Freshman Findings: Local date ideas spark romance

It’s that time of year again — with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many couples are wondering where they will spend the holiday with their special someone. While some may want to stay in and spend time with their loved one watching movies, others could be looking to have a romantic dinner at a local restaurant.
With the second semester bustle of schoolwork beginning to kick in, it is hard to find time to plan the big night. Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday, more local businesses will be opening up their doors for the most romantic day of the year.
Start with local restaurants instead of big chain names. Lesser-known restaurants give a more intimate and quieter atmosphere that makes it easier to listen to conversations. At the Chambers Walk Café in Lawrenceville, there is live music, an open-kitchen style atmosphere, and the typical flavors of contemporary American bistro with a hint of Mediterranean.
For an international meal, Mikonos Greek Restaurant in Ewing offers fresh, healthy dishes that are offered in a room-with-a-view atmosphere. Other restaurants celebrating Valentine’s Day in the area include The Inn of the Hawke in Lambertville, The Metro North in Princeton and The Firehouse Café in Mt. Holly.
While dinner reservations may be kept for the evening, some may want to make it a full day of celebration. There are many local attractions in Mercer County that allow for both friendship and couple dates.
The Princeton University Art Museum is currently celebrating 500 Years of the Italian Master Drawings, as well as showcasing the works of Edvard Munch’s Symbolism in Print with works from the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the works of Alexander Calder.
Another local art destination is The Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, which displays large, realistic and interactive pieces of art that span acres of the quaint park.
Couples who are looking for a more adventurous date can take advantage of this cold weather and go ice skating. Loucks Ice Center in Lawrenceville or the Mercer County Skating Center near Mercer County Community College in West Windsor have rentals, hot chocolate and snacks to enjoy.
For the theater lovers, McCarter Theater in Princeton is offering two award-winning shows to choose from, both at 8:00 p.m. on Feb. 14. The jukebox musical RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles, and August Wilson’s play Fences, both offer a great way to end a perfect day.
However, big activities and fancy meals may not be for everyone. Staying in and watching romantic movies is an option for friends. From a well-known romantic comedy such as Sleepless in Seattle to the classic love story Casablanca, films of all kinds can make the date one to remember if it is spent with a loved one. More popular Valentine’s Day flicks include Love Actually, The Notebook, When Harry Met Sally, Crazy, Stupid, Love, and the famous love tale Titanic. A romantic film or not, watching movies with the perfect date could easily make this Valentine’s Day memorable.

-Kimberly Ortiz
Freshman journalism major

Printed in the 2/12/14 edition

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