Let's just say it. No one over the age of 9 wants a teddy bear and a heart shaped balloon for Valentine's Day. If you are looking to convey devotion and passion, you're going to need to get creative. So to help you out we've pulled together a few gift ideas sure to make your love's heart skip a beat.
- Every couple needs to get away together once in a while, but for new parents, especially, heading far out of town can be nerve racking. Book your weekend (or mid-week) escape at the American Hotel and you can stay within a mom's long reach of your babies, while still getting reacquainted with the person you forgot you married. With the hotel's sweetheart package, if you make a dinner reservation in the hotel's Market Yard Grille between Feb. 11-14, you get a deluxe room for $99. The sweetheart package includes a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and continental breakfast, served in the hotel lobby.
- Dearborn Farms is cooking up romantic three course meals for two with entrees like double cut Kansas City style pork chop saltimbocca with prosciutto or lobster stuffed heart shaped ravioli with a crab and chardonnay cream sauce. Your dinner for two, with your choice of app, entree, sides, and a heart shaped chocolate cake for dessert, is $74. And in case Sprout will be babysitting in the other room, Dearborn has something for the kiddos too: four choices of entree and a dessert for $13. Delivery in Holmdel or Hazlet is free.
- But you will need something to accompany that surf and turf, won't you. Thankfully Wine Sellers of Holmdel has some ideas. If you are going high end, try the Silver Oak Alexander Cabernet, described as profound, fruit-driven wine, with flavors reminiscent of a berry cobbler, $70. You could also go with the traditional Moet Champagne, $35. Or because you spent all your money on dinner, a 12 pack of Stella Artois for $14.
- On Feb. 11 kids ages three and up are invited to Disney Store at Freehold Raceway Mall to create a unique Valentine’s Day card for their special someone. Call store for more information 732-308-2302.
- Sure you'd love a night out as a couple, but we are not made of money these days. And who's gonna watch the kids? The nice people at church. Hope Lutheran Church is having a sweetheart dinner on Feb. 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The three course dinner with sparkling cider costs $12 and includes FREE babysitting. Just feed the kids at home first and don't forget to make a reservation, by phone, 732-462-5122 or email.
For the sweet tooth...
- We here at Patch love chocolate. And because we are progressive, we like to think outside the heart shaped box. That's why we suggest that you hit David Bradley Chocolatier in Manalapan, where they make their heart shaped boxes out of chocolate. Again, to clarify, it's a package THAT YOU CAN EAT! For about $13 you can buy an edible heart box filled with gummies or sour worms or, our favorite, more chocolate. David Bradley also has chocolate covered pretzels in gift boxes, $7.50, and cute choco-lollipops for the kids, $4.50. You can even order online and have them delivered if your sweeties are far away.
- Wrapture in Matawan has wrapped up some affordable baskets of Valentine cheer. Shop online and have them deliver next day or pop into the store on Main Street and have them make up a custom basket for your Valentine. For $25 you can warm the heart of your love with a basket filled with hot chocolate, mini marshmallows, cookies for dunking, caramels and assorted chocolates.
- Valina Salon and Day Spa in Malboro is offering a handful of Valentine specials this month for you and anyone you are sweet on. Consider the Sugar Kisses package: an express facial, 30 minute aromatherapy Swedish massage, signature manicure and pedicure, $215. For the couple, Valina offers the Be My Valentine package: two warm stone massages, signature pedicures facials and spa lunches, $585. Packages include all taxes and gratuities.
- Lighthouse Cigars in Morganville and Hazlet - So your man is not a couple's massage kind of guy. Neither is ours. Here's what we do, call up the guys at Lighthouse Cigars. Order up your husband or boyfriend his favorite cigar and then call him at work and tell him to stop on his way home and enjoy his smoke in their Hazlet lounge or the Morganville smoking sitting area. If he's not an aficionado, try the Romeo y Julieta Real, besides the romantic name, it's a light smoke with a nice red wrapper for Valentine's Day. If he likes a strong full bodied spoke we say go for the Ashton in the virgin sun grown wrapper.
- Hallmark stores are featuring the DaVinci Beads collection -- and according to Amanda's Hallmark in Holmdel featuring the stand in the front of the store, its the hottest thing. DaVinci beads are modern, chunky, European style charms that can be strung together on bracelets and other jewelry. You choose the charms. At $6.99 each (buy four, get one free) it's a more affordable gift, than say, Pandora Jewelry from Denmark. Bracelets run $12.99; Necklaces $19.99.