Couples, are you prepared for a night of overpriced prix-fixe dinners and cheap candy? Singles, are you ready for your loneliness to spike unbearably? Ready or not, Valentine's Day is coming, bringing a bouquet of roses, boxes of chocolates, and dutifully purchased Hallmark cards you'll forget you purchased in a week.
To mark this saccharine occasion, New Times has gathered ten of the best events happening in Miami this Valentine's Day. Some are couples only while others are more geared toward singles, but they all offer a good time. Just make sure you're ready for what might happen after the party.
Love Comes to the Garden at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Picture it: the scent of exotic flowers, the smooth sounds of jazz, the feeling of grass beneath your feet, and the sight of your Valentine looking lovingly into your eyes. It's all possible thanks to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's V-Day event. Wander the beautiful grounds and take in the colorful foliage before being seated for an outdoor concert featuring jazz musician Kitty Carmichael. Guests can choose to bring their own picnic or buy fresh wine, cheese, and chocolates at the Fairchild marketplace. 5:30 pm. Friday, February 14, at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables; 305-667-1651; fairchildgarden.org. Tickets cost $85 via fairchildgarden.org.
Panache's Annual Valentine's Day Village of Love at Gramps
Should you wish to do something socially productive on this no-good made-up holiday, Panache's Valentine's Day Village of Love at Gramps is the place to be. All event proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida, so simply showing up and buying a drink or two (or maybe even three!) will do wonders for the fight for reproductive rights. Plus, you'll get to see and hear from some of Miami's best female musical talents, including Christina "Cuci" Amador of Afrobeta, Las Nubes, Donzii, Haute Tension, and Lindsey Mills of Surfer Blood. Support the girls! 7 p.m. to midnight Friday, February 14, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-699-2669; gramps.com. Tickets cost $20 in advance via eventbrite.com, $25 at the door.
Moonlight and Music Valentine's Day Concert at the Deering Estate
Down in Palmetto Bay, the historic Deering Estate is opening its gates for a romantic Valentine's concert. Headlining the night are Keba and the Usual Suspects, whose R&B vibes are sure to fill the evening with passion. Guests can bring their own food along with lawn chairs and blankets for this romantic twilight picnic. Large coolers, open flames, pets, balloons, and pop-up tents are not permitted. 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, February 14, at the Deering Estate, 16701 SW 72nd Ave., Palmetto Bay; 305-235-1668; deeringestate.org. Tickets cost $35 to $45 via eventbrite.com.
Lovers and Friends LGBTQ Networking Mixer at the Spot Wynwood
Valentine's Day is difficult for straight daters, but it's just as fraught for LGBTQ+ folks. Thankfully, the Spot in Wynwood is stepping up to provide a networking mixer, Lovers and Friends, for Miami's queer community on this debatably blessed day. Attendees can meet and mingle while enjoying cocktails, a poetry slam, and a Q&A session with Bobby Lytes of VH1's Love and Hip-Hop Miami and celebrity stylist Raquel the Label. 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, February 14, at the Spot Wynwood, 3201 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; 786-200-2017; thespotwynwood.com.
Valentine's Day Drag Dinner at R House
Why bother making reservations at a normal fancy restaurant when you could have a Valentine's meal at an exciting fancy restaurant that also has drag queens? R House on NW Second Avenue is hosting a Valentine's Day Drag Dinner for singles and couples featuring fabulous performers Athena Dion, Chachita Rubio, Morphine Love, Malaysia Foxx, and FKA Twink. If that's not enough to impress your date, take comfort in the knowledge there will be bottomless drinks. 7 p.m. Friday, February 14, at R House Wynwood, 2727 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-576-0201; rhousewynwood.com. Admission free, reservations required.
Valentine's Day Date Night Special at the Wilzig Erotic Art Museum
Okay, let's cut the shit — this holiday is all about sex. If you are cool and comfortable with admitting that, you might find this event enticing: The Wilzig Erotic Art Museum is offering an unforgettable couples-only date night special at its Miami Beach gallery. Ivy League-educated sexologist Dr. Sonjia Kenya will lead participants through "naturally stimulating experiments" before each couple is sent alone, with "personalized flirting exercises," to a romantic dinner spot elsewhere on South Beach. What happens after that is none of our business. It's a bit pricey at $99 per couple, but it's definitely one of the most unique events on this list, and it cuts right to the core of what this silly holiday is about. 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Wilzig Erotic Art Museum, 1205 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-532-9336; weam.com. Tickets cost $99 per couple via eventbrite.com.
Miami Design District Deco Swing Ball
Considering what happens to its title character, The Great Gatsby isn't exactly the most romantic book. That hasn't stopped people from drawing inspiration from its decadent Roaring Twenties setting, and to prove it, the Design District is putting on a Deco Swing Ball. Starting with food and drinks at Politan Row Miami (formerly St. Roch Market), you and a partner will be put through your swing dancing paces by certified instructors before you cut a rug with a live jazz band. Period-appropriate attire is encouraged but not mandatory. 7:30 p.m. to midnight Friday, February 14, at the Miami Design District Palm Court, 140 NE 39th St., Miami. Tickets cost $20 via eventbrite.com.
New World Symphony: Fire and Romance
Despite its stuck-up, old-fashioned image, classical music can be pretty sexy when you think about it. After all, back in 1869 or whatever, once those aristocrats finished waltzing the night away, they went back to their castles and got down to the horizontal monster mash. To wit, the New World Symphony will be putting on an evening of romantic-era pieces from the likes of Schumann, Prokofiev, and Liszt. Tickets are a bit expensive, but paying a lot of money for a swanky event like this is a pretty confident move if you're trying to impress your beau. 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 14, at the New World Center, 500 17th St., Miami Beach; 305-673-3330; nws.edu. Tickets cost $38 to $135 via nws.edu.
Lagrimas: Lovesick! at Las Rosas
What is the most romantic music genre? R&B? Jazz? Close, but the answer is actually goth rock. Don't believe us? Just listen to Robert Smith of the Cure wail on "Pictures of You" or "Lovesong," and you'll get it. Before you know it, you'll be putting on your eyeliner and black fishnets and heading over to Las Rosas for a special Valentine's edition of Lagrimas, the dive bar's recurring party celebrating the darkest indie music of the '80s. Astari Nite and Alien Witch will perform, and DJs Rippin Kitten and Shirl LeGion will be on hand to spin the most romantic of post-punk, coldwave, and Italo deep cuts. 10 p.m. Friday, February 14, at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; 786-780-2700; lasrosasbar.com. Admission is free.
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Love Motel at Basement Miami
Okay, we lied in that last entry. The most romantic genre of music is actually disco. The funky grooves, the divas screaming about how this night will last forever, its popularity among The Gays — disco is a genre powered by love and sensuality. Miami Beach club Basement knows this, so it's teaming up with Peach Room to program Love Motel, the choicest disco party taking place this Valentine's Day. Pirate Stereo and Santiago Caballero of Miami's long-running (and appropriately named) Slap & Tickle party will be spinning the best disco hits, and the club is also offering complimentary ice skating for couples. 11 p.m. Friday, February 14, at Basement Miami, 2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-257-4600; basementmiami.com. Ticket cost TBD.