Treat Your Valentine: Gifts Ideas and Events Galore

unnamedI’m going to let you in on a little secret. Regardless of what your lady-friend says, every woman appreciates thoughtful gestures even OR especially on Valentine’s Day.

You love her because she’s one-of-a-kind, so show her with a gift that celebrates her unique style and a night on the town she’ll always remember. Trust me, you’ll get points for planning ahead.

Gift Ideas

  • Keep it simple and shower her with a bouquet of sweet-smelling flowers from Fresh Market OR make her laugh with a gift of Poo-porri “before-you-go” toilet spray from Grease Rags Clothing Company.

Plus, on Valentine’s Day between 1-3 p.m. Chamblin’s Uptown is offering a Book Lover’s discount. Purchase a book …or ten and get a Mimosa on Chamblin’s!

And for those last-minute shoppers, don’t miss spoiling your Valentine with local chocolates from the new Peterbrooke pop-up shop on Bay Street. No surprise we recommend the super-cute Downtown skyline chocolate bars!

Seven Varied Events for Your Valentine:


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Start early and craft a night to celebrate your coupledom at the “Art from the HeART” on February 4. Enjoy an Art Walk first, “The Art Walk Cabaret” presented by Karissa Wade: two free drag shows at 6:30 p.m. (rated PG-13) and 8:00 p.m. (rated R). Ladies will love the free makeup tutorials by Daniel James Salon and a celebrity-hugging booth with the Jacksonville Sharks, all in Hemming Park.


Candy Apple CafeLove is in the air at The Candy Apple Café & Cocktails. The Downtown restaurant will offer a variety of Valentine’s Day specials from February 9-15. You’ll want to make reservations, trust us: 904-353-9717 or

“Love Bites” Happy Hour: In addition to the restaurant’s regular happy hour menu, the restaurant will offer daily themed specials and two specialty cocktails: El Cupido (strawberry purée, Mescal, Galliano, Campari, and fresh lime juice), $12; and Crushed Black Heart (blackberries, rum, fresh lemon juice, ginger purée, Demerara syrup, and cherry cordial drizzle), $9. Daily happy hour themes are:

  • Monday, February 9: “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.” Sample a signature cotton candy martini for $8.
  • Tuesday, February 10: “When love bites, a little chocolate doesn’t hurt.” Make a custom chocolate bar with Sweet Pete’s Candy for $3.
  • Wednesday, February 11: “Beat the blues with Mama Blue.” Jacksonville blues and jazz singer Mama Blue will dazzle at the weekly porch party, complete with complimentary whiskey and chocolate blueberry cordial tastings.
  • Thursday, February 12: “Share a sweet with your sweetie.” Enjoy a bottle of house wine and either a slice of chocolate truffle cake or a signature cupcake for $25.
  • Friday, February 13: “Bubbly makes everything better.” Receive a complimentary truffle with each glass of Prosecco.

Apple of Your Eye Brunch: A limited-edition gourmet candy apple will be available for purchase to enjoy in the restaurant or to-go for a unique Valentine’s Day gift.

Prix-Fixe Valentine’s Day Dinner: In lieu of the restaurant’s daily menu, executive chef Jamey Evoniuk has prepared a prix-fixe menu for $75 per person, which includes three courses, Champagne upon arrival, and a gourmet chocolate gift to take home. An optional wine pairing will be available for an additional fee. No substitutions may be made for the menu; vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options will be available.



Return to Hemming Park and kick off Valentine’s weekend with “Heart in the Park” on February 13 from 5-10 p.m. Join the Friends of Hemming Park and Sweet Pete’s for an evening of drinks, dinner à la food truck and dancing with a live DJ throughout the night, swing dancing and a silent disco at 9 p.m. (


MOCA Jacksonville

Then, on Saturday, enjoy MOCA Jacksonville’s two-part “Valentine’s Day Dinner and Dance” Reserve your three-course Valentine’s Day dinner at the delectable Café Nola. Dinner includes sparkling wine and a romantic dessert for sharing for $49 per person. After dinner, stay for a contemporary dance performance by Jacksonville Dance Theatre called “Duets for My Valentine” at 8:30 p.m. Show tickets are $15 and get you $5 off dinner. Required dinner reservations should be made for or before 7 p.m. to attend the show as well.


409b6858-a59a-4bec-9164-e6be2682632fSOLD OUT! The sky’s the limit at MOSH’s Bella Luna: Valentine’s Under the Stars.” From 7-11 p.m., enjoy love-themed science shows, live star shows in the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium, MOSH’s version of The Newlywed Game, live music, access to Museum exhibits and stargazing through telescopes provided by Northeast Florida Astronomical Society. Savor decadent desserts, a complimentary glass of champagne, an open bar, hors d’oeuvres and—a MOSH favorite—liquid nitrogen ice cream. Tickets are $90 per couple, $75 for MOSH Members. 



Or, spend the evening with a serenade from the incomparable Diana Ross at the Florida Theatre. Sing along to hits including, “Baby Love,” “Stop In The Name Of Love,” “Love Hangover,” “I Hear a Symphony” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets start at $70.50.


Pops in Love Image_0

Speaking of a symphony, celebrate Valentine’s Day throughout the weekend with the romantic music of “POPS IN LOVE” by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra including hits from Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Gone With the Wind and more. Multiple shows run from February 13-15 and tickets start at $25.


10917082_10152957970295351_5474541589135007938_nOr, check out A Very Bill Manspeaker Valentine’s Extravaganza at Underbelly. Show starts at 8 p.m. and costs $10.


No Valentine? No problem:


BrokenheartsvilleAnd, if you’ve read this and are thinking, “OK, so what about the rest of us? What’s there to do for us singles, huh?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Mark your calendar for Mavericks 8th Annual BrokenHeartsVille on Valentine’s Day. Grab a ribbon to signify your dating status: red = “No way man,” yellow = “try your luck” and green = “ready to mingle.” The first 100 ladies will receive a rose and all ladies will receive a glass of champagne and $5 select martinis.


10386776_10153588848827598_1384927524304130207_nYou might get lucky at this new anti-Valentine’s Day tradition hosted by Downtown’s Irish hangout. At the 1st-Annual “Whiskey is My Valentine” Singles Party on Feb. 14, shred a photo of your ex for a free beer!