Do Something Different for Valentine’s Day

As Valentine’s Day rolls around again, many couples will find themselves in the same old flowers-and-dinner routine.

There are many places around the Valley that offer something a little different this year, whether for first dates or long-married couples. Here are some to think about:

1. Romance in the Garden: On Feb. 16, the Desert Botanical Garden is hosting a candlelit outdoor concert by Chris Burton Jácome Flamenco Ensemble. Dinner, wine flights and bottles of champagne are available. Can’t celebrate on Thursday? Take Saturday to hear sexy music under the stars with a glass of wine.

Ullman Terrace, 6-9 p.m. Dinner tickets must be purchased ahead. 480-481-8188

2. Chocolate Affaire: From Feb. 8-10, experience downtown Glendale’s festival of chocolate, wine and romance. Watch chocolatiers making their specialties and sample treats like chocolate-covered bacon. Bring the kids for crafts and rock-climbing, and take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage through the historic district.

Starts Friday at 5 p.m. Park in garages at 59th Ave & Glenn Dr.

3. Citrine Natural Beauty Bar: Fragrances definitely play a big part in everyone’s Valentine’s Day. Melissa at Citrine will take time to blend you a customized fragrance from the purest organic essential oils. Ingredients like Somalian Frankincense and Egyptian Jasmine are aphrodisiacs, or try a blend that matches your astrological sign.

At UNION Biltmore. 602-955-2354. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m.-6 p.m.

4. Picasso at the Lapin Agile: Written by Steve Martin, this play is being performed by the Brelby Theatre Company in Glendale. Think Einstein and Picasso at a Paris café in 1904, add Steve Martin’s intelligent humor, a special cameo and great acting, and you have an idea of what to expect.

7:30 p.m. Thurs-Sat through Feb. 23. Tickets $20. 6839 N. 58th Ave.

5. The Spouse Whisperer: If you’re looking for laughs, head over to Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino to hear Mark Cordes’ tongue-in-cheek, sharp-witted humor about marriage and middle age. This hysterical look at couples’ life is a great change of pace for Valentine’s Day.

Ovations LIVE! Showroom, 7:15 p.m. Tickets $15. 877-840-0457

6. Roka Akor: While prix-fixe menus are a staple of many V-Day dinners, this one stands out. Items like wild boar bacon, lobster tartare and mushroom tempura will be served in three seatings: 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Voted one of the top ten sushi restaurants in the U.S., Roka Akor is an excellent date spot as well as a culinary destination. This menu will be served through the 16th if you can’t make it Thursday.

$98 per person. 7299 N. Scottsdale Rd. 480-306-8800

7. The Bassics of Love: On the 14th, the ASU Kerr Cultural Center is featuring Chunyang Wang, who studied at Julliard and played in the New York Asian Symphony Orchestra. Wang will perform timeless classics from Rachmaninov, Mozart and Piazzolla on double bass and piano.

7:30 p.m. Tickets from $10.50: 6110 N. Scottsdale Rd.