There are plenty of opportunities to make the biggest date night of the year one to remember.
Valentine's Day is Friday, Feb. 14, but throughout the week, there are numerous dinner specials and events in the area designed to celebrate love and romance.
Get an early start Thursday, Feb. 13, at Ultimate Ladies Night from 9 p.m. to midnight at Thumb's Up, 260 Broad St., Lake Geneva. Women pay $5 cover to drink for free. DJ Jones supplies the music.
For a different date night environment, Candles & Charcuterie is Feb. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m., at The Candle Mercantile, 870 W. Main St., Lake Geneva.
Looking for love? There's a Traffic Light Party Feb. 14, at 8 p.m., at Holly's Como Inn, N3461 Highway H, town of Geneva. According to the Facebook event page, guests who wear red are taken, while those who wear green are single and those wearing yellow are in "it's complicated" status, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
Valentine's Wine Tasting is Feb. 14, from 6 to 7 p.m., at Hawk's View Golf Club, 7377 Krueger Road, Lake Geneva. Six different wine varieties, plus the option to add a fish fry before the tasting. Light appetizers will be served during the tasting. Visit the event's Facebook page for more details.
Nothing says "I love you" like solving a murder. The murder mystery dinner "Til Death Do Us Part: All Is Fair in Love and Murder" is Saturday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m., at The Abbey Resort. Wear a wedding dress or ridiculous wedding attire, help solve a murder of a wedding party member while trading clues with other guests. Cost is $75 per person. Visit theabbeyresort.com for details.
But what if you hate Valentine's Day? Don't worry, there's a party for that, too.
The Anti-Valentine's Day/Burn Your Ex Party is Feb. 15, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Hart's Saloon, 9932 Main St., Hebron, Illinois. Activities include making a paper voodoo doll of the ex you hate.
The Coffee House at Chestnut & Pine, 492 N. Pine St., Burlington, has a Sweetheart Wine Dinner Feb. 13, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Menu includes jumbo lump crab cakes, braised beef short ribs and flour-less chocolate cake. Visit sweetheartdinner.bpt.me for tickets and details.
Seafood Dinner is Feb. 14 and 15 at Barrique Bistro & Wine Bar, 835 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva. $49.95 per person. Limited seating, reservations required. Call 262-248-1948 or visit www.barriquewinebar.com.
Valentine's Sweetheart Dinner is Feb. 14, from 5 to 10 p.m., at the Frontier Restaurant in Lake Lawn Resort, 2400 E. Geneva St., Delavan. Extensive menu includes a choice of entrees — Ghee-seared Angus filet chop, grape seed oil-seared free-range chicken breast or Danielson Sugar Bush maple-seared and cured Norwegian salmon. Each guest receives complimentary glass of champagne. Call 262-725-9155 to reserve a table and for details. Visit lakelawnresort.com to view menu.
Valentine's Day Dinner Feb. 14 from 5 to 10 p.m. at 240° West in The Abbey Resort, 269 Fontana Blvd., Fontana. Buffet includes prime rib, crab legs, clams, desserts. Cost $44.95 for adults, $19.95 for ages 4 to 12. Reservations required. Visit theabbeyresort.com for details.
The Feb. 14 Valentine's Day menu at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa's Geneva ChopHouse and Ristorante Brissago features seafood and Italian cuisine. Enjoy jumbo lump crab cakes at ChopHouse, along with lobster bisque and grilled 5-oz. filet tenderloin. At Brissago, it's truffle Sacchetti, sweet potato Gnocchi and a filet-and-lobster dish. Cost is $90 per person. Reservations encouraged. Visit grandgeneva.com/restaurants. Restaurants are at 7036 Grand Geneva Way, town of Lyons.
The Feb. 14 and 15 Valentine's Day menu at The Waterfront Pub & Grill, 408 Highway 50, Delavan, features lobster tail dinner, shrimp pasta, rib eye, appetizers and desserts. Call 262-728-4700 or visit www.waterfrontdelavan.com.
The Feb. 14 and 15 Valentine's Day menu at Crafted Americana in The Ridge Hotel, W4240 Highway 50, town of Geneva, features surf-and-turf, dueling fillets, lobster, scallop and calamari. Call 262-249-3832 for reservations and more information.
That's right, "Parks & Recreation" character Leslie Knope's Feb. 13 holiday is a real thing now, and there are local events to celebrate it.
There's a Galentine's Day event from 4:30 to 10 p.m. at The Abbey Resort. Progressive wine tasting around the resort, tasty treats, shopping experiences, take-home goodies and Galentine's Day cocktails at the Waterfront. Cost $89 per person. Call 800-709-1323 to make reservations.
