So, you're in love. Congratulations! But there's always that question every Valentine's Day: it's the one day a year I have to prove to my partner (and the world!) that I love him. What do I do? How? Where? I know you're asking yourself, "Can't I just play her every Mariah Carey song? Why not?"
First of all, you can totally do that. But also, people like to leave the house sometimes, so that should be part of the plan as well. So please peruse, enjoy, and feel free to steal these suggestions for things to do in New Orleans as a couple on Valentine's Day.
I had to write this one first, because you have to get there right now. You actually should have gone there yesterday. 1000 Figs is so perfect and delicious, but only fits six human-sized people inside the restaurant, including staff. So, there will be a fight to the death among every couple in New Orleans to decide who gets to eat a perfect Mediterranean feast on Valentine's Day. I suggest using your elbows wisely, and, once you've won, try the Brussels sprouts.
1000 Figs, 3141 Ponce De Leon St., (504) 301-0848, 1000figs.com
Sharing your life with someone is one thing, but sharing a small boat is another. Have you ever been surrounded by water and the only way you can achieve movement is by depending on the person you love? Kayaking! (Or canoeing.) They have them for rent along the bayou, or right by NOMA in City Park. What better way to test your love (isn't that basically what Valentine's Day is, anyway?) than this? Grab some beers, and float (or paddle) to your heart's content. Don't bring up any family stuff.
Mini Golf at City Putt
What is romance? Is it a candlelit dinner with champagne and roses? Is it sultry slow music on a record player with musky sweet scents permeating the room? Is it someone nuzzling your neck and tracing the lines of your body with a single finger? Or is it a made-to-scale model of a lighthouse? Is it artificial grass and the bright plastic neon of a rental golf ball? Don't just let some Hollywood exec sell you his idea of romance, define it for yourself! Put yourself in the driver's seat of your own life and a miniature golf cart, and bring the love of your life to the small rental oasis that is a mini golf course. Learn some cool Louisiana facts from some well-placed placards and bask in the February sun shining down from above. Breathe in that crisp, clean air and pummel a dimpled ball into oblivion, or a sand trap, whichever comes first.
City Putt Miniature Golf Course in City Park, 8 Victory Ave., (504) 483-9385, neworleanscitypark.com/in-the-park/city-putt
Drinking in public? Great. Drinking in public with someone you love? Wonderful. Drinking in public with someone you love, and every time you reach out, you can touch a sweet angel and see how his paws are too big for his body? Perfection. Valentine's Day is about love, and no one on this Earth is better at love than a dog. The Bulldog in Mid-City (or the one Uptown, whichever's closer; OR, you could drive to both, scope out the dog talent at both, and see which you like more) is the perfect place to kick back, talk to your loved one about something that's happening on TV, sip some of the devil's juice, and pet a good boy (or girl). Love will be in the air EVERYWHERE you look around. (In my best Men's Wearhouse voice): You're gonna like the dogs you see, I guarantee it.
The Bulldog Mid-City, 5135 Canal Blvd., (504) 488-4191;The Bulldog Uptown, 3236 Magazine St. (504) 891-1516, draftfreak.com
Get Drunk At Your House
Remember what I said before about going outside and how people like it? Sometimes, I'm wrong. Bring the outside to you. Go to Costco and get one million flowers, put them everywhere. Get a Marie Callender's chicken pot pie (the good one), a case of champagne, and a DVD copy of your favorite romantic movie. Date night at the house is great because everything's free in there. Get some fancy-detail things you don't normally get to make it feel special, like a bowl of fresh cherries for drinks or some Us Weekly's you can spread out on the coffee table. Nothing will make you feel good about your love like reading about someone's third marriage not working out. Invite some friends over and have a Valentine's Day dance party. Remember to play at least one Selena song.
Fake a Proposal at the Riverwalk
Wouldn't it be fun to get proposed to? Not the wedding and weird tax forms and inviting aunts who you haven't talked to in three years just so you can pay $27 for them to eat a plate of chicken, but the proposal itself! Someone getting down on one knee, the declaration of love, tears, the excitement of strangers at witnessing this huge moment—guess what, you can have all of that! Just fake a proposal. It's fun for you guys. Maybe if you do it at a restaurant, you'll get a free meal or dessert; you bask in all the joy and love, then once you leave, it's over! Best of both worlds. The Riverwalk is especially beautiful, and there are a lot of women buying expensive handbags over there, so they are looking for love at every corner and will appreciate this display. Use a class ring/some ring you already have; no one can judge a proposal ring out loud, they HAVE to be supportive and happy. Good luck!
The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk, 500 Port of New Orleans, (504) 522-1555, riverwalkneworleans.com
Go to a Comedy Open Mic
You know when you're at home trying to decide what to watch on Netflix and you've already cycled through all the comics you know and now you're deciding if you should take a chance on someone British? This is the moment when you put your coat on and go to a stand-up open mic. There's alcohol there, and it's like 20 different people for three minutes instead of one person for an hour. So, if you don't like it, you don't have to keep trying to find something new. They change the channel for you. On themselves. If you truly want to know in your heart whether the person you're with is the ONE, take them to a stand-up comedy open mic and sit in the front row. You get a lot of fun questions, like about where you work from five different people, and then random solicitations of opinions, such as, "Do you know about polyamory?" and "If you were going to kill yourself, how would you do it?" Take a chance, you cowards! You can go to the website nocomedy.com to find which ones are which nights, but since this year Valentine's Day is a Wednesday, it will be at Carrollton Station at 9:00 p.m. Get over there!
Carrollton Station, 8140 Willow St., (504) 865-9190, carrolltonstation.com
Heavy Petting at a Movie Theater
If you think that says, "heavy petting at a movie theater," you're reading it wrong. I would never encourage someone to do a sex act in public. It's hyperbole for saying, "Surprise your partner!" Lull them into a false sense of security with a plan that seems ordinary and sleepy and boring, and put a special twist on it that is surprising and fun. If that plan happens to be giving them pleasure at a movie theater, I guess I can't stop you, but know that I'm not encouraging that in any way. You could ask them to play Scrabble at the house, then surprise them with a kitten you adopted in their honor and named Raisin, or pretend to open a book, but really it's hollowed out and there's a full-size Snickers bar in there! Just surprise them, whatever that means to you.
Obviously, there are more traditional ones, like take them to a concert, or day drink at a pool, or go on a long drive through the country/swamp/woods and have a picnic; day trip to the beach; make them breakfast, etc. etc. But we wanted to open your eyes to all the possibilities that Valentine's Day truly has to offer. Have fun and be in love!