Valentine's Day is one of the more confusing holidays. It was originally the feast day for a martyred Catholic saint named Valentine, although no one knows much about him or the several other martyrs named Valentine affiliated with the same date. Citing that lack of information, in 1969, the Catholic Church removed Saint Valentine from its General Roman Calendar, which includes saint feast days. However, the mysterious martyr is still regarded as a patron saint for lovers, epileptics and beekeepers.
And now, Valentine's Day has absolutely nothing to do with him. It's a day meant for celebrating love, whether you're part of a couple, throuple, situationship or single. No matter who you love, Denver has great options for celebrating...both on February 14, and on the weekends preceding and following that date:
Little Bit of Love and Spookadelia
Little Bit of Love Opening Night: Saturday, February 10, 5-10 p.m.
Spectra Art Space, 1836 South Broadway
Spectra Art Space is opening Little Bit of Love, an annual show of local work that could become the perfect Valentine for your special someone (and the first thirty people who purchase art also receive a special gift). The opening-night event is free with an RSVP and includes tarot card readings, coffee and live music from Wonderkin. Even if you don't make it to the opening, it's worth stopping by for a one-of-a-kind outing, especially if you decide to get a ticket to Spookadelia, Spectra's Best of Denver award-winning immersive installation. The theme for Spookadelia this year is "Doubts Echo," and visitors will find themselves in a swirling, psychedelic dream world in which they can either follow a narrative plot or just soak up the fun art, all made by local creatives. Tickets to Spookadelia are $12-$30.
My Sinful Valentine Burlesque
Tuesday, February 13, 7 p.m.
Roxy on Broadway, 554 South Broadway
Start your Valentine's festivities with a steamy burlesque show to put you in the mood. A perfect fit for the '20s vibes of the Roxy, this cabaret includes fiery performances and music coupled with special drinks and a sexy atmosphere. Expect a variety of acts in this showcase, and get your tickets ($25) while they last.
Feel the Love Vibes: A Special Valentine's Collaboration by Denver Zen Den & Soundularity
Denver Zen Den, which offers sober psychedelic experiences, has partnered with Soundularity for a series of events to celebrate Valentine's Day. "Harmony of the Heart" is a virtual talk at 7 p.m. Monday, February 12, about "the transformative power of heart coherence in deepening the experience of love." On Valentine's Day at 1 p.m., there will be a virtual sound bath by Soundularity called "Midday Serenade," which is meant to connect participants with "the heart's deepest vibrations." The series wraps up on Friday, February 16, with "Resonance of Romance," an event in the Archipelago Attic, 2345 Seventh Street, where Soundularity will soothe participants with therapeutic frequency music for a ninety-minute sound journey; you'll also have a chance to win one of Zen Den's sober psychedelic experiences with your partner. Tickets to the event are $33.
The Block Distilling Co.
Wednesday, February 14, 3-10 p.m.
2990 Larimer Street
The Block Distilling Co. is a great pre-dinner date, offering a free cocktail to anyone who stops in from 3 to 10 p.m. on Valentine's Day. The distillery is also releasing its new dry pink gin, and there will be oysters from Oyster Bae, a mobile raw bar.
Pillow Talk: A Night for Lovers
Wednesday, February 14, 5 p.m.
Ophelia's Electric Soapbox, 1215 20th Street
Ophelia's is presenting a special menu for Valentine's Day, but that's not the only temptation. The restaurant/music venue is also showcasing a "'60s and '70s soundtrack of porn groove" courtesy of DJs Boyhollow and Tyler Jacobson, accompanied by "mostly tasteful, vintage video accoutrements on the big screens." The special menu will be served starting at 5 p.m., and music begins at 6 p.m. Admission is free with a dinner reservation.
The Derek Banach Quintet
Wednesday, February 14, 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club, 1330 27th Street
There are few genres that evoke the emotions of love as jazz does, so head over to Nocturne to bask in the sounds of the Derek Banach Quintet. There are two showtimes on Valentine's Day: 6:30-7:45 p.m., and 9-10:30 p.m. "Dinner and a Show" reservations ($195 per person) are still available for the show at 9 p.m., and include a three-course Valentine's-themed meal. Reserved bar seats are $55 per guest. Find more information on Nocturne's website.
The Legacy Group: A Night in Paris
Wednesday, February 14, 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Dazzle, 1080 14th Street
Dazzle, another jazz hub, is hosting the Legacy Group, which will portray "a night in Paris" through contemporary and classic jazz. Tickets are sold out for the 6:30 p.m. show, but tickets (starting at $25) to the 9 p.m. event are still up for grabs. For an extra $45, you can purchase the Romance Package, which includes a red rose at your table, a bottle of wine and a chocolate dessert.
Midwife, American Culture, Cherished and Water on the Thirsty Ground
Wednesday, February 14, 8 p.m.
Hi-dive, 7 South Broadway
Cancel those fancy dinner plans and celebrate Valentine’s Day with a dive-bar show instead. The local showcase at the hi-dive is the place to be, whether you’re having a hot date or feeling a little lonely. Midwife, the pseudonym for Denver-born slowcore multi-instrumentalist Madeline Johnston, is the headliner, with her unique brand of “heaven metal” that’s inspired by grief and its many forms. Longtime local indie act American Culture, led by prolific singer-songwriter Chris Adolf, is more soothing than somber, while shoegazers Cherished (formerly known as Lowfaith) and electronic duo Water on the Thirsty Ground round out the lineup of broken-hearted balladeers. Tickets are $18-$20.
Love Bites: A Valentine's Haunted House
Friday, February 16, through Sunday, February 18
Thirteenth Floor, 3400 East 52nd Avenue
Why have a boring dinner date when you can go hunt vampires? Spice it up at 13th Floor, which is taking on a new theme for three nights to celebrate a weekend of love. Tickets start at $29.99 for Friday and Saturday; Sunday tickets start at $19.99. You can also opt for add-ons, such as a Valentine's photo shoot, axe throwing and more. But our favorite is the "Date Night" package, which includes a bouquet of eyeball roses.
My Bloody Valentine screening
Friday, February 16, 7:30 p.m. opening, screening at 8:30 p.m., Q&A at 10 p.m.
Boedecker Theater, Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
Inject some horror into your Valentine's festivities with this special screening of My Bloody Valentine. This is the Colorado Festival of Horror's first event of the year, and the classic slasher from 1981 is just the ticket for film and horror lovers. Peter Cowper, the actor who plays "the miner killer" in the flick, will be on hand to sign autographs ahead of the film and participate in a Q&A afterwards. Tickets are $12.