Love is in the air

Get romantic with your Valentine with these NH activities

by Lisa Martineau
January 19. 2018 2:50AM
Hot Glass Art Center/Glassblowing (Facebook: Hot Glass Art Center)

If the thought of Valentine’s Day stresses you out, you are not alone. Don't fuss over chocolates, roses, or shopping for jewelry she may not like. Keep it simple. Do something you will both remember forever. Take a look at the ideas we have discovered. We're going to dish on some special dates you can take on with your honey, or, if you're a millennial, your "boo" or "bae." Celebrate your love the New Hampshire way, with all these winter-inspired, love-is-in-the-air ideas.

Forget about the dozen roses. This time you're doing love your way.

Look who got engaged! Congratulations to Jamie Wilkinson who popped the question on a Nestlenook Farm Resort sleigh ride to his bride to be, Shayla Stewart. The couple will be married in the summer of 2018. (Courtesy: Shayla Stewart)

Take a Sleigh Ride in Jackson. Nestlenook Farm Resort in Jackson is one of the most romantic locations in the state. 
Nestled in the heart of the White Mountains, the resort allows couples to celebrate Valentine's Day in a one-of-a-kind way, with guided tours via sleigh ride, and ice skating day or night at their three-acre Victorian Skating Park. It's where a kiss beneath a lighted arched bridge over Emerald Lake is an antique but modern postcard waiting to be sent. When you are ready to warm up, take a seat in the warming hut, or sit by a fire pit and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.

Moonlight Meadery (Coutesy: Moonlight Meadery/Facebook)

Bring your honey to a tour and pour at Moonlight Meadery in Londonderry. With a tagline like, "Romance By the Glass," we felt that it was worth a trip, and that tagline? It's the truth. Mead, in case you were unfamiliar with the word or the drink, is a fermented beverage that is made with honey and water. The beverage was first consumed during the 12th Century and featured other ingredients like malt, fruits and grains. It's the drink of Shakespeare, who practically created romance. At Moonlight Meadery you'll find varying flavor experiences from and an extensive award-winning menu. Packages for sampling start at $10 but it's at the $25 level where you'll get to take a deluxe tour and learn about the company's history and production process. You'll also sample 7 meads of your choice, along with their cider. If you are feeling the love, you may want to take a sample of the founder's Je T'aime the Tupelo Blossom mead, He made this special mead for his wedding in August of 2012. Bottles may be purchased and although its name says it all, it will set you back $50 for the bottle. Other bottles have names like Desire, Admiration, Blissful, Breathless, Caress, Embrace, Fling, Kisses, Sensual and Smolder and run from $15 all the way up to a 2014 Cellar Aged Last Apple™ for $120. The creative names definitely sound like they came out of the thesaurus of love.

Get in on the canvas craze! This one is not exclusive to N.H., but it's really gained in popularity in recent years. Visit Muse Paint Bar in Manchester on couple's night. You'll have to get a look at the painting schedule but why follow the rules? Pick a painting you like and go when it's convenient. On some nights, drinks are included, and the evening will set you back about $40 without food and drink but on couples' night you can paint together if you want to get cozy. You might find that your true love has a creative streak that you find even more attractive. Who knows? Visit Muse Paintbar's website for more information. 

Ice Castles - Lincoln (Courtesy: Ice Castles NH)

Visit the Ice Castles in Lincoln. It shouldn't be news to anyone that the Ice Castles have opened for 2018 and are more popular than ever. The reason? There is just nothing like them. The Ice Castles are the only place in the northeast where you can visit an intoxicating environment unlike anything you have ever imagined, especially at night when the castles are lit from within by thousands of LED bulbs. The ice castles are our number one choice for romance but there's one caveat; you may not be able to get in on Valentine's Day. Check their schedule and make a reservation for the day and time you want to explore this wondrous site. A trip to see this site will force you to get out of the house, recover a bit from cabin fever, laugh a little and be kids together. There is nothing more romantic than stepping inside a castle made of ice that is lit from within. Celebrate your love with an evening of magic and enchantment, and remember to take a selfie to post on Instagram so your friends will be jealous! You may also want to keep an eye to the sky while you are there; it's not unusual to see a shooting star in the clear skies of the north. Make a wish. Together. 

This one is probably a standard but it makes it to everyone's list for a reason. Ice Skating. It's not for everyone but it's definitely romantic - unless you can't stay upright. That would be awkward! You might want to practice  beforehand. There are lots of parks and rec departments that create rinks during the winter. But for Valentine's Day we recommend a night at Strawbery Banke's Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Duck Pond in Portsmouth. So there might be some kids around. Keep your love warm with gentle kisses and hold his or her hand. That's all you have to do to make it memorable. Dress for it. That means beanie, scarf, mittens, the whole deal. This isn't sexy time, it's time to get serious about skating. CLOSE. After you have had your fun, get dressed, and take your date to a romantic dinner (we recommend reservations!) at one of Portsmouth's many restaurants. If you want it to be more love-ly, you'll want to visit Agave Mexican Bistro Dos and hang out in the piano bar. Get close and let the romance flow.

