CECIL COUNTY — Valentine’s Day is less than a week away, so hopefully you know how you’ll be spending Feb. 14. But just in case you’re still searching for the right spot to take Ms. or Mr. Right, here are some date ideas right here in Cecil County.
Dishing it out
People often say the best place to someone’s heart is through their stomach. There are numerous restaurants around Cecil County that provide delicious foods and breathtaking views. Consider Steak & Main in North East, The Wellwood in Charlestown, the Chesapeake Inn or Schaefer’s Canal House in Chesapeake City or Backfin Blues or Union Hotel in Port Deposit. After your meal, you and your date might even take a walk along the water and enjoy the sunset together.
A restaurant that’s a little more off the beaten path is the Greenhaus Biergarten at the Fair Hill Inn Restaurant. Housed in a greenhouse next to the historic Fair Hill Inn, the restaurant offers over 50 beer and cider selections, brick oven pizza, burgers and other menu items, according to their website. Not to mention you get to dine while surrounded by some beautiful plants.
If you decide to eat out for Valentine’s Day, we recommend calling ahead or reviewing a restaurant’s website or social media page in case they are offering a special holiday meal in place of normal table service.
If you and your sweetheart are looking to spend the holiday a little closer to home, consider doing the traditional “dinner and a movie” date with a twist. Cook a dish from you favorite movie, enjoy the meal together and then watch the film. You might craft a miniature, “just for two” version of the massive timpano from “Big Night,” a movie about two Italian immigrant brothers, played by Stanley Tucci and Tony Shaloub, who operate a restaurant on the Jersey Shore in the 1950s. Or perhaps you’ll try your hand at some ratatouille from the Pixar movie, which shares the same name as its titular dish, about a French rat who aspires to become a chef. You might even choose to cook some potato and leek soup from “Bridget Jones’s Diary” — blue hue optional.
Art from the heart
Whether you spend every waking moment in the art studio or you don’t have a single artistic bone in your body — but love viewing others’ works — there are several venues around Cecil County where you can share your love for the arts.
Shirley’s Dance Studio in Rising Sun, owned and operated by instructor Shirley Caron, offers private and group dance classes in a variety of styles. Classes are taught by Shirley herself, as well as multiple other teachers. Instructors will be teaching a tea dance at 1 p.m. and international rhumba at 7 p.m. Feb. 14, and other styles on days surrounding Valentine’s Day.
While not on Valentine’s Day itself, Cecil College’s Milburn Stone Theatre production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” could offer a way for theatre-lovers to celebrate the holiday if they are waiting for the week’s end to do so. Running from Feb. 15 to 17, and again the following weekend from Feb. 22 to 24, “Curious Incident” is based on Mark Haddon’s 2003 novel about a 15-year-old mathematician with autism who seeks to solve the mystery of his neighbor’s dead dog. At face value, one might not peg the play as fitting the holiday, but its lesson of acceptance is one that many could stand to learn from this Valentine’s Day.
Also on Feb. 15, the Susquehanna Shakespeare Ensemble will be performing at the Sugarhouse theater at the Elk Forge Inn in Elk Mills, featuring some of William Shakespeare’s works related to love. Coupled with the theater’s Elizabethan menu and atmosphere, audiences are likely to feel transported back in time as they watch some of Shakespeare’s writings come to life.
If you didn’t get the chance to see the First Friday shows at The Palette & The Page and the Cecil County Arts Council, Valentine’s Day might be just the right time to take a trip down to Elkton’s Main Street. The Palette & The Page’s show “Response” features collaborations between member artists and authors, while CCAC will be displaying “Whiskey, etc.” in their front gallery and “Spirited” in their back gallery throughout the month of February. CCAC will also have a portrait study session from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 15 for $5 per person, and a figure drawing session from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 16 for $15 per person. Seating is limited, so make your reservation by calling 410-392-5740 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Singer Sean Reilly will perform some of Frank Sinatra’s hits from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Dove Valley Winery. With Sinatra’s characteristic charm, the event is likely to be the perfect reminder for you and your date that “Love was made for me and you.” Attendees must RSVP by Feb. 15 by calling 410-658-8388.
Sip and savor
Whether your relationship has just started brewing or it has aged like a fine wine, you might find a special night out at one of Cecil County’s many wineries and breweries.
Chateau Bu-De and Dove Valley wineries will each be hosting Feb. 14 events with wine and chocolate pairings: the former from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the latter from noon to 5 p.m. Reservations are required for both locations.
For couples who are waiting until the following day to celebrate Valentine’s Day and unwind when the work week has finally settled down, Fair Hill Nature Center will be hosting a wine glass painting session from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15. Attendees must be 21 years old or older. No wine will be provided, but participants will be able to take their painted wine glass home with them to remember the day they shared.
Outdoors and in love
Cecil County has experienced quite the chilly weather in recent weeks. But with the fiery love in each of your hearts, you and your date might just like to spend your day together in the great outdoors.
There are many nature trails and parks throughout the county, such as Elk Neck State Park, Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area, Elk River Park, and several others. Even some less forested spots, like the waterfront in Charlestown, offer picturesque views of the Chesapeake Bay. Be sure to check the weather forecast before heading out.
If it’s safe, bundle up in your warmest attire, pack a couple thermoses of hot chocolate, and grab your fellow nature-lover for some time outside. Of course, in case of extreme cold temperatures, wind and snow, it’s best to stay indoors, cuddled up in front of a warm fire.