, Log Cabin Chocolates and Dogs of Charm City.
2/12: Galentine’s Day Hike
If a picture-perfect day spent with your besties involves bonding in the great outdoors, you’ll want to grab some tickets to this Cylburn Arboretum trek—but first, you’ll need some sweet caffeine. Before you hit the hiking trails, meet up for fueling morning snacks and steaming coffee courtesy of Black Acres Roastery.
2/12: Small Business Pop-Up at Westfield Mall
Worth the drive out to Annapolis, this pop-up shop has everything from sweet and splashy greeting cards to soothing handmade soaps. When in doubt, a booze enhancer, like the Strawberry Rose Cup mix made by Cane Collective, makes the perfect Valentine’s Day treat.
2/12: Mini Valentines Day Market at R. House
Ahead of the big day, this Remington go-to is ready to help you score swoon-worthy gifts. At the dining hall, indulge in snacks and sips as you shop potted plants, sweet vintage finds, and stone-embellished sterling silver bling.
2/12: Cupid’s Undie Run
Break out your silly socks and most glorious undergarments for this annual Valentine’s Day run around the city—which is back this year raising money for neurofibromatosis research through the Children’s Tumor Foundation. The parade of runners (you’ll be sure to spot them in red tutus and heart-themed accessories) will step off from Luckie’s Tavern at Power Plant Live at 12 p.m.
2/12, 13: Flowers at Homebody General Store
Hit up the trendy Whitehall Mill-based shop for lush bouquets by Yarrow Floral Co. Plus, all the stuff that’s sure to make your sweetheart grin from ear to ear (think sultry lip balm, timeless hoops, a box of salty caramels, gift baskets, and this garland.)
2/13: Galentine’s Flamingle Brunch at Maryland Zoo
This Valentine’s Day Eve, collect the gals and head to One Safari Place to feast on brunch and sip unlimited libations. Not to miss: a drag performance, animal-themed trivia, sweet raffles, and fun photo-ops with nearby furry friends.
2/13: Mortified Doomed Valentine’s Day
This holiday, why not invite your crush to spend a laugh-inducing evening at Creative Alliance? Together, watch as grown-ups bear their teenhood hearts with sappy musings, diaries, and chuckle-worthy love letters galore.
2/14: A Date with John Waters
Just in time for the occasion, Baltimore’s own Pope of Trash delights “filth followers” with takes on fashion, true crime, film, and all things lewd. (Romantic, if you ask us).
Romantic Retreat at The Ivy Hotel
If you and your loved one could use a staycation, this Mt. Vernon mainstay is sure to deliver. Your two-night stay in a luxurious suite includes bubbly for toasting and breakfast in bed. To sweeten things, be sure to swing by Magdelena for a Valentine’s Day prix fixe feast with wine pairings to boot.