Valentine’s Day is just around the corner but don’t worry, it’s not too late to start make plans. While there’s nothing wrong with taking the traditional “dinner and a movie date” route, being in the cultural hub that is Harlem means there are plenty of other exciting things to do this weekend. From poetry readings to live music and dancing, here’s a list of things to do around Harlem that’s sure to get anyone in the holiday spirit.
Spa Day in Harlem (Today until Mon 16th): Offering high end service without the high end price, Spa Boutique (69 East 130th St., 212-234-4769) is the perfect place to go this Valentine’s Day for a spa day, either by yourself or with your significant other. Open since 2006, Spa Boutique 2Go is offering several spa day packages this Valentine’s Day. For $199, couples can take part in the spa’s Himalayan Salt Stone massage, which includes a 24 karat gold facial. Singles can also get the Himalayan massage with the gold facial for $99. Without the 24 karat gold facials, the couples and singles massages are $115 and $59, respectively. For more information on how to schedule an appointment, visit spaboutique2go.com.
My Crafty Valentine (Feb. 12): Founder and creator of ThriftyVintageChic.com Robin Wallace will be at the East Harlem Goodwill (2231 Third Avenue) to share her ideas on making personalized Valentines. Wallace will be at the Goodwill from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The event is free and the first 10 people to show up will receive a free plate to design their valentine. For more information call 718-777-6335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poetry Reading at Paris Blues (Feb. 13): Poet and native Harlemite William “Wah Wah” Washington will be hosting a poetry reading at the Paris Room (2021 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Blvd., 212-222-9878). Called “Regarding the Matters of the Heart”, this pre-Valentine’s Day event will feature romance and erotica poetry readings, as well as artwork from Helene Ruiz, David Freeman, and Josue Fred. The poetry readings will be from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and will be followed by live jazz music. The event is free and there will be free food. For more information visit their Facebook page.
“R&B Diva” Monifah performs at MIST Harlem (Feb. 14): Celebrating the release of her upcoming album, “Invincible”, R&B singer and star of the hit TV One reality series “R&B Divas”, Monifah Carter will hold an intimate Valentine’s Day concert at MIST Harlem (46 W. 116th Street, 212-828-MIST). Beginning at 8:00 p.m., the Harlem native will perform tracks from her new album, and the concert will be followed by an after party. Tickets for the show are $35 and can be purchased at online at MIST.
Valentine’s Day at Madiba (Feb. 14): Dubbing it an “Uptown Love Story”, Madiba Cafe (46 W. 116th Street, 212-828-MIST) at MIST Harlem will be serving delicious eats from a special Valentine’s Day menu. Items from the menu include raw and fried oysters and roasted lamb shanks. While Madiba will be serving dishes from their regular menu, this special menu will only be available from 5:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. and reservations are highly recommended to secure a table. Reservations can be made online at MIST as well.
Valentine’s Motown Love Fest (Feb.14): Set to the sounds of Motown, the National Black Theater (2033 Fifth Ave., 212-722-3800) will be hosting a “Love Fest”, featuring live music and dancing. Singers will perform the songs of Marvin Gaye, the Temptations and other Motown artists, and a gourmet cuisine will be prepared by chef Kenneth Collins. The fest will be held two times, once at 6:30 p.m. and again at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $150 per couple and $75 for singles and can be purchased either online or at the Brownstone (24 East 125th Street). For more information call (800)-956-1554.
Valentine’s Day with Timothy Bloom feat. Wayna (Feb. 14): Listen to the musical stylings of soul singer Timothy Bloom and Ethiopian-American singer Wayna at Ginny’s Supper Club (310 Lenox Ave., 212-421-3821). The two will perform at 7:30 p.m. and again at 9:30 p.m. Tickets for both performances are $15 and can be bought online.
Valentine’s Day at Red Rooster Harlem (Feb. 14): Open since winter 2010, Red Rooster Harlem (310 Lenox Avenue, 212-792-9001) will be serving up a Valentine’s Day Prix Fixe menu. For $55 a person, patrons will receive a four course dinner that starts with an oyster duo, followed by the first, main, and dessert courses, which each have three choices. This special Valentine’s Day menu is only served during dinner time, which begins at about 5:00 p.m. and lasts all night. Walk-ins are welcomed, but reservations are highly recommended. Click to make a reservation.