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Forget the jewelry and chocolate — get creative on Valentine's Day

Gift ideas for snookums

Reserve a private fire pit on the Hotel Del Coronado’s beach. $100 an hour, beach chairs and blankets included.
Reserve a private fire pit on the Hotel Del Coronado’s beach. $100 an hour, beach chairs and blankets included.

How to celebrate Valentine’s Day out beyond dinner and jewelry?

Does your pudding like plays? Mystery Café dinner theater in Bankers Hill (619-460-2200) has a Valentine’s Day murder-mystery show on February 14 entitled I Do, Now Die. Expect two hours of hilarity as Richard and Candi exchange vows and then find that murder taints their wedding reception. The performance includes a three-course meal; entrée options are bourbon chicken breast, baked salmon, or cheese ravioli. Gluten-free options available. Champagne toast included, with sparkling cider for non-drinkers. Nota bene: it’s an ’80s affair, so be sure to wear your favorite neons and/or pastels. Tickets range $58–$75; order online.

The Headquarters at Seaport has a Valentine’s Day screening of Bonnie & Clyde

Is your snookums a cinephile? The Headquarters at Seaport (619-235-4013) will be showing a Valentine’s Day screening of Bonnie & Clyde on February 14 at 6 p.m. The former police venue’s courtyard will (unironically?) play host to the 1967 criminal romance classic starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Admission is free; bring blankets and chairs.

Does your lover love dogs? Bubs at the Ballpark will be hosting a Valentine’s Day Doggie Brunch on Sunday, February 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring your four-legged friend or find a new cuddle-buddy for Valentine’s Day — rescue dog adoptions will be available. Owners can sip bloody Marys and mimosas while ordering classics such as biscuits and gravy, steak, eggs, and hash, and cinnamon-swirl french toast. Pet photography from Oh My Dog! will be available, along with pet caricatures from Little Beasties; a special doggie menu and raffles and giveaways also. Register online.

Does your dearest delight in water sports? (No, not that kind.) Mission Bay Aquatic Center (858-488-1000) is offering a moonlight stand-up paddleboard session as a Valentine’s Day special. It begins with a brief night-safety session, and previous paddle board experience is required. Then you’ll embark on your journey through the calm waters of Mission Bay around Vacation Island. Cost is $49 per person, $39 for current SDSU/UCSD students; register and pay online. (Those with no paddleboard experience can register for the moonlight kayaking excursion, happening the same night for the same price.)

Does your darling drink wine? Climb into a heart-red Jeep at Temecula Valley Jeep and Wine Tours (951-972-8262) and head into wine country, taking in grand mountain vistas and also wine at three wineries. The Signature Tour includes a gourmet lunch and the evening tour includes complimentary appetizers. The Valentine’s Day special, offered February 11–14, includes a gift bag featuring local bubbly and gourmet chocolates. $140 per person.

Is your sweetie sweet on San Diego? Old Town Trolley Tours (619-471-1418) offers a Valentine’s night city lights tour, starting in the Gaslamp, heading up to Balboa Park, and then traversing to the top of the Coronado Bridge to take in the sparkling lights of Tijuana. From there it’s off to the Ferry Landing and the Embarcadero, ending with a glass of wine at the top of the Hyatt. (Wine is 50 percent off with tour ticket.) Cost is $28 per person.

Or maybe your heartthrob is heart-healthy and likes to warm up for romance with a little stroll. The 7th annual Coronado Valentine’s Day Fun Run takes place on February 12, with options for 5K, 10K, and a mile. All 5K and 10K participants get a T-shirt and medal; also a photo, continental breakfast, sweets, and a beer garden at McP’s. When registering, choose a bib that reads “Available,” “Taken,” or “It’s Complicated.” Top three finishers in each category will be awarded Islander hand-carved tikis. The 10K is $115 for couples, $60 for singles 18 and up, and $52 for 17 and under. The 5K is $75 for couples, $40 for singles. One-mile fun run, $28 per person. Race runs 6–10 a.m.; register online.

Finally, is your flame a firebug? Reserve a private fire pit on the Hotel Del Coronado’s beach (619-522-8100), $100 an hour, beach chairs and blankets included. Available treats include s’mores, fireside franks, or a charcuterie and cheese board ($18–$30).

