Non-Cheesy Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Around Baltimore

Eventbrite recently named Baltimore the most romantic city in America, thanks to the vast array of amorous events (think: everything from pizza-making to Galentine’s Day dance parties) planned in the area this month.

Some of us love the Hallmark holiday, while others love to hate it. Either way, Charm City has plenty of inclusive Valentine’s events in store—whether you’re celebrating with your significant other, family members, best pals, furry friends, or you’re flying solo. In fact, Eventbrite recently named Baltimore the most romantic city in America, thanks to our stacked February calendar.

While some prefer roses and candlelit dinners, there are plenty of other extraordinary activities (think: everything from pottery-painting and literary love letter-writing to Galentine’s Day dance parties and a Middle Earth-inspired Lord of the Rings bash) to choose from if you’re hoping to break (up) with tradition.

Below are some of the best ways to spread the love while avoiding cliches.

2/8: Candlelight Concert at Creative Alliance
Grab your sweethearts and bask in the glow at this multi-sensory musical experience. The Kennedy String Quartet will be celebrating romance with two incredible shows at the Creative Alliance, featuring familiar, swoon-worthy love songs. Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave. 6:30 & 8:45 p.m. $38-57

2/9: Boos & Browse at The Ivy: Valentine’s Edition
This Falls Road bookshop is adding a charming twist to one of their most popular traditions. Grab your boos (of any kind) to browse discounted books, sip complimentary beverages, and write love letters to your favorite novels. It’s every book lover’s dream come true. The Ivy Bookshop, 5928 Falls Road. 5-8 p.m. Free

2/9: Misfit Maker Night: Paint Your Own Valentine’s Day Pottery
Express your creativity at this beginner-friendly event with Misfit Creative, where you can paint your own heart-adorned mugs, plates, boxes, flower vases, and wine tumblers. The keepsakes are the perfect gifts for your crush, your loved ones, or just to keep for yourself—because there’s nothing wrong with a little self-love. 4401 Eastern Ave. 6:30-9:30 p.m. $15-45

2/9: Galentine’s Night Out at The Point in Fells
The Fells Point hotspot is hosting a picture-perfect night for you and your gals. Spend your Friday evening enjoying the open bar, sampling small desserts, making friendship bracelets, and even getting tiny tattoos and piercings courtesy of The Jade Collective. The Point in Fells, 1738 Thames St. 7 p.m.-1 a.m. $45-80

2/9: “Swift Me Away” Dance Night at The Crown
It’s time to enter your Lover era and “Shake it Off” at this Taylor Swift-themed party in The Pink Room at The Crown. Fulfill your “Wildest Dreams” and dance your heart out to Taylor’s greatest love songs and best breakup anthems all night long. The Pink Room at The Crown, 1910 N Charles St. 9 p.m. $15-20

2/9-10: Love is Blind at Laurel’s House of Horror
Horror enthusiasts and anti-Valentine advocates come together for one killer weekend at this infamous abandoned movie theater. Creep on over and discover eerie makeup, mysterious characters, and terrifying scenes that will leave you swooning in fear. Laurel’s House of Horror, 935 Fairlawn Ave. Laurel 7-10 p.m. $24-29.

2/10: Tolkien ‘Bout Love at Charlsie’s Bakehouse
Bring yourself and a friend to this quirky Valentine’s Middle Earth party inspired by The Lord of the Rings. Enjoy delicious “Hobbit” snacks and traditional sweet treats to celebrate this precious holiday. (See what we did there?) And, of course, we can’t forget to mention the planned accordion player. Charlsie’s Bakehouse. 706 Frederick Road. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Free

2/10: Galentine’s Day Bar Stroll
Grab your besties, toast to the season of love, and visit some of Fells Point’s most popular waterfront haunts with this flirty bar crawl. Pick up your cup at The Choptank, wander over to Admirals Cup, and end your day at Waterfront Hotel. Your ticket comes with access to live music, branded merchandise, a prix-fixe brunch menu, and $2 drinks. The Choptank, 1641 Aliceanna St. 12-7 p.m. $30

2/10: Barks & Brews at Mobtown Brewing Company
If your true love is actually your dog (no shame), you’re in luck. This heartwarming pet social highlights local vendors selling supplies, services, and other treats for our adoring four-legged friends. Be sure to stop by the free pet photo booth to further capture the puppy love. Mobtown Brewing Company, 4015 Foster Ave. 12-5 p.m. Free

2/10: Girl’s Day Out at R. House
The annual Mini Maker’s Market is the perfect place to grab beautiful, locally made gifts for all of your valentines. Stop by and check out the wide selection of candles, jewelry, stickers, prints, and more while snapping pictures in the photo booth, listening to live music, and drinking specialty “love potions.” R. House, 301 W. 29th St. 12-6 pm. Free

2/10: Mortified Baltimore: Doomed Valentine’s Day
This wildly popular show is back at the Creative Alliance for another tender, laugh-inducing year. Watch as everyday adults hilariously open their hearts and share their sappy, love-stricken teenage tales with an audience full of total strangers. Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave. 6:30 & 9 p.m. $15-25

2/10: Galentine’s Day Brunch at Prima Dopo
Block off your afternoon to sip bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys, and spritzes with your gal pals at this Fells Point hangout. In between taking advantage of the all-inclusive drink deal—and posing for selfies in the photogenic space—you can also indulge in regular brunch dishes, including crab omelets, avocado toast, and stuffed crème brûlée French toast dusted with powdered sugar. Live beats will be spun by DJ Dagm. 1724 Thames St. 11 a.m-3 p.m. 

2/10-11: Galentine’s Day Flamingle at The Maryland Zoo
Grab your best gals and flock over to the zoo for an adults-only Galentine’s celebration with your favorite critters—including the iconic flamingos, of course. Enjoy brunch bites, an open bar, drag performances, a photo booth, and more fun with these furry friends. The Maryland Zoo, 1 Safari Pl. 12-4 p.m. $110

2/13: Galentine’s Day Pajamas and Prosecco at V-No Wine Bar
At this pajama-chic soiree on the waterfront in Fells Point, you can sip bubbly, munch on charcuterie, and indulge in sweet treats while catching up with your besties. Plus, attendees will receive discounts on specialty Prosecco flights and cocktails. 905 S. Ann St. 6-9 p.m. $20-30

2/13: Galentine’s Pizza-Making Class at Verde
Cocktails and carbs? Sounds like a perfect Valentine’s Day to us. Head to Verde in Canton to craft the perfect DIY pizza with your best buds. The price of admission also includes a welcome cocktail, two glasses of wine or beer, an appetizer, and a dessert. 641 S. Montford Ave. 6-9 p.m. $89

2/17: Galentine’s Day Sip and Scent
Show yourself some love with this ladies-only candle-making workshop. Choose from custom, soothing scents and unwind with this healing seminar by InUrgy Goods. Sip some wine, munch on hors d’oeuvres, and enter a raffle for a chance to win sweet prizes. Creative Suitland Arts Center, 4719 Silver Hill Road. Suitland-Silver Hill. 2-6 p.m. $65

2/18: The Galentine’s Paint and Sip at Stem & Vine
Embrace the positive vibes and celebrate sisterhood with Stem & Vine’s canvas-painting session. This local, Black-owned plant shop near the Bromo Arts District is devoted to Galentine’s relaxation with its lush greenery and peaceful energy. Indulge in refreshing drinks, tasty snacks, goodie bags, and even a guided sound bowl session. Stem & Vine, 326 N Charles St. 12-3 p.m. $40-75