Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Dinner out is nice. Flowers are fabulous. Chocolates are sweet. But if you’re looking for a different way to show your special someone that you care, check out these ideas:
The Saturday Chef’s Series, “Dinner Times Two,” at Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain near Morrilton is set for Feb. 5 and 19.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, chefs from Winthrop Rockefeller Institute’s River Rock Grill will teach you how to prepare a full gourmet meal. You can take the class with your special someone, or learn the skills to prepare a meal at home for your next date night. Reservations can be made by calling 501-727-5435. Visit www.uawri.org/educational-programs/culinary-arts/saturday-chefs-series
for information on culinary offerings at the institute.
As a prelude to Valentine’s Day, enjoy a romantic weekend at Petit Jean State Park near Morrilton on Feb. 12-13. The Hikes, Hearts, & Hugs Weekend will consist of guided trail hikes and other activities geared toward couples. Contact the park at 501-727-5441 for a schedule of events. Visit http://www.petitjeanstatepark.com/ for more information about the park.
Ozark Folk Center State Park
in Mountain View offers a Cooking with Chocolate and Cherries class on Feb. 11.
Participants will design and create sweet treats for their valentine in this hands-on workshop. It will take place in the park’s Skillet Restaurant. The cost is $30. On Feb. 12 the park will host a Valentine Dinner and Show. The evening consists of a specially prepared dinner for two, a relaxed evening show in a cozy atmosphere, and a stay overnight in one of the cabins.
For details and reservations, contact the park at 870-269-3851 or online at
The 7th annual Chocolate Lovers Festival in Eureka Springs takes place Feb. 12. This is a Valentine’s Day extravaganza for the chocoholic, where fountains overflow with the sumptuous sweet. The chocolate delights include rich dark varieties, chocolate ice cream, chocolate drinks and chocolate body care products. Sponsored by Vacations Rentals, Inc., the event takes place at the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center, located at 207 W. Van Buren. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children 6 and under. Visit http://www.eurekachocfest.com/
or call 479-253-7700 for more information.
Spend a day in nature with your valentine during Sweetheart Weekend Feb. 12-13 at Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area in Rogers.
The program consists of an Eagle Watch Cruise, guided by one of the park interpreters, on Beaver Lake. Afterward, travel to nearby War Eagle Mill for a delicious lunch and gift from the Mill gift shop. Next, head to the park’s Townsend Road Trailhead for a guided hike to the War Eagle Overlook. This is a three-mile round trip trek to the scenic overlook of the War Eagle Valley. Take a break to take in the beautiful view, and then pose with your loved one for a photograph to remember your sweetheart weekend. The event is limited to the first 10 couples or 20 individuals. Trips are scheduled for each day of that weekend. The cost is $60 per couple. Reservations and payment must be made in advance by calling 479-789-5000. Visit
for more information about the park.
If you’re looking for something different to do in celebration of Valentine’s Day, try attending Cupid in the Caverns on Feb. 12 and 13 at Blanchard Springs Caverns in Mountain View. On this cavern tour, new and old love songs will be presented in a very unique way - underground. Call 870-269-8068 or visit
If you enjoy wine, surprise your sweetheart with tickets to the University of Arkansas’s “A Class Act” on Feb. 18 at the 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa in Eureka Springs.This is the gathering of the best and the brightest of the students in the Hospitality and Restaurant Management Program in Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas. Students will prepare a multi-course meal with wine pairing for the general public. This exquisite evening of wining, dining, and fun has a limited number of seats, so reservations are required. Call 479-253-9766 for details.