Fall in love with Albany County's unique offerings, attractions, and activities this Valentine's Day. This February, try something new from a beautiful candlelit concert to a couple's baking class. This year the holiday falls on a Wednesday, so whether you choose to celebrate the weekend before, weekend after, or any of the days in between we've rounded up a list of creative date ideas that you'll be sure to love.
1. Take a Skate Date at the Empire State Plaza
Break the ice at the Empire State Plaza's ice-skating rink this Valentine's Day! The open-air rink makes for a magical evening of skating under the stars and is open Tuesday through Sunday making it the perfect place for an after-work date on the holiday itself or for a date over the weekend. The cost to skate is free with $5 skate rentals (and free skate rentals each Saturday).
2. Sip on Stacks and Explore the Albany Center Gallery
For a lovely morning date in downtown Albany, visit Stacks Espresso Bar's cozy Broadway location and choose from their selection of coffee, teas, and tasty baked goods or sandwiches. After you've had your coffee fill, head next door to Albany Center Gallery and explore the Bloom Exhibition on display starting February 13. The exhibition features the work of several regional artists surrounding the theme of biomimicry or work inspired by and in conversation with the natural world. Albany Center Gallery is open 12 PM to 5 PM and is free to the public.
3. Paint Watercolor Valentine's Cards at Nine Pin
Thursday, February 8 from 6 PM to 8 PM at Nine Pin Cider. $20 tickets include 12-ounce cider.
Share a special message with your Valentine during Nine Pin's Watercolor Valentine's Day Card event. During this paint & sip workshop learn basic watercolor techniques and follow along to create three cards with adorable Valentine's-themed designs.
4. Take a Baking Class at Nelly's Treats
Baking with Hearts: February 10 at 11 AM | $25
Be My Valentine - Date Night: February 14 and February 16 at 5:30 PM | $100
Baking dates take the cake for a fun and unique way to spend the day with your loved one. Nelly's Treats in Cohoes is offering a few Valentine's-themed classes this February. Baking with Hearts is open to all ages and will guide you through a fun afternoon of making heart cupcakes. Or attend the couple's baking class Be My Valentine - Date Night to learn how to make a chocolate lava cake from scratch with your partner. Tickets for the date night event cover one couple plus a small charcuterie board filled with cheese, crackers, and fresh fruit.
Bonus: Celebrating Galentine's Day with friends? Learn a new skill and decorate a Stanley Cup inspired mini-cake during Be My Galentine at Nelly's Treats on February 15 from 5:30 PM to 7 PM.
5. Enjoy a Candlelit Concert at the Kenmore Ballroom
Saturday, February 10 and Wednesday, February 14, concerts at 6 PM and 8:30 PM, prices vary
Invite your Valentine to a beautiful string concert under the glow of candlelight in the elegant Kenmore Ballroom. The Candlelight: Valentine's Special features a series of romantic selections including "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's, pieces from Romeo and Juliet, "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic and classical works.
6. Listen to Historic Love Stories During Albany Amour! at Nine Pin Cider
Saturday, February 17 from 6 PM to 7 PM | Single ticket $20 includes 4 flight tasting. Couple's deal $40 includes two tickets, two 4 flight tastings and one pizza
Bring your date on a journey through history guided by Discover Albany's Director of Community Engagement, Maeve McEneny-Johnson. During Albany Amour! Maeve will share tales of Albany's sweet, scandalous and notorious lovers throughout history. Nine Pin will provide specialty ciders matched to the spirit of the couple's tale for select stories.
7. Tour Artful Albany and Visit the Albany Skyway
This Valentine's Day, explore Albany's art scene from eye-catching Capital Walls mural displays to the world-class Empire State Plaza Art Collection. This date hosts plenty of selfie spots and lovely photo opportunities along the way. After your art adventure, visit the Albany Skyway for stunning views of Albany's skyline. The skyway is especially gorgeous to visit at night when the city becomes aglow with lights.
Check out all the ways to discover artful Albany below!
8. Have a Winter Ice Cream Date at Emack & Bolio's
Valentine's Day may be in February, but it's never too cold for ice cream! Enjoy a date made for sweet-hearts, trying one of the specialty ice cream shop's long list of flavors. The shop also serves up tasty cakes, chocolates, and coffee beverages. Stop by on a Friday or Saturday night to enjoy live, local music in the shop's cozy lounge.
9. Climb the Rock Wall at Dick's House of Sport
Climb to new heights during this fun and unique Valentine's Day outing. Book a 15-minute session to climb the vertical rock wall at Dick's House of Sport in Latham. The wall offers 5 different climbing routes for a variety of skill levels. Plus, each ticket costs just $10!
10. Tour the Enchanting New York State Capitol Building
The New York State Capitol is not only a significant building for New York State history, it's absolutely gorgeous. A free tour of this landmark Albany building creates an enchanting experience perfect for a unique date night. Marvel at the million-dollar staircase which cost $1.5 million to construct and explore the intricately carved 77 famous faces throughout. Tours are available 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Friday.
11. Embark on a Snowshoeing Adventure
Enjoy a snowy winter day by taking a snowshoeing adventure at one of the county's parks or preserves. Snowshoeing is welcome at sites such as the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, Pine Hollow Arboretum, Ann Lee Pond Preserve, Huyck Preserve and the Five Rivers Environmental Education Center. If there doesn't happen to be enough snow on the ground, then a simple winter hike is a peaceful and lovely way to celebrate Valentine's Day. Warm up after your trek at a local Albany County restaurant.
Discover Favorite New Brews Along the Albany County Craft Beverage Trail
Take a trip through Albany County's expansive craft beverage scene and discover new favorites along the Albany County Craft Beverage Trail. Purchase passes and visit a location for your Valentine's date night, then explore the rest of the locations for a series of date nights in the future! Learn more about the trail and Albany's craft beverage producers below.