Make your own Booze with love and ingredients from around the world. IncrediBREW in Nashua has been helping folks make beer in Nashua since 1995, making it the oldest do-it-yourself brewery in The U.S., but they have added some interesting options to their original menu of experiences like wine and soda. For Valentine's Day, we kind of love the idea of making wine together. There will be no stomping grapes though. IncrediBREW has 100% varietal grape juice concentrates that come from California, Australia, France, Austria, Argentina, and Italy. Ooh, la la. There are more than 30 varieties, including limited releases. The only trick with this date (for those who are on a first date or in a new relationship) is you have to wait for the wine to ferment and come back a second time to bottle and cork the wine and label them with your own personal design. This one may be for the more dedicated couple but if you are a wine lover, you will seriously enjoy the process of making it, even if you don't get to stomp grapes!

Hot Glass Art Center (Courtesy: Facebook/ Hot Glass Art Center)

Take a Hot Glass Class in Moultonborough. Visit the Hot Glass Art Center, a state-of-the-art glassblowing studio and 
education center and learn a thing or two about the art of glassblowing. There is something about this kind of art that 
can bring you closer together. Like clay, glassblowing can be a sensual experience - with the smell of the fire in the furnace, the hands-on experience when the glassblower turns and forms his work, the constant motion of the glass, the colors and patterns that are added, the delicate handling of something beautiful. We aren't really sure at what point the glass cracks and you have to start over, but you and your sweetie will enjoy the process together. Create a bowl or vase, a drinking glass, a paperweight or an ornament. Find them online and schedule a weekend glass class. Their website is

Cascade Spa at Mill Falls in Meredith (Courtesy: Facebook/ Cascade Spa at Mill Falls)

Get a Couple's Massage at the Cascade Spa at Mill Falls at the Lake in Meredith. Order up a visit to the Couples Spa Suite where two therapists will work simultaneously on you and your loved one. You can flirt with one another while you are experiencing an amazingly blissful and relaxing massage. You even have your choice of massages - from a Swedish Massage to a hot stone massage - or if you really want to get deep, try a bamboo massage or a deep tissue massage. You don't really want to be sore after, so you may want to stick to basics. A Swedish Massage with aromatherapy can really make the experience more memorable through the scent of your choice.

A Couple's Cooking Class at Chez Boucher in Hampton will tug at your Valentine's heart. Couples' Night Out classes are held on the last Sunday of each month. They feature a special four-course gourmet meal with each course paired with a different wine. Part-demonstration, part-hands on, the class starts in the kitchen with one of the instructors. You will learn some new skills and techniques and have opportunities to participate in preparing the meal. Once the meal is ready for "plating" you'll sit in the dining where you can relax with a glass of wine and savor the flavors of the themed menu creations that you helped to prepare (we hope). You'll need a few hours for this one, but it's worth every delectable bite! The Culinary Playground in Derry also does a Couples Cooking Class. With expert instructors giving you tips and a chance to try some new foods, techniques and tools, it's a relaxing (really!) atmosphere where students actually make their own meal from start to finish. Then it's time to dine!

Sign up for a Powder Couple's Ski Clinic at Bretton Woods. If you are one of the few people who live in New Hampshire that is not an expert skier, take on the Couple's Alpine Clinic designed especially for Valentine's Day at Bretton Woods. Resident "powder" couple Gus DeMaggio and three- time Olympian, Miki Fera will tailor the class to you and your experience on skis. You'll get to play outside, tumble downhill and explore the best of what the Woods has to offer. Bretton Woods makes it easy with 464 acres of skiing on 62 trails and 35 glades. Make some loving memories as you encourage each other on the slopes. You'll have the tower suite lounge available throughout the day just for you and other attendees. At registration, you will receive a gift basket with everything you will need for your day and a few extras that will be sure to be a treat. Lunch at Latitude 44 is also included. If you're staying at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel - a must-do once in your life - opt for the "Luxury Romance Package" and opt for a duo of Monet Champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. You'll enjoy views for days and picture-perfect position overlooking Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeast. Make it count!   

Get a SpaRitual® Infinitely Loving® Pedicure at Bare Necessities Spa in Londonderry. Other spas likely offer similar experiences, but this particular pedicure features an aromatherapy food ritual using certified organic ingredients that will exfoliate, revitalize, heal and moisturize to leave your feet feeling rejuvenated. Food and toe waxing is part of the deal. If you want to just go for a regular ol' pedicure, you can do that too. The sensual experience of aromatherapy, foot massage and a pampering pedicure is where the romance starts.

Go on a dog sledding adventure at Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures in Plymouth. If you are into outdoor activities and don't mind a little frost on your pumpkin, take him or her on a dog-sledding adventure they will never forget. You will take a trip through the woods led by a team of beautiful and well-trained Siberian Huskies and musher Whatleigh Torsey, who has been mushing for over eleven years. The teams actually thrive on the extra attention and the adventures doing tours brings. Torsey loves offering that "exciting tour for a couple looking for a romantic adventure." Come pet the pups and follow along as they take you on a winter adventure that will make you fall in love all over again. It's breathtaking, exhilarating, and playful, and neither of you will be able to wipe the smile off your face. If you want to head further north, the White Mountains await you, and the Muddy Paw's Dog Sledding Adventures in Jefferson is where you'll want to go. They have several tours to choose from, including an introductory dog sledding adventure for first-timers, a 3-Hour tour for the more adventurous, and even a nighttime dog sledding adventure (which is the one we recommend if you are looking to 'Howl at the Moon'). Check out their website for more information.

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