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Reserve a private fire pit on the Hotel Del Coronado’s beach. $100 an hour, beach chairs and blankets included.
Reserve a private fire pit on the Hotel Del Coronado’s beach. $100 an hour, beach chairs and blankets included.

How to celebrate Valentine’s Day out beyond dinner and jewelry?

Does your pudding like plays? Mystery Café dinner theater in Bankers Hill (619-460-2200) has a Valentine’s Day murder-mystery show on February 14 entitled I Do, Now Die. Expect two hours of hilarity as Richard and Candi exchange vows and then find that murder taints their wedding reception. The performance includes a three-course meal; entrée options are bourbon chicken breast, baked salmon, or cheese ravioli. Gluten-free options available. Champagne toast included, with sparkling cider for non-drinkers. Nota bene: it’s an ’80s affair, so be sure to wear your favorite neons and/or pastels. Tickets range $58–$75; order online.

The Headquarters at Seaport has a Valentine’s Day screening of Bonnie & Clyde

Is your snookums a cinephile? The Headquarters at Seaport (619-235-4013) will be showing a Valentine’s Day screening of Bonnie & Clyde on February 14 at 6 p.m. The former police venue’s courtyard will (unironically?) play host to the 1967 criminal romance classic starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Admission is free; bring blankets and chairs.

Does your lover love dogs? Bubs at the Ballpark will be hosting a Valentine’s Day Doggie Brunch on Sunday, February 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring your four-legged friend or find a new cuddle-buddy for Valentine’s Day — rescue dog adoptions will be available. Owners can sip bloody Marys and mimosas while ordering classics such as biscuits and gravy, steak, eggs, and hash, and cinnamon-swirl french toast. Pet photography from Oh My Dog! will be available, along with pet caricatures from Little Beasties; a special doggie menu and raffles and giveaways also. Register online.

Does your dearest delight in water sports? (No, not that kind.) Mission Bay Aquatic Center (858-488-1000) is offering a moonlight stand-up paddleboard session as a Valentine’s Day special. It begins with a brief night-safety session, and previous paddle board experience is required. Then you’ll embark on your journey through the calm waters of Mission Bay around Vacation Island. Cost is $49 per person, $39 for current SDSU/UCSD students; register and pay online. (Those with no paddleboard experience can register for the moonlight kayaking excursion, happening the same night for the same price.)

Does your darling drink wine? Climb into a heart-red Jeep at Temecula Valley Jeep and Wine Tours (951-972-8262) and head into wine country, taking in grand mountain vistas and also wine at three wineries. The Signature Tour includes a gourmet lunch and the evening tour includes complimentary appetizers. The Valentine’s Day special, offered February 11–14, includes a gift bag featuring local bubbly and gourmet chocolates. $140 per person.

Is your sweetie sweet on San Diego? Old Town Trolley Tours (619-471-1418) offers a Valentine’s night city lights tour, starting in the Gaslamp, heading up to Balboa Park, and then traversing to the top of the Coronado Bridge to take in the sparkling lights of Tijuana. From there it’s off to the Ferry Landing and the Embarcadero, ending with a glass of wine at the top of the Hyatt. (Wine is 50 percent off with tour ticket.) Cost is $28 per person.

Or maybe your heartthrob is heart-healthy and likes to warm up for romance with a little stroll. The 7th annual Coronado Valentine’s Day Fun Run takes place on February 12, with options for 5K, 10K, and a mile. All 5K and 10K participants get a T-shirt and medal; also a photo, continental breakfast, sweets, and a beer garden at McP’s. When registering, choose a bib that reads “Available,” “Taken,” or “It’s Complicated.” Top three finishers in each category will be awarded Islander hand-carved tikis. The 10K is $115 for couples, $60 for singles 18 and up, and $52 for 17 and under. The 5K is $75 for couples, $40 for singles. One-mile fun run, $28 per person. Race runs 6–10 a.m.; register online.

Finally, is your flame a firebug? Reserve a private fire pit on the Hotel Del Coronado’s beach (619-522-8100), $100 an hour, beach chairs and blankets included. Available treats include s’mores, fireside franks, or a charcuterie and cheese board ($18–$30).

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