DIY body scrubs and bath products are the focus of the Galentine's Day event from 6 to 9 p.m. at Hammer & Stain, 10331 N. Main St., Unit 3, Richmond, Illinois. Food and beverages can be brought in, and pricing for the event is based on four product packages, ranging from $50 to $75. Visit the Facebook event page for details.
On Feb. 14, the Galentine's Day Get Together for Women in Business is 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Bean & Vine in The Ridge Hotel, W4240 Highway 50, town of Geneva. Wear pink or red, bring business cards, meet in the hotel lobby to network. Beverages and pastries available. Free to attend, registration required. Call 800-225-5558 for more information.
What is a Maker Faire?
Collecting engineers, artists, scientists and more, the third annual Elkhorn Mini Maker Faire is Feb. 15 and 16 at Elkhorn Area High School, 482 E. Geneva St., Elkhorn.
Maker Faires grew out of what's known as maker culture, which has become of interest among educators in STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and math.
Maker culture emphasizes active learning, DIY philosophy and exploring the intersections of different areas.
On Feb. 15, various craft-related workshops and events run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a laser light show set for 5 p.m.
The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional SeaPerch ROV Competition — involving underwater robotics — and a food tasting/business showcase for Kawaii Kosai and Kawaii Akemi Cafe are both occurring Feb. 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Visit elkhorn.makerfaire.com for more details.
"Place and Time" is Feb. 13 through 15 at 7 p.m. at the Badger High School Recital Hall, 220 E. South St., Lake Geneva. Badger's theater department has combined two separate one-act plays for the show — one exploring setting, while the other is about time. Tickets $5. Seating limited to 180 a night.
"Almost, Maine" is Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. at the Geneva Theater, 244 Broad St., Lake Geneva. The Geneva Theatre Actors Guild also performed the play Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at Geneva Theater. Play consists of individual short plays exploring love and loss. Donations requested to attend, with proceeds going to AVERYday Ministries.
"Finding Neverland" is Sunday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. at the Young Auditorium, 930 W. Main St., Whitewater. Based on the Academy Award-winning 2004 film of the same name, the theater version is directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus. Tickets range from $40.75 to $76.75. Call 262-472-2222 or visit youngauditorium.com for details.
An ice fishing derby on Lake Como is Feb. 15 at 7 a.m. at Papa's Blue Spruce Resort, W4086 Lake Shore Drive, town of Geneva. Prizes for largest bass, northern pike and pan fish. Cost is $10 to enter, must be 16 or older with valid state fishing license. Proceeds to benefit Project Veteran Muscle Gym.
Geneva Lakes Family YMCA's Wild West Auction Feb. 15 at The Forum, Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, 7036 Grand Geneva Way, town of Lyons. Early check-in, cash bar, silent auction starts at 5:30 p.m. Open bar, silent auction, 50/50 raffle from 6 to 10 p.m. Plated dinner 7:45 p.m. Live auction 8:20 p.m After party with live music, cash bar and snacks from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
The 30-year Anniversary Party for Foley's Irish Woods Bar & Grill is Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. Karaoke, drink and food specials. Foley's is located at W3905 Highway 50, town of Geneva.
The Great Backyard Bird Count is 8 to 10 a.m. Feb. 16 at Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy, 251 Elkhorn Road, Williams Bay. The Cornell Lab or Ornithology and the National Audubon Society conduct a bird census along Kishwauketoe trails. Free to participate. For more, visit www.audubon.org/conservation/about-great-backyard-bird-count or contact Kevin Dickey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-729-9702.
Chili Cook-off Feb. 16, from 9 a.m. to noon, at First Evangelical Lutheran Church & School, 1101 Logan St., Lake Geneva. Chili awards, bingo. Sign up at church to enter chili.
VetsRoll Chili Cook-off Feb. 16, from 1 to 4 p.m., at The Bottle Shop, 617 W. Main St., Lake Geneva. Be a chef or consumer at the event. Entries in four categories — business, non-profit, veteran and individual. Visit event Facebook page for more details.
Daytona 500 Party Feb. 16, from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., at Spoondogger's Pell Lake, N1320 S. Lake Shore Drive, Bloomfield. Drink specials, raffle, free buffet during the race.
Last year's animated film "The Addams Family" will be screened during movie night Tuesday, Feb. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Lake Geneva Public Library, 918 W. Main St., Lake Geneva. Visit lakegenevalib.wi.us for more information.
Heart-themed Family Night is Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Brookwood Elementary School, 630 Kossuth St., Genoa City. Games, crafts, snacks. Event open to public. Contact CH003329@discoverchampions.com for more information.