This Weekend’s Distractions: February 14 to 17

By Mary Kate DePamphilis

Love is in the air!  Or so they say.  Today’s is Valentine’s Day and whether you like it or not, your “special someone” is looking for an extra special something on your part.  Don’t be the Scrooge of Valentine’s Day.  Seize the opportunity and enjoy some romantic time with your loved one.  Or maybe spend some special time with your little sweeties—your kids!  Take advantage of NoBo’s heartfelt events going on all across the region.  Remember the great line from Charles M. Schulz, “All you need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”


Symphony by the Sea“Be Quiet My Heart…Romance is in the Hall” at Symphony by the Sea

If your Valentine is a classical music lover, this is the perfect date night. Listen to the sound of your heart beating along to music of Tchaikovsky, Villa Lobos, Brahms, Gershwin and more at this special Valentine’s Day holiday concert.  To make the evening even more special and romantic, there will be a pre-concert reception serving sparkling wine and chocolates to set the stage for Symphony by the Sea. Music Director, Donald Palma, promises sweethearts will enjoy ‘something different’ and he is not ruling out a grand waltz for dancers of all ages to whirl around the hall…or sway in your seat.

Additionally, the Endicott Singers, from the eponymous college will serenade the audience with a-cappella selections from the classic repertoire. So bring your special Valentine and your love of music and celebrate with something the holiday with this unique event. Couples looking to celebrate engagements and anniversaries are welcome!  What a cute idea that could be…hint, hint!

When?  Thursday, February 14th, 6:30 pm reception, 7:30 pm concert

Where?  Abbot Hall, 188 Washington Street, Marblehead

Cost?  Tickets are $35 per person; they may be purchased at the door or at Check the website for parking directions.


colonial sheratonHotel Getaway Romance Specials

Want to make a quick getaway from the stresses of work and life and enjoy some time with your Valentine?  This year, one of NoBo’s premier hotels, the Sheraton Colonial Boston North—is celebrating the entire month of February as the “Month of Love.” Take your Valentine on a special weekend overnight without the long drive and tedious trip planning, so you can reconnect with some romantic alone time. Maybe take the daytime to explore other areas of NoBo, or just get cozy inside your modern, comfy hotel room.

The Sheraton Colonial has two special romance offers for you to select from.  The Romance Package with Champagne and Chocolate offers deluxe accommodations featuring the signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed, and a complimentary bottle of champagne with chocolates delivered to your room upon arrival, starting at $129 per night.  The Romance Package with Three Course Dinner also offers deluxe accommodations, but with a three-course dinner for two at the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, Colonial Bar & Grill, starting at $169 per night.  Do the right thing, gentlemen!

When?  Deals through February 28, 2013

Where?  Sheraton Colonial Boston North, One Audubon Place, Wakefield

Cost? Click here for reservation and package offers


Salem's So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival11th Annual Salem So Sweet Festival

I mentioned this festival last week, but due to wrath of Nemo, it was postponed until this week.  Since it’s Valentine’s Day and this event makes for such a perfect celebration, I think it’s worth another mention.  From Friday tomorrow until Sunday, enjoy the decadent tradition of delectable sweets, sparkling ice sculptures and shopping deals with your loved one.  The event kicks off with a Chocolate and Wine Tasting on Friday, February 15th.  The delicious event will be held from 6:30-8:30pm at Colonial Hall at Rockafella’s, and will feature wine and chocolate samplings from premier Salem restaurants, stores and sweet shops.   As a 2012 attendee, I can personally attest that this event is a “must-do” for Valentine’s Day weekend in NoBo!  The chocolate creations are out of this world and the wine pairings make them that much better.  The ticket price is worth every penny and you will definitely get your fill, and then some!  (Think leftover treats tucked into your purse!)  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advance at the Salem Chamber of Commerce, 265 Essex Street Suite 101.  Get them ASAP!

In addition to the tasting, the festival will feature shopping promotions at local shops, chocolate-infused menus at local restaurants, and the annual Golden Ticket drawing for a fabulous Salem So Sweet gift basket.  More than 16 large ice sculptures will be installed around downtown and restaurants and retailers will be offering chocolate samplings and great discounts throughout the weekend, with some promotions continuing until February 14th. Ice sculptures will include an engagement ring, the Taj Mahal, The Salem State University logo, an octopus, and a Valentine Teddy.

The Salem Trolley will offer trolley rides around the festival route, weather permitting, on February 16 & 17 from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Adult rides will cost $1, and children are free. Pick up locations include the Salem Visitor Center, Pickering Wharf and Washington Street near Eastern Bank.

With more than 60 places to eat downtown Salem is the perfect place to plan a romantic dinner or casual lunch with a little chocolate on the side.  This is the perfect and most delicious way to celebrate your loved ones this Valentine’s Day!  (Men, don’t screw it up!  This is your chance to get out of the dog house!)

When?  Friday, February 15  to Sunday, February 17, 2013

Where?  Downtown Salem

Cost?  Varying costs. Click here for a full schedule of events and participating businesses.


Mill Rivery WineryRomantic Candlelit Valentine’s Dinner

Mill River Winery is the perfect venue for a memorable romantic candlelit dinner with your special sweetie.  Enjoy a five course wine-pairing dinner with your choice of beef or seafood, a private table for two for the entire evening, flowers and music.  Local NoBo wine, a quaint New England atmosphere, and delicious food?  This Valentine’s Day dinner is a slam dunk.  Make the reservations and leave the rest to Mill River Winery!  Don’t forget to bring a huge appetite!

When?  Saturday, February 16th at 7PM

Where?  Mill River Winery, Rowley

Cost? $165 per couple. Reservations are required in advance. Click here to purchase tickets.


Seaglass Restaurant & LoungeValentine Champagne & Chocolate Brunch

If you are unable to celebrate Valentine’s Day on one of this weekend’s evenings, or you’re just more of a morning person—we have the perfect holiday event for you!  This Sunday brunch has the perfect romantic setting, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean as the morning sun sparkles down on the crashing waves.

Treat your Valentine to a full brunch menu including hot breakfast & lunch selections, omelets made to order, and carving stations.  To make things extra special, there will be a champagne fountain, and also a delectable chocolate fountain complete with yummy dipping treats! Whether you’re 5 or 75, who doesn’t love a chocolate fountain?  All guests will also receive a 20% off coupon to By the Sea Gifts, right next door.  This is perfect in case you forgot the jewelry and chocolates—tell your Valentine you wanted them to be able to pick out whatever they wanted!

When?  Sunday, February 17th with seatings at 10AM, 12PM, & 2PM.

Where?  Seaglass Restaurant, 4 Oceanfront North, Salisbury

Cost?  $26.95 Adults, $11.95 Children 6-12, $5.95 Children 5 and under


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