As the first Hallmark holiday of the year brings red hearts and chocolates to pharmacies and restaurants citywide, you might find yourself asking, “What should I do for Valentine’s Day?” That’s right — it’s time to emerge from our January hibernation and hit the town.
Whether you have a special someone in your life, a dear group of friends, or you just really need some quality me-time, we have a plan for you. From X-rated storytime to aerial yoga, make this Valentine’s one to remember.
You and Your S.O.
27-20 23rd Ave., Astoria
A cozy jazz bar with a vintage feel, the LetLove Inn offers an extensive collection of craft cocktails and local beers on tap. The day before Valentine’s (Tuesday, Feb. 13), swing by to hear cover band Tired Hookers belt out ‘90s heartbreak songs, starting at 9 p.m. Cuddle up with your person, enjoy a drink or two, and feel free to sing along.
34-14 Broadway and 35-11 Ditmars, Astoria
This neighborhood watering hole boasts plenty of … you guessed it, beer and cheese. Nothing’s better than chowing down on these staple comfort foods on the day of love. Grab your sweetheart and sample ABC’s impressive array of cheese plates and grilled cheese sandwiches, and don’t forget to pair your meal with a pint of quality craft beer (many of them locally brewed!).
3. The Ditty
35-03 Ditmars Blvd., Astoria
This quaint local pub offers happy hours every week night until 7 p.m. but keeps its doors open until the wee hours of the morning (4 a.m.) for you night owls. Sip a cocktail, nibble their modern comfort fare, and play a game or two (they have childhood favorites like Guess Who? and Uno). But be sure to check out their free movie nights every Tuesday in their year-round heated backyard, held rain or shine. On Feb. 13, there will be a Double Romance Night Starring Meg Ryan, with “Sleepless in Seattle” at 7:30 p.m. and “When Harry Met Sally” at 9:30 p.m.
27-16 23rd Ave., Astoria
An event space known for its standup comedy and quirky class offerings is hosting a fun-filled night on Valentine’s Day. First, “The Perfect Couple: A Game Show” starts the evening at 7 p.m. Two sets of longtime couples will compete through various challenges and quizzes for the title of “Perfect Couple.” Immediately following at 9 p.m. will be a very special V-day standup set featuring a stellar lineup of veteran and up-and-comer comedians.
41-15 31st Ave., Astoria
Opt for a more traditional romantic night out at DiWine restaurant and wine bar for you and your other half. From red to white and everything in between, their wine list goes on and on, but they also have plenty of craft cocktail and beer options. Pair your drink of choice with one (or more) of their 11 cheese boards or make a meal out of the many small plate options.
You & Your Crew
1. Astoria Bowl
19-45 49th St., Astoria
Get your team ready for a night to remember! This 28-lane bowling alley houses a sports bar and video game arcade in addition to traditional bowling lanes available to rent. Cosmic bowling (or black light bowling) happens every weekend, complete with a light show and “today’s most popular hits from the Bowling Music Network.”
19-33 37th St., Astoria
This microbrewery and tasting room is reminiscent of old German bierhalls with long, communal tables and large pretzels just waiting to be devoured. All beers are brewed onsite, and live music can often be enjoyed on weekends. Take a tour while you’re there and sample their original brews (there are upwards of 10, and the selection is updated weekly). But the fun doesn’t have to stop there — you can even take a growler to go.
32-46 Steinway St., Astoria
Valentine’s Day is the day for love ballads. What’s better than belting “Total Eclipse of the Heart” at the top of your lungs with your besties cheering you on? At Karaoke Shout, you can sing along to your favorites without abandon. There’s a full bar onsite to shake those first-time jitters, or if you want a more intimate setting, you can rent out a private room for your crew.
4. Steamy Storytime at Astoria Bookshop
31-29 31st St., Astoria
The night before Valentine’s Day, be sure to stop by Astoria Bookshop’s very special X-rated event. The evening (for adults only), will consist of selections from the shop’s favorite erotica read aloud. Audience members are encouraged to take a turn or even share some work of their own, so don’t be shy!
5. Brunch at Sugar Freak
37-11 30th Ave., Astoria
No Galentine’s Day is complete without a delicious brunch (guys, you’re welcome, too). We recommend checking out Sugar Freak. Known for their Creole cuisine, this hot spot’s brunch menu is a cut above, featuring items like chicken and waffles, jambayala and mac ’n’ cheese four ways. Dig in!
1. Hifi Records
23-19 Steinway St., Astoria
Treat yourself to some solo music therapy. This cozy vinyl store and café boasts a record collection that spans the decades. No matter what your jam is, there’s something for everyone at Hifi. Peruse the vast collection at your leisure and pause to sample new and used vinyl at the many turntables set up around the space.
34-27 Steinway St. Suite 117, Astoria
Move your hips and shake off those winter blues! Ditch your regular gym routine and sign yourself up for a salsa dancing class without leaving the borough. Salsa in Queens offers 90-minute classes Monday through Saturday in salsa or bachata starting at the beginner level.
29-19 24th Ave., Astoria
Astoria Market’s annual Pre-Valentine’s Day market will be held the Sunday before Valentine’s Day (Feb. 11) from noon to 6 p.m. in the Main Hall of Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden. Come scope out the local vendors selling homemade crafts and vintage items, and be sure to end the evening with a brew from the bar downstairs.
32-01 31st Ave., Astoria
Opt for self-love this Valentine’s Day with a trip to Astoria Lily’s Nail salon. This zen spot offers a range of services among the classic manicure and pedicure treatments. Clients frequently rave about their detailed nail art, so requesting a tiny heart design in honor of the holiday is highly recommended.
5. Aerial Yoga at The Yoga Room
38-01 35th Ave., Astoria
Take yourself to new heights (literally) and try something new. The Yoga Room, in addition to traditional and hot yoga classes, offers aerial yoga for everyone — no matter your level of yogi training. They promise you will leave “taller, stronger and totally loosened up!” but if anything, you’ll have a new skill to add to your resume.