The season of love has hit Tennessee as suddenly as one of Cupid’s arrows. Attractions have planned events and specials for sweethearts wishing to take a breather, reconnect and rekindle their love. Learn the love story behind America’s highest underground waterfall; let Tennessee’s largest professional ballet company provide Valentine’s Day entertainment; and dine on delectable and decadent foods only Tennessee can provide. For a full list of ideas, download or pick up a copy of the Tennessee 2014 Vacation Guide or visit www.tnvacation.com.
Ladies can take a calming respite from the busy day-to-day by attending the Ladies Valentine’s Day Tea 10 a.m. Feb. 14 at the International Storytelling Center’s beautifully decorated parlor in Jonesborough. Lift the pinky up and enjoy a variety of light pastries and teas while listening to a delightful repertoire of “Valentine Ballads” performed by Jonesborough Repertory Theatre Players. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling the center at 423-753-1010.
Celebrate the entire month of February with a special someone by whisking them off to one of the most celebrated small luxury resorts in the world, Blackberry Farm in Walland. Blackberry Farm is offering three nights for the rate of two as a way to commemorate the “Month of Love.” Lovebirds can also nest for a spell at the resort by booking the Romantic Escapes package which includes a complimentary fourth night when three nights are booked. A split of Champagne upon arrival, rose petal turndown and seasonal welcome amenity are all included.
Adventure seekers can explore Ruby Falls by lantern light on a romantic Valentine’s Day Lantern Tour 8 p.m. Feb. 14-15 at Ruby Falls in Chattanooga. The tour includes a cave and waterfall tour, souvenir photo, hot chocolate and a gift. Hear the incredible love story of Leo Lambert and his wife, Ruby. Lookout Mountain Tower has a special romantic view as well.
There’s a certain liquid behind the love story of Gaetano Donizetti’s romantic comedy “The Elixir of Love” presented by the Knoxville Opera 8 p.m. Feb. 14 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Tennessee Theatre. Laugh, cry and prepare to have hearts melt at Nemorino’s pursuit of the beautiful Adina who is already engaged to a sergeant. Nemorino guzzles a love potion, hoping to steal her away. An opera preview will occur 45 minutes before each performance by Maestro Salesky.
Claim a bale on the Sweetheart Hayride and take a tour of the 1100 acre historic Milky Way Farm Feb. 1-2 as part of the farm’s Valentine Celebration in Pulaski. The first 100 guests will receive a Milky Way hot fudge pie with ice cream. See the 20-bedroom magnificent Frank Mars estate for $7 as a celebration of the chocolate heritage. Known for sheep, prize Herefords, beautiful views, and stone houses, Milky Way Farms is the perfect backdrop to an unforgettable Valentine’s weekend.
Kenny Rogers will serenade sweethearts in Music City with the Nashville Symphony 8 p.m. Feb. 14-15 at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. He’ll celebrate the most romantic day of the year as he performs songs from his extensive collection of love ballads. Rogers had 24 No. 1 hits including “The Gambler,” “Lady,” “Lucille,” “She Believes in Me,” and “We’ve Got Tonight.” Tennessee’s largest professional ballet company, Nashville Ballet will perform “Attitude” featuring the music of Johnny Cash Feb. 14-16 at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Polk Theater. Attitude is a collection of three contemporary dances from three choreographers with live music by local artists to create innovative art. Sugar and the Hi-Lows will perform iconic music by Johnny Cash as current Nashville Ballet company dancer Christopher Stuart presents his original ballet set to Cash’s classics. Brian Enos, named “Best Up and Coming Choreographer” by the Houston Press, will revive “And Legions Will Rise” with music by Kevin Puts. Finally, Paul Vasterling, artistic director & CEO of the Nashville Ballet, will present death as an end and a beginning in “Time/Return/Memory” with a piano score adapted from Philip Glass’ “Orphée Suite.”
Travel to Linden for a Valentine’s Day Dinner Weekend Feb. 14 at the Commodore Hotel & Café for a dreamy night of fresh chef cuisine and live music. Executive chef Michael Grauer will prepare special treats and a menu specifically for Valentine’s Day that will include Cherries Jubilee flambé-ed tableside. Musicians will be on hand to serenade couples, giving a magical, musical touch to the evening. Relax and enjoy a night in the historic hotel that is filled with a quaint atmosphere and laid-back lifestyle.
Satisfy the sweet tooth on the chocolate tour Feb. 8 around Covington’s Historic Square. Sample decadent chocolates and vote for your favorite at the end of the day. Shop and pick out a gift for that special Valentine. After visiting all locations, patrons can turn in their tickets are a chance to win a gift basket of chocolate treats. Tickets are $5.
Have a special Valentine’s Day dinner at Flight Restaurant & Wine Bar in Memphis. Chef-partner Joshua Perkins has created a four-course prix fixe menu which will feature appetizers like Chesapeake Bay style crab cakes, the “Surf Flight” main course of lobster and crab Newburg in a sherry cream sauce, roasted sea scallops with cream corn, Andouille sausage and cilantro cream and pan roasted Alaskan white bass with a winter squash puree, topped with cranberry-pecan compote. The “Turf Flight” main course that includes Muscovy duck with pumpkin ravioli, brandy jus and cranberry-orange sauce, center cut filet and jumbo lump crab and bison ribeye in a barbecue demi-glace and topped with red onion jam. End the meal on a decadent note with chocolate cricket tart, cherry hand pie and crème brulee.
Children can participate in “A Civil War Valentine” program 2 p.m. Feb. 8 at Shiloh National Military Park. Gain insight into the history of Valentine’s Day keepsakes and how soldiers celebrated the holiday. Most Valentine cards and keepsakes were handmade, especially the puzzle purse, an intricately folded piece of paper that reveals a love message or another Valentine surprise. Children will have an opportunity to make a puzzle purse for their valentines. For registration, contact Heather Henson at 731-689-